What My Eating Disorder Means To Me

1)  Getting as thin as possible, at all costs.

This is the main reason I choose to starve myself. When I compare myself to other women my size, I don’t see them as fat, in fact I think being that size ‘suits them,’ but this weight does not suit me, it never has and it never will. I feel like I am designed to be thin (very, unhealthily thin). I am just not happy at a healthy weight, not like most other, ‘normal’ women.

No matter what weight I get to through starving myself and restricting my calories, I am not happy with, and I always have to go one step further than previous anorexic episodes; I have to work that bit harder; I have to fast for longer amounts of time.

I don’t know why I am so obsessed with my weight; I have been since I was a child. I just want my clothes to hang off me and to be classified as underweight. I just think I look far more attractive when very skinny.

2)  Control.

This is another huge factor of my eating disorder. I haven’t had the easiest life- by most peoples’ standards- and I have my fair share of problems, mostly with my mental health. Bipolar, anorexia and alcoholism all seem to go hand in hand. I have always lacked control over these problems and so- although I never analysed it until later in life- the desire to control my calories comes naturally.

I get a kick out of not eating, I feel powerful and I feel completely in control of my life. Because I have my calorie content and weight under control, everything else, all my problems seem less painful.

3)  Proving people wrong.

Due to my past history of- sooner or later- coming out of these episodes, those around me think or know that I will eventually recover. Sometimes it goes on for years, sometimes for months but of course one can’t go on not eating forever or else I’d be dead by now. I myself hate the fact that I will inevitably end the starvation period as I always gain some (if not all) of the weight back, at least until the next time. I dislike that people think that of me- even if it’s true- so I get this feeling that I have to prove them and myself wrong, so I go to further and further extremes each time around. The longest I ever went without anything to eat was two weeks, and even that was not good enough for me so I just try harder and harder each time.

4)  Self-confidence.

I’ve pretty much covered this one in my first point, but it is a huge factor of the disorder. Really it is a combination of the first three points. I feel so powerful when I don’t eat and- although I am ashamed to admit it- I do often think that I am better than everyone else. I feel like I am so strong for going for long periods without eating and that- if I can do this- I can conquer anything. I have a very low self-esteem which, too, is a huge factor in this, but when I don’t eat most of my other problems are put to bed.

5)  The media.

Many people without an eating disorder blame the media entirely. For me at least, this is untrue. But of course it does have an influence. On television and in magazines women are constantly brainwashed into thinking that we are lacking in certain things: Being slimmer, having shinier hair, having clearer skin, etc. We are constantly shown pictures of attractive celebrities in their swimsuits and this has a knock-on effect on our own perception of ourselves. We start to think that this is the normal way to be, and that if we don’t look perfect all the time- like them, allegedly- then we are not attractive (or at least not as attractive).

Although I know this is just the false way they are portrayed, I often feel as if I’d prefer to look like these women than myself. I see their often skeletal frames and think to myself ‘yup, I want to look like that.’

These five points are not entirely definitive of all eating disorders, they are just the main factors which affect me and which have a strong influence on the way I am. I wrote this partly because I think there is generally a lack of understanding about anorexia and it is far more about psychological factores than about simply wanting to be thin, for vain reasons.

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