Something that I have noticed a lot on Facebook and Twitter is people posting about how upset they are with weight. How much they want to diet. How much they want to lose drastic amounts of weight. How people who are already in shape and at a healthy weight are saying they are going to the gym to get skinny.
This is so troubling. I know that the majority of people who probably read these do not have or are not recovering from an eating disorder like I am, but it still hurts. People are so unaware of how risky it is to have an eating disorder and how easy it is to develop one without knowing what is happening. Thinking in this was is so unhealthy and non-productive to being a happy person. That is the mindset I had when I was laying the groundwork for anorexia to come in and ruin my life.
I don’t know why, but I feel like it is a personal duty of mine to warn these girls who are seeming to begin what I was living. I suffered for too long and I do not want to see anyone go through what I did. Also, I don’t want to see people get as thin as I was. Whenever I see a particularly thin person I get sentimental and miss ED. It’s sick, I know, but I just can’t help it. I am hoping that feeling will go away once I level back out to my goal weight, but right now I am unsatisfied with my appearance and those thoughts just don’t get filtered out of cognition.
One of the main reasons that people don’t take weight loss seriously, I think, is because eating disorders are so poorly covered in school health classes. When I was learning about them I just did not grasp the mental aspect of how extremely terrifying it is to even think about gaining one pound. How people with anorexia would literally rather die than gain weight. That no weight, however low, is ever low enough. I used to make light of eating disorders, too. I will admit that. I used to say to my friends “I could never be anorexic. I like eating too much.” That may be true; when I was suffering from amorexia, I still loved eating. That’s why I cooked all the time. Except now my love of food turned to a love of making the lowest-calorie and -fat meals possible whenever I ate.
Eating disorders are so time-consuming. Most of my time was divided among grocery shopping, working out and school. Importance and time spent in that order. It’s embarrassing going to the grocery store with an eating disorder. Scouring the racks for the lowest-calorie food of whatever I wanted, I knew that anyone walking by knew what I was doing. Sometimes I would put one thing in my basket if someone came in my aisle, walk around and then come back to find a lower-calorie option. Trips to get food took probably three to four times as long as they should have.
Anyway, I’m getting kind of off-topic. This goes out to everyone who posts about losing weight. Please be aware of the risks that come with a goal of losing weight. Losing weight becomes like a high, it’s intoxicating to see the number on the scale drop. You want to continue seeing the number drop. I suggest that you stop weighing yourself, just eat healhfully and have a balanced diet and exercise and judge yourself by your body image and appearance rather than what the scale tells you. Most people don’t “feel their age”, so why should you have to “feel your weight”?
Also, please, please, please stop posting things about how you are dissatisfied with your weight. Everybody has insecurities in some way. It’s human. When people read about how you talk about your weight, it makes people feel bad about themselves and makes them reevaluate their happiness with their appearance. I know that’s what happens to me. You never know who is struggling with an eating disorder who may read that and get triggered to act on it.
To wrap things up, please just be sensitive to other people when you are thinking about writing something like that. And unless your doctor instructs you to lose weight, there is nothing to be concerned about. Learn to love things about yourself and remind yourslef of them when you are stressing over the size of your thighs or the pouch on your stomach (that everyone has!!!!); even write them down on a notecard and carry it around with yourself if you need to. And if things get too bad, go seek out professional help. There’s no shame in getting help from someone whose job it is to help you. They have that job for a reason.
That’s all for now.
Thanks for reading.