This isn’t a help-you post, this isn’t my usual generally educational post. It’s a personal one, it’s something that’s been bothering me for a while, and it’s very close to my heart. It isn’t ranty though, I promise I’m not screaming at or shaming anyone in this, not waving my finger at people and placing blame.
I posted this picture a while back, the one with the quote in the title. Scanning through the comments on that post, there’s a lot of “This is so right” and “A great thing to remember” in there, and that’s great. There’s even some “I’m really trying with this” and “It’s hard to do this sometimes, but I know I should,” and that’s even better.
But then there’s some people who say things like “I beg to differ” or “Oh yes, it will.” And that’s the part that scares me. “Idiots, just putting the scarers into everyone,” someone else said. I did not post this to stand up to girls with eating disorders, screaming at them to eat, telling them that their intake levels are unhealthy. I’ve also gotten:
“If you want to do some good in the world, stop being self important stuck up dicks and maybe support people who unfortunately can’t just switch off from this horrible disorder they have.
Stop spreading lies. Let people eat what they want. Telling an anorexic, bulimic or ednos person that eating 635 calories isn’t good for them isn’t going to help and isn’t going to change anything, they will just feel more bullied.”
And to some extent, I agree. Although it wasn’t my intent, it actually wasn’t even targeted at girls who had eating disorders [more on that further down]. It really, really bothers me when I see long, ranting anonymous asks on my dash, berating some girl who might be struggling with ED [eating disordered] tendencies that she’s stupid and needs to eat more. That isn’t going to help a thing. That honestly will most likely have the opposite effect. Debating with people with opposite views just makes their opinions even stronger. It’s almost impossible to change someone’s mind by berating them, telling them how their views are wrong, demanding change from them. It will probably just make them even stronger against whatever opinion you might hold.
Eating disorders are just that—disorders, serious mental disorders at that. It is not the fault of someone that has one in any way. It isn’t because they’re stupid, or uneducated, or don’t care about themselves. It’s not because they want to die of starvation. I guarentee no one ventured into anorexia saying ‘screw the health books, screw the doctors, I’ll just starve until I’m dead.” It’s because they have an overwhelming, suffocating desire to be thin, and they can’t think of any other way to get it.
One of the biggest things that some individuals affected by eating disorders are looking for is for someone to care, someone to notice that they’re falling apart, and reach out to them. If they can’t get the positive, caring attention they’re looking for, attention from you, the opposer, will have to do. Then their attitude will change from someone lost who needs someone else to care for them to someone up against the world, without anyone to confide in, anyone to understand. Their heart will simply harden against outside influence, and later, anyone trying to help them, even if they’re close to them and doing it out of love, will have an even harder time trying to get through the stone wall they’ve put up against opposers.
So I’d just like to say that by posting that quote, I am not berating or belittling them. I’m not even saying that 635 calories can’t be healthy for the right metabolism speed, body composition and activity level [it probably isn’t, but just the same.] The actual level isn’t important, it could say 200, 1200, 2000 or even 3500 and still mean the same thing. What I meant is this:
You are not a failure for eating over your calorie limit. Your body systems set their own caloric level of need, based on what they require to grow your hair, repair your muscles, and pump blood through your heart. Regardless of your self-set number, you are not worthless because your body could not comply with the limits that you set for it. I can’t stress enough how important it is to understand this. I’d like to see as many recoveries as possible, but even more than that I’d like the cycle to slow down, for girls to realize this sooner, for the body hate and self-loathing to stop. I’d like to keep one girl, two girls, ten girls out of the ED trap before it starts because they understood that giving your body what it needs has nothing to do with your will power or your emotional strength. ALL of you are incredible, Ana, Mia, Recovery, Healthy Maintaining, Weight-Loss, Overweight, Obese. If I can lessen the pain that comes from despising your own body by even the slightest amount for just one girl, I’ll be happy.