This is how it started

I feel a strong need to write this. I don’t know if anyone will ever read it. This is something I can think of in my head or feel in the moment. The emotions and actions behind something that is physically done and over with in minutes but that mentally and emotionally stick around well I guess since I first started. I started when I was in high school, I guess I was a young, impressionable teenager. I was quite athletic – played hockey, danced and enjoyed being active. Mum and Dad always said there was never an afternoon after school where I wasn’t at some sort of training or sport. I developed an infatuation over time I think. I had a lot of problems with my knees, they were regularly strapped and physio’d. Something about plates, fluidand growing pains. One day I heard Mum say pain in the knees is from carrying too much weight…I dont blame Mum for what I started like I said I was impressionable. There was a character on Home and Away – her name was Jayde Sutherland – part of the storyline related to body image and she began purging food to lose weight and slim down. I thought it sounded easy, that I could do that. I wanted to have a slim, athletic figure but I’ve always had a “bum” and everyone in my family knew/knows it. As it turns out my bum and thighs are my most absolute most hated feature of my body. In those days I would purge lunches at school…I was scared to do it everyday because i knew it could do damage (good old Health Education class) so technically I combined it with a pretty harsh diet of no breakfast, 4 snacks in the day and some dinner. I remember at first it was a bit of a thrill to be doing something a bit naughty and secretive like that. God it was hard though, make no mistake – I enjoy food…when my friends had canteen food daily it sucked. I would push myself through hunger and spread out my 4 little snacks…I don’t really remember the timelines now or how long this went on for but I remember the end of the Home and Away storyline ended when Jayde was in hospital and they talked about her stomach lining breaking down and acid damage. I started to pull back then and amped up the diet and exercise. I kept up with sports and also went running after dark around our neighbourhood- I guess when your house was as busy as ours it wasn’t always noticed if I would disappear…if it wasn’t too dark sometimes I would run with Lady and Mum and Dad knew I was going and where. I suppose having the dog with me made them think I was safe. One night a car pulled up behind us slowly, I got nervous and when we ran around a corner I hid behind the letterboxes of unit block. I pulled Lady down and the car kept driving. I stayed there and heard it turn around and slowly drive back on the other side of the road. When I heard it drive away faster Lady and I ran the whole way home at a sprint on the footpath (where we could be blocked by trees). We would have been about 1km from home. I don’t know what could have happened that night but I’ve never forgot it. I stopped running by myself in the dark after that.

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