You know I wrote a whole new long answer detailing my entire life experience with weight but erased it. It really is a very crazy story. Seriously, you're going to think I'm making this sh*t up. I'm always hesitant to talk about it because it gets me very emotional but I've decided to write it again. This only deals with weight aspect of my life.
I'm 21, male, 5'9'', 180 lbs. When I was 5, I transitioned from a normal weight for my age and slowly became more overweight and obese. In elementary school, I was lying about my weight but it was obvious to the other kids I was a behemoth. Imagine being 180 lbs (my weight now!) in elementary school. It was not fast food or school lunches that did this to me, but binge eating at home. Eventually, I got over 200 lbs. I must have been 220 lbs at this first peak of my weight. I was 13 when I put myself on a strict low-fat diet, and 14 when I became a vegetarian and a vegan. I was losing weight and feeling happier with myself than ever. I later left my strict low-fat veganism behind and ate more nuts in my diet, peanut butter became part of my daily diet.
This happiness soon ended. Suddenly I was "too skinny". I started to hear people ask me in my face if I was anorexic or bulimic. The answer was always the truth, No. You know you really see how supportive people really are when you become "too skinny". All they want to do at that point is fatten you up. And that's exactly what they did to me.
Not only did my mom secretly lie to me about the anti-depressants I was taking actually being appetite stimulants (I wonder if any medical professionals were complicit in this, or encouraged it...hmm, I need to get some legal revenge) she began to shove junk food in my face yelling at me to eat it. I was forced to go to therapists where I was weighed and made to feel guilty for being myself!
After all this pressure, or maybe it was the appetite stimulant, or both, I jettisoned my health views, and fattened up like a prize pig. I was still very much an ethical vegan, so as long as the calories weren't from an animal, I didn't care. I soon became addicted to hummus , which I ate with copious amounts of pita bread. Then margarine became another addiction, which I added to everything. I could eat a whole tub of cashews in a sitting. This binge eating was all in addition to the copious amounts of food I was eating. I was also not exercising as I learned to concede to their demands that I not exercise, being so skinny and all. Really, I think of it as the old me being brutally murdered (in a mental sense) and then resurrected into a zombie state. I'm still in recovery from the physical and emotional damage that I did to my body, mind and my health. Sure, they started to say I was eating too much, but I had already been brainwashed. I wanted to eat like that, but I don't consider it's my fault. If someone pushes you off a cliff, and you keep falling, it's not your fault if you keep falling.
In the beginning, I did look healthy, less emaciated, less like Skeletor. That was only temporary as the weight climbed up. Within a couple years I had gone from 117 lbs (with a BMI of 17) to 285 lbs (with a BMI of 42). I had lost 100 lbs, and gained back 165. So much for the anti-anorexic witch-hunt crowd wanting me to become "healthy". Anorexia is a behavior not a number, and my experience as a falsely accused anorexic proves that.
It gets worse. I suffered simultaneously from malnutrition and overeating. My digestion was horrible. I vomited after eating more than once. I skipped school, because I was severely depressed, but also because I had developed incontinence and had difficulty keeping myself from having to go to the bathroom. I went from a A & B student to mostly F's and D's. I was skipping school so much, that I eventually just dropped out of high school. Seriously, becoming fat again ruined my life.
That went on for a few years until I was 20, January 2009, I put myself on a diet again, and I've lost 100 lbs, most of that lost on a vegan diet.
I stopped being a vegan in March of this year. I'm still dealing with weight, body image issues to this day. During my weight loss last year I experienced many episodes of anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating. Even now when I am at a more modest weight, I've hit a plateau and I often think about starving myself. But the reason I haven't gone full blown anorexic is because I hate the pain of hunger too much, and I don't like the idea of being malnourished of essential vitamins and minerals.
If anyone here should learn anything from my story, it's that as someone who was both very fat and very thin, I know how stupid people can act to you. Granted, I felt much better even when people were giving me sh*t for being skinny. What didn't feel good was the pressure to eat junk food and over-eat, what didn't feel good was becoming fat. I would like it if I could do it all over again, and gain muscle instead of fat. I definitely felt worse being fat. I have my own idea of what being attractive is and I measure myself up to it. Fat people like I was hate themselves way more than anyone else hates them. Being thin isn't as bad, but I do think it is oppressive how people who are thin or become thin are treated. I don't think people should be treated like that for being any size.
Most of the pain in my life has come from me being fat. I did not accept myself. I do not consider the physical health issues of being overweight to be nearly as concerning as the mental and emotional damages one feels having to deal with the stigma of being one of the fat ones. Seeing attractive people wherever you go. Overeating becomes your routine, or your comfort in emotional hell. Can you imagine if on top of that, someone decides that they are being "good" by shaming fat people to thinness? The number one reason fat people do not want to exercise is because they are worried what people will think of them. It's not because they are lazy!
Seriously, instead of being all angry at fat people you need to have a heart. I support Health At Every Size movement. I personally do not agree that being fat should be encouraged, but I feel that it shouldn't be subject to massive scorn and bigotry either. I support people who have decided to value their own self-worth as a human being despite of being "too fat".
That's it, I bared my soul. I'm being 100% honest and truthful. I just feel so embarrassed getting it off my chest.