Looking back, my first realization that something unfamiliar was going on with me was when I was about 45 years old. I was crying more than my usual PMS (premenstrual syndrome) amount … sobbing. I called my friend Cordelia, saying, “I don’t know why I keep crying so much today. I don’t feel like myself.”
What was happening to me?
I was in the midst of choosing which kindergarten to send our son to in seven months. I know that’s big, but the volume of tears that were flooding my ducts just didn’t seem to match the intensity of the circumstance. I felt this strange urge to call my son’s preschool teacher to discuss my options. From the phone I told her, between sobs, I wanted to speak to her, and asked if she was available. I had never cried in front of her, so she probably thought I was dying or something.
She offered to see me right away. When I arrived at her classroom, the floodgates were open. This volume of crying alone was...
Around the age of 10, my mother put me on my first diet. She had only the best of intentions. But, looking back, I realized that my weight had made her uncomfortable. I had been fine with it. The body that made her uncomfortable was functioning just as it needed to be in preparation for the onset of puberty.
Years later, I have made peace with my cherished anorexic mom, knowing that she loved me as much as a mother could love a child, and was merely passing on what was taught to her at my age. I am grateful for having the right mom for me.
Nonetheless, this began my 14-year spiral deep into the world of what I refer to as “diet mentality,” which included endless dieting accompanied by dangerously rapid weight fluctuation and progressive weight gain, perfectionism, compulsive exercising, people-pleasing and negative self-talk in an effort to feel good enough and thin enough to be lovable. You name it, there was not a diet I hadn’t tried between 1969 and 1984....