So...you think starving is a good way to lose weight, do you? I think you've read too many fairy tales. Well, this isn't one. Neither are eating disorders. They are sheer & total HELL. But, since you want one, I'll go ahead & prep you for it. I'll let you know exactly what will happen to you. If this doesn't make you realize how completely stupid running out there & trying to develop anorexia is, then I wish you the best of luck in killing yourself. Because that's all you'll be doing.
The completely ironic part about people trying to lose weight by starving is that half the time it does not work. I bet you think you'll wind up insanely thin & gorgeous, right? Wrong. You won't be gorgeous .One thing's for certain. Insane is a definite part of the package. Your mind won't be yours anymore. Kiss it goodbye, I hope you didn't enjoy it.
The less you eat, the lower your metabolism goes. You might starve & starve & barely lose anything...or you might be extra lucky...you might starve & starve & gain weight. Your body might just shut itself down & the weight go nowhere. & even though you aren't losing, you'll still be HOOKED. You still won't be able to stop. By the time your body shuts off from malnutrition, you'll be too far in it to *snap* think "Oh...this isn't working...I think I'll eat again." No...you'll be desperate & eat less & less & work out more and more. Eventually, you won't be ABLE to work out. Your muscles will eventually stop cooperating. Then you'll panic & try & eat even less to compensate for not being able to work your ass off (simply a figure of speech, since you're not losing any weight, of course). By then you can't eat less though. You're barely eating enough to stay alive as it is. & you can't stop. It isn't working & you still can't stop. & whether its working or not, you won't see the truth. You'll never actually know what you look like. Nope...no matter what you'll think you must weigh at least four hundred pounds. This is true if you weigh 150 or if you weigh 70. You will be fat. Insane is the proper term for it, isn't it? Yes, you might just be one of the lucky ones, one of the ones that doesn't lose weight. But don't sit there & think that means you won't be sick. Not true...not true at all. Your skin & hair will be dry, your teeth sore, your period gone, your bones aching, your muscles cramping...well, no need to go on. You still want this, of course. After all, you won't be like that. You won't be one of the failures. You'll be successful; you'll be thin & perfect. Beautiful.
Well, since you're going to win, why don't I tell you about your prize, hmm?? It's quite nice. You will be skinny. You will be sickly thin. Your ribs will stand out & your hipbones will be sharp. You won't see it. You'll look in the mirror & see fat. You'll see rolls. You'll look at girls who weight fifty pounds more than you & wonder why you can't be as thin as they are. You'll look in the mirror everyday & swear that you've gained at least ten pounds. Other people will see you shrink but you won't get to watch. You'll never see the truth. Others will though. You'll be sickly skinny...but you won't be pretty. & they'll all see that. You won't though...you'll be too busy staring at your ass & wondering when you turned into your fat Aunt Bertha. You will not be attractive. You won't. You'll have huge dark circles. Your skin will be pasty pale & have a lovely gray tint to it. Makeup will NOT help this. It won't, so don't think it will. Don't even bother to attempt it. You'll be wasting your time; time that could be better spent doing your usual pastime, staring into the pantry to watch the food. Of course, people might not notice that you're gray. They could be too busy staring at the dark black, blue, & purple spots you're covered in. Everything you do will result in a bruise. Everything. Do you have pretty hair? You won't anymore. It will be straw dry & dull. It will not shine. Think conditioner will help? It won't. It won't & there's no sense in trying it. It might soften your hair for a while (after you use half the bottle, of course) but it won't make your hair look any better. Buy a ponytail holder. You'll need it. You'll probably be wearing it all the time. You'll also need some hair dye. I sincerely hope your hair isn't a nice color....because it won't be soon. Yes...the color of your hair will fade out. You might even get grays. But gray is a nice color, isn't it? I rather like it. I think the grayish brown color where my natural red and blonde highlights used to be adds a bit of...oh...dignity to my look. Speaking of hair, do you like facial hair? I hope so. You'll have it. I have some lovely sideburns. Quite gorgeous. Actually, I have sexy hair everywhere. Fuzz, fuzz, fuzz. It's hot. All the guys love it and all the girls I know ask how to get some. They're jealous, you know. I tell them how I got it, starving. They never attempt it...I know why though. Its not because they're smart & healthy...no, no. Its because they're weak. Not strong like me. Of course, my muscles are deteriorating as we speak & I can no longer use even my five pound weights but I'm still strong, aren't I? Yes...because I don't eat. & that's true strength, isn't it? Denying yourself the basic fuel you need for life. Yup...strong & smart.
