I am in no way shape or form making fun of the state of having bulimia. I’m just saying that because some people have read my blog and taken me seriously. Anyone has met me or seen a photo of me can tell I am not bulimic. I wrote this post more to highlight the random kindness of others.
The first story takes place on my friend’s birthday. She invited several friends. Two showed up: another girl and me. So the three of us are sitting at this huge table made up of several other tables pushed together because she warned the restraunt 30 people could show up. She wasn’t going to eat she was so upset, but we all decided to order an appetizer. That counts as eating.
They had kalimari on the menu. I love kalimari. They didn’t mind me getting it so I ordered it. When it arrived, I cleaned my plate at a very steady pace. The others picked at their food.
I suddenly had to go to the bathroom (it sneaks up on you, you know?). The waiter took my plate and I excused myself . There was a line inside, so it took a second. I came out and happened by the mints, so I took one. The waiter from my table stopped me.
“Bulimia is not the answer,” he informed me.
“Bulimia is where you vomit after eating.”
“Yeah, I got that part.” I couldn’t believe he followed me back to the bathroom. The bathroom was right by the kitchen so he could have been en route.
“You don’t have to throw up to lose weight and I don’t think you need to lose weight.” He was a little sheepish, but emphatic.
Then I realized what had happened. He’d seen me devour an appetizer meant for a family (probably–but come on. It’s kalamari…), excuse myself to the bathroom, be in there for a while, come out and grab a mint. We were in a higher up neighborhood where you display your wealth by looking like you’re starving. The high school dance team had a weigh in. If you didn’t weigh in, you were out so, unfortunately, the girls went to extreme measures.
I assured him I wasn’t bulimic. He didn’t believe me. I wanted to say, “Look at me. Do I look bulimic?” but he would’ve answered, “Could’ve just started.” We settled on our table ordering desert. It was my friend’s birthday after all.
My second story takes us to my gym. We had record heats in Illinois so I decided to go workout because that makes sense, right? I don’t get sick even when your body tells me I would feel better if I expell the material in my belly. But not today. I’m finishing my last mile and, all of a sudden, I realized what was about to happen. I hopped off the elliptical and just made it to the bathroom.
One of the women trainers waited for me outside. “Hi. Can we talk for a minute?”
She took me aside where they discuss training packages. A woman was in the locker room, heard me, and let the front desk know that a young woman was sick in the bathroom. Because of my age, she was convinced I was doing it for weight loss purposes.
“Bulimia is not the answer,” the trainer informed me.
“It was just hot and I wasn’t thinking…”
“We all get frustrated with our weight loss goals and want to speed up the results.” I’m not fat. I’m here for my heart. How fat did they think I was?
“I think it’s the heat.” She gave me the same suspicious look the waiter did. Sure…
“We have several training packages if you are concerned you’re not meeting your goals.”
I really don’t believe the waiter and the concerned woman in the locker room were calling me fat. I believe they were concerned and I appreciate them being strong enough to say something. It’s nice to know there are nice people out there who care and are willing to step up so someone else feels noticed and less alone. I really hope they speak to someone who is in real need. To get hippie-dippie about it, speak up to yourself. Don’t overlook how you’re treating yourself. Harm none applies to all, including yourself.
They’ve inspired me to speak up and I hope their random acts of kindness inspires you.