Like a lot of other women; I look in the mirror and see something else that others do not see. Every single day I still hate the vision that looks back at me. A lot of models and celebrities now have a skewed view of themselves, like myself and think they are fat, and some even diet themselves to death.
At a Vogue Festival in Britain in April Russian supermodel Natalia Vodianova declared to the media:
"C'mon guys, you know it's better to be skinny than to be fat! Immediately her comments went viral and she tried to back track – kind of.
Every single day you see emancipated models that kids today want to be emulate. At age 15 I left home and basically stopped eating because of super-skinny model Twiggy. My hair fell out and I was an emotional mess. I started working at the trendy Le Chateau store in 1967 and was told I was not thin enough by a fellow employee. I told him I was a size 9 and he simply said,
“To be cool you need to be a size 5!”
So I decided to repeat not eating for days on end and sometimes I fainted because I was so hungry. I ended up being that idolized size 3 and the food abuse journey began.
For years I ate so frugally that sometimes my period stopped. My grandmother would get so upset at the way I looked she would tell my father. When he reprimanded me I would simply tell him I had more weight to lose. They chose to remain silent less I was true to my word.
I was thin for years until I developed emotional problems and then the weight crept back on quickly. I knew every diet and every calorie value backwards, forwards and then some. No one needed to tell me what to do because by now it had been engraved in my brain forever.
At 34 I got pregnant with my first child and became very concerned about the possible weight gain. Instead of watching what I ate I developed a new habit called bulimia. My obstetrician was very concerned about the weight loss while I stood there on the scale and secretly smiled. I constantly told my unborn child Mummy was going to be skinny again.
Realizing how selfish I was now I could kick myself. My oldest child was born weighing 10 pounds and the pregnancy weight seemed to leave over night. I had lost 30 pounds while I was pregnant.
Bulimia became very addictive and it was so easy to eat what I wanted and then purge. I told my doctor, that when I completed "the deed" I felt nothing but power. This horrible addiction continued for another 4 years until I made myself stop. One afternoon I saw my oldest son become upset, run into the bathroom and force himself to throw up. He knew all about my dirty little secret and that was the last day I purged for awhile.
Years later it came back to haunt me as something new called exercise addiction. I was told by an instructor where I taught aerobics if I wanted to find people with food problems the gym was the first place to go.
She was right and I met Kat who encouraged me to consume only liquids - which I did. Everyday it was either soups, Jolt Cola or days of fried rice. One day when I went to see my doctor she told me she was starving herself to go on a trip. She looked at me straight in the eyes and said,
“I just cannot follow a diet; it’s either starve or not lose weight.”
That to me said it all and I realized that if a professional could not do it how could I? So for years I have remained the size I am and watched the skinny girls drift by on TV. I have spoken about eating disorders to girls in Elementary schools because image issues start at a very young age now.
I know what they are feeling and tell them I now have scar tissue in my throat from repeated bulimiac abuse. It is so bad that sometimes I have to run to the bathroom when I eat - not to purge, but to stop from choking to death.
So to those that can follow diets I applaud you but there are many of us that have food issues and cannot be like you. We are what we are and do not ever doubt that we do not try, because we do.
Every single darn day!
Linda Seccaspina for Zoomers Canada
author of "Menopausal Woman of the Corn"