You know what is one thing I would never wish on any one? An eating disorder.
No matter what a person’s eating disorder entails, I would not want any young female (or male) to experience one. Even after you recovered, you still struggle on some days. In the back of your mind is that nagging voice telling you not to eat this food or that food because you will wake up ten pounds heavier. The voice wants you on that scale three times a day. Why would anyone want to be so skinny just to go through hell?
I guess it does make sense in some way if you compared an eating disorder to perhaps smoking. Why do people start smoking when they know all the awful effects smoking has on your body as well as the people around you? Someone could ask me the same thing about wanting to be so thin. Why would I want to be so thin and not eat just to think that it will lead to happiness?
Newsflash: being thin, like 100 pounds thin, does not lead to happiness.
As much as I started eating healthy to achieve perfectionism in sports, I started eating less and less to look thin because I believed thin was beautiful. I thought if I dropped another five pounds when I was at 115, I would be even prettier and happier. Then I thought another five pounds would make me ecstatic. It didn’t. I stepped on that scale and stared at the number of 107. Why am I not pleased? Duh! Except that didn’t cross my mind. I believed another five pounds would be better and then I would feel content.
When the scale became lower than 105, I thought I could do better. I thought perfectionism was still around the corner. No, I was depressed like I was when I was heavy (like 150 heavy). You know what was on my mind once more when I was so gaunt? Suicide. I know it’s a touchy matter. Believe me. I don’t even want to get in to it, but it was on my mind. I battled with depression, etc., when I was heavy and again when I was too thin. Too heavy = not happy. Too skinny = not happy. Balance needed to occur.
What didn’t help at the time was Tumblr. I think a lot of you know about Tumblr. It’s basically just a type of blog. Anyway, on Tumblr I began to follow anorexia promoting blogs and blogs where girls just posted pictures of thin, thin women. I thought I wanted that. I wanted my hip bones to always show. I followed blogs where girls posted their weight of 105, but they had a goal weight of 94. All I wanted to be was beautiful. I wanted someone to be proud of me and I thought the only way to achieve that goal was to be stick thin (as well as excel in cross-country).
Just as black lungs are a side effect of smoking, depression is a side of effect of an eating disorder. You will never be pleased with yourself when you have an eating disorder. No matter how thin you are, how healthy you eat, you will always strive for a flawless self. Food will be on your mind from the moment you wake up to the moment you fall asleep. Sitting will hurt. The mirror will be an enemy. The scale will be a friend.
I encourage anyone who even thinks they suffer from an eating disorder, even if they believe they are just eating healthy; to seriously analyze what they are doing. I’m not saying go get help immediately, I’m just saying take a good hard look in the mirror and ask yourself if you really want to be dejected, miserable, suicidal, count every calorie, never enjoy life, never laugh again, and obsessive.
Trust me, you don’t. If you stop yourself in your tracks now, it will be easier. It’s not peaches and ice cream, but if you realize what you’re doing to yourself, it may be easier to find a solution. Stop it yourself too. Do it for yourself or don’t do it at all.
Never strive to be the best. Others will see you at your best work, but you will only see yourself as a failure. Perfectionism doesn’t exist. Happiness does. Yes, that is corny, but true.
To this day, I struggle with thinking that I need to reach perfectionism. I become very strict then. I have to remind myself that I bet Dean Karnazes does not even think about what he eats after runs. He probably just eats and doesn’t worry about how many calories he takes in one day. Why should I have to worry about it? That’s all I have to ask myself.