"It started with a diet. I was a cheerleader and wanted to look good in my uniform. And it just got way out of control. I would lose five pounds, and it wasn't good enough. Then I'd lose five more, and it still wasn't good enough. To torture myself, I would hang pictures of models on my walls and say, 'Until I can see the bones I see on her, I'm not thin enough.' My mom saw the pictures, but she never questioned it. In fact, when I started losing weight, she told me how good I looked, and that was like, Wow, OK. If I look good now, I should lose more.
The thinner I got, the happier I felt. It becomes illogical. You're sixty pounds, and you think you're still fat. I passed out in high school because my blood sugar levels were (so low). But it was euphoric. Every day, if I wasn't a pound lighter, I would beat myself up. My mom started yelling at me all the time to make me eat. The more she tried to make me eat, the more I would say, 'No way,' because I wasn't going to let anyone make me do anything."
Next Nkechi, 18 years old