Dealing With Ana (Anorexia)

 

 

Growing up in a society where the media heavily influences our perception of what ideal “beauty” should be, we tend to place lots of pressure on ourselves to fit into that perception. The media’s standard of beauty has always depicted petite women who wear size 00, prominent collar bones, thigh gaps, flat stomachs. This idea of what a woman should look like, was so far-fetch and out of reach that people would go through drastic measures to try to achieve this look.

Many young girls are quick to fall victim to having eating disorders. Anorexia is a very common eating disorder among young girls. Many do not even realize they have eating disorders. Eating disorders are gradual, it takes time for people to know the different signs of a lingering eating disorder. It starts off with picking at your food, skipping meals, only drinking water, etc.

When I was a child, I was slightly chubby. However, I was still a healthy child. I didn’t think there was anything wrong with my physique until I started to get to the age of 12. This was when I started middle school. I was jealous of all the girls who were skinnier than I was. This was also the time that I really got into idolizing celebrities. As children, we wanted to be like the stars we saw on TV. Without even thinking, I started to limit the types of food I was eating. I believed in order to look like the girls I was jealous of this was what I had to do.

It started off with me cutting out sweets, then I stopped drinking soda, eventually I stopped eating fast food. Before I knew it I was losing weight. However, that wasn’t enough for me...I wanted to lose more weight, and even faster than I already was. So this lead me to cutting out food completely. In a given day I would eat eggs in the morning, chew on gum the entire day to prevent myself from eating food. Whenever my stomach would growl in hunger, I would just drink water. I refused to eat anything. In my head, food was the enemy. Food is what made me gain weight, so I believed that if I wanted to maintain a certain size, I would have to eliminate food from my life.

As my disorder progressed, I started to lose weight rapidly. In the course of 2 months, I had lost over 35 pounds.  Although I was happy with what I was seeing in the mirror, I knew what I was doing to my body was not healthy at all. I was constantly cold, fatigue, anxious. I had no energy to function throughout the day. I did not enjoy this feeling.

One day I went to the doctors to get some blood work done, and to get some vaccines. After my blood was drawn, I remember feeling strange. The nurse who was in the room was giving me strange looks, but I brushed it off. I stood up and immediately felt like I was going to pass out. I started stumbling out of the room to where my mother was waiting. Everyone in the clinic rushed over to me just as I plopped down into one of the chairs. I had fainted. Come to find out, the nurse was giving me the strange looks because my lips were turning blue, and she could obviously tell that I was going to faint. I didn’t faint from the sight of blood, but simply because I refused to eat and went to get blood drawn that day. This was a bad idea.

It was after that day that I knew I had to change my ways for the better. I stopped restricting food from my life. I had to tell myself that there was nothing wrong with the way that I looked. I was beautiful both on the inside and outside.

My experience with Anorexia wasn’t a complex one. I didn’t need to get professional help to overcome it. However, there are many girls who deal with this disorder on a daily basis, and they do not have the strength to fight it on their own. If you have a feeling someone may be suffering from this disorder, please reach out to them. They need our help to overcome this illness.