“Don’t judge a book by it’s cover!” We have all been told this at some point in our lives, and it seems a good sum of girls and boys have to be reminded of it on a regular basis. But if you think everyday teenagers are bad, you should see how others look through the eyes of an anorexic.
Imagine being so obsessed with food and weight, that the only thing you saw when you looked at others is the fat on their waist line or the food on their plate. When I look back on the years I spent battling with anorexia, I’m disgusted with how I judged and perceived others. Luckily, I didn’t play the role of a mean girl and tell everyone what I thought of them; however, just knowing those thoughts crossed my mind upsets me.
You’re shopping at your local grocery store on a Monday afternoon. A woman with a young baby in her basket passes by you in the frozen foods section. As you pass by her, you notice the five pounds of tummy fat she has not worked off since having her baby. After analyzing the fat on her body, you see her picking out a frozen dinner plate full of pasta and potatoes. Just the site of that many carbohydrates on one plate makes you want to gag. You finally turn your attention back to the freezer of veggies in front of you. Not once did you notice the woman’s adorable baby boy and his blue eyes or her memorable face and stunning long hair. Instead, you spend the rest of the day wondering why she was grocery shopping instead of working out at the gym.
That is what life looked like through my eyes 24/7 while I battled my anorexia. Even when looking at my best friend, I saw her fat (even though she was perfectly healthy) and her nutritional flaws. You could have been the perfect weight for your height, and I would find something on your body you could be working off at the gym.
In attempt to help with my recovery, my mom took me to a nutritionist in Austin. On the way to see the nutritionist, I was thrilled since I knew she would understand why I was obsessed with eating healthy (yes, I truly thought I was eating healthy at the time). However, when I met my nutritionist, I was horrified. Her hips were huge (through my eyes anyway). I had pictured a woman my size, and this lady was far from it.
Looking back now though, I know she was a healthy weight and just carried a few extra pounds on her hips.
I went to this nutritionist for several months, and with time, I picked her apart from head to toe. But I never really looked at her face, hair, skin color, or beauty. Today, I could not recognize her face if you put her in a line up. I couldn’t even tell you what color her hair is, but I could draw a picture of her body proportions almost perfectly. If you stuck several women in a row and showed me nothing but their lower body, I could probably pick her out of the group on a first try.
The reason I’m writing this blog entry is not to confess the horrible thoughts that crossed my mind during the time I suffered with eating disorders. I am writing this entry to help you understand how mental illnesses, like eating disorders, can drastically change a person personality, behavior and thoughts.
While suffering with anorexia, I not only changed on the outside, but I was a completely different person on the inside as well. When I look back on all I suffered, I am more disturbed about the person I became than the idea that I was harming and almost killing my body.
If you know someone with an eating disorder, do not block them out of your life because of who they have become. It is not really them! It is the mental illness that has taken over their mind and body. With help, they will become the person they once were and the person they truly are at heart. Be patient, give it time and remember to forgive!