My apologies today kids. I do plan on continuing the story of Dan and I but I am a little pressed for time so I am going to share with you the Self-Portrait that I had to do for my anorexia class. I don't know if it will make it into her research and half of me hopes it doesn't because I like the tone of it now that it's completed.
I will say a few things first. I am getting a good amount of work done and I hope that with having Monday off I can get a good portion of the thesis done. We'll see how hard my tech writing homework is first.
Also, public and final apologies to Dan for last night. So sorry things went wrong and so very sorry for my behavior. I love you dearly and I am so glad that you're so supportive. I shouldn't have done something so dumb or cruel.
Anyway, here's the paper. And it is fairly interesting.
Personal Snapshot of a *Fat* Recovering Anorexic
You wouldnít think I was anorexic to look at me. Iím a size 10/12. A fat girl in a class with little tiny sorority girls, but Iíll get to them later. Iím getting better, getting less obsessed with food and not skipping meals. But this is supposed to be background, right?
I inherited anorexia from my parents. Both sides. My mother has told of me the times she spent in college, living off of half a can of beans a day, partly because she was poor. She has always had wonderful metabolism, tall and lean with a washboard stomach. I almost think that she holds herself above my sister and I because she always tries to teach us to exercise and what we should eat. The problem is that she also wants us to eat and questions us when we want to skip meals. Itís kind of a mixed message because she wears no makeup and isnít feminine but when it comes to body type, my mother is more than willing to mention our ďchubĒ.
Luckily, I spent most of my life with my father. He was anorexic too. His started at the end of my high school when he acquired type two diabetes. We had to throw out all the sugary food in the house and went to celery ever since. It was initially to drop weight because he lost his leg and the doctors felt he would have poor circulation but it continued. He always fed me well, though on healthier food, but for himself he often only ate one sandwich and maybe a bag of popcorn and some diet mountain dew through the day. He also nagged me death about exercising because he felt that I was getting heavy. I resisted for a good part of high school but my body images got worse in college.
I will admit that my parents did not have my best interests at heart, but it was local societal pressures, which drove me to try those methods. Itís hard to remember that Ann Arbor is not a microcosm of the real world but when youíre looking at a campus full of size 8 women and under, you start to feel fat. My fat image I base more on what I see running around town in tight jeans than any airbrushed model. I know the models are fake, but the sorority girls LOOK REAL. They look perfect. Skinny. Able to find tons of clothes at the mall. Able to be beautiful and desirable. Able to use their looks to advance their life, rather than subtract from it. So, I wonder if there is any chance that I can be thin. I doubt it but I try. Mostly though, I just dream that I will learn to starve myself for months and my body will quickly shrink into the little size 6 jeans. Sadly though, I quit easily. One good loss of consciousness and I am back into the sugars.
And itís strange really because I actually have a good reinforcement for my self-esteem and that is my modeling. I do print stuff mostly but it pays well and I honestly do enjoy my work. Problems do occur though in that I am not the normal model type. I am just barely at height requirements and I have a disproportioned body. I do my work well, and sometimes I honestly feel sexy or content that some parts of my body are beautiful but those I hate I almost wish that I could cut them off.
For my body: I like my legs, feet, hands, lower arms, face (which surprisingly many women donít like), hair, skin (in most places), and, in general, my extremities. I hate my torso and especially my stomach. I try not to think about my belly and it seems like no crunches in the world will ever fix it. I hate that I have a paunch just above my pussy and because I can see it, I hate my belly all the more. My friend told me recently that I had a sexy belly button when I was leaning back and I couldnít believe him. I have been afraid to show my midriff for as long as I can remember. I did it this summer though, and walked into a few stores that way, and I felt horribly self-conscious. If I am not walking with perfect leaned back model posture my stomach just looks like this huge mass of flab. God, I hate my stomach.
I hate the extra flab on my body too. I donít want to be truly skinny but I want to not have stretch marks and flab. I got a bit on my arms that bothers me. My lateral muscles of my back are horrible. I have no idea how to burn those things off and I am seriously considering liposuction because when I sit my back looks like a pile of lard. My ass is too big and far too fat ridden but I am slightly lucky on that as itís harder to see my butt than my stomach.
So I got into anorexia thinking that I could learn to starve. My parents had self-control like that and they lost weight. They learned to never eat and my mother got skinny doing that and she was plump as I child as I was. Part of me knew that my diet of three bowls of rice a day wouldnít work and that I would be cheating constantly but I wanted it to work. I think thatís the power of diets, you want to wake up in the morning and notice the pounds dropping away. I never really saw any results of these diets or ritual starvation I endured until I started putting on my prom dress.
My prom dress is pretty much how I measure my weight. I wasnít my heaviest at my Junior Prom but I was heavier than when I started college. I had to buy a size 16 dress that barely fit because all the designs for fat girls were ugly. Most of the dresses above the Junior Miss sizes also were for far bigger girls and in far different proportions than I am. They assumed that I had at least D cup breasts, which I donít, whereas the Misses sizes assumed that I had no stomach. So, I finally found one cheap $80 dress (I had to cover all of prom myself), that was a wonderful black swing number and I bought it. Sure, I could barely sit in it with my huge stomach pushing at the seams but I had to have a good dress. The pain was almost worth it.
Every so often, I revisit this dress and see how I match up. My scale has said the same weight for several months where I have been losing dress sizes so I feel itís inaccurate. I check against my older self. If I have gotten fatter then the dress, itís time to worry. If I can still pull it around a lot then Iím happy. I am no longer that fat girl in high school, just the not-so-skinny one in college.
Iíve been getting better though and trying to change my eating habits. I met my boyfriend and I confessed my eating habits to him. Although he sometimes admits that I was a little chubby when I started, he was the one who got me eating healthy. He pushed me towards the Peopleís Food Co-op where, until recently when I fell off the wagon, I was purchasing all of my groceries and learning to cook. He also helps me with the self-esteem and I will admit that itís rare for me to feel fat around him anymore. He is great with compliments and he worries about me. He doesnít want me starving and maybe thatís what anorexics need: someone to care about them.
I donít think I got much input to be skinny through the media. I am almost ashamed to admit that my ideas on choosing to do something as stupid as anorexia was based upon my own concepts of self-control. I got these ideas from my parents and the need from this feeling of losing a competition with other women. Logically, I know that this is silly but at the time it made sense. I think it might help if we got more average weight role models in the world or maybe someone needs to do a reality check with heavier college women and let us know that skinny isnít the only body type out there. Part of me also knows that college aged women are also so slim because they might not have the time or the money to eat well or they are exercising to keep their weight down. But, if all I see in the dating pool at UM is young sexy slender women, then my size 10 body will feel like a whale in a swimming pool.
But no, I donít think the media does it so much for me. I understand that I watch TV spots and things like that but I donít feel competitive with those women. For me, itís like the women in porn. They donít bother me because I know that they are fake and I donít face any real competition from them. I donít worry about my boyfriend looking at them. I worry at him looking at young college girls that are thinner than I am and then wondering why he is with someone like me. I will admit that I have more than a body to offer but this worry does cross my mind.
In conclusion, I am working on things. I am always working on things. I know not eating doesnít work. My mother has hypoglycemia and my dad has diabetes. I got drunk once and forgot to eat for 14 hours and I nearly passed out on the way to the Fleetwood. I canít do that again. I know that alcohol does not equal food and that I should eat when I am hungry and only when I am hungry. It just takes self-control.