Eating Disorders Are NOT A Lifestyle Choice

Eating Disorders Are NOT A Lifestyle Choice

Eating disorders simply are not that simple.
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In America alone, there are about 30 million people that are battling a full blown eating disorder and so many more that have body image issues that may lead to eating disorders or other mental issues. Unfortunately, these numbers are lower than the real number of people with these disorders. Due to stigmas around mental health, a lot of people are too afraid or ashamed to get the help that they need whether it's therapy, medication, or in-patient treatment.

In order to do my part in breaking this stigma, here's some info about the reality of these complex psychiatric illnesses. These illnesses can be genetic and caused by environmental factors. These conditions are NOT lifestyle choices and are NOT to be romanticized. The reality of eating disorders is that it can be life threatening if gone untreated or not caught early enough.

Believe it or not, anybody and everybody can be at risk for developing an eating disorder. You do not have to be skin and bones to have an eating disorder, nor do you have to be overweight. Any gender, race, age, socioeconomic status, or sexual orientation can be at risk. People can be anorexic without being below a normal weight, and they can be bulimic without purging after every meal. Like I said, these disorders are complex and hard to detect in some cases as people have found tricks to cover up these tendencies.

Eating disorders also tend to have high comorbidity rates with other mental illnesses; the most common being anxiety and depression. Because of this, some of the best treatments for eating disorders involve some sort of counseling along with medical attention to ensure the patient is getting enough nutrients. Treatment for eating disorders should be unique to each person and cater to the psychological and biological aspects of it all.

With this being said, you can't just say, "If you'd just stop purging, you would be fine." or "Just work out a little more if you're worried about your weight". These statements will not help. Eating disorders are not that easy and are exactly what they're called; a DISORDER. Someone battling an eating disorder needs professional help.

If you are worried about someone, you can call the Eating Disorder Helpline at 800-931-2237 where they will be able to talk you through what to say to the loved one to voice concerns or help with body image issues. The website (www.nationaleatingdisorders.org) also contains a toolkit to help parents with a child that is suffering from and ED. If you are looking for treatment, there are options at www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/find-treatment. Any further information can be requested via email at info@nationaleatingdisorders.org. Remember, you are valid, you are beautiful, and recovery is possible.

Cover Image Credit: Business Insider Australia

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Everything You Will Miss If You Commit Suicide

The world needs you.
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You won't see the sunrise or have your favorite breakfast in the morning.

Instead, your family will mourn the sunrise because it means another day without you.

You will never stay up late talking to your friends or have a bonfire on a summer night.

You won't laugh until you cry again, or dance around and be silly.

You won't go on another adventure. You won't drive around under the moonlight and stars.

They'll miss you. They'll cry.

You won't fight with your siblings only to make up minutes later and laugh about it.

You won't get to interrogate your sister's fiancé when the time comes.

You won't be there to wipe away your mother's tears when she finds out that you're gone.

You won't be able to hug the ones that love you while they're waiting to wake up from the nightmare that had become their reality.

You won't be at your grandparents funeral, speaking about the good things they did in their life.

Instead, they will be at yours.

You won't find your purpose in life, the love of your life, get married or raise a family.

You won't celebrate another Christmas, Easter or birthday.

You won't turn another year older.

You will never see the places you've always dreamed of seeing.

You will not allow yourself the opportunity to get help.

This will be the last sunset you see.

You'll never see the sky change from a bright blue to purples, pinks, oranges, and yellows meshing together over the landscape again.

If the light has left your eyes and all you see is the darkness, know that it can get better. Let yourself get better.

This is what you will miss if you leave the world today.

This is who will care about you when you are gone.

You can change lives. But I hope it's not at the expense of yours.

We care. People care.

Don't let today be the end.

You don't have to live forever sad. You can be happy. It's not wrong to ask for help.

Thank you for staying. Thank you for fighting.

Suicide is a real problem that no one wants to talk about. I'm sure you're no different. But we need to talk about it. There is no difference between being suicidal and committing suicide. If someone tells you they want to kill themselves, do not think they won't do it. Do not just tell them, “Oh you'll be fine." Because when they aren't, you will wonder what you could have done to help. Sit with them however long you need to and tell them it will get better. Talk to them about their problems and tell them there is help. Be the help. Get them assistance. Remind them of all the things they will miss in life.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255

Cover Image Credit: Brittani Norman

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Bigger Bodies Are Not Unhealthier Bodies

Got nothing nice to say? Then don't say anything at all.

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Okay, believe it or not, people have rolls. People have fat. People wear jean sizes in the double digits, and plus sized dresses exist.

Fat people exist. And their existence isn't disgusting, so it's time to stop treating them like they're gross and unworthy of feeling confident.

I don't know HOW many times I've seen social media shame fat people just for posting photos of themselves. A plus-sized woman could put a pic of herself in a bikini on the gram and is made fun of for having cellulite and stretch marks. People comment things like, "stop encouraging people to be unhealthy!"

Since when does posting a photo of yourself hanging out on the beach encourage people to be unhealthy? Are fat people not allowed to feel confident, or what?

It's honestly disgusting how vicious fat shaming is, and how the usage of social media makes fat phobia that much more widespread. What's truly saddening is that despite so many body-positive movements, these movements still lack the support for actual plus sized bodies.

I'm not talking about skinny models hunched over so you can see their slight belly rolls. I'm talking about women with thick thighs and stomachs that are far from flat. Brands claim to be inclusive but the plus-sized models they use could still fit into size 2 and 4 dresses.

Why is it so hard to embrace bigger bodies??

To many, the thought of calling an anorexic girl a skeleton and making fun of the lack of food she eats is beyond absurd. Yet, many people don't bat an eye when a fat girl is called a whale. People stare at her when she eats a burger but never mind the skinny girl bragging about eating an entire pizza on her own. It's quirky and cute, right? Wrong.

If people feel obliged to call fat bodies unhealthy for being too fat, where is the obligation to also call out skinny bodies for being too skinny?

I am 5'3" and this past September I weighed nearly 140 pounds. I was overweight but healthy. I am now 116 pounds, I have an eating disorder, low blood sugar, and severely low blood pressure. I am not healthy.

Your weight does not determine your health.

Stop judging people because of the bodies they are in. Just because you're skinny doesn't mean you're healthy.

A skinny woman might be able to drink a whole bottle of wine and eat an entire pizza to herself. She might be able to keep off the weight without working out. She might not like drinking water and opt for iced coffee. And she's deemed healthy.

Whereas the fat woman tries her best to eat balanced every day. She doesn't have a fast metabolism, but she loves sweating her ass off doing yoga. She adds fruit to her water daily, but she's the one that isn't healthy because she's bigger?

Ridiculous.

Stop fat shaming people. Let fat people exist in peace. Let them pose in photos and feel confident in their skin. Let them eat junk food when they want without judging them. Don't laugh at them in the gym.

Stop assuming that bigger bodies are not healthy bodies. The bigger me was the healthy me and the skinny me is not, but nobody would be able to tell that just by looking at me.

Mind your own business. Stop judging people. Stop reducing people's worth to the social stigmas of their physical bodies.

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