Letter #160

Content Warnings: Anorexia, disordered eating, self deprecation, Rehabilitation, Body dysmorphia, medical negligence

 

Dear Stranger, 

 

How are you? I hope you’re doing well. Even if you’re not, that’s okay. I hope you’re eating well though. I’ve always struggled with body image and it’s been difficult for me to keep a healthy diet. I was always on the heavier side; no matter how much I worked out or ate healthy, the numbers on the scale never went down. I was muscular and active, but heavy. My diet consisted of vegetables, fruits and home-made dishes, rarely eating out. My parents had said that I was fine because I was healthy.

 

In fifth grade, I went to my doctor for my yearly check ups. My doctor would tell me that my weight went from overweight to obese in the span of one year. Even blaming my inconsistent period on my weight, even when my family had a long history with slow menstrual cycles. I laughed it off at the moment, but it stuck with me. I started to hate looking in the mirror or going shopping for clothes, because I felt so disgusting in every single piece of clothing. 

 

I went on daily jogs, threw out lunches and overworked my body. And it felt like I was getting thinner. It felt like I was doing the right thing by ruining my health because of one conversation with a trusted adult. Maybe I shouldn’t have let the comment get to me, but it did affect me and it stunted my growth. I stopped growing taller and my knees got damaged from all the excessive running. Even when I went to the doctor to ask about my possible knee dislocation, they said it was impossible that my knees dislocated. I felt like I was trapped in a constant cycle of feeling like an alien, like I wasn’t normal.

 

It got so bad that I felt fragments inside my joints and couldn’t walk without limping. We went to the emergency room and it turns out, my patella bone would pop out of place because of the excessive running. My knee ligaments were so badly torn up that it was a possibility that I would have to get surgery to tighten them again. I felt relieved that there was an explanation for the pain that I endured, I felt like crying because there were doctors who understood what I was going through.

 

Slowly, but surely, I got my appetite back. My weight would revert back to my original weight, but I was eating healthy again. I still hate going to the doctor, and there are times where I feel like the most disgusting person on Earth, but skipping meals and throwing up food wasn’t the answer for losing weight and still isn’t. I went back to my daily stretches and ate home-made dinners, instead of excessive jogging.

 

If you’re going through a similar experience, please reach out to your loved ones. My parents didn’t know that I was throwing out food and they helped me get over my fear of food. They were also the ones who suggested we go see a different doctor and even go to the emergency room, even when I insisted that I was fine. 

 

Eat well and healthy. Everyone’s body is different, it’s not a patternized thing. We’re not products that are manufactured in a factory, so your body’s healthy status might be different from someone else’s. Please don’t compare yourself to others, but stay healthy. 

 

Cheering you on!

 

-K.

 

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