Journal Day 1/National Eating Disorders Awareness Week

I opened up my journals last night after not having seem them for many years. It was sad to see me go from being excited and proud about losing weight, to someone whose thoughts were consumed with losing weight. The girl who was writing absolutely broke my heart. I wished I could reach out to her and shake her, to tell her it’s not about the weight loss, but about being happy in your own skin and owning who you are.

Today I have chosen some journal entries that show the quick transition over a few months from healthy weight loss to losing too much weight. I’ve chosen mostly excerpts, not entire journal entries, and they are completely unedited in order to capture the voice of a rambling teenager. Each entry is proceeded with a photo (if I can find one) from around the time of the entry.

3/7/96

I have so much to catch up on! First of all, now I’m 13. I’ve been it for more than a month. Second of all, I have lost practically 10 pounds and I am really happy. I still could lose another 10 pounds but my doctor said I’m doing really good.

March 1996 Hillie rally

5/4/96

Yes, I know it’s been awhile but I am so happy. I have lost almost 15 lbs – seriously! I just tried on my bathing suits and I look awesome! So much better than last year! I still have a few pounds to go and get so more muscle on my stomach & back/arms, but I can do it! I just have one tiny lump on my tummy but that’s going bye-bye! I have to go now and finish some homework, okay?

P.S. I’ve done all 3 of my goals! 1. loose weight 2. become vegetarian 3. get rid of my zits. THANK YOU GOD!

Trust walk rope April/May 1996

5/24/96

I was sooooo happy yesterday. I was in health when Zara called me. I walked over to her and Lisa and Sarah. They were all like, “Did you loose weight?” “You look awesome!” “You look so skinny!” I bet you I was blushing wicked bad. All I could say was “yea” & “thank-you very much!” I was really happy I almost cried.

I got a lot of compliments yesterday because I wore my tight white sleeveless shirt & khakis, it must look good on me. I am just sooo proud and happy about losing so much weight. According to our scale I weigh 115 lbs. I think it’s 3 lbs off (118). Now all I really need to do is tone my stomach & sides & back mainly. My stomach has a tiny, microscopic lump, the last one and I need to get rid of it. My whole family’s convinced I’m anorexic or something (I’m not!). That’s all mom & I talk about lately, food, exercise, losing weight, etc.

I can’t wait to see Jeremy again, not because I like him (I don’t currently like anyone) but I want to show off all of the weight I’ve lost.

End of May 1996 Girl Scout ceremony

Stay tuned for Day 2 tomorrow…

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15 thoughts on “Journal Day 1/National Eating Disorders Awareness Week

  1. Wow this was very brave of you to share, and thank you for doing so. Hopefully others who have an eating disorder can read, be inspired by you, and find the help they need.

    • Thanks, Patty! Been wanting to do something like this for awhile with my journals. When I was younger I dreamed of publishing them. Who knows, maybe I will? But then again, maybe it’s only me who finds it interesting. 🙂

      I think the biggest thing, as with any big struggle in life, is knowing that there will be an end and you can be happy. When you’re in the midst of it, it’s so hard to think there’s a way out. But once you’re on the other side, you know without a doubt that all of your hard work was worth it and it’s glorious to be free of it.

  2. This takes me back to when I was that age, those “big” problems, the insecurities… I really don’t miss it.

    • I know. Your whole world is so much smaller at that age that things that seem inconsequential now were a huge deal. That’s what I’ve enjoyed about getting older: my world is so much bigger and I’m so much more secure in myself. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. This is really fascinating (and brave)! I wrote in a journal from the time I was 8 through college and your writing style reminds me of mine…lots of data, at times like I was reporting things about myself (to myself). I look forward to reading more of yours. The progression of how a problem can develop is useful for everyone to read.

    • Thanks, Nora! Going back and reading my entries has been both heartbreaking and at times entertaining. It’s interesting to see how much and at the same time how little I’ve changed.

      Have you gone back and read any of your journals? That’s a long time to keep a journal! Do you currently keep a journal )other than your blog)?

      • I have gone back and read my journals and it can be embarrassing and heartbreaking since a lot of the time I was writing when I was sad. It’s very hard not to judge myself when reading them. I don’t keep a journal now but this has made me wonder if I should get back to it. That whole process of writing down your thoughts can be pretty relaxing and it’s nice to have a place to discuss things you haven’t yet figured out (that you don’t want to publicly discuss on a blog).

      • It is a bit embarassing and heartbreaking (I debated over whether to put the line about my friends treating me badly because they were jealous that I now also had a good body, but kept it in to keep it real). I totally judge myself, but at the same time, I think it’s nice to see how far we’ve come!

        I wanted to keep better track of all the big and little things that go on in life, without having to make a huge commitment like my old journal, so I bought the One Line a Day Journal. It’s five years’ worth of memories! Each day you just write a little blip about what you want to remember, whether it’s what you did or something that happened. I know I’ll appreciate it next year when I go to write in January 1, 2015 and look back at what I did on that day this year. Maybe you could start with that? It doesn’t leave you much space (some days I find myself wanting to write more), but it’s perfect to do at the end of the day every day. I bought it on Amazon .

      • That’s a really interesting idea! So many times I do nothing because I feel like I don’t have enough time to do whatever it is perfectly, but one line a day would actually be really interesting and not time consuming. It would force you to get to the point of what is important to you that day. I do have a journal iPad app; I could simply start using that a little each day.

  4. Hi Stephanie, thanks for sharing. That is probably a typical entry for many girls who were (are) thirteen. Do you think things have changed much in almost 20 years ? Gotten worse or better ? Karen

    • Hi Karen! My pleasure! Thanks for reading!

      Thinking back to when I had an eating disorder seems like another life. Like a bad dream or something. But reading through my journal I have found it interesting to see that although some of my thinking has changed, my personality is still very much the same. Just a bit more polished. I’m more of a relaxed person and have more of an open mind.

      What about you? Have you changed much the past 20 years? I’m thinking yes since that’s about how long you’ve been in France?

  5. […] If you’re just joining in, feel free to start reading here or you can back up and check out day 1 and day […]

  6. […] recovery from anorexia. If you missed the first few entries, feel free to go back and read day 1, day 2, and day 3. I’ll do mostly summarizing from here on out otherwise this week-long share […]

  7. […] to know they can have that as well. If you missed last week’s series, you can go back to read day 1, day 2, day 3, and day 4 before continuing below if you […]

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