The Perfect Body
This blog post is dedicated to Catherine Adams, an incredibly beautiful, caring, and loving mom and an amazing friend! Much love to you.
If I were to ask you all to explain to me societies perception of a perfect body how many of you would automatically think of another person whether that be someone famous, a family member, or a friend? Now what if I asked you to explain to me your perception of a perfect body would you have the same checklist as society? I asked my sister what she perceives as societies expectations for girls and she gave me quite a lengthy list: big boobs, curvy, perfect skin, no muscle but not bony thing, can’t be too thin but no fat either, long legs, thigh gap etc. Then I asked her what her idea of a perfect body is and she said, “I don’t me, you, dad, mom.” That shocked me (but also made me so proud – society hasn’t touched her, praying it never will!) A body is a body right? Is it really necessary to have a definition of perfect? There are 7 billion different bodies on this plant and I believe that each one should be accepted. In treatment we did an exercise where we drew what we thought we looked like on a big piece of butcher paper and then the therapists had us lay down and they drew around our actual outline. Each one of the patients drew a person that was a) not themselves on any level and b) overweight. The media has created a new f word. Fat can’t be a bad word, it shouldn’t be a bad word. Skinny is a compliment and fat can ruin someone’s day? A size 0 is a New Year’s resolution and size 14 is a shame for many. I for one am not looking forward to the New Year’s talk of everyone’s new diet and weight loss program, quite frankly, I don’t care. The diet industry makes twenty billion dollars a year from over 108 millions customers*. They use advertising tactics such as shaming people for how much they have eaten over the holidays or pushing the upcoming bikini season. So why does the diet industry make this much money and have this many customers; you got it, SOCIETY promotes these ideals. Fat which has become like a curse word is associated with being lazy, undisciplined, dumb, weak, unworthy and I could go on. But why? Why does the way your body is shaped define who you are inside? People associate being overweight with depression but I would be too if I was constantly shamed, persecuted, and hated on for what I looked like. Our society has this idea that women (and I only speak about women because I can speak from experience but I know this is an issue for men as well) need to be skinny, but not TOO skinny. They need big boobs, a big butt, and still have curves. They need to look good in a bikini and in every outfit they wear out. We have entire magazines, TV shows, businesses, etc. dedicated to shaming celebrities for the outfits they wear. We have scales of rating women but how can we put everyone on the same scale when everyone is so different! I look at myself and want to love myself just the way I look at other people and love their bodies. Everybody is a beautiful body. There is only one F word (and it rhymes with luck). I want to say to every single human being out there that despite what society says, despite what people comment, if you are healthy then your body is a beautiful body.
I am sorry I have not written in a while. I don’t know if it is because I was struggling so I didn’t want to make something up and say I was fine or maybe it was because I had been writing so many college apps so just thinking of writing something else seemed so “tedious”
The last time I wrote was 2 months ago and so much has changed since then. I can’t believe I’m a month away of being a second semester senior. I can’t believe this school that I have dedicated 14 years of my life to will not be where I drive everyday next year. I can’t believe that in just a matter of months I will be deciding where I go (Lord willing I have options haha – nervous laughter voice). I can’t believe that I went to treatment. I have found myself pondering that thought for the past two months. When I last wrote, I was the happiest I have been in a long time. I went on the greatest trip of my life to the greatest city to see the greatest friend. Then something happened. I don’t know what. Maybe it was the fact that I went back to school or maybe it was the fact that being so happy seemed so foreign. I didn’t know that feeling was really real. Was I scared that I had it or was I worried that I would never have it again? This leads me to my main topic of this blog post (or semi what I am trying to write about)
Why eating disorders suck.
Eating disorders suck to state it plainly. It plagued my life for 4 years and when it almost killed me, I still defended it. When my eating disorder was ripping me apart physically and mentally I still clung to it. I didn’t know who I was without it. I didn’t know what I was without depression, self-harm, and calorie counting. I wouldn’t wish an eating disorder on my worst enemy, that would be too cruel. You know why? You guessed it! They suck. An eating disorder pretends it’s your friend. It slowly slips its way into the innocent mind of its victim dropping seemingly “constructive” hints like, “you know if you eat a little less at breakfast, you could run faster in that race” or “you know that boy you like will notice you if you were skinnier which I could help you with” I’m personifying my eating disorder because it was like another person. It was a voice in my head that was controlling my mind and body. I still hear those voices but I won’t let them overtake. I also won’t let them overtake my friends or anyone I know. NO ONE deserves to have an eating disorder, I don’t care how mean you are or how much bad you’ve done, the eating disorder has done worse. 5-10% of people struggling from anorexia die within 10 years and about 20% die within 20 years. The number of girls age 15-24 who die from anorexia is 12x times than all other causes of death in that age group. 91% of college women were on diets or dieted seriously to control weight and about 55% of the adult population is currently dieting. (http://www.mirasol.net) Every 62 minutes at least one person dies as a direct result from an eating disorder – that around 24 people a day or 8,700 people per year and that does not include suicide related to eating disorders (http://www.anad.org) Eating disorders aren’t there to be the victim’s friend. The eating disorder only wins when the victim is dead. Eating disorders suck because they implant themselves into the victim’s brain. They rewire thoughts and actions. They take away the ability to function (literally). Eating disorders rip out the identity of the victim and implant their own. I did things that I never thought I would because of my eating disorder. Now I can look back and see how ridiculous all of my thoughts were. They weren’t ridiculous at the time; they were my life. I am trying to let all of those go, but it is hard. My eating disorder grew and fostered itself inside of me for 4 years. I had to do work to reverse all the crap it put me through. Now I see others going through it and it scares me. I recognize the same actions and thoughts that ran through my mind possessing others. I want people to know that eating disorders suck. Along with the eating disorder itself comes anxiety, depression, self-hate, physical losses (such as decreased bone density, loss of a period (for girls), serious heart problems, stomach problems and so much more), and a loss of opportunities. I missed out on my first prom. My best friend missed second semester senior year. I missed basketball games and cross country meets. Eating disorders are not there to be your friend. They suck because they suck the life out of you. I want people to know how serious eating disorders are. I want people to know that eating disorders are not shallow or about being skinny. Eating disorders are not a joke. They are not something to blow off or deny. Eating disorders are real. They are difficult. They change people, they steal things from people, they kill people. Eating disorders do not only affect the victim, the entire family is affected too. Eating disorders hurt me. They hurt my family and my friends. I hurt my sister because of things that my eating disorder implanted in my mind. When someone is struggling with an eating disorder, they are not themselves. Please be aware. Eating disorders suck