WOMEN
10/11/2013 12:01 pm ET Updated Jan 23, 2014

Dieting And Diet Culture Ruined My Relationship With Food

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I remember the first time I realized that I was fat. I was in fifth grade, and it was time to pass out the class pictures. The teacher handed me my photos, which featured a chubby Amy in a sweet-ass bowl cut and a necklace that said "DIVA." The kid sitting in the desk next to me said, "Hey, your arms are pretty fat." Of course, I was mortified.

I pulled my sleeves down to cover my fat arms, and little did I know, began a cycle of lifelong dieting. Food restriction and fad diets have been a fixture in my life since I was 15, when I went to my first diet doctor. I dropped 50 pounds in college by existing on diet pills and cigarettes, but the weight came back with a vengeance.

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