To my coworkers:
For the past seven years, I have been a loser.
Seriously. I have been suffering from anorexia nervosa. My whole life was about losing. Weight, mostly, but I ended up losing far more. My hair, for instance. Significant amounts of bone density. All four years of college, the two years of grad school. I have lost out on relationships with both men and women. I am 26 years old and have never had a boyfriend. Not one. I have only one friend nearby to speak of, but I see my therapist more often. I have also lost approximately half a million dollars in treatment costs, both inpatient and outpatient. I nearly lost my life, several times: three times from cardiac arrest, and one from an overdose.
I have been a loser for far too long. Now, I am a gainer. Weight, yes, but I am also gaining my life back. I can go out to eat at a restaurant. I can hold down a job. I can drive a car. I can live on my own.
If all of you at work want to play the "Big Fat Loser" game, do it knowing I can whip your asses in a heartbeat. When I walk in the doors to the office, I am filled with dread. I feel like an alcoholic forced to watch Bud Light ads on her computer non-stop, and then go into the break room for cocktail hour. And not drink. You know how they talk about "hostile work environments" in those sexual harassment sensitivity trainings? You might not have nudie pictures up in your cubes, but you do have signs saying "Nothing tastes like looking good feels." I've seen that phrase before. I've also seen group weight loss competitions. Wanna know where? On pro-anorexia websites. Yep. They got it from all of you.
This battle is simply a lose-lose situation. I am forced to become a loser; I have no other options. If I keep my mouth shut, I lose any sense of value and self-respect that I have fought so hard to earn these past few years. If I speak out, I will be blackballed. Ya'll know it's me who is objecting. I have made no secret of that. You can make nice, but I know. I've been the reject many times before. This time, I don't want to have to lose in order to win.
I never thought of any of you as losers. Until now. You have no idea what an eating disorder is like. The shivering, the praying "Please God, let me die, but make me skinny first." The blacking out on the treadmill. The endless hospitalizations and treatment. The loss of all sense of what it means to be normal.
So please respect MY right to eat how I want and keep the fucking chocolates on my desk. You are not weak if you eat a chocolate on your diet. You are weak because you cannot respect me.
To my coworkers:
- binge eating disorder
- biology of EDs
- body image
- disordered eating
- eating disorder
- Grand Theory of Eating Disorders
- narrating anorexia
- normal eating
- obesity hysteria
- weight gain
- weight loss
- Carrie Arnold
- I'm a science writer, a jewelry design artist, a bookworm, a complete geek, and mom to a wonderful kitty. I am also recovering from a decade-plus battle with anorexia nervosa. I believe that complete recovery is possible, and that the first step along that path is full nutrition.
Drop me a line!
nour·ish: (v); to sustain with food or nutriment; supply with what is necessary for life, health, and growth; to cherish, foster, keep alive; to strengthen, build up, or promote
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