Coming Out About Bulimia

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[Editor's Note - Jennifer Molica became concerned with her weight at 11, by 13, she was regularly purging. In this piece, she details the steps that eventually helped her stop. This piece is not meant as a substitute for the advice provided by a health care professional, but it's worth a read if you or someone you love is struggling with bulimia and needs a dose of tough love. If there is one thing Molica doesn't do is sugar-coat. - AV]

I first began barfing in 1986, and stopped in April of 2003. That is a lot of puke, probably enough to fill an Olympic sized swimming pool. My motivation was vain in nature. I sought out beauty via thinness because I believed that was normal. Chances are you are motivated by vanity as well, but you’d like to believe it is because of other emotional issues. I urge you to take the first step in being honest with yourself and just admit that you are afraid of fat. I would gloss over my teen magazines, wishing that Kirk Cameron was my boyfriend and I could wear clothes like all of the cool girls at school. If I only knew what a cook Mr. Cameron was, I’d have made a better choice about my teen crushes! I distinctly remember pouring over the ads in the back of TigerBeat and Seventeen for fat camps and secret diet methods that were guaranteed to give you the love and life you desired. The “Get Him Method” was purchased with my hard-earned allowance for the price of $15.95 + shipping and handling. Back then there was no internet and I waited 8 fucking weeks for that piece of shit. The book was clearly written by someone who had limited knowledge of the English language and had a food chart that had horribly inaccurate nutrition information. An apple has 9-12 grams of fat? Who made that apple, McDonalds?

Photo by David.

Truth be told, I was chubby at best. The diet rollercoaster began in 5th grade when my physician told my mother that I needed to lose 15 lbs. 95lbs was too much for an 11-year-old with a 4’10” frame. I now know that doctor should have been beaten with a reality stick. After yo-yo dieting, I packed on another 40 lbs by the time I was 13. Juxtapose that with acne and acquaintance rape, I was ready to explode. I overheard a kid on the school bus talk about how he made himself vomit so he could make weight for wrestling. My companionship with puke began.

Sorry, but that’s all you’re going to hear of my war story. Do you really want to hear about every time I puked? It’s puke, there is hardly any glamour to it– I want to save your life. If you follow these suggestions, you should be able to quit puking.

Read more from If You Want to Quit Barfing by Jennifer Molica at Stop Chasing Skinny