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THE END OF OBSESSION

things we don't talk about: body image

It was like opening Pandora's box. A blue composition book, plastered in nail polish, filled with my past obsession.

Inside the notebook (which was secured by a lock) were cut and pasted pictures of hip bones, collar bones, flat stomachs and thigh gaps.

Deciding to live a healthy lifestyle is one thing, but when it becomes your entire life, it's more of an obsession. I was 14 when I spent those hours, taping pictures of models such as Miranda Kerr (now an ex-Victoria's Secret angel, married to Orlando Bloom) to the pages, scribbling calorie restrictions and pasting tips I'd found from a pro-ana website (pro-ana meaning a site promoting anorexia).

Looking at the pages three years later was brutal. That year I lost friends, my parents' trust and a good portion of my interests. If it didn't include how many calories were consumed or burned, I didn't care about any subject.

About half way through the journal, the pictures of perfect girls and records of my daily calorie intakes stop. A friend pulled my head out of the clouds, and my notebook was no longer needed.

The obsession of losing weight was easy; it was letting go of it that was difficult. The pages are troubling to flip through, but they're a reminder of why I'd never go back.

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