The Perfect Figure

The Perfect Figure

From Chicken Soup for the Preteen Soul

The Perfect Figure

I am as my Creator made me, and since He is satisfied, so am I.

Minnie Smith

“Oh my gosh, it looks sooo good on you,” exclaimed my best friend. “That color flatters you, and I’m getting it for you for your birthday. After all, it’s in two weeks!”

I had gone bathing-suit shopping with my best friend. Since we were going into the seventh grade we needed to look cooler. We tried two-piece suits in hopes that we would get more attention from the guys. We wound up purchasing them, and the topic of conversation came up about going on a diet. The only reason for going on one would be to lose a little bit of our “baby fat.” I thought all the guys would like me if I was pretty and thin.

So I decided to stick to the diet, even though it would be hard because I am a chocoholic. I had always been a big girl. Not necessarily fat, but tall with a solid build. All the courses in school I took were advanced placement and I played many sports. I thought, A thin, pretty, smart, athletic girl—everyone will love me. When I would come home I wouldn’t snack, and I cut down on my dinner portions. I had cravings for ice cream, but I just looked at beauty magazines and my bathing suit. The craving disintegrated quickly.

My mom noticed when I dropped five pounds. She told me to stop because I could hurt myself. I promised her I’d stop, but I couldn’t. My best friend lost about ten pounds and stopped because she knew she looked good. I started getting complimented by my peers at school. I wore my same clothes which kept getting baggier and baggier. Some people would ask me where my lunch was. I lied to them and made up excuses.

Since I lost weight by dropping lunch, I did the same with breakfast. I tricked my dad into thinking that I ate my bagels, but I fed them to the deer. My weight dropped drastically, and my best friend would threaten to tell my parents if I didn’t eat. I fooled her so she thought I was eating, but I wasn’t. When I looked at myself in the mirror every day, I saw bulgy thighs that had to go.

My gym teacher confronted me about my immense weight loss. I told her I was losing weight, but that it was all through exercise.

Finally, dark circles formed under my eyes, and I stopped physically developing. It was a struggle for me to even walk up my driveway. I couldn’t sleep at night, and I wore layers of clothing in eighty-degree weather but I was still cold. That didn’t matter. I still needed to be thinner, and I started wondering how many calories were in toothpaste and communion wafers.

About a month and a half after I had bought the bathing suit, I tried it on again and it fell right off me. My mom told me to look in the mirror. I could see my eye sockets, my transparent skin, the dark circles under my eyes, and my cheekbones popping out of my skin. That was the day I realized how skinny I was.

I went to our family doctor and a psychiatrist. My total weight loss was about twenty-five pounds in one month and a week. It took one year for my body to start working normally again.

Sometimes I want to go back to being thin, but I would never do what I did again. It’s not worth it. Please don’t go on diets when you’re young. You will regret them. I know I do. Get help right away because you’ll slowly kill yourself and suffer greatly. Don’t judge and compare yourself to others. Try to love yourself for who you are, not for how you look. Besides, you probably look fine just the way you are.

Nikki Yargar, fourteen

[EDITORS’ NOTE: For information regarding eating disorders, log on to the Eating Disorders Awareness and Prevention Web site at or for information and referrals call the hotline at 1-800-931-2237.]

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