Learning to speak "anorexic"

"I feel so terrible about myself...I ate that big donut this morning and I just feel so disgusting. Huge. Ick."

"Hey, V, don't get any thinner or you'll make J jealous!"

"When I do my last weigh-in next week, I'm going to strip down to my bra and panties! I want to be as light as possible!"

These people do not (as far as I know) have eating disorders. They are my co-workers. Reason #481 that I'm leaving my job. They are average, middle-aged women. Many of whom are Registered Nurses.

Yet they are as fluent in "anorexic" as I am. I've done the whole take-off-every-item-of-clothing-including-earrings to weigh as little as possible. I've felt guilt for donuts (carrots, lite bread, apples, etc). I've been jealous of women I thought were thinner than me. I could let them in on a thing or two.

Then again, do I really need to?

A diet isn't anorexia. Dieting is deliberate; anorexia is not. However, it seems that all women share this common language of body hatred, food guilt, and weight obsession. Eating disorders can be confused with a diet because they sound so much like one. How many people with eating disorders have either a) started out by dieting, b) said they were dieting as a means to conceal ED behaviors or c) both?

Anybody? Anybody?

That's what I thought.

Now, I'm not an old person, not by any stretch of the imagination, but I also know that it's not all that realistic to expect myself to look like the girl who graduated from high school 10 years ago. Yet, on
newsweek.com, there was a little ad for their online weight loss program that said:

Your high school jeans MISS YOU!!!

Actually, I don't miss my high school jeans. They've long since made their final journey to the land of Goodwill.

But please tell me: why should a 40, 50, 60 year old woman think she should fit into her high school jeans? Or that the jeans care anyways? Your jeans miss you? Why doesn't your car miss you? Or your old boyfriend? This is a newsmagazine people. If I want to read about weight loss, I can certainly find more titillating sources.

Besides, all I need to know about food groups I learned on a recent postcard from my favorite local crab house:

"Our Irish Coffee contains all of the four essential food groups in one glass: alcohol, coffee, sugar, and fat."

You go, little leprechaun. You go.

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1 comment:

samsi77 said...

I for one can tell you that my high school jeans do not miss me and I do not miss them let alone think about them. Hey stick with our motto, "Maintain Personal Power: Fight the Eating Disorder,.... You have CHOICES.... Feed yourself, NOT ed. Tell Ed to "Fork Off". You fed yourself the donut this am as a means of telling Ed where to go. That my friend is effective.

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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.

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Have any questions or comments about this blog? Feel free to email me at carrie@edbites.com

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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