I’ve been over 5 years since I started my anorexia recovery, and I’ve come a long way. Right now my appetite is gone because it’s been ridiculously hot, not because of my disorder.
But my recovery isn’t what I’m talking about today.
Yesterday, while the Actor and I were crushing it in the gym, there were a few others on benches next to us gossiping about a girl that I would regularly see in the gym when classes were on. She was very thin but also very strong. And mostly I just saw her in passing and went on with my workout without giving her a second thought. But these people had observed her heavily. And they decided that she was bulimic.
First of all, that’s none of their business. If they are not family or close personal friends they don’t need to care.
Second, they then felt the need to stress how much they wanted to feed her. The guy said he wanted to take her on a date just so he could shove food in her mouth, or pump her full of bacon grease.
I am so sick of the primary focus of eating disorder recovery being based around food for so many reasons.
1 – Not everyone who has an eating disorder is emaciated.
2 – The disorder will still be there once weight is restored.
Me for example, I was only 94 pounds (5’3) when I started my recovery. For my age at the time it was on the low end of the healthy weight range on the BMI scale, which I used to worship before I realized what bullshit it is. However, my tendencies and feelings toward food and myself got me diagnosed with anorexia nervosa. And thus began the re-feeding period, but no one, not even my doctors, seemed interested in the psychological aspect of my disorder. Once I hit 105 everyone seemed happy and things “went back to normal” because, hey, my weight was restored. But my disorder was still there, which made it easy to get back down to 99 ASAP.
Yes, getting weight back to a healthy range is necessary so that the person can not die, but no one seems to care about them after that point. They are marked as “cured” and everyone moves on while they are left to suffer.
Thoughts and feelings of worthlessness and failure clouded my mind daily when my weight was restored because I had done exactly what my disorder did not want me to do, and there was no professional help for me to deal with those feelings.
In America, insurance bases how much coverage an ED patient gets off of their weight rather than their disorder, meaning a lot of people get denied the care they need, and a lot more people die than have to.
It’s not as simple as pumping someone full of food. You don’t just get them to eat a sandwich and then they’re magically cured.
And can we stop talking about skinny people needing to eat sandwiches? It’s no one’s business what someone weighs or how they look.
Eating disorders are so much more than weight. Weight is only a symptom, and food is not the cure.