Posts tagged eating disorders
Posts tagged eating disorders
(nb: edited from previous version for clarity and reposting it in revised form.)
i’m sick and fucking tired of pretending that “loving your body” and rejecting fat-shaming on an individual level does anything to change issues relating to beauty and thin privilege, or that it has any effect on the institutions and structures that perpetuate them. it does nothing to change the fact that larger people or people viewed as less attractive are widely viewed as less intelligent, as incompetent, or as lazy. it doesn’t change the fact that larger people have worse health care outcomes or that they are less likely to be hired for jobs and, if they are hired, are often paid less than their thinner or more conventionally attractive colleagues. it does nothing to combat the pathologization of fatness. by itself, it doesn’t do anything to change the greater culture. i, along with many other people, attempt to reject that culture and participate in or create alternate possibilities, but it’s important to remember that these spaces aren’t accessible to everyone who could benefit from participation. it’s not enough.
here’s a corollary to that: while people who identify as women are inundated with messages that devalue female-coded bodies, sexualize them (in ways that are often deeply imbricated with the simultaneous racialization of such bodies), and present them as being in constant need of improvement, i wonder if the focus on body acceptance doesn’t end up being the same ideas, articulated differently. certainly, our bodies shape our lived realities, are inescapable, and must be taken into consideration in political or sociological or philosophical conversations. body acceptance may shift the ways in which these realities are enacted on some level, or at least the way realities are materialized. but, for many people, bodies can be hard to love, and i’m not sure how necessary it is that many of us “love” them in the ways that body-acceptance proponents believe we should. for my own part, my neuro-atypical, ethnically marked, formerly anorexic body is difficult to love. i generally accept my body, understand where it fits into my reality, reject family members’ offers of plastic surgery to “correct” it, live in it. it is, in some ways, a resistant body. ”loving” it is not necessarily part of that resistance, nor do i think it needs to be. a body is not an object that can be detached from a “mind,” an object that can be separately valued and loved. bodies should not be devalued, and should be free from exploitation, violence, and abuse, but it is not always necessary to love them simply because they are bodies. (though i would argue that the more culturally and socially devalued a given body is, the more important it is that it is cared for and valued.)
the fact that “love your body” rhetoric shifts the responsibility for body acceptance over to the individual, and away from communities, institutions, and power, is also problematic. individuals who do not love their bodies, who find their bodies difficult to love, are seen as being part of the problem. the underlying assumption is that if we all loved our bodies just as they are, our fat-shaming, beauty-policing culture would be different. if we don’t love our bodies, we are, in effect, perpetuating normative (read: impossible) beauty standards. if we don’t love our individual bodies, we are at fault for collectively continuing the oppressive and misogynistic culture. if you don’t love your body, you’re not trying hard enough to love it. in this framework, your body is still the paramount focus, and one way or another, you’re failing. it’s too close to the usual body-shaming, self-policing crap, albeit with a few quasi-feminist twists, for comfort.
tl;dr not all bodies are easy to love, or lovable. challenge normative beauty-standards and fat-shaming on collective and structural levels rather than believing that “loving your body” is enough to change shit. understand how your body materializes your lived reality and respect it, but don’t feel required to love it.
Oh my god, I am SO PROUD of my school!
I just came across this brochure and it has great facts and stats about how diets don’t work and how to maintain positive body image. I was floored! It even has tips on media manipulation and the rise of eating disorders.
It’s SO validating to see this kind of stuff in real life, offline and not just on tumblr. I can’t tell you how happy it made me!
Trigger warning: Overeating, depression, thoughts of suicide
My name is Vicki and I’ve been following this blog pretty much ever since I opened my Tumblr account.
In the past, people found it very difficult to accept me because I’m Asian but I’m also fat - I no longer associate the word fat with negativity so there’s nothing wrong with just saying it (we ALL have fat on our bodies!). Because people found it hard to accept me, I found it even more difficult to accept myself.
I was adopted from South Korea when I was three months old, my parents are white (dad’s family is polish, mother’s family is mixed).
