Eating Disorder Awareness Week – Jaime’s Story

by Jaime on February 21, 2011

February might be Eating Disorder Awareness Month, but today kicks off the official week and I have to say that I’m so grateful that people take the time to really pay attention to what’s going on with the struggles that men and women face every day.

I had written a post last February to mark this week/month, and I wanted to repeat some of it for you.

I’ve been waiting and wondering whether or not I was going to share this with you, but since it’s Eating Disorder Awareness month, I felt like there was no better time.

I have a problem with food.

It’s been around since I was about ten, and it will never go away. It never does.

Things were really tough when I was in high school (though, let’s be honest… who doesn’t have a tough time in high school?). Between theatre, a troubled home life and some inner demons, I needed to find something I could control… and food was that one thing. My weight dangerously low for my 5’4 1/2 frame.

Like a lot of women, it was fueled by a lot of positive comments from people who genuinely meant well. I cut out meat, then fish, then starches, and eventually managed to subsist on Diet Coke with Lime and diet pills. It was amiserable existence – I don’t think I could have cared about anythingeven if I wanted to.

After high school ended, I moved in with my father. He forced me to eat and I had no way of hiding it. I took diet pills after that for a while, and kept up with them when I went to Loyola.

My weight got back up  in college, but I was still using drugs really heavily and I finally hit bottom. While that was probably one of the worst times of my life (and we won’t go into details here), it also saved me.

I took the second semester off of college and moved back in with my dad in Ann Arbor. I found a good psychotherapist, saw him a LOT, and worked through my problems.

Was it easy? No.
Am I 100% cured? Nope.
Will I ever be? Probably not.
Was it worth it? Hell yes.

Listen, I know this really has nothing to do with denim. It doesn’t, not really. But if one person reads this and wants to change, it’s worth being this vulnerable.

And those of you who have sent me hate mail telling me I’m too fat (or too thin… I’ve gotten them both), you don’t matter to me. If it did, I wouldn’t be here writing for the thousands of you who do read.

I think what I’m trying to say here is that no person should spend their lives like that. You are so much more than a number on a scale, or a size on a pair of jeans. There are so many more important things in live… and you deserve them all.

If you’re struggling with an eating disorder, or want to help someone you love, I’d recommend checking out the National Eating Disorders Association. And while I’m most certainly not a professional, I am here if you ever need anything… just email me.

If you’d like to support a denim brand who is doing their part to raise awareness about the dangers of Eating Disorders, I’d highly recommend Paige Premium Denim.

Take care of yourself.

Love,
JP

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Paula February 22, 2011 at 12:26 pm

Thanks for sharing your story Jaime. You are beautiful and always will be!

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Tammy February 22, 2011 at 8:11 pm

You are neither too fat nor too thin; I’m glad those people don’t matter for you. As long as you’re happy or even just content with how you look, you’re fine. (And, well, if you don’t, I think you look just fantastic, and I’m sure many, many others would agree…that’s not meant in a creepy way at all btw :-p)

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