I bet you're one of those girls will the enviable natural nails. Those shiny ones that are so long people sometimes think they're fake? Cut them. Go ahead & cut them off now. They'll only break soon anyway. Kiss your newly gray hair goodbye too. It'll be falling out about now. You get to clean the drain about 6 times during your shower, just so the water will go down. Also, you'll need to find a way to throw away your tampons to make it look as if you've been using them. Remember to tell your mom to buy you tampons once a month. Can't have her knowing you lost your period. & you will. I hope you're not having sex because you'll never know if you're pregnant or not. I guess you can just take a test every few weeks. & yes...you can still get pregnant. I hope you don't love the baby though, because chances are you'll lose it. It would probably be for the best if you did though because of the nice birth defects caused by eating disorders. So, you might get to live with the knowledge that your child died or had to go through life with a terrible disability because of you...but it was worth it for thinness. A small price to pay for perfection, even though you're not the one paying it. Who needs their full mental capabilities anyway? I hope your kid doesn't. But that might not be a problem. You might never have children. You might become infertile. Oh well...pregnancy makes you fat anyway.
Since you're one of the special ones, one of the anorexic ones, I'll bet you enjoy ice water. Pour it out. Drink plain water, warm diet coke. It hurts too badly to drink iced drinks. You're taking sensitive teeth to a new level. Forget those special toothpastes though. They don't work when your teeth are slowly dying from vitamin deficiencies. Never liked those teeth anyway. Dentures are nice. How do you like to sit? Oh...you like your legs crossed? Hmm...too bad. Can't do that anymore. Your legs will fall asleep all the way up to your hips. Painfully asleep. This isn't like what you're used to, that tingly feeling. This hurts. A word of advice. After uncrossing them, just sit there. Don't try moving them or hitting them to wake them up. Bad idea...very painful. Don't stand up either, unless you enjoy collapsing.
Fainting is common too. & don't think this is something you can hide. Whenever you pass out dead in the living room in front of your mom or brother they'll wonder why...and unless they're complete idiots they'll probably know why...especially if you're 30 pounds underweight. Get ready for nagging. Eat this, eat that, why are you doing this to yourself?? You could always go to your room to escape though. Then you can lie in bed & bite your lip until it bleeds...why would you want to do that, do you ask? Because of the leg cramps, of course...oh! I must've forgotten to mention those! Oooh...the cramps are nice. Your muscles are balled into excruciating knots. You'll double over to massage the knots out and...what? There are no knots. There IS no rubbing the knots out because there are no knots. It just feels like it. There's nothing you can do. You just get to lie there & try not to scream. & trust me...you'll want to. Of course, you could always rub your legs anyway...it might make you feel better to pretend there's something you can do to help them. But you might not be thinking about your legs...you might be distracted by the headaches. Take some aspirin...oooh...or don't. Your tummy's too empty; it'll only make you throw up everywhere.
it's worth it right? Anything's worth it, even your hair, nails, bones, muscles, possible children, your family's heart, everything. Sacrifice it all, throw it all away. You're thin now, that's what counts, even though you don't know it.
You'll probably get chest pains. Maybe heart flutters. This is scary too, because you never wanted to die, you just wanted to be thin. But remember, you can't tell. Telling is forbidden & asking for help is weak.
Do you have problems with depression? You do now. The less you eat the more depressed you become. Partially from vitamin deficiencies, partially from your lovely eating disorder. Do you have problems with insomnia? That's right, you've got that now too. You're exhausted beyond belief but you still can't fall asleep...& when you do you can't stay asleep. Who needs sleep though?? Not you. Staying awake burns more calories anyway. Do you do well in school? You don't now. You can't concentrate. Your mind won't function, & the only thing you can actually think about is food anyway. Your grades will fall. Want to recover? You'll probably have to leave school. How does repeating a grade sound? Do you like going out with friends? You won't for long. You'll be afraid someone might notice how obese you are. You can't leave the house now without hiding under tons of clothes...you're terrified someone might see your repulsive body. You'll become more nervous too. Jittery. You'll also have difficulty talking. Oh...have you never had a stuttering problem? Well, you do now. You also forget what you wanted to say alot. Goodbye memory. And you can't go out with friends anyway, so I guess it's a good thing you no longer enjoy it. If you go out with friends they might want to eat! Maybe they'll want to go to a restaurant or the movies. How can you explain that you don't want any popcorn? How can you find an excuse for sitting there at the table sipping Diet Dr. Pepper or nibbling a salad & water while everyone else has cheeseburgers?? You can't. & they might make you eat. You can't do that...no. But why do they want you to eat? Is it because they care? No. Its because they WANT you to be fat!! How dare they?? They're jealous...that's it, they're jealous. Soon you'll realize something. Everyone wants you to be fat. Your parents, your siblings, teachers, friends. The world is against you & they all want you to spiral into morbid obesity. Get away from them. All of them. They don't understand & they're plotting your downfall. You can't have that, you can't lose this. Every time someone urges you to eat or recover "for your health" you know the truth. They hate you & want you to be fat. Push them away. Push away all the people who love you. That's the only way you'll ever be thin.
