As you may or may not know, I have recently gathered the courage to finally start my YouTube channel. I uploaded my first video on the 22nd of November 2018 and I’m very fortunate to say that one of my videos, ‘Anorexic to Athlete’ has gone viral – https://youtu.be/c3uRjM4p2Kc
I am also very fortunate to say that 99% of the comments have only been supportive, congratulatory and encouraging.
So I’m writing today to respond to the 1% of individuals:
“She wasn’t even fat to begin with”
“She’s still skinny”
“Why that lesbo haircut tho”
“Anorexics are so selfish. Can’t they even think about the people who are actually starving in 3rd world countries?”
Eating disorders, whether that’s anorexia, bulimia, orthorexia or any other diagnosis, which I haven’t personally received, are psychological illnesses with physical symptoms. Physical symptoms in terms of weight-loss/gain (but not for all cases), fatigue, changes in eating habits, hair loss, irregular/loss of menstrual cycle and more.
Eating disorders aren’t choices. For me, my downfall towards anorexia was caused due to my obsession with developing a sense of control, which was so rare and unavailable to me at that point in time. I unfortunately took the desperation for a sense of clarity, management and structure, to my eating and wieght.
A few years in, the realisation of what I was doing to myself came along. I became aware of the medical complications involved. However, my commitment to satisfying the anorexia was so overwhelming, that it took me to the stage of being flown home for emergency treatment to accept that I had to recover and get out of this possibly life-threatening rut.
A handful of seemingly ignorant and uneducated people (sorry for being so salty) seem to be under the impression their (understandably qualified, informative and reliable *cough, sarcasm*) ‘knowledge’ can allow them to just type “just eat.” Yeah, nope. As stated, anorexia is a mental illness. Despite getting out of the severe caloric deficit will overall benefit the victims physical being, this, in my opinion, is a route to relapse. Focusing on mental health, perception of food, body image and the primary reason which resulted in the development of the illness, in addition to restoring your physical health is what will hopefully result in a steady, gradual yet successful recovery.
With an eating disorder, your life immediately revolves around it. It’s not selfish, it’s just what we know. It’s a coping mechanism to manage with possibly sh*t things happening behind the scenes. It’s overwhelmingly difficult. It’s not intentional, we are just the unfortunate receivers.
“She’s still skinny”
Skinny? Nope. Healthy with a sustainable BMI? Yep. (I’m not a fan of BMI measurements, finding that they don’t take the whole body composition into consideration, but you know what I’m trying to say). I am slim, lean and athletic. But that isn’t unhealthy. I’m the healthiest I’ve been, both mentally and physically. It’s sad that I’m finding myself having to dedicate a blog post just to justify this fact, but it’s the truth. I have a decent amount of muscle mass and probably a lower body fat percentage that your average gal. That’s just how my body has reacted to my balanced eating and the variety of training styles I implement into my fitness regimes. I’m happy and healthy. So it’s all a-okay.
This isn’t the first time I’ve had one of these comments. I talked about it multiple videos and Instagram posts. I cut my hair. Well… shaved it off. Ever think that that was the most difficult things and jarring to my personal confidence? It was. Long hair has been my security and a way to hide. But going back to my original point, E.D’s have physical symptoms… thinning, weak hair was unfortunately one that I suffered. But hey, that’s alright. Because now that I’ve cut it, it’s growing back stronger and healthier, more than I could’ve ever anticipated it would. Granted it’s a slow and tedious process, but we’re getting there. So not a fan of my hair? Well that’s your issue, ain’t it.
To conclude, eating disorders are very complicated. Appreciate that it’s isolating, violating, controlling and deceptive. If you have any further questions, comment below and we’ll have a chat & remember to like the post.
Keep smiling, Lara x