My experience with anorexia

Feb 202003

Editor’s note: While Collegian policy is always to print the names of writers, we granted special consideration to the author of this column due to the personal nature of the story told.

I am an 18-year-old girl from Kalispell, Montana. I am currently a freshman at

Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado.

Recently, while watching ABC during The “Bachelorette,” I saw a commercial preview for the new reality show “Are You Hot?” Right now I am recovering from anorexia nervosa, an eating disorder in which a person diets and becomes significantly underweight but still feels “fat” and continues to starve him or herself.

Now if you don’t have experience with this disease, it is incredibly hard to understand what would possess someone to stop eating, considering how much those in our society love to eat.

I became anorexic when I came to college. It was nothing I have ever experienced. I have never been so lonely, depressed and scared before in my whole life.

Before I knew it, I was completely controlling everything I ate-every portion size, every calorie amount, and fat grams.

I would eat three meals a day, but the things I ate had no caloric value and therefore, I shed the pounds week after week.

I had no energy. I couldn’t jump during my figure skating practices, and I couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t motivated to do anything fun.

I stopped having my periods right away and learned that I was actually losing my bone density. My muscles were deteriorating, my hair was falling out, and my bones were protruding all over. When I tried to sleep at night, it hurt to sleep on my side because my knees were so bony that I couldn’t lay with one on top of the other.

But the worst part was that I thought I looked good, and that more people would like me and want to become my friend.

Since everything else during those months was so hectic in school-skating, making friends, etc.-food was what I could dominate. All I thought about was food: what I would have for every meal, what I could make for Thanksgiving two months in advance, how I could eat the most amount of food with the least amount of calories and fat. All of a sudden I had become an obsessive perfectionist.

Now that I am in the stages of recovery, I eat six meals a day, but still contemplate whether I should eat certain foods or not. I am on antidepressant medication and I see a doctor, a psychologist and a nutritionist weekly. I am still not allowed to do any heavy exercise; I can only skate for a half hour two days a week, which is pathetic considering what I am used to doing.

Some of my friends at home pulled away from me during my Christmas break because they didn’t know how to act around me. Some wouldn’t even give me a hug for fear that my bones would break.

Having an eating disorder is such a sick and twisted thing I can’t even explain to you in words what it has been like for me. Anorexia will always haunt me for the rest of my life, no matter how well I recover. I can’t stress enough how much I don’t want anyone else to have to go through what I’ve been through, especially by choice.

Why does our society constantly focus on beauty, weight and thinness? Why are people terrified about having the least bit of fat on their bodies? It is really sad that people can’t feel accepted by just being who they are.

I can’t understand it at all, and I can’t understand why we have to worry about such a worthless issue.

Beauty really is on the inside; this is the biggest truth of all.

More than anything, it is sad that people can’t feel accepted in their own environments, can’t show off their personalities but instead have to show off their ribs. I’ve read that one in four college students has some type of an eating disorder. Doesn’t that sound like something is wrong, maybe a wake-up call?

What I can’t figure out is how ABC could potentially destroy its excellent reputation by giving in and airing something as ridiculous and sickening as “Are You Hot?”

Who cares who is hot or not? Our bodies weren’t made to put up with such self-destruction. It’s especially ridiculous when judges point out each contestant’s fat deposits and body features that “should be” changed.

Why do they have such authority?

These people have more psychological problems then I thought, as well as the contestants who are equally as defective as the producers of the show. Weight, waist measurements, height; these are all useless numbers that have no value or significance whatsoever, so why erupt the problem even more by sinking to the level of making millions over a person’s worth?

Don’t they care about the self-esteem and medical welfare of countless Americans? It angers me to the level of disgust when I myself am choosing food over being eighty pounds, and then I turn on my television to find that ABC is not only condoning people’s dissatisfaction with their bodies, but could actually be perpetuating the cycle of eating disorders in its viewing audience.

Bodies collapse and give up, and people could die because everyone’s goal is to please others instead of who really counts, themselves.

If food wasn’t supposed to be created, then pretty soon skeletons will be left lying on our Earth instead of its own soil.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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