When Maura Kelly’s mother died and her family came unglued, she found a way to cope — but it nearly killed her too.
It was in the eighth grade — four years after my mother died — that I first remember becoming unhappy with my body. Every night, after brushing my teeth and squeezing some blackheads, I’d look in the mirror and pound on my abdomen with my fists. Although I know now that it was just an early sign of puberty, I was disgusted by the way my belly had begun to protrude under the band of my underwear. So I got the idea to make it disappear by losing five pounds, then 10, and then 15. Pretty soon I was addicted to losing. more