I'd love to say how I started dieting because my parents got divorced, or because I was fat and people teased me, or because my goldfish died or because of some other such tragic occurence. Actually I'm a pretty well-off kid. As of next month, a pretty well off adult. My parents are together and incredibly lovey-dovey, my grades are good, I'm not a complete hippopotamous and my goldfish is still very much alive and kicking. Swimming.
The reason I diet, restrict, excersise compulsively and put myself through seven kinds of hell to be thin is just that - because I want to be thin. For me. I want to be thin for me - because I hate the way I look in my clothes, and because I love the feeling of my hip bones.
In anycase, a friend of mine introduced me to the "pro-ana" concept about 2 years ago. We both wanted to lose weight, so we decided to do it together. At that stage I had no knowledge of the cult (as I think of it) and was totally convinced that the only way to get thin was through not eating 3 ice-creams and an entire box of cookies in one sitting - I would limit myself to 2 ice-creams and maybe half the packet of cookies.
Now, I danced for an hour 3 times per week, so what I ate only affected me mildly, but I was gaining weight. My mother hinted, subtly at first. She would say thing like "those skinny jeans don't suit your build," but being completely self-absorbed, I took no heed. And I ballooned. I must have been about 7-8kg over my right weight.
At this point my friend told me about these sites she went to for tips to lose weight. Well, we were young and impressionable, and we were looking for a quick-fix.
I managed to convince myself that I would only use the "safe" tips, so with the help of my mother I started eating healthily. I would eat fruit during the day, vegetables for lunch, and a 300 calorie supper. I was eating about 1000-1200 calories per day - a normal amount for a growing girl.
I lost some weight, and I looked good. My mother noticed, my dance teacher noticed, and even my friends noticed.
I started finding it difficult to keep the weight off, so I (with much lecturing and groveling and explaining to my parents) became a vegetarian. It didn't help in the slightest (though I still refuse to eat animals and animal by-products). What did help was throwing up most of what I ate, either in the shower or down the toilet.
I took tips from the internet, and found that I could eat what I wanted, when I wanted, because now I had a quick-fix to keep the weight off. Because of this I started binging on cereals, cookies, and any sugary thing I could lay my hands on.
It lasted for about 2 months, when I saw an article outlining the health risks. The "chipmunk cheeks" was a drawback aswell, as I am very beauty-conscious.
I do not have an addictive personality - I managed to stop withing a couple of days, and have never gone back since.
I did, however, start restricting more seriously. I found the c&s (chew and spit) method, which helped tremendously when I felt a binge coming on.
By this time I was eating a fruit salad with fat-free yoghurt, and supper, which consisted of about 300 calories. That placed my calorie intake at around 800/day.
Grade 11 was a difficult year - I had to deal with my workload, as I take both art and design which requires much in terms of physical labour - I mean practical tasks - and my social life was going downhill. This was partly due to me, as I felt the friends I kept were heading in a different direction to me. Or rather, I was moving forward and tjey were standing still. They got together over weekends, drank and got shit-faced, and had absolutely no ambitions. They were content to watch the world pass them by, sticking out a hand occasionally to borrow money for another straight line. I disconnected myself from them to focus on my studies, and of course on my dieting.
These were the loves of my life. My calorie restriction controlled me as I tried to control it, and now I was weighing myself every day, 3 times a day, and excersising like nobody's business. I dropped to 46kg, which I think is about 102 pounds, and I was still not happy.
I don't recall what happened then, only that I stopped concentrating, and suddenly I weighed 4, 5, 6kg's more. That was 2 weeks ago.
I now eat nothing before 18:30. Then I eat a small bowl of steamed vegetables. I c&s everything else, and even that I hardly do anymore. I still dance twice/week for an hous, and I walk 10000 steps/day. I am back down to 46.4kg, but my perception seems to have altered. I'm taller, but somehow I look fatter. I have such a warped self image, I try to see myself as I am but I can't. I can't ask anyone, because like hell are they going to tell me I'm fat.
Now my mindset revolves around "just 5 more kg's, maybe just 6kg's, maybe 10kg's - yes, that's a nice, rounded number. Then I'll stop."
But that's just it - isn't it? Nothing is preventing me from walking to the cokkie cupboard and pigging out. I can easily take one of the cupcakes I baked for my friend's birthday, just as easily as I can stop restricting. Because I can stop. Any time I want.