115 Pounds

Trigger Warning: The reality of eating disorders

Cold, gross, mundane meals… repetitive, unfulfilling, but overfilling. Too much for me, but too little for you. The foods I saw looked anything from appetizing. 

Running, running, gone. Run till that tiny side fat is gone. Running, running from meals, from confrontation, from feelings. Small, thin, bare bones. “She is nothing but skin and bones,” they said.

Sophomore year of highschool I was 110 pounds on a good day. As a cross country runner you’d think since I was small I was at least fast… well, you would be wrong. I quickly learned that I was not meant to be a cross country runner when I was left in the dust at every meet, but I never quit. I loved running. I thought running was what made me look better. I did not run to win, I ran to impress boys, to be skinny, to be what I thought I needed to be to be “pretty.” The sad truth about highschool in a small town is that everyone is always watching. Watching what you do, who you are with and what drama may be going on around you. The girls and boys in my grade knew I was a little different than them, but I tried my hardest to be a carbon copy. 110 pounds.

Coming into college in the midst of a pandemic, I weighed 115 pounds. As a 5’6 female at 19 years old, I was tiny. I had no meat on my bones or fat on my body. I was tan, relatively tall, with bright fake blonde highlights in my naturally dark brown hair, and most importantly to this story I was thin. At the time I thought this was how I had to look. I thought I needed to run two miles everyday and eat very little like I did in high school so I could stay fit. I seldom drank anything besides caffeine and I never slept. I would say when I got used to being at Tarleton this changed but it didn’t. Dining hall was my nightmare and going alone was even worse. I had a few friends, but was too bashful to ask them to go with me to the point that I just forgot to eat. I was alone in an ever going cycle of the only snack of my day being some spicy chips and a cup of instant mashed potatoes. 115 pounds.

December of 2020, at the end of my first semester here at Tarleton I finally started figuring things out, had friends to eat with and gained a little weight. In December I hit 120 pounds for the first time, but lost it in a short few days.

December of 2021, I was done. Done being the girl who was too skinny for a size zero, but too tall for a size 4. I started at 112 pounds and now in March of 2022 I weigh 126 lbs. This is an insane change for me. Being someone who could never gain weight, not necessarily because I did not always want to, but because I did not have the motivation to change my eating habits. The first thing I did to make this change was to reach out to my younger sister. The pitcher for the Northwestern State University softball team and my best friend. Sage was 16 months younger than me, but knew way more about nutrition and weight gaining then I did. She put me into the gym and stuffed me with jasmine rice and shredded rotisserie chicken.

January 2022 to now, I have been in the gym nearly every day working strictly with weight training and very little cardio on my own free will, along with a lot of encouraging words from my boyfriend to keep pushing. Eating three real meals a day for the first time in my life and protein shakes when I can is what I have done to gain the weight. Obviously I did suffer from an eating disorder as well as body dysmorphia and it is not a light hearted subject. For me, this was because of my diagnosed depression and the way I saw myself compared to others.

I am in no way a dietician or personal trainer, but I figured out what worked for me. Everyone’s bodies are different. God made each of his in his likeness, but not the same. We all hold traits to glorify him and he is proud of his creation. These steps I took to be able to take care of my body were just a step I took in my faith to really appreciate what he has given me and build upon it. It’s so hard to look in the mirror and feel enough. Because you are not enough, none of us are perfect, but that’s okay because this is how God intended us to be.

Eating disorders and body dysmorphia are a real thing. People are affected by these all around the world, but it does not look the same for everybody. For me, I was small and frail, but others this may be the opposite. We as humans must understand not to judge others by their eating habits or dietary restrictions, but love each other like oneself and keep your comments to yourself. Nothing hurt more than “she’s just skin and bones.” It’s not motivating, it just makes the problem worse.

If you are silently struggling with body dysmorphia or an eating disorder, know that you are not alone and people want to help you. To find information on battling these adversities the Eating Recovery Center is a great online resource. You can see this at https://www.eatingrecoverycenter.com/

You can also reach out to the Tarleton counseling center to get help with the more mental part of these intrusive thoughts.