Here's the thing that no one ever talks about when talking about eating disorder
s: it doesn't go away once the weight is gained, once you're no longer placing your body in mortal danger, once you've been caught. Yes, you've embraced health, life over death
, you appear normal, but there's always that voice there, telling you that you're fat and because of that, you're worthless
. The voice is smaller, less powerful than it used to be, but one that is never silenced.
At the gym, reading Glamour. In between photo shoots featuring gloriously thin women there's an article about body image. It begins, "How many times a day do you think about your weight? Once? Twice? Twenty?" Twenty, eh? I wish. I can honestly say that not a minute goes by in any day when I don't at least once think about my own body, compare it to someone else's, think about how much I've eaten today, how little I've eaten, something. I don't even think of this as abnormal anymore, it's just the static, the background noise in my thought process. Men think about sex every four seconds, I think about this every four seconds. No big deal.
When you think about something so damn often, a lot of times your thoughts just have to come out. When you worry that your appendix is going to burst in your house kitchen, "Does appendix surgery make you lose weight?" just pops out of your mouth and everyone just looks at you, thinking, how pathetic.
This is why the pro-anorexia movement disturbs me so much. Young girls come to these sites, with growing issues with their weights (which in western society is hardly abnormal), and think that maybe this is the ticket, starving yourself. Gain admiration from your friends, the envy of your enemies, the worry of your parents, and last but not least, attention. You will begin your crusade thinking that it's okay, you will never have a problem because you chose this route, you are in control. That's what everyone thinks, but you imitate the behaviors enough and it takes control of you, and you are never the same again.
Food will never be the same for you, it will be a complicated issue filled with moral repercussions. How did you ever eat without considering the calories involved before? Can you remember eating a meal without a fleeting thought afterward, reassuring yourself that if you really needed to, you could make yourself throw it up, absolution for your sins? From now on, your first reaction to stress will be to stop eating. Unhappy with the way you're using your body (or letting someone else), and you will go to Dairy Queen, buy yourself a Blizzard, go home and throw it up.
Healthy girls look to pro-anorexia websites for inspiration, for instructions for self-destruction, ultimately to become unhealthy. I won't pass judgement...if this had been around ten years ago, I would probably have been a part of it myself. I just want to tell them all of these things that I've just written, and hope (probably wrongly) that something could change their minds.