Eating disorders and body image: time for some serious subjects

Yo, peeps, what up. (I LIKE TO TRY AND BE COOL, OKAY. Deal with it.)

And happy Easter! To those of you who celebrate Easter. To be honest, I don't really celebrate it myself, as we're not religious in my family. Since my dad's off work we've been doing family stuff these days. Yesterday my dad and I went to the Tall Ships Festival in Greenwich, here in London. It was a little disappointing; there weren't that many ships, the last time we went to the festival a couple of years back there were loads more ships and stuff to do. And today my parents and I went to visit some gardens near us. To be honest we just walked around a lot and it wasn't very interesting, and now my legs hurt a bit which isn't fun. So my Easter weekend hasn't been that amazing. Oh, well, on Friday my friend and I went to the minigolf which is near my house, and that was really fun, I actually won?? That has NEVER happened before, I am rubbish at minigolf.

But this isn't what I want to talk about today. Actually, today I want to talk about a Serious Subject that's been on my mind for a while, but that I never quite knew how to write about.

The Serious Subject I want to talk about is eating disorders and body image. Over the past couple of days I've read a few posts on this subject, and it's kind of inspired me to write some words about it myself.

I started thinking about eating disorders while I was really ill with vertigo and nausea (I know, I know, I've already moaned about it a lot, just bear with me) and I couldn't eat for a whole day due to the simple fact that I couldn't hold anything down for more than a few minutes. Everything that went down just came straight back up again. The following day, while I was in the shower, I swear I'd lost weight - I could feel my ribs more easily and my hip bones were sticking out more than usual. It was gross, if I'm honest, and I was really anxious to feel better so I could start eating properly again and put the weight I'd lost back on. (Now, in retrospect, I wonder if I really DID lose weight or if it was my hypochondria playing up; I am the world's worst hypochondriac.)

At one point, while I was standing in front of the mirror, anxiously checking my ribs, I realised how bloody ironic this was. I basically had the opposite to an eating disorder - I hated that I'd gotten so thin while I was sick and I was really eager to gain some weight. It made me think about all those people who are obsessed with losing weight, who actually stop eating in order to be thinner, and I thought - why would anyone actually choose this? Why would anyone choose to stop eating, not because their digestive system is messed up and they don't have a choice, but because they want to? How could anyone deny their body nourishment simply because they want to be thinner?

I don't understand it. I guess I'm lucky - I've always, always felt very comfortable in my own body and I've never wanted to change myself. Okay, here's the deal - I'm skinny, okay? Well - not skinny, maybe, not compared to some girls I've seen, they look like stick insects gosh darn it. But I like exercising, maybe you could describe my build as athletic? Lean? I eat like a pig, but I never put on much weight. It's just the way my body works - my dad is the same, actually; we have a similar physique. I do try and eat quite healthily, i.e I don't stuff my face with crisps or sweets every time I'm hungry between meals, I eat fruit or some cheese. And I do a reasonable amount of exercise, I enjoy exercise, I feel good after it. But I don't do it because I want to be slim, I do it because I want to be, you know, healthy.

Honestly, the only time you should ever worry about your weight is if you're obese, and your weight is affecting your health. But if you eat a healthy, balanced diet, and you exercise daily, you should be fine.

I always felt really negative towards people with eating disorders. I was always like - there are kids in parts of the world who are dying of starvation because they don't have enough to eat, and you, you live in a place where you always have enough food, and you choose not to eat? You're lucky, luckier that many others, and you're throwing it away for no good reason? But after reading a few accounts of how people battled with eating disorders, it's made me be a little less judgemental. It's a mental illness. It's a mental illness where you believe yourself to be fat, and you're so obsessed with losing weight that you stop eating.

And where does this obsession to be thin come from...? From, well, everywhere. Magazines, adverts, TV shows - everything is constantly telling us that in order to be attractive, we have to be slim. Some people, me included, knows that this is baloney; you can be plump and attractive at the same time. But so, so many people see these images of size-zero models and actors, and they think that they have to look the same. And so they start dieting, and missing out on meals, to try and get the same body type as the aforementioned models and actors.

The idea that some teens are actually damaging their health by not eating properly, and it's all because of the media, makes me so mad I can't even say. It makes me feel so, so angry at these people who encourage this idea that you should be skinny, and anyone who has even the tiniest amount of weight aren't good enough. This has to stop, okay? We need to start teaching our teens that their appearance is completely unimportant. We need to start encouraging people to feel good in their own bodies, no matter what you look like. 

Well, I hope you enjoyed this little rant. What are your opinions on this subject? Comment and let me know.

-IndigoSky

Comments

  1. Well, I just wanna add that while some eating disorders are purposely brought on, other people can't help it. Like I can't help it. I'm probably the stick insect type of skinny you're describing and people think I diet or that I fall in the same category as the eating disorder people you're talking about. But I don't. I don't want to be skinny, but I can't help the fact that my body acts up a lot and I'm not able to eat. There are times when I'm starving but the scent of food makes me feel nauseous and I can't help it :( the good thing though is that these kinds of things happen with gaps of months so I'm usually okay. But that doesn't change the fact that people still comment about how skinny I am or how I'm dieting (I'm not!) and it keeps reminding me of the times when I have my eating disorder and it also makes me scared about when it'll happen again. Because it does happen.
    Anyway, great post. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, I totally understand that - I sometimes go off my food too, especially if I'm nervous (nerves go straight to my stomach, I've made myself sick so many times) or sometimes for no reason whatsoever - I just lose my appetite. If you feel nauseous and can't eat then I guess there's not much you can do about it (it's the same as being sick) - I was talking about people who intentionally don't eat because they want to be thin. And I get that some people are super skinny even though they don't really want to be - everyone's bodies are different.
      Glad you enjoyed this :)

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