A girl’s weight is always a sensitive issue, and i won’t even try to deny it.
I never ever struggled with my weight while i was growing up. And when i mean never, i do mean never. Not until i was about 17? Prior to 2007, i was pretty much a normal kiddo, perhaps a little skinny and borderline underweight. But even up till the age of 16, i refused to wear anything sleeveless because i felt my arms were not ‘thin enough’- they weren’t flabby, just not skinny enough. In other words, i was very self-conscious. Not surprising in a period where hormones raged. Up till the end of 2006, i was still thin enough. But after that, i just wasn’t thin enough. I was too fat, as a matter of fact.
And then everything changed. From a girl who didn’t care much about her weight, i became a girl who was obsessed with her weight. I was on a neverending endeavour to lose weight, just to get back to where i last was in 2006. My weight gain was precipitated by steroids, and i was on 20mg of prednisolone for at least a full year before i decided that i had enough of getting fatter and fatter. The worst part of the whole thing was that i developed what we would call ‘moon facies’, a term coined for the side effect in which we gain weight on our face, making it look round as a moon. (You know, even up till today, i still find it disgusting that a drug could make a person so fucking fugly.) I wasn’t gaining too much weight on the body initially, more on the face. Then i guess that everything went downhill after that, even after i stopped the steroids.
It didn’t help that i was very actively involved in ballet- leotards and tights, a constant reflection in the mirror to remind myself that i was getting ‘fatter and fatter’, and comments that come from the mouths of my teachers. So of course i was overly-critical of myself. Ballet was such a beautiful artform. Nobody would want to watch a dancer who wasn’t skinny.
I got disillusioned with losing weight the healthy weight. I wasn’t losing weight when i was dancing intensively. I wasn’t losing weight when i was making a conscious effort to exercise. And i missed, very terribly missed being thin.
And that is why i have been in a real struggle the past 22 months. I was caught in endless vicious cycles. I was happy, then i was sad, then i was happy, then i was angry. My self-esteem was directly correlated with the numbers on the scale. I ate and i overate. I starved until i was blacking out. I faced the void of countless toilet bowls, and i’ve scratched the back of my throat till my gag reflex of today is so bloody weak. I had my parotid glands swell, my eyes puffy and petechiae on my face. I was constantly misusing and overdosing on bisacodyl. I weaved lies- countless lies. And i’ve berated myself endlessly. For being fat. For being weak.
I’ve again started, stopped and restarted mirtzapine because it is notorious for increasing one’s appetite and one’s weight. Prednisolone seems so much of a lesser evil in comparison. I gained weight on it, and i lost weight when i stopped it. I am not a vain person by nature, but because my issues with my weight has been so deeply-rooted, i refuse to compromise on this. So what if mirtzapine keeps my depression at bay? My weight goes up, my self-esteem goes all the way down, and then that’ll be a vicious cycle by itself.
It’s been 22 months, and i would expect to keep counting the months because recovery is never easy. It is everyday that i wish i could be free from the vice-like grip of something so sinister. It is everyday that i wish i could truly love myself, and the body that comes with it.
And the thing about ‘love your body’ that certain people and media are campaigning about? Bullshit. Utter bullshit. I won’t even begin to say anything on this matter because i am one who’s overly critical.
I wished i never got diagnosed. I wished i never let them put a label on me. Because try as i might, i am never getting it off me. And that sucks. That fucking sucks. (Please please please don’t wish that you have an eating disorder. Because if you do, you’ll live to regret, and you’ll wish that you never wanted one.)
I’d very much like to say that i am done and dusted with this business. But i am not finished. Still too fat, still too weak, still too ugly. And so when i meant waging a war against it, it is not towards recovery. It is away from it.
I am going to lose weight.