Behind the Scenes of an Eating Disorder
Recently a friend of mine, Katya Souchitski sent me a copy of her book called 'No One Can Fight But Me.' The premise? Anorexia nervosa. Oftentimes what inhibits an individual who experiences anorexia nervosa is body dysmorphia, which essentially has someone seeing themselves as an image they typically are not. In this case, they may see themselves as extremely overweight and therefore take severe measures to lose weight. Typically in very unhealthy manners.
- lack or loss of appetite for food (as a medical condition).
an emotional disorder characterized by an obsessive desire to lose weight by refusing to eat.
noun: anorexia nervosa
Something slightly disturbing I will share with you, is that at the end of middle school and going into high school, I also suffered from some thoughts related to eating. I had a few thoughts of anorexia (and really limiting my eating) and I had friends in college who experienced bulimia, so it's always been a part of my life in some capacity. Anorexia came close to me because I was a runner, and I wanted to be thinner like the other runners on the team. I remember not eating my lunch one day, then a second day, and on the third day I felt like I was going to pass out at cross country practice. While I wanted to weigh 100 pounds, and not the 120 I weighed, I knew my body wasn't going to have any of that so I was lucky enough not to have those thoughts affect me long-term. I also didn't have body dysmorphia in particular, but like many of us, we want to lose those 10 pounds like somehow those 10 pounds really define us. This post is focusing on the mental piece of this, but we will have to get into the piece of society and how much of this is pushed on us long-term, in a separate post.
As I read through the pages of the book, I completely understand some of these sentiments and motions because being anorexic was almost the cool thing to do when I was in high school. It is really sad in all honesty, but it was a closet affair back then. No one was talking about it, and everyone was doing their best to hide it. A piece of the book that really resonated with me was:
"This girl was not who I thought she was. I couldn't come to the fact to realize that the girl was me. It was like a funhouse mirror in the circus. You know those mirrors that make you look fat or skinny or goofy? Because the truth was that I looked good. Many girls were even jealous of my body. I still looked slim and beautiful. But it was like someone possessed my brain because I thought I was really fat."
The main purpose of this book is discussing how she overcame anorexia, and also how while everyone in her life helped her, she eventually had to fight anorexia on her own. It's one thing to have family and friends' support with getting better, but your mind and you as an individual need to want to get better, and understand your thinking isn't accurate. That is a really hard realization to come to, and this is the biggest piece of anorexia. You have to retrain your mind to see reality, and not the dysmorphia. This is the most difficult part. Have you experienced eating disorders yourself, or a family member or friend?