July 18, 2004: I am excited to dye my hair! I hope I look good as a blonde. I didn’t work out today. Well… I did “fat burning pilates” before church but I didn’t lift weights or anything. One day at a time, step by step. If you fall, keep on going and pick yourself up. Tomorrow I’m going to do Day #3 of weights, 25 minutes of cardio and Tae-bo after. I have to stay positive. Six weeks left until school. Just think, I could be X pounds* soon.
July 19, 2004: I don’t notice myself getting smaller but my pants are looser and I’m losing pounds. Today was supposed to be my rest day… so I only did Pilates. I’m excited to see how much weight I’ve lost on Friday. I’ve done more exercise than usual this week. I read online that Britney Spears is 130 pounds — she’s 5″4. That seems weird… her weighing X pounds* MORE than me couldn’t be right.
July 22, 2004: I feel so bad. Today, I had five pieces of candy and a cup of ice cream. I tried to get on the treadmill and I got off. I can’t do it. I can’t. Then I went to my room and put a Tae Bo tape in. I did that for 15 minutes and shut it off. I’m depressed. I’m crying right now, too.
I know exercise is helping me but I feel like SUCH a failure.
I can’t stop sobbing.
I hate my body.
These last two days have been horrible, absolutely hell. I’ve eaten terribly and haven’t exercised. I feel ugly, fat and lonely. I need to have friends over, but when I do, I eat junk food and can’t work out. It’s not fair. Why is everyone so skinny? Why do I have to sit here sobbing and in pain? I know other girls probably hate their bodies too but who cares? They have NO REASON to. You have to admit I have a reason.
I’m crying too hard to write properly.
August 2, 2004: I’ve refrained from writing the last two weeks because somehow it always comes back to body. I hate reading negative things. I’m 14 years old as of yesterday. I took a bunch of pictures of myself yesterday afternoon and put one as my display picture. I’ve got TONS of attention from it. Joe* said I looked nice. Becca* said I looked very old and good. Danielle* said I looked different in a good way. Tiffany* said I look “omg, so cute!” Sara* said I look really pretty. Riley* said “that’s a REALLYYYY good pic.” [*names changed]
When I lifted the box of journals off my shelf and began to read through them, I found a gap — no recorded words between August 2004 and 2005. My first year of high school. I can’t imagine a year without journaling. I don’t know where those words went… maybe they were destroyed in disgust. Thankfully I remember enough about that year to fill in the gaps. I felt like I fit in for the first time. I loved going to school. I was thin — well, my friends called me thin — and their words gave me confidence. I was the queen of self-tanning lotion and my hair was never blonde enough. Boys of all ages started to pay attention at me. I was ecstatic when a friend told me her grade 12 guy friends were taking notice. I hit my lowest weight that year… making my total weight loss 30 pounds from the beginning of grade 8.
I didn’t understand how twisted my body image had become. Conversations with my family both frustrated and confused me. Over breakfast one morning, Dad asked my weight. When I answered, his reply was “Don’t lose anymore.” At an extended family gathering, my cousin threw her arms around my waist from behind, “Where did Jamie go?!?” she asked. I forced a smile, “She’s still here.”
I missed my period one month, then the next and the next. After one-too-many unhelpful diagnoses by the medical community [“You have IBS. Find out what bothers your stomach and then don’t eat it.” Cool dude, everything I eat bothers me.] Mom took me to a new naturopathic doctor. On our first office visit, the doctor asked for my weight. I answered, “X pounds.*” I was proud of that number but I could feel my Mom’s eyes on me. “You told Dad more than that last month.” Yeah. I lost a few more. Sorry.
*Due to the sensitive nature of eating & overexercising disorders, I have decided to not publish my weight. Different heights and frames carry weight differently and I would never want my “number” to be an unhealthy motivator. Thanks for your understanding.