It’s fairly rare that this blog talks seriously about, well anything. But just like in the bedroom, it’s more interesting when you mix things up. Here’s a story about somebody I used to know…
The boy was only 13 years-old, and tipping the scales at 14 stone. He had zero confidence, hated what he saw in the mirror and had never kissed a girl – unlike most of his piers.
One day he started counting calories and gradually began exercising. As he got taller and upped his exercise regime, the weight slowly started to fall off. Before long, the 1,400 calories he was consuming became 1,200. Then 1,000. Then 800. The praise he received for his ‘hard work’ was overwhelming.
“You look so well, how have you done it?!”
Every compliment filled him with a satisfaction that the bottom of a KFC bucket couldn’t. Very soon, 600 calories became 60, his boobs became bones and his rolls became ribs. 10 minutes of skipping turned into two hours at the gym and the gasps of surprise became gasps of shock.
He’d lost his mum at a young age and I believe the support he was missing from her, he’d replaced praise from his weight loss. Eating only an apple a day and running until he felt faint had made even walking up stairs a strenuous task.
The starvation he put his body through had become too much of a strain and the hunger pangs (fuelled by nights of heavy drinking) resulted in binge eating. The guilt he felt following the act was unbearable. He hated himself for doing it, and in moments of darkness would have rather have been dead than felt that depressed. The compensation for what he’d done was further starvation, excessive exercise, self induced vomiting, laxative abuse, slimming pills, drugs, anything that made him look or feel thinner.
He watched thinspiration videos on YouTube, joined countless “pro ana” forums and tried every diet he’d read about; the 2, 4, 6, 8 diet, the maple syrup diet, Atkins, detoxes…
He cried most days and his knuckles were bruised from constant purging. Shrinking to 9st 11, he was a shadow of his former self and weight loss had began to control his life. He felt like he was drowning while everyone around him watched and repeatedly making himself sick left him constantly tired. As he began flunking university and his battle with bulimia entered its fifth year, he decided to seek help.
Desperate to try anything that would silence his depression, he took a year out of studying and was signed up to an experimental group therapy treatment. Although it was daunting, he altered his negative thinking patterns and changed how he saw things, including himself. Eventually he stopped making himself sick and lost the urge to binge. It wasn’t easy and it wasn’t by magic, but it happened.
The boy started studying again and rebuilt his confidence.
The boy channelled his experience into creativity and his obsession with weight into one for success.
The boy tells this story in a hope to prove to others that even when you’re hopeless, things can change.
The boy, was me – “somebody that I used to know.”
Some people live with life consuming eating disorders for decades – I was fairly lucky. I still miss the occasional meal, sometimes run for a bit longer than necessary and who doesn’t get a little joy from accidentally gagging when brushing their tongue?! But while I couldn’t bare the thought of becoming overweight again, I also couldn’t bare the thought for spending longer than an hour in the gym.
But more importantly, I can’t remember the last time I engaged in such unhealthy behaviour, putting such an awful strain on my body. And that I couldn’t have won my battle against bulimia without the help of professionals and a few close friends.
For readers struggling, or those that know someone who is, when you’re ready – contacting Beat or your GP could be the start to a new life….
Visit Beat here: www.b-eat.co.uk
or call 0845 634 1414