Skinny Doesn’t Mean Healthy

By Leah Rocketto


Eating and Exercising Doesn’t Have to Be Extreme

At my unhealthiest point, during my sophomore year at Syracuse University, I stood 5’3” and weighed 110 pounds. When I looked in the mirror, I saw the perfect girl.

I didn’t have to angle my arms and legs to hide flab. They were tiny and toned. I didn’t have to suck in my stomach to make it flat. It was naturally flat. I didn’t have to strain my neck to hide a double chin. It wasn’t there anymore.

Guys would double take when I walked by and approach me at parties, telling me

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I was hot. Girls would tell me how good I looked and ask me how I did it. Friends and family members would say “Wow, you look great” whenever we would get together.

But what I was seeing and what people were praising was a misperception. But hearing the compliments on a regular basis only motivated my unhealthy habits.

My parents and a good friend Christen saw something entirely different.

My parents saw too many bones and a breakable daughter. Christen saw sunken cheeks on a pale friend. They all saw someone whom they needed to save.

I knew I couldn’t continue living this way, but I didn’t know how to undo ten years of forced vomiting, starvation, and intense exercise.

Now, a year-and-a-half later, I am well along the road to recovery. I eat without analyzing every nutritional aspect. I workout without worrying about the number of calories I burn. I am at a healthy weight. I look at my body without criticizing it.

With the help of my psychologist and nutritionist, I am learning new eating and exercise habits that keep me healthy.

Not everyone strives to be skinny, but everyone should strive to be healthy. That is why I am starting this column. I want to share the advice that is helping me regain my health. I want to keep healthy people on the right track and help those who are wandering down a path similar to mine. I want to teach you how to eat and exercise for your health, and not just for your looks.
My journey has not been easy, and it is far from over. But it is one I need to take and one I am willing to share with you. So join me on my road to recovery, and maybe you too will find some help along the way.

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3 thoughts on “Skinny Doesn’t Mean Healthy”

  1. Leah,

    I just want to commend you for your courage to share such a personal and traumatic experience with others. I also suffered from severe Bulimia and Anorexia in high school. The last ten years have been a challenge for me, but I am happy and healthy 26 year old. It is so much more complex than just an eating disorder and only those of us that have suffered from it, know to the extent this is true.

    I think it is great that you will be starting a column on this very important and personal subject. If you ever need someone older to talk to that has experience, I am always here.

    Risa
    rpcdebac@syr.edu

  2. Leah

    What a powerful column idea. I think this will help open people’s eyes to a topic that’s hard to discuss among teenage girls who may not want to admit they have a problem.
    This is really admirable. I look forward to reading your future blogs on the new column.

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