Is she doing drugs?
Why don't you just eat?
How can you not like food?
Comments like THIS make me irk. These are comments I heard over and over when I was suffering at my lowest, unhealthiest weight. When I was so sad, lonely and lost. People are unaware of what eating disorders are and how comments like THAT can affect someone. It's not their fault they don't understand, it's because it's not talked about enough. It's hidden and suppressed because it's an uneasy topic. Well people, that's even MORE reason to talk about it.
I don't remember the exact moment I opened up about my eating disorder, but it was probably on Instagram somewhere. I knew in my heart that I was not a "role model" for people commenting on my pictures because I was lying to them. I didn't look this way because I was healthy, I looked this way because I was sick.
That's when I started talking about how I was restricting food, how I went into the diet mentality because of innocently wanting to lose a few pounds. That's when I started telling people that it's not even just because of weight, or food or how I look - it's about control, it's about life. It's a mental illness that won't be fixed if I eat a burger.
My friends literally thought I was on drugs because of how sickly I looked. I remember getting awful looks from people in the hall.
It was hurtful because they didn't realize how much I was hurting. And their comments and gestures were adding to the pain.
The more active I was on social media, the more I realized I wasn't alone. There are a lot of people (young girls) going through similar struggles. As I began recovering, I also began investigating in WHY this is happening. And since I was becoming more and more interested in social media - I saw the connection.
Social media is where we get our information - whether it's right or wrong, healthy or not. We get it and we see it and we use it. We also become very attached to "stars" on social media. We are connected to them, so if they tell us to go on this diet or eat this or that, then we will do it. And we do it so loyally that we become obsessed. We feel part of something. But it becomes detrimental to the point that we are now getting eating disorders because of it.
I am not saying every person who sees things online will get an ED. I'm saying that we are a generation that gets quick gratification from the Internet and when we feel like we have a weight loss story to share with a certain community, we get that satisfaction we desire.
So if I can do anything, I can be social online while telling my story and opening up YOUR EYES to see that everything is not always as it seems and that we need to know the difference between HEALTH and FITNESS STARS.
Dieting isn't the answer. Obsessing over weight loss isn't the answer.
Eating disorders are about something much deeper than wanting to lose weight or look a certain way. So don't be so vain to think that's what I want.
Talking and expressing is coping while helping other people going through the same thing AND it helps others understand the deeper meaning behind eating disorders.
So, today I am so open because I want people to stop telling us to go eat a burger because that will fix everything. It doesn't.
Eating disorders are mental illnesses that need attention and should be taken seriously.
The more we talk, the more we can heal and the more we can educate.