But one day this will be over. One day you will either die or recover. Death is easier. First you'll have to admit you need help (that is, on the chance that you haven't been forced into recovery...recovery that will not work until you cooperate). This is one of the hardest things you've ever done. Maybe you'll tell your mom. She might be wonderfully supportive, she might've already known. Or maybe she won't think you have a real problem. Then you're on your own. Maybe you'll tell your doctor. & if you tell your mom, she'll take you to a doctor. Then its better. You're safe now, they'll help you. They'll understand. Wrong. A degree is not an insurance against ignorance. & speaking of insurance, it only pays so much on mental health problems. And ED treatment costs are outrageous. So, even if you find a doctor that knows his ass from a hole in the ground you might not be able to get help. You might not be able to afford it. As you recover, your school might have to know. Your teachers will not understand. Students might find out. They won't understand either. Their comments will hurt, you'll want to scream when they ask why you don't just eat. They might call you fat just for fun. Someone might start to admire you & try to become anorexic too...but then, you've been there. You wanted to be anorexic once & you never realized how stupid you were. You know it now, but it's too late. Its too late & you have to fight this or die...& fighting it is the hardest thing you've ever done. You'll put food in your mouth, that disgusting, terrible food & panic & want to cry. Maybe you will cry. Maybe you'll freak & spit it back out. Maybe you'll refuse to eat & get a lovely feeding tube. Triggers are everywhere & you want to kill yourself more with each bite you swallow. Maybe you will kill yourself. Maybe you'll fight & fight & enter recovery only to die while in recovery or even afterwards from complications caused by your years of having an eating disorder. After fighting for the longest time, maybe you will get out. Maybe, after numerous slip ups & times that where so hard you thought you'd die, you recover. It takes a while. Even after you've eaten right for months & months your body still isn't the same. You start to wonder if it will ever be the same again. It might, but you won't. No. This will always be a part of you, it will never go away. Years later it will still be with you, you will still have those moments. Sometimes you'll pass a mirror & suddenly be 200 pounds larger. You'll panic & shake your head, trying to clear the image away. Something will happen in your life, maybe you'll lose your job. Something will happen to take away your control & you'll try to gain it back through starving. You will NEVER be the same. You'll see an article on a someone with an eating disorder & you'll start to cry, remembering that terrible pain. I'm not talking about the physical pain. That's the only pain I described, because it's the only part that's describable. There are no words for the mental anguish. It can never be described. It's unimaginable. You'll never feel another pain like that, another pain so filled with self loathing, vulnerability, terror, rage, desolation...
WHY do you want this?? WHY?!? I know, even after reading this, that you're still sitting there, wanting this. Why? What is it you want?? Is it beauty? Do you honestly think you won't be like this?? Do you honestly think malnutrition won't steal your looks? Is it glamour? READ THIS. Show me the glamour. Is it control?? Let me tell you, you'll NEVER be more out of control than you are when you have an eating disorder. You don't control what you put in your mouth. Hell, you don't even control your thoughts. You have NO control. None. Do you honestly think that you'll be able to do this & not wind up this way? Do you think you are the one person on earth who can control this, who can just stop??? Do you think that maybe you can just do this, get thin, & stop?? WRONG! It doesn't work that way. Do you WANT to die? Do you want to be a martyr or something? Do you think this is beautiful? I bet you think its some sort of tragic beauty. Its not. There's nothing beautiful about it. Do you want some attention? Buy a new eyeliner, dance naked in the streets. Needing attention is a natural thing but there are a hell of alot better ways to get it. Do you want to look at your family's faces & know that you're killing them too? Imagine watching your child killing themselves, imagine your helplessness, imagine KNOWING that they're dying & KNOWING that there's NOTHING that you can do. Imagine fearing the day you'll come home to find them dead from this. Just sit there & try to think about it. Of course, while you're starving yourself you won't see that anguish. You won't be able to. You can't see anything, you're too self absorbed. You're too busy thinking about your weight, about food. You'll see it when you recover though & you'll hate yourself for doing that to the ones you love. You'll wish there was something you could do to erase it but there is nothing. You just have to live with it...& living with it is hard. Especially when you think of how many times your anger came out on them, how many times you got nasty when they were only trying to save your life. You'll hate yourself.
