First of all, I owe you all another apology...it's been far too long since I've posted but again: MIDTERMS! Ackkk! Today's post is really random but stay with me here!
For those of you who do not know what this seemingly harmless "phrasette" is, let me explain: there is a community of (primarily) girls on and off the internet who are trying to promote anorexia; they give tips and "thinspo" otherwise known as thinspiration encouraging girls to do all sorts of crazy things in order to get to an unhealthy weight.
There are some people whose pro-ana sites are different; they offer support to girls who are trying to cope with and overcome their eating disorder; unfortunately these types of pro-ana sites are in the minority.
Now that you know the background, here's my rant!!!:
True anorexia is not a trend and it is not a diet; it is a mental and physical illness that never goes away. Every day can be a constant struggle; in my opinion it is similar to alcoholism in that it's something that you have to deal with one day at a time and that is omnipresent, but in a way, I think anorexia is worse because it involves a distorted view of your body and it involves food (or exercise but technically that's different). With alcoholism you can avoid bars and situations in which alcohol is going to be present (that isn't to say that alcohol isn't a major presence in our society but a lot of the temptation can be removed) but this isn't the case with anorexia. Food is something that is always around and is an integral part in not only our culture but also in our survival.
I'm not anorexic but....I've struggled with my eating for quite a while. Few people know this but when I was about 5 years old, maybe a little older, I came to the realization that I would never be the prettiest, the smartest or the most popular girl but I could damn well be the skinniest!! Being on stimulants most of my life made it pretty darn easy too!
Back to the pro-ana thing: a lot of these girls go to these websites asking for tips to become anorexic and it drives me nuts! Like I said before, it's a mental and physical disorder, not a flipping diet! They have no clue what they're getting into either! It affects almost every aspect of your life! The lengths that people go to in order to achieve that oh-so-sexy Auschwitz look are absolutely ridiculous! And the horrible part is that many anorexics know it! They often times know that what they're doing is totally illogical and unhealthy but that desperate need to be skinnier is so overwhelming that they're willing to do whatever it takes to achieve their goal!
However, a lot of the girls doing the posting on these sites are giving advice that has the potential to cause immediate (rather than gradual in the case of anorexia) death: recommending dangerous diet pills that can cause cardiac arrest; telling girls to drink outrageous amounts of water that can lead to dangerous electrolyte imbalances...the list goes on and on!
((Side note: I'm friends with an amazing group of girls who are all recovering from various eating disorders. I try and give them gradual tips to be healthy*er* and to do certain things to try and deal with some of the serious health issues that can arise with eating disorders. I personally think that one of the BIGGEST mistakes that doctors who deal with people with either anorexia or bulimia make is putting them on medications that can cause extreme hunger and a lack of control when it comes to food...leading to sudden and overwhelming weight gain. Yes it's important to get these girls up to a healthy weight, but by doing so so quickly, it makes it almost impossible for the gals to cope! To go from being skinny for most of your life (as in my case) to blowing up like a flippin' big beluga whale just exasperates the problem!! In my opinion, the doctors should gradually get the girls' weight up starting with baby steps! It may sound silly but it can be as simple as suggesting that a girl drinks Powerade Zero to ensure they're getting electrolytes and not causing a dangerous imbalance; or recommending Instant Breakfast, a drink that has very few calories but a lot of crucial vitamins and minerals.))
I try and tell girls about the consequences of anorexia and bulimia: sometimes the best way to reason with them is to explain that they make look skinnier but that they're burning protein instead of fat and they'll lose their muscle definition; or that it will make their teeth yellow. An appeal to vanity can be an important one!
However eating disorders have SERIOUS consequences: heart failure, organ failure, severe vitamin and mineral deficiencies, lung collapse, internal bleeding, gum diseases, ulcers; the list is endless!!!
Unfortunately, it seems that these potentially life threatening consequences fail to discourage so many girls flocking to these ridiculous pro-ana websites. And those suffering from the devastating diseases of anorexia and bulimia...well they may know the effects but they are literally dying to be thin!
I hope this post was informative and made you think!
For more background info and for an AWESOME read lol, I posted an essay I wrote on eating disorders here so feel free to check that out!
That's all for now my Kool-Aid drinkers!