You too? Have you had to overcome an eating disorder?
My disorder: Bulimia. In my early twenties. Today I can hardly look at the very skeletal me in the photos from that time and not gasp a little. I weighed 98 pounds the day I got married. My wedding dress was a size three and had to be taken in 3 times.
Everyone attributed my weight loss to the stress of planning a wedding. I never corrected them…
It took a deep personal commitment and the support of a really exceptional husband, but I was able to break the binge and purge cycle on my own. I was fortunate.
The pressure on young women to achieve society’s unattainable perception of beauty is even worse today than it was before photoshop became a verb and selfies became “a thing.”
It used to be that only models’ appearances were subject to extreme retouching. Today with mobile selfie apps that automatically “improve your looks,” it’s even worse. The typical girl posting a photo online doesn’t even really look like herself. And when her mirror tells a different story than her Instagram feed…the struggle continues.
This is a serious, deadly disease. For those who don’t know, here are a just few startling eating disorder statistics:
- A person dies every 62 minutes as a direct result of en eating disorder.
- At least 30 million people of all ages and genders suffer from an eating disorder in the Unites States alone.
- Every 62 minutes at least one person dies as a direct result from an eating disorder.
- Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness.
- 13% of women over 50 engage in eating disorder behaviors.
I was lucky to escape the life-threatening cycle but the truth is it has continued to influence my eating choices ever since and likely always will.
Which is Bulimia is one of my personal medals. I wear it regularly because it reminds me to go easier on myself, to make wise eating choices based one wellness not weight, and even to say yes to dessert sometimes!
Loving one’s self means feeding one’s self both physically and spiritually.
For additional information or help battling Anorexia, Bulimia, and other eating disorders that commonly affect women of all ages visit the National Eating Disorders Association.