I eat, you eat, some don’t eat
This week I came face to face with eating disorders. Not my own, though one could argue my relationship with food isn’t completely healthy, but of other people’s disorders.
Bulimia, anorexia. Starving oneself to death. Bingeing. Vomiting. Punishing yourself for how you look. Not valuing your body and ultimately your life.
I wasn’t looking for them, but as most wormholes on the Internet work, you start at health food, and end up in bulimic land. Luckily I found some words of inspiration of overcoming an eating disorder (and I even bumped one woman’s story to the WordPress.com front page) but I found one site that really bothered me.
This girl was overweight from what I saw in a picture, and she’s rightly concerned about her weight, but her method in losing weight is completely harmful to her. Her posts are filled with goals of eating 350 or 500 calories a day, or even counting the hours since she ate last (sometimes more than a day). Often the posts are followed by big calorie binges and then purging. There were even her hopes of dying skinny, whenever she does die.
Having been overweight, or robust as someone might say, all my life, it’s natural that I considered what it would be like to be skinny. The “easy” way, or so I thought. To be able to vomit away my weight, and be skinny (and naturally popular, too, as a consequence). In middle school, it may even have seemed an ideal solution to my weight problem.
I never experimented with or came close to an eating disorder.
I’m not sure why. Perhaps I just couldn’t stomach (no pun intended) the thought of voluntarily vomiting. Or perhaps I didn’t think it would really make me happy to do that.
For whatever reason, I grew up and far away from even a remote thought. I accepted my body pretty quickly with how it was, and started to place more emphasis on being in shape, not on my body’s shape. I continued to stay active in sports and appreciate the effect and feeling I had of being healthy and active. I slimmed down a bit, and exercise has always been what I return to in order to have my cake and eat it, too.
As for that girl’s site, of course I couldn’t stop reading. I still can’t.
I reached out once, leaving a comment I hoped reminded her she’s not alone, to get help for herself, and pointed her to the above story for some inspiration.
She hasn’t answered me.
If I wrote her again, I would say, I was sure wrong about the “easy” misconception of eating disorders. It’s very difficult to punish yourself for how you look and slowly kill yourself through starvation and malnutrition.
It’s rather easy to accept your body and push yourself to be healthy.
Note: for her privacy I won’t say which site it is, because I’m hoping through writing online she can find some outlet and perhaps resolution. And perhaps she’ll read my comment over and over until it convinces her to reach out.