Dear Bulimia

Thursday, September 6, 2018

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(swollen face, chin acne)



Dear Bulimia,

I learned yesterday, while attending Toastmaster’s and hearing my friend practice her upcoming Ted Talk, that in the late 1960’s, the sugar industry funded research that downplayed the risks of sugar and highlighted the hazards of fat---which began the great “low fat” craze that peaked in the 1980’s and 90’s—right when I was a floundering, susceptible teenager. And not just any teenager. I was a singing, dancing, cheerleading teenager which put me at even a higher risk of becoming intimately acquainted with you.

I’m still working through my anger with you. I want to blame the “Sugar Research Foundation” for our ongoing relationship. Though I rarely see you anymore, you are still a heavy presence in my life. You stole SO MANY moments from me. You took away roles I could have been cast in, relationships I could have had, experiences I could have participated in. You demanded I give you all my time and attention and I’ll never have those years back.

I’m still trying to forgive you for what you stole from me. Even though I’ve come a long way and set healthy boundaries with you, I realized yesterday that I haven’t fully let go of our past relationship. I still harbor such ill feelings toward you. I have visions of me attending NYU, being on Broadway, dating more guys, enjoying my high school and college years without your looming ugliness.

But I must forgive you. Not for your sake, but for mine. I can’t blame those greedy Harvard scientists or the sugar industry. They are accountable for much of the obesity and health issues in our society today, yes. All I can do is take responsibility for my own behavior, educate myself and others, and learn from my destructive relationship with you.

And if I can save one soul out there from entering into a toxic relationship with you, my suffering will have been worth it.

Despite what you’d have me think, I am so much more than my body. My body is an instrument, not an ornament. Fat is good and essential. All calories are good calories. It's tough to recover from an eating disorder in a culture that celebrates eating disorders. So EFF OFF!

The reopening of my wounds yesterday leaves me with two choices: I can sulk in the pain of the past or celebrate the progress of the present.

I’ve come so far. You held me as a slave once and I won’t give you that power again.

Sincerely,

Molly

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