I have felt fat and imperfect since I was about 7.
I can trace it back to the moment when my mom started discussing my weight and how I was pudgy with our doorman in Iran. Iranians don’t ever shy away from making extremely blunt comments:
“You look a bit fat, have you thought of losing weight?”
“Maybe you should start taking care of your mustache, you aren’t a kid anymore.”
“That haircut makes you look old for your age.”
We have all heard it at some point.
But this moment never really left me, and from then on my body, what I ate, and how I looked became a dominant thought in my head. When my mom asked my best friend’s mom, who was a nutritionist, how I could lose weight at 13 — When constant comments were made about why is it that I just can’t have a tighter stomach. There was a constant voice in my head about my imperfect weight.
I started throwing up after binge eating in my last year of high school. I thought of it as damage control. I can throw up the food that I would accidentally binge eat. It wouldn’t happen that often, mainly because I ended up going on a self-imposed strict diet of only fruits and vegetables for 3 months.
When college started I was determined not to gain the freshman 15. Outside of my bulimia, I’m a very healthy eater. People think that you can only binge on unhealthy foods, I’ve binged on all kinds of food and thrown it up, unhealthy food is just easier to throw up. I didn’t think about this as a problem for a long time. Again, it was a form of damage control. I would get stressed, I would drink, or I would be mindless and end up binge eating. Then, when I realized what I had done, I would go and take care of it.
There is a wonderfully sick feeling of emptying yourself, a sense of relief and victory. I never considered asking myself why it was that I was binge eating, or why was it that I felt the need to binge to a certain point to make myself throw up. As college continued, my stress continued, and my body issues expanded. There was only so much I could control at times. And this form of “damage control” was effective and immediate.