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Monday September 23, 2013 MYT 8:30:00 AM
Monday September 23, 2013 MYT 12:58:52 AM
by d. kanyakumari
A person with aneroxia is likened to someone who is skinny but sees a reflection of a big sized person in the mirror. - Posed by model.
It got worse when he was about 10 years old. He secretly threw away food that his mother packed for him for school.
"It was not that I did not like food, but I saw too many fat kids around me and I did not want to be one of them. I would much rather starve and fall sick than ever put on a tummy,” said Loh, who is a 26-year-old dancer, photographer and freelance writer.
"With my poor eating habits, I got gastric when I was 12 and stomach ulcer when I was 13, but none of that made me come out of my eating disorder,” he added.
When he was 16, Loh threw a tantrum in a mall when he could not fit into a size 26' pants.
"I was so frustrated with myself that day and that was when I started my bulimic habits,” he said adding that he still would not binge on food like regular bulimics but regurgitate the little that he had eaten.
"In one week, I got back to my size 26' and I was the happiest boy alive," he said.
Malaysians have come to a point where not only women but also men are obsessed with being stick thin in order to 'mirror' the images they see desirable.
Anorexia, though not common in Malaysia, is an eating disorder that leaves its victims with a distorted self-image. It is a disorder that has made many depressed and suicidal.
Bulimia is an eating disorder common among young women of normal or nearly normal weight. Those who have succumbed to this disorder usually indulge in episodic binge eating that is followed by feelings of guilt or depression that eventually leads to self-induced vomiting or the use of laxatives.
Loh, who recently had a close call with death due to an organ failure, is slowly recovering and is in the process of rehabilitation.
"It is sad that many Malaysians are unaware of anorexia. Parents are more concerned about their children who are big and this works as a leeway for anorexics like me to get away undetected and eventually fighting for our lives.
"I am not ashamed that I am a recovering anorexic. I needed help and I found it. I hope that whoever is in my situation out there would speak up and get help because this disorder can kill you," he said.
For 16 years, S. Gayathry, 28, was an anorexic. Her obsession in being thin started because her family could never accept for her for whom she was.
"I was a healthy young girl, and until I attained puberty I never really cared about all the things my family members said about my size. I just laughed it off," she said.
Gayathry remembers the day her life changed for the worse.
"My family and I were in a relative’s house and I had got sick from the food I ate that I threw up all over myself and needed a change of clothes,” she said.
"My cousins were all scrawny and I could not fit into any of their clothes. Finally I had to use my aunty's top and from that day on for about a year, I was made fun by everyone during our family meetings and gatherings,” she added.
Gayathry explained that the switch of habits was not intentional and it 'just happened' without her realising it.
"First it was just counting the calories and working out, which was when I began getting compliments from everyone around me, saying I looked much better and should keep it up.
"One year down the road however, I was obsessed with being thin. My world revolved around my size and my weight," she said adding that she will not be able to sleep in peace if her hip bones were not sticking out and her ribs were not showing.
She said despite getting some negative comments from her friends and family, hearing someone say to her that she needs to gain weight was the nicest thing.
"It was like getting compliments you know, and I was happy. I was never satisfied with my body however, but I was glad that I could wear just about anything I wanted and no one could complain about me,” she said.
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