I was anorexic. I didn’t know I was an anorexic teen when it started—in about seventh grade—but I came to realize it as time went on, but unfortunately, it didn’t change what I did for a few years. I hid my anorexia from all people in my life. Were people suspicious? They were indeed. They noticed my not eating much, my avoidance of food, it was commented on frequently. I had this dreaded pit in my stomach that screamed for my ever reaching desire for perfection, but I never admitted it, and no one ever guessed because I was a master at hiding it from the world.
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How Do You Become Anorexic? The Story Behind Hungry Hearts the novel
I was a size one, yet when I looked in the mirror, I saw someone who was overweight, but the weight was just some muscle and bone, yet to me, it seemed to be actual fat. I used to be bothered by sitting down because my thighs would spread and make me feel fat. I didn’t want to sit and have any belly flesh roll over the waist of my pants. I was concerned with what I looked like 24/7.
Now. Let me tell you. That is no way to live.
I lacked joy for those years when anorexia gripped me. I wasn’t happy. I didn’t smile much because my self-hatred was so flamboyant in my life, a nasty fairy on my shoulder egging me on to seek perfection. I couldn’t see past the cloud I was in, the cloud of beseeching the unattainable, and unrealistic, ever-elusive level of perfection. I felt imperfect as weight landed on my thighs that was actually muscles, I felt remorse as my hips began to resemble the curves of a woman. I wanted that straight hipped child back, she was thin. I couldn’t see my blossoming into a woman as beautiful, all I saw was fat.
So, I exercised incessantly, until I couldn’t anymore. I jogged in place in my room, did jumping jacks until I almost passed out. I did exercise after exercise to ensure no more puberty landed on my hips to round out my thighs, round out my hips.
In hindsight, I realized I was sick. Women are beautiful with all of their curves. Curves are what make us women, separate from men and children. The nature of natural was falling upon me and I all I could see in the changes was rolls of fat, round mounds where once I was flat and flush. And it bothered me.
I was obsessed with being perfect and always that included my weight as much as it did my hair, my makeup, my complexion, my painted fingernails, and toenails. I wasn’t happy about the female curves beginning to land upon my body, so I fought for control and that control was what I ate and didn’t eat.
Perhaps I wasn’t ready to grow up, perhaps I thought thinness would make me happy, but all I found out was that I was one hundred percent wrong.
You can feel good about your appearance, but it totally lacks the actual ability to make you happy. Your heart and brain are needed for that. Your skin is needed to relish in the touches of others. Your mind is in need of engagement, your body in need of love, and all of love and wonderfulness has nothing to do with your size. Like zero nothing.
The beauty of your soul lives beyond the curves of your body, but more residing in the round turns of your brain, the deep curved etching of your smile across your face, the deep twinkle that shows your essence in the shining blast that is your gaze.
Life is beautiful, don’t let it tell you that you must be perfect to enjoy it. Don’t let it fool you like that, the snake that it is. Your body is the wrapper of your soul, and your soul is what matters.
I wrote this book not to condone what I did by not seeking help for my anorexia, but to expose the deep dark secret within my past heart. The flecks of anorexia still line the walls of my heart, but they lost their ability to fill it years ago.
I hope my very personal secret I display in my novel Hungry Hearts helps other young girls who are struggling with anorexia tendencies. Really, they need to learn to eat healthily, not learn to not eat.
In my older teenage years, I learned to accept my emerging female body, and that happened along with boys noticing and liking my curves. This actually helped me realize that my curves weren’t repulsive, but actually attractive. I began to accept myself as an older teen and I was proud of myself for attaining that mindset. The changing body of a pubescent human is constantly changing, and it may be hard for some young girls to accept. I learned my curves were a healthy gift of maturation, providing me entrance into the amazing world of being a woman.
My changing body wasn’t disturbing, after all, but it was beautiful and its entrance into my life was enrolling into the winged glory that is womanhood.
We need to help young girls realize that being a woman with curves is beautiful, gorgeous, stunning, lovely, and special because only women have them. We need to teach young girls to celebrate their blossoming bodies and not hide from or detest them. We are women and we are extraordinarily beautiful.
Hungry Hearts, the Novel
But … HUNGRY HEARTS is so much more than just a novel about battling anorexia; the anorexia doesn’t define her. It’s about the story of young love and romance. It’s about falling in love when you didn’t expect to dive in, but suddenly you’re immersed. The book celebrates and honors teen friendships. It explores self-reliance and we watch Landra develop it as she battles low self-esteem and self-hate. The book is about supporting your friends and family and how families function, both dysfunctionally and in a healthy way. It’s a book about social media bullying and coping that goes along with that horrible phenomenon.
It’s a book about forgiveness, of yourself and of others who wrong you.
The book looks at the dynamic nature of sibling relationships as those siblings grow up and go through tough experiences together. It explores loss and grief, and hope and love. Most of all, it’s a coming of age story that begins in a deep sad place but grows into a beautiful healthier array as the story unfolds. Self-esteem is a major focus of the book, as st making decisions that might be bad, but that they can be learned from, and healing can happen. We don’t always make the best choices, but we can always learn from them.
I sincerely hope this book helps teens with anorexic tendencies. I definitely hope that teens with these tendencies learn from my book and get the help they need. It’s a lot easier to deal with when you get help. Don’t be me. Get help. Do it for yourself. Do if for your own health and do it for yourself. You will be much happier if you do.
Who Should Read Hungry Hearts?
The recommended age for the book is 12-18 years old, for grade levels 6-12. Women would also enjoy this book. Teen girls will enjoy this book as well as women. The romance is fun, there’s a love triangle, lots of drama, angst, and some kissing, but no actual sex scenes.
This is a story of learning, forgiveness, love, and support. It’s about making mistakes and learning from them, finding joy in the dark. Plus, it has some very yummy food descriptions. I’m always the foodie to my core!!!
I hope you enjoy my book, learn from it, and enjoy all the food references. I’m going to be publishing some of Brian’s yummy creations, check back to find out more!
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