Yes, I do realize this post is a day or two after the end of National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, but our Internet connection was down. So there. ::sticks out tongue::
Though I have not conducted any sort of scientific polls (nor, having studied the process in grad school, would even try to attempt such a thing), that seems to be the general understanding of the general American on the street, courtesy all of the tell-all stories in the media. Essentially.
But that ain't what an eating disorder is, or is about. In fact, anorexia isn't really about anything. It's no more "about" something than cancer. It's an illness. It's a biologically-based illness. It is not a choice. It is not a bunch of skinny chicks wishing they could be (insert name of super-skinny celebrity here). The model-wannabe syndrome is both culture-wide and a symptom of anorexia. It's the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, the promise of the ending of food and weight anxieties. But it's not the cause, and it's not what even promotes the continuation of eating disorders.
I also want to know that you can fully recover from an eating disorder. If I were to become completely blase about food (so I didn't eat breakfast...no biggie), I would be an idiot. I don't have the luxury of skipping meals. My brain doesn't allow it. But that doesn't mean my life has to be ruled by thoughts of food and weight. It's like a bout of skin cancer- you may be cured, but you can almost be damn sure that you'll religiously use sunblock. An eating disorder changes your life, and the lives of all those who care about you.
Lastly, I want you to know that an eating disorder is not a choice. I never "chose" to become anorexic; it just sort of happened. I can't explain it. For years, I chased after the "why", hoping that if I could untangle the reasons behind my illness, then I could solve it. I've learned that there is no "why," that anorexia and eating disorders don't make a whole lot of sense. I'm moving on from that. My anorexia may have begun with an innocent decision to eat healthier, exercise more, and lose five pounds, but it was not perpetuated by conscious choice.