It took me about three years to realize that this preoccupation of food was stemming from fear and loss: fear of losing control in my life, loss of confidence and love for myself.
That's so sad, I thought. It'd be so sad to feel that way, to think about oneself as being fat -- like it's an identity, like it's who you are. And the sweat ran through my hair and into a rivulet in front of my left ear and the room seemed to go dark.
While many of us will find ourselves overindulging in candy in the upcoming days, and most of us have experienced times when it seems as if a food is literally calling out to us, how do we know if we are suffering from the full-blown disorder?
e're all different. Whether we want to admit that universal rule of nature or not. Genetics have this funny way of prevailing, despite our best efforts to override them.
I wanted to reflect on the events of the past five years of my life, which masked themselves as "distractions," and send a letter directly to what has kept me from succeeding all along: fear. Fear is one of the biggest obstacles that any of us will ever face.
I was anorexic by the time my boyfriend Jeff and I moved to Manhattan in 2006. I was 22 years old, 6 feet tall, and 118.3 pounds. I had halfheartedly followed the South Beach Diet as a quick way to drop the extra pounds, but once I reached my desired weight, I just started starving myself.
Male body image stereotypes are powerful. Men are strong. Men are leaders. Men don't complain about fat days. Men certainly don't stick their fingers down their through and purge their meals. Men don't starve themselves. Yet men are doing it. They are doing it in alarming numbers.
I hate the word "curvy," because although I'm a size 8-10, the word just doesn't describe me. I have a nice solid trunk, but no rolls unless I'm sitting down, or having sex with my legs in the air.
Thank you for all of the wonderful endorphins and hormones you released to help me labor, birth and then bond with my daughter. Thank you for helping me to feed her with milk that you made.
As adults, I think we need to be really careful about not only what we say directly TO our children, but also what we say about other people AND ourselves.
Maybe together, we adults can make the world in which our little girls are growing into wonderful women a better place. Please help me. We're the adults. My daughter, and probably yours, needs our help.
They are a natural part of your body, no big deal, something to hide, something to be ashamed of, bought in a doctor's office, something to flaunt, a prize, part of a show for entertainment, something to change, something that produces milk, an industry. They are an enigma.
I will never know what goes on in the minds of others battling a mental illness, but one thing is for certain: we are battling it together. And, you don't have to hit rock bottom before you get help -- don't be afraid to fight for the help you need.
But something else was happening as I pursued my dancing career. I was growing up and the ballet school administrators decided I was fat -- not normal "fat," but "ballet dancer fat."
I walk because the average age a girl begins to diet today 8-years-old and 42 percent of first through third grade girls want to be thinner. I walk because 30 million people in the United States, men and women, will struggle with an eating disorder in their lifetime.
The only thing I regret is not having given more thought to the surgeon's warning that as a result of the surgery, I may lose my ability to breastfeed. I was 18. Childrearing seemed decades away. They'll be able to fix that by then, I thought.