Portia DeGeneres (a.k.a. Portia De Rossi) was on Oprah yesterday talking about her book "Unbearable Lightness" which is her personal story of battling with self image issues including being lesbian, body image issues and her battles with anorexia and bulemia among other things.
i was so glad I was watching it alone because it really brought some things to the surface for me that I thought were long gone. Hearing her talk about how she used to limit herself to 300 calories a day brought me to tears because at one point in my life I was doing the same thing.
I have never been skinny. When I was in high school, I felt I was one of the fattest girls in the group i hung out with. At my heaviest in HS i think i was around 135 (at 5'6") and at my skinniest I was about 115lbs. And to get to 115 i had to basically starve myself and was working out like a maniac. I used to wake up around 4am and run about 3 miles around town. Then I would hop on my bike and ride until the sun came up and then turn around and come back home. Once I rode so far I got lost and ended up on Southfield fwy by Outer Drive, which is roughly 7 miles from the house i grew up in (according to google maps).
most of the day i would drink coffee or iced tea - lots of it. And to eat I made jello cuz it was low in calories. If i felt like I wanted something savory I would suck on a boullion cube. And if things got really bad I would chew the food I was craving and spit it out immediately so I got the taste but not the calories. Made sense to me.
When people started saying something about my eating habits, I began to eat again. But I lived on laxatives. I couldn't make myself puke, plus it was something not easy to hide in high school where you're never alone in a bathroom. But laxatives at the end of each day (usually) were much easier to take and to hide.
I'm sure people had an idea of what I was doing. but no one said anything directly to me. It wasn't until a cold Jan 1st that action happened. I went downstairs to use the bathroom and all i remember is going in and then a vague memory of my mom forcing me to walk to the car through the snow barefoot to take me to the hospital. According to her I came out of the bathroom and just stood in her doorway and then i passed out and was cold to the touch and completely unresponsive.
After many hours in the ER they said my electrolytes were out of whack and treated me. I had to admit to laxative abuse and i slowly became better. I don't remember everything as well as i should. (I blame the head trauma from my car accident a few years back) but when i heard Portia talking about how things made sense to her even tho they sounded crazy, it's what i felt back then. And of course the idea that you never look to yourself the way others see you.
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