Jamie's Story

My whole life, I've always felt like an impostor. I was never good enough - not smart enough, pretty enough and certainly not skinny enough I started dieting when I was around 8 years old. Counting calories, restricting, binge and purge - then starting the cycle again. When I was 14 I finally saw a nutritionist to help me learn to eat healthy. I was able to lose weight in what I thought was a healthy way and many took the opportunity to tell me how great I looked. As I began to shrink in size on the outside, so too did my sense of self-worth and happiness. I no longer craved food, I craved control. It felt like my whole life was a continuous cycle of "ifs" and "whens". I would think, "if only I could lose just X more pounds then I would truly be happy". With every pound lost, I lost a part of myself but that didn't matter because - once I got to the weight I needed to be at, everything would be okay. My entire being was tied to either working out or restricting what I was eating. I lived in constant fear of gaining weight and the worst part of it all was I didn't understand enough about what was going on to even talk about it. I was the lowest weight I had ever been, but I was sad and felt isolated and alone. All that came of the constant control and restricting of what I ate or drank was more "ifs" and "whens". If I were smaller, then I'd really be happy. If I keep smiling, then maybe the people around me won't pay attention to what's really going on. I am grateful that with the support of my friends and family I was able to seek out the help and counseling that I needed. I am so thankful to be able to share my story and let others know that they are not alone. Some moments are harder than others and, the way I see it, there is no getting "better". I am not "better" than the girl who couldn't eat in public or the one who would close her eyes when she walked by a mirror. I am stronger for having been through this journey. I no longer measure my worth by a number on a scale, I no longer feel scared to talk about what makes me anxious or be open about when I feel sad and most importantly, I no longer feel like I'm not enough.

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