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I remember these days like they were yesterday, nitpicking around food, , yet there’s no f’ing way I would trade anything for where I’m at today.  My life is solely dependent on my story and it’s my mission to help others and spread the truth.  To me, that’s everything and I would absolutely do it all over again if I had to.  Of course, not at the expense of my family and friends but for myself because I came out alive and I know others can too.

My mother often told me she would come check on me every night afraid she would find me dead.  It’s crazy that I allowed myself to get to that point.

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I mean, there’s no way around it, I was sick as shit.  I was practically on my death bed and yet I had NO clue why she thought I was unhealthy.  “Mom!  There’s nothing wrong with me!  I just feel fat is all and I AM eating, leave me alone!”

You see that picture up there?  I got up that morning and my mom told me she had a spa day planned for the two of us but it was going to take place on our back deck.  It was the dead of summer, June 1999 and she asked that I change into a sports bra and shorts so she could care for me and my skin.

My mother started with the avocado mask for my hair (well, what was left of it) as my once beautiful mane had completely lost its luster and shine due to my severe malnourishment and it was now falling out in chunks.  I remember the hair mask feeling very dry, tight and crispy.

“It’s supposed to be like that Kim, your hair is soaking in all the nutrients.”

“Okay.” I said.

Next came the gloves and socks with coconut oil inside of them.

“Here, slide these on,” she said.  “They are filled with coconut oil and will make your hands and feet very soft.”

Of course, as I’m starving and petrified of fat, I couldn’t stand having this oil on my skin.  I was so afraid the liquid was going to sink into my skin and cause me to gain weight.  Such a mess I was.  I finally caved and then my mom said this….

“Kim, stand over there, I want to get a picture of you.”

“Why?  I don’t want one, I’m fat and feel gross!”  I yelled with frustration.

“Just do it, I want you to look back at this picture one day and see how far you’ve come.” my mother said with a calm voice.  “I promise, just let me.”

And so I did and I’m so incredibly grateful that she took that picture.  Without that picture I would have no remembrance of exactly how I looked or how broken and frail I really was.  I mean, I often have passing thoughts of how I felt during that time but never really how I looked.

Here’s the thing: living with anorexia is fucking hard.  You’re choosing to live in your own prison; unfed, starving, exhausted and constantly obsessing about food.  Of course you are.  You’re literally dying a slow and painful death.  Here’s a few things I remember, specifically pertaining to my anorexia, not bulimia which will come at a later time in my life.

The grocery store was a bitch and my family hated going with me because I would practically spend 2 hours staring at all the cereal boxes and checking to make sure anything I put in my cart was 50 calories or less.  My main source of fuel was artificial crab meat and iceberg lettuce.  A far cry from my nutrient dense meals today.  Ordering sushi was a bitch because I would have to pick out every single piece of avocado due to the fat content.  Forget going out to dinner, I was more concerned with my small meal consisting of only 40 calories.

As I mentioned above, my brain would practically feel like it was on fire and to this day I’m not quite sure why.  Maybe it had to do with malnutrition or something?  My anxiety was out of control because I was so freaked out with the fact my father might count 12 almonds instead of 10 for my snack.  God forbid I would have an extra 2.

I would often dream of my body being covered in peanut butter and wow did that feel so delightful, so real and then I would wake up and cry because I would never allow myself to have some.

I would stare in my mirror, making sure my butt cheeks were pulled away tight because my body was trying to grab onto any fat/skin it could to stay alive.  You could literally see my butt hole without having to pull apart my butt cheeks.  Crazy right?  My mission for the day was to fall short of making the top of the stairs.  When I was too tired to walk up the entire 10 steps I knew I won.  I won the battle against my body for consuming as little calories as possible to feel that exhausted.  I loved that feeling.

Today, it’s 2016 and as I type this I often feel like it’s an out of body experience, like it happened to me in another life time.  Was that really me?  Did I really put my body through all of that pain and suffering?  Absolutely.  It breaks my heart.

The purpose of this blog is to just show a super small glimpse into my life as an anorexic and how unglamorous it truly is.  It pains me to see these girls obsessing over their weight or the recent ridicule over Lady Gaga’s “belly bulge” is unbelievable.  This is what we’re teaching our little ones, to belittle and hold immense shame over their body’s and in order to be appreciated, we have to be emaciated.   It’s disgusting.

You know where anorexia got me?  I’ll tell you loud and clear…

  1. It got me zero social life
  2. It caused severe depression and anxiety
  3. Severe body image issues
  4. Hormonal changes at a very early age
  5. Bone density problems
  6. Lack of self-esteem
  7. Misery

and that’s just to name a few.

Here’s the thing….

I’m along with the other 1% that can actually recover from this shit.  

It’s brutal and I do not wish this upon my worst enemy.  But, guess what?  It CAN be done.  You can recover and live a normal and happy life without obsession and starvation.  Did it happen overnight?  Of course not, but with therapy, family support and patience you CAN get through it.  I’m a walking testimony of that.

Please know you’re never alone in your thoughts and body image struggles are real.  Please use this blog as an inspiration knowing there is hope and light on the other side.

For more information on my story or for support, feel free to send me an email at kim@kimschaper.com

xo