Eating Disorders Are Not A Joke, Stop Treating Them As One

Eating Disorders Are Not A Joke, Stop Treating Them As One

It's easier than you think to fall into an unhealthy lifestyle.

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It didn't start out as anything major, I was simply starting to not eat as much as I used to. "Counting calories," I would tell myself, "that's all this is." At the time, I was not denying myself food, in fact, I was continuing to eat everything I liked, from chicken tenders to burgers and beer. I was feeling great as if I could finally enjoy my meals without feeling guilty afterward, and only because I went from having three meals a day, to one meal in the middle of the day. To me, this seemed normal. My logic was simple, if I have one big meal in the middle of the day, I will have enough energy for the evening and rollover energy for the morning." Looking back, I don't understand how someone did not punch some sense into me, because it is obvious that I was simply making excuses to hide behind the fact that I have slowly stopped eating.

With weeks passing, I began noticing my pants fitting just a smidge loser, and my thighs getting smaller. This observation was what jumpstarted my going down the rabbit hole. Can you believe this? A pair of jeans and my obsession with the mirror were the starting points of my eating disorder, and that just shows how engraved into society being thin has become. Soon after, I wasn't just eating once a day anymore, but with every day I made an attempt to eat less than I did the day before. Eager to see a flatter stomach and thinner figure the following morning. What is 'hunger' to some, that quenching feeling at the bottom of your stomach, became a sense of comfort and accomplishment for me. I couldn't go to bed without wanting that feeling, I soon started craving the emptiness in my stomach as opposed to actual food.

Months have passed, the scale now reads about twenty pounds lighter, and as wonderful as it feels to look thin and feel thin, I cannot help but have a hatred of all foods. I have reached a point where I barely eat anything in a day, enough to have fainted and lost consciousness. The sight of food makes me nauseous, and an immediate feeling of guilt and remorse wash over me, even if I haven't even touched the said food. Almost as if on instinct, my body simply hates food. For someone who used to turn to food for comfort and enjoyment, not even being able to look at food without wanting to cry and walk away, is a low point. Without even knowing, I have let myself become enemies with food, and with my body. I am no longer able to go out to dinner with my friends, or lunch dates with my boyfriend, or even a late night ice cream run. I have broken myself from the inside out and it shows.

You do not have to be fifty pounds lighter and have every bone showing to have an eating disorder. I learned that the hard way.

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Sorry I'm A Size 00

But I'm not really sorry.
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My whole life I’ve been thin—which is kind of an understatement. Every time I go to the doctor I get the same “you’re underweight” lecture that I’ve heard every year since I was able to form memories. I’ve never really felt insecure about my weight, I love being able to eat everything and not gain a single pound. Since my freshman year of high school I’ve probably only gained 8 pounds and I’m now a sophomore in college. Of course, in school, there were rumors that I was anorexic or bulimic, but everyone who knew me knew that was far from the truth. I’m now 19, 5’2, and I still have yet to break 100 pounds on the scale. It seems that there is a lot of skinny shaming going around and to me, one of the main contributors to that is the Dove Real Beauty campaign.

You’re probably wondering where I’m going with this because skinny girls get all the praise and other body types are neglected. That’s really not true, though. While loving other body types, you are tearing down skinny girls. Why is it okay to do that to skinny girls but not to other body types? Why is it okay to say “only dogs like bones” or say “every body type is beautiful” until you see a model's abs, or ribs, or thigh gap and then tear them down because they’re “unnaturally” skinny?



The point I’m trying to make is that, as a naturally skinny girl, I have never shamed anyone for their body type, yet I go every day and get at least two comments about my weight. I’m always the skinny girl, the toothpick, but I’m not Jessica. Yeah, I’m a size 00. Get over it. If you have an issue with my body and feel like my body is disgusting to you, don’t look at it. I know that I’m healthy and I don’t need your input when my body just naturally burns calories fast. I don’t have an eating disorder and never have. I am real beauty though, and I know that because I’m comfortable in my own skin. So maybe the real issue is that we as a society have been shoving certain body types down our daughters’ throats so they begin to romanticize models that have certain standards that they have to meet, who work hard for the bodies that they have, and are making a hell of a lot more money than most of the people discussing why they look emaciated while what they’re actually looking at is the photoshopped product.

I’m not going to apologize for being skinny when that is just how my body is, I can’t help it. So please, stop tearing my body down while trying to bring your body up. You can praise your body without shaming skinny girls. Shaming me for being thin does not make you better than the man that shamed your body, just as me shaming you for being curvy does not make me better than the man that shamed my body. As women, we need to love each other because we are the only ones who truly understand each other.


Cover Image Credit: Victoria's Secret Untouched

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'Taste The Rainbow' But Not Because Skittles Said To

The health benefits of eating a wide range of fruits and vegetables

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Does everyone know that fruits and vegetables are good for you, but do you know why they are considered to be nutritious?

Some may believe the answer is because they have low caloric value, which isn't wrong but they provide so much more. They possess phytochemicals.

Phytochemicals are naturally occurring compounds found in plant foods that provide the fruit and vegetables their color, taste, and odor. More than that, each phytochemical comes with its health benefits.

There are seven mechanisms of action or ways that phytochemicals are beneficial to our health.

They can either act as antioxidants which help to prevent damage to healthy cells, anti-inflammatory, chemo-preventative, support our immune system, trigger apoptosis or programmed cell death, protect our DNA, regulate hormones and finally, some may have the ability for specific actions, such as inhibiting the growth of bad bacteria.

Below is a list of phytochemicals:

1. Carotene 

Alpha and beta carotene give fruits and vegetables an orange or yellow color. Some examples of foods that are high in beta carotene are sweet potatoes, carrots, and bell peppers of those colors.

Carotene, when ingested, is converted into Vitamin A that your body can easily absorb and utilize. Carotene has been scientifically proven to help eye and heart health as well as support our immune system by acting as an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and possessing chemo-preventive factors.

2. Lycopene 

Think tomatoes. The phytochemical lycopene is responsible for the red color in whole plant foods. The health effects are acting as antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, chemo-preventative but also good for DNA and urinary tract health. What's cool about lycopene is that no matter how you prepare your food, you don't lose any of the nutrients.

3. Chlorophyll 

Eat your greens. Chlorophyll-rich foods appear green. Some excellent sources include dark leafy greens and broccoli. Chlorophyll, like the other phytochemicals are known to be antioxidants, anti-inflammatory and chemo-preventative. Choosing foods that have a rich and vibrant color indicate that is a good source of that phytochemical.

So, next time you're in the produce aisle, be sure to choose your colors wisely.

4. Anthocyanin

Anthocyanins are those foods that are red, blue and purple. Any type of berry is an excellent source of antioxidants. Antioxidants combat damage to cells by helping balance those that are unstable. Cells become unsteady when they have an uneven pairing of protons and electrons so antioxidants essentially give an electron to the cells that need it.

5. Reservatrol

The color purple. Just as every phytochemical mentioned, resveratrol contains antioxidants, anti-inflammatory and chemo-preventative agents. That's the beauty of phytochemicals. Reservartrol also takes it a step further to help brain and bone health. Studies have proven that eating foods rich in resevatrol also help to protect against age-related diseases.

If you want to learn more about the health benefits of phytochemicals, please check out this wonderful book!

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