But do you know what? Self-hatred is the least of your worries now. Because you've likely just signed your own death warrant...& you likely don't even care...yet. But you will. You will care. You will care & you will cry & rage & swear you'd give anything to take it all back. But it's too late, because by the time you're in deep enough to care, you're already dying. Its too late to snap out of it now, no matter how much you want to.
This is the reality of anorexia. It is nothing like the powerful articles you read on how so & so overcame it. It is nothing like the beauty you see when you look at that thin model. It is nothing like that beautiful popular girl who naturally weighs 80lbs. It is nothing like anything you've ever lived before & you will never be the same
(HealthDay News) -- Anorexia is an eating disorder in which a person becomes obsessed about gaining weight and severely limits food or starves to feel more in control. Most people with anorexia are female.
There's no single cause of anorexia, but there are a number of contributing factors. The National Women's Health Information Center offers this list:
Anorexia may be caused by hormonal changes or chemical changes in the brain.
A family history of anorexia can increase a person's risk of developing the disorder.
Stressful or traumatizing experiences, including major life changes or violent crime, can make a person more prone to developing anorexia.
Having a perfectionist personality, or having extremely high standards for one's self, also are risk factors.
Exposure to a culture with an emphasis on thinness and looks is an additional risk factor.
When a teenager has an eating disorder, it's not just the teen's problem. It's a family problem.
So, parents should join in on the treatment, a growing number of experts believe.
With parental involvement, "the outcome is likely to be improved," said Dr. Ovidio Bermudez, medical director of the eating disorders program at Laureate Psychiatric Clinic and Hospital in Tulsa, Okla., and a member of the board of directors of the National Eating Disorders Association.
Nearly 10 million females and 1 million males in the United States have an eating disorder, according to the National Eating Disorders Association. Federal government statistics show that more than 90 percent of them are females aged 12 to 25.
People with bulimia binge eat and then purge, whereas those with anorexia nervosa limit food and become dangerously thin because they believe they're too heavy when, in fact, they're not.
But the thinking about the causes of eating disorders and their treatment has come full circle, Bermudez said. Many years ago, experts blamed eating disorders on controlling mothers and distant fathers, among other theories. But today they generally concur that the disorders are not due to those factors.
"We know now that eating disorders are real illnesses, not lifestyle choices," Bermudez said. And parents can play a crucial role in recovery, Bermudez and others now believe.
In fact, researchers found that teens were more able to control their disordered eating when they had family support.
One study involving 80 teens with bulimia put about half in a treatment program that included family therapy and the others in more traditional psychotherapy. Six months later, the success rate for those given family therapy was twice as great as it was for the others.
About 40 percent of teens whose families participated in their treatment had stopped bingeing and purging, compared with 18 percent of those treated without family involvement. The study was published in the Archives of General Psychiatry.
Another study, published in the journal Eating Disorders, followed 32 teenage girls with anorexia and found that 75 percent of them were in full remission three years after treatment that had included family therapy.
Just what does the treatment, generally known as behavioral family therapy, involve?
"The therapist works with the family to empower the family to get the [anorectic] child to eat the meals and recover the weight," Bermudez said. "The family becomes the agent of change."
He said that the approach has been studied more in anorexia than in bulimia but that it is used for both.
In bulimia, the parents' role at home would be to get their teen to eat regular meals so the teen doesn't binge then purge, Bermudez said.
It doesn't always work, he said, but it is generally viewed as promising and effective.
The approach did work for the daughter of Deborah, a 50-something mother in Orlando, Fla. She and her husband were stunned when their daughter, Allison, now 25, told them she needed help. "She had lost a lot of weight," Deborah recalled.
They sought help and participated in a family-centered treatment approach. "I was in the counseling session with Allison and the therapist," Deborah recalled. It helped her understand the disorder, she said, and how better to help.
But Deborah did much more than sit in the counseling sessions. "We built a team around Allison," she said. Besides the therapist, the team included the family doctor, a nutritionist, Allison and her parents.
Parents can take other steps to help a teen recover from an eating disorder. Suggestions include:
Educate yourself. "I would sit up at night and read," Deborah said, "so I could understand Allison and what she was experiencing."
Be there emotionally. For her daughter, Deborah recalled, knowing that she could count on her parents' aid and support helped a great deal.
Don't be in denial. If you suspected your child had cancer, Bermudez asked, wouldn't you get help immediately? It's just as crucial for a suspected eating disorder.
Follow directions."Listen to your treatment team," Bermudez tells parents. The best treatment plans are individualized.