The Shame of Weight Gain

Conversely to Lila, the anorexic in my last post, I sit with women who can’t stop eating. They’re desperate because they go on massive binges and can’t put down the food. These women suffer the shame and degradation that goes along with being overweight or truly fat in our world.

When I was starving, I felt so proud of myself – what an accomplishment, I thought. The less I ate, the better. The less I weighed, of course, the better too. And until I got really really too thin, the world agreed – I looked great.

But, in my compulsive eating and bingeing years, all I knew was shame. As my body grew, I was horrified and miserable. I loathed myself.

As a fat kid, the boys made fun of me and the girls avoided me. I’d come home after school, turn on the TV and eat for the rest of the day. Words can’t explain how desperately I longed to be thin and like the other girls.

Sad and lonely – that was my childhood.

I hated those years. (It was then that I decided never to have children – I couldn’t bear for a child of mine to be as miserable and ostracized as I was.)

At about 16, I couldn’t take it anymore and started to starve. Thus began a life cycle of starving, binging, purging, starving, binging, purging. My weight regularly fluctuated 80 pounds.

Hmmm, in last paragraph I wrote, “thus began a life..”, but it wasn’t a life. Not at all.

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