Sunday, September 26, 2010

How Do Models Survive?

All right, so after my last post, I feel I should follow up with a caveat.  You see, it worries me that 95% of brides seem to feel the need to diet.  I mean think about it, that means almost no one is comfortable with their weight.  That's scary.

I know you all know you should diet healthily and not too fast and not with scary products, yadda yadda yadda.  But I'm going to tell you a story about how easy it is to go too far because people just don't think about it as much as they should.  Not about going anorexic or bulimic or anything like that, but about how a reasonable person can make small choices that greatly affect the way she sees herself.

During my senior year of high school, I developed a weird stomach condition took away my appetite.  It was sort of like acid reflux disease; the high amount of acid in my stomach kept me from wanting to eat because eating basically gave me a stomach ache.  Heaven for most people, right?  There is no better way to lose weight than not wanting to eat (except of course the stomach flu).

I wasn't uncomfortable with my weight before this happened, but I was conscious of it.  I wasn't really dieting, but I did start watching what I ate at the age of 15.  Most of the time, it was just cutting unnecessary sugar out of my diet which was healthy.

But at the onset of this disease, I did the most unhealthy thing possible.  I didn't eat.  I didn't want to, so I didn't.  Not to the point of starvation of course, but enough to lose a lot more weight than I should have.  10 pounds in 2 weeks to be exact.  And people started to notice.  It wasn't until my dance teacher pulled me aside and basically asked me if I had an eating disorder that I realized how bad it was.

I didn't do it on purpose.  I didn't even realize what was going on.  But I could have stopped it, and I didn't because I liked it.  I liked looking like a model.  I was happy when my weight finally dipped under 100 pounds.  I liked it so much that it took someone telling me I was sick for me to realize something was wrong.

After that encounter, I did something about it.  I went to the doctor, was told this was caused by stress (also something to think about!), got on acid-reducing pills, and learned what foods were easy on the stomach and basically ate just Wheat Thins and Triscuits for weeks.  I couldn't even eat the food at my prom for fear I'd get sick.  Eventually, I started gaining the weight back and feeling better.  I wish I could say that I was completely happy about that, but it took me a long time to come to terms with the fact that I'd have to give up looking like a model to be healthy.

It took years for me to get over the way I looked during that period and years for me to realize what a healthy weight for me was and that I would have to stay at it even if it didn't look perfect.

All that from 2 little weeks of self-indulgent thoughts about my weight.

I don't usually tell people this story because they assume that I had an eating disorder.  It wasn't like that because I wasn't really trying to lose weight.  I was just happy that I did.  And I think that's really telling of a lot of girls out there.  We don't want to be unhealthy, but we still have images in our head that we'd like to live up to.  Sometimes the image wins, and there can be major consequences, both psychological and physical.  To this day, I can't skip meals, or I'll get really dizzy and black out.  And I don't think it's from the disease, I think it's my body's way of forcing me to get enough to eat.

What I'm trying to get at is, a lot of people have a goal of what they want to look like, but if your goal isn't realistic to your body, getting there can have consequences.  And it's always better to feel good about yourself regardless of what you look like (because that's so easy after all).

I'm not against dieting or anything.  I think being at an unhealthily high weight is also bad.  My point is, being healthy and being skinny are not the same thing, so don't try to kill yourself.  It won't end well.


  1. Thanks for opening up about this to teach a very valuable lesson! Even though I've lost 20 pounds I still want to lose more to get that image, but my body just refuses. I suppose I should be happy at 125 but I'd like to be 115. I'll try and get there the healthy way!

  2. Your blog is impressive. I am able to get every information regarding acid reflux. Thanks for sharing


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