Eating Disorders

I guess in today’s world, it seems that there can be a lot of expectations for what a woman should look like and there is such a pressure to fit into this “ideal shape”. Sometimes social media doesn’t make it any easier. According to the NIH, eating disorders are a lifestyle choice and there are serious and fatal illnesses that cause severe disturbances to an individual’s eating behavior. Common eating disorders in the U.S include bulimia nervosa, anorexia nervosa and binge-eating disorder.

Growing up, I feel for the most part I was an okay child. What I mean by that is that I tried to follow my parents’ rules, do my homework, clean my room etc. But during my early teen years, I did have insecurities about my body. I remember when I wanted to grab some icecream out of the fridge and my grandmother would always make a comment on how I’m eating too much and that I’m gaining weight. But at the moment I just wanted some icecream! Lol I remember I wrote in my journal that day just feeling horrible about my weight. I would say I had a decent diet when I was younger but I really really loved food. Like on certain Sundays my family would go to a Chinese buffet and I would have just 4 plates of food back to back to back. I really had room for an appetite. And then of course I would go home and go right to bed.

I look back and I remember I sometimes felt left out in my highschool friend group because it just seemed like they were all slim. And I remember when they would exchange jeans and outfits and for me I have long legs but I hated my thighs. I just hated them. To me they felt so humongous but I probably was just being sooo insecure and over exaggerating. I feel like in society there is always this pressure for women especially to stay a certain size.

There was a time in highschool where I started to eat very small portions of food. Especially like rice and chicken, I would probably put it in my mouth but not swallow it because I was obsessed with calorie intake. I also remember not drinking juice for a long time (even though I really love juice). There’s a photo that I took with my cousin at her highschool graduation where I looked like I lost a lot of weight (I’m not sure if I still have the photo). I realized that I was getting skinnier but it was hard to see myself like that. It was then that I realized that I needed to stop restricting myself from food and just eat my regular portions again. When I saw the photo it just didn’t seem like myself. A lot of the times the media can influence our eating decisions but sometimes it can even be family or friends.

A disorder like Anorexia nervosa is described as the strong desire to be thin which leads to restriction of food. A lot of people with anorexia look at themselves as overweight but may even be underweight. There are times people would want to exercise a lot to force themselves to vomit or may even take frequent laxatives.

According to the national eating disorders website, Bulimia nervosa is a life-threatening eating disorder characterized by a cycle of bingeing and self-induced vomiting. Some diagnostic criteria include eating a large portion amount of food within a 2 hour frame, a portion that is larger than most people would eat in a similar time frame.Warning signs include fear of eating in public, hides body with baggy clothes, extreme mood swings, teeth are discolored or stained. Warning signs of binge eating disorders include eating much rapidly than normal, eating large amounts of food when not feeling physically hungry, and eating until extremely full.

The big thing to take away from this blog post is that we all need to embrace our bodies! Love your curves! Don’t let anyone make you feel small for the way you look like. If they do, then they suck. I don’t want to say the usual “go on a diet” if you feel like you want to lose weight, but any opportunity to stay healthy like replacing pop with water or instead of watching tv, going for a walk is a way to go.