OC HIGH / STUDENT NEWS AND VIEWS : Let's Get Physical : Obsession With Weight and Diet Feeds on Itself

When not in disguise, Average Jane is a student at Canyon High School in Anaheim, where this article first appeared in the student newspaper, the Smoke Signals.

You could say that I got trapped. I really could not escape; there was no one to help me--victims were all around me, and they didn't even know that they were victims. I had always thought that the only victims were weaklings and silly impressionable girls, ones that succumbed to peer pressure too easily and followed trends and fads.

But me, I was a strong person and with my stout stubborn heart, no way . . . no possible way. I never listened to any one, not even myself.

And that was my downfall.

In the beginning, the only enemy was my boyfriend, who nagged me about my weight once. So in my haughty pride I dumped him immediately. I figured that was about 145 pounds right there.

Then, slowly but steadily, I began to wonder: Am I fat? Am I overweight? Maybe Glamour or Vogue said that I could stand to lose a few pounds, but that didn't bother me. After all, what simpleton would put any faith in a magazine that has on one page an article titled "How to Pop Your Biggest Pimple," and on the next, "Homicidal Tendencies and You."

Then I got caught up in the web.

I began to exercise like crazy. I kept a diary of all of the foods I ate and their calorie count. Last summer I went on a 900-calorie-a-day diet of leaves and twigs. (Just in case some of you aren't proficient in the art of calorie-counting, 900 calories is about half of what you eat for lunch.) Then I tried a thick shake that supposedly replaces breakfast and lunch. But I gave that up two weeks later when I realized that my body waste came out looking remarkably like my breakfast.

Well, here I am now, eating normal food. I have come to terms with myself and my body, curves and all.

Don't think that my behavior makes me some strange creature. Or that no one can ever act like I did. I don't need you to tell me what I already know, that I shouldn't let that "stuff" affect me. I am an honors student, meaning that I'm pretty good at playing the game. And I'm a strong person, but it happened to me.

No one is immune.

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