Obsessed with food and body
Sarah’s upbringing reflected a great deal of unrest. The parents had a strained marriage. There were rarely peace and harmony while both staying in the same room.
Sarah experienced the adults arguing endlessly, for nothing. Dad struggled with drugs and alcohol abuse, and was sometimes violent to her mother.
Father’s miserable childhood made him live under a shadow. In periods, he would open up and talk about his upbringing. Sarah had to be emotionally present for her father, in a way she really should not have been, but which was not up to her to decide.
Dad’s long-term alcohol abuse caused him to develop severe heart failure over time, and he died when she was 12 years old.
All the commotion constantly surrounding her, made her feel out of the ordinary, and she felt left out, as well.
She was a fragile child who took in the whole world and she could not close up for anything or anyone.
At home, her body was constantly the subject of discussion. The calorie table had a visible place on the wall.
She had been the favourite, slender daughter, who got lots of compliment about her beautiful appearance.
Occasionally, mom came with the tape measure to check her waistline.
She was very concerned about her daughter having the right proportions.
Dad had a strained relationship towards food at times. He was over-eating and throwing up in fear of gaining weight.
If father’s weight would increase, mother threatened to leave him. In other words, Sarah was raised with the words “body” and “appearance”.
Until now, things had gone well until she was 16 years old. Her hormone changes led to puppy fat, sticking on to her ass and stomach.
She gained weight despite eating the same amount of food. At home, comments would follow whenever putting on weight.
Out in the wider society, she was every day brainwashed by the HM commercials portraying the most perfect models.
Often she would try on underwear in the dressing rooms of various stores, and was disappointed every time.
Sarah thought she was many miles away from being close to something that could remind her of an ideal body.
Her body and soul was hurt. She felt so limitlessly unsuccessful. She could not live up to the ideal at home or out in the community.
Why couldn’t she just pull herself together and loose weight ? What would become of her? The message was crystal clear, she wasn’t good enough as she was.
The goal of the perfect body became all-consuming.
Sarah evolved disgust for her own body and developed eating disorders. There was a lot of self-hatred and self-torture.
Food was no longer a matter of course, but something she had to earn.
She yo-yoed between binge eating, vomiting and starving herself. She was struggling with a low and fluctuating self-esteem.
Daily she exercised for hours. The feeling of inadequacy was alleviated with calorie-rich food. When cakes and candies were greedily consumed, it was as if she forgot everything and everyone.
Sarah ate sweets and cakes until she felt blown up. Until there was physically no space for more. Still, she wanted more. Sarah never got satisfied and craved for more food.
She drank large amounts of water, stuck her finger in her throat, threw up and repeated the circle. Exhausted after consuming another serving, she crawled out into the bathroom again. The ritual was reiterated ad nauseam.
As long Sarah crammed herself with food she kept living in the present. Vomiting may have removed some of the shame of eating too much. Still, the action itself just gave her even more shame.
Sarah saw herself through the eyes of others. She thought, if I disappear completely, will people see me then?
Her obsession with food and look led to isolation. It became a secluded life with plenty of time on her own. She shut out old friends and avoided social gatherings, if food were served. The calorie table became her best friend and she despised her own body fat.
The eating disorder was like a tight and strangled room.
She had frozen into a state characterized by a rigid and deadlocked mind. A friend of hers expressed: “You don’t live your life, you barely exists”. Sarah did not care much about the comment, pretend to not hear.
By gaining “full control” over energy intake and weight, she should regain self-respect. For Sarah, food and body became a language to deal with emotions and life problems. She tried desperately to create order in her own universe.
Still, everything remained just chaos and mess inside. Little did she know of who she really was.
She loved making fatty and high-calorie foods for the family that she herself would not eat. In the end, the dishes became so fatty and shiny that her mother also refused to eat what was served.
Sarah’s lean body desperately needed the food she made for the others. The surplus had disappeared a long time ago and her glance looked empty. Now she was just thin and no longer had the strength to exercise. Her mother started to get worried and expressed that her daughter should gain weight.
Life had begun to become dull and sad. Meaning and content of existence remained absent. Sarah felt the emptiness that embraced her. She became desperate to find a new identity, a new shell to crawl into. She decided to convert.
She no longer wanted to be thin and hinged but hard, muscular and defined. Slowly but surely, she slipped into this fitness world with visible blood vessels, fat-free bodies and bulging muscles. She increased her food intake to be able to exercise. It was a kind of rescue. Hunger was no longer a necessary evil, nor a goal in itself.
The aim was to achieve a perfect, fat-free, muscular body with visible veins – a personal suit of armour that she could wear with pride.
Sarah had decided. In one way or another, she was to be transformed into a “Terminator woman”. A feminine figure, one would think, who was made up of steel or carbon fibers. There should not be an ouns of fat on her body.
The idea of trying anabolic steroids was constantly emerging. At the gym she went into, many people used performance enhancers. It was not difficult to obtain, nor very expensive.
If only for a short time, Sarah thought. The goal would, however, sanctifies the agent, no matter what the cost might be “.