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Kate's Story: From Exercise Obsession and Starvation to ENJOYING LIFE!

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My name is Kate. I am a 20-year old college student. All through high school I was very active in sports and did not worry about my weight. I wasn't thin, but I wasn't overweight. When I came to college, I came with the idea of losing twenty pounds in the first quarter. I was an exercise fiend. My eating stayed the same though. I came back to school as a sophomore a few pounds lighter and was happy with the compliments I got. During the course of the following 9 months, I starved myself, ran every day (burning calories that I didn't have), isolated myself from my friends, lost all energy, fell into a depression, and all the while watching my body waste away. I was thin, so why wasn't I happy? After all, we all have been told that being thin will make us happier.

After my sophomore year, I returned home and left the stress of college. I began to eat. And I didn't stop eating. I would eat until I thought I would explode. I would eat when I was happy, when I was sad, bored, alone, with friends, when I was hungry, when I wasn't hungry—it didn't matter—and, by the end of the summer, I had gained most of the weight back. I came back to school thinking that I would lose it again by going on my starvation diet—but this time it didn't work. I would starve myself for four days, then binge for four days. I would race to the grocery store in search of food. I spent hundreds of dollars on food. My friends would not believe me when I would get upset and tell them that I eat too much. They all thought I wasn't eating at all because they would never see my binges—I was too ashamed to eat that much in front of them. SO my binge cycle would last for four days, until I decided that I was going to stop the binging, and I would starve myself for the next four days and wind up right back where I started. It was a viscous cycle that kept me from going to class, enjoying my friends, ENJOYING LIFE!

I started going to a counselor, who finally started giving me answers. He was what I was looking for. He started me on my way. I had bought When Women Stop Hating Their Bodies but hadn't read the whole thing. I knew they had a book called Overcoming Overeating, and I knew that I was an overeater, so I went to the library and found it and started reading it right away. I cried as I read the first few pages. It was everything I had wanted to say but didn't know how or didn't want to admit. I went through and highlighted everything that related to me. In other words, I highlighted the whole book. I was thinking all along, "This is it!! I have found the missing piece!" I thought this because I had tried so many things to get over this—and this book was what I was missing. The book changed my thinking from the moment I started. I found my focus again. I learned that food is not something to be worshipped. I was happy to get out of bed. I wasn't scared of that feeling of hunger in my stomach that I had tried to suppress for so long. It still amazes me that one book could change something that was so huge in my life. It has inspired me to want to help others. I am thinking of starting a group here at school for women going through the same thing I have struggled with for so long. I have seen many changes in my life in a matter of weeks. This book told me that it was okay to have this problem and that there is a way out. I am grateful to have my life back. And I am looking to the future, hoping to help others find theirs. Thank you and keep the faith!

Kate

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