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Every now and then, my mother cooks estofado here in our home in ., although I must admit it is not as flavorful as my lola’s. And each time, I remember my past life in the Philippines with a smile and a small degree of heartache. Every bite of estofado brings back memories of my fun childhood, of the many lazy summers and noisy Christmases, of the darling friends I left behind, of the laughter and affection of my grandparents; one is long gone and the other, who promised to cook for me my favorite estofado, is still waiting for me to come home.
But there was one person who noticed my eating disorder. My babysitter took me to the doctor one time. I was there to get shots but she took the time to talk to the doctor. The doctor was concerned about my weight. She showed me pictures of girls who suffered from anorexia and bulimia. It was gross seeing how skinny they looked. She explained that this can cause stomach cancer and even lead to death. Because of throwing up, there’ll come a point when the body will not want any food. The body does not get all the nutrients it needs and slows down; eventually, it stops working. Some of the pictures showed girls in bed with a tube stuck to them. The girls in the photos were so thin; you could see all their rib bones and backbones. She said you soon get thin hair and are always cold.