When I was 8, my dad was diagnosed with leukemia - a year previous to his diagnosis, I lost a classmate to leukemia so…at that point, I really just didn’t want to know anything about the cancer and was terrified that my dad would be there one day and be gone the next.
In high school, I over ate but not until I got home. I made sure no one saw me eating in school, therefore I gained more and more weight.
I got picked on every day in elementary school and high school. Kids threw things at me, said hateful and hurtful things without knowing me at all, poked me with pencils and sporks. I don’t remember crying, though. I just got to a point where it was like, “okay if I can get through the day, I’ll just go home and eat a whole bag of chips and fall asleep”
Somehow after I graduated, I got control of what I was doing and stopped. I began eating three square meals a day, started taking better care of myself.
I started college and joined my school newspaper.
My dad died when I was 19 years old. I fell into a terrible depression - no matter what I did, I just thought about what I didn’t like about myself, what I couldn’t fix about myself, what I could do to hurt myself, how the world would be better off without me, how I wished I was the one who had the cancer instead of him.
It got better but I lost a number of important people in the process due to my depression and my friends not understanding what I was going through.
I’m 25 years old now and I weigh as much as I did when I was 14. I have a lot more work to do and I still have bad days - you know, those days where you don’t want to do anything or see anybody…you just want to lie there. But I also have good days, where I feel like putting a dress on, doing my hair and makeup.
As a teenager, I dated a number of guys who cheated on me or blatantly told me that they had plans to cheat on me because I refused to sleep with them. I have been seeing my boyfriend, Ian, for three years and I love him very much.
Dating me was a challenge for him and I’m sure it still is today, because I’d get so down about myself and point out all of my flaws and no one wants to hear that - a person who loves you does not want to hear you speak badly about yourself.
With time, he helped me learn to love myself (whether he knows it or not).
I would just like to say that to find self acceptance, you absolutely have to do it for yourself and you have to find something about yourself that you love every day - even if it’s just the dimple in your cheek or the color of your eyes when the sunset hits them. Being with someone does not make me feel more beautiful. Being with someone doesn’t make me feel loved. I make myself feel beautiful and I love myself.
I submitted because I think I’m on the right track with loving myself and accepting that this is who I am. I submitted because I have found so many strong, beautiful men and women who have shared their stories here that made me want to learn more about them. Feel free to follow my blog and find out more about me. Thank you for reading my story! <3
Today is the day where I stop hating. Today is where I accept that this is my body and that I should love it the way that it is now. It may not always be this way, and someday it may improve. But as of right now I am beautiful. I have lived my whole life trying to be something that I’m not. I tried to lose weight, wear too much makeup, and act the way that I thought is cool. I want to just be me and watch myself unfold to become beautiful like everyone else. I honestly believe that once a person lets themselves go and becomes completely their own, that they are the most beautiful that they will ever be.
Trigger Warning: Eating disorders
Hey guys! I’ve been following this blog for awhile on my main account, but I never got around to submitting until today. I felt super-cute in this outfit and realized it’s my choice to love my body! I’ve suffered from bulimia for a long time, since I was about 12 years old, and I had seen my body as repulsive for my whole life. I’m 17 now, and I finally love my body for what it is. I’m not skinny by any stretch of the imagination, but I know now that I never will be; I’m just not built that way, and that’s okay! My goal now is being as healthy as possible; if I happen to lose weight, that’s fine. If not, that’s fine too. I just want to recover and learn to love and care for my body as well as I can!
This isn’t easy to post, but I’ve been seeing way too much lately about girls wanting to starve…because they’d sooner die than be ‘fat.’ And it kills me, because I was fat. When I say ‘I was fat’, I moreso mean that I was very unhealthy in my eating/exercise habits. And it was what I was called on a regular basis from kindergarten to freshman year. And I did this to myself in hopes that I would never be heavy again. But it really, honestly, does not matter what size jeans you wear. What matters is that you live a healthy lifestyle and can eventually look in the mirror and be happy with what you see, not what a body dysmorphic disorder convinces you into thinking or what society/media defines beauty as. I may have moments of weakness, but I know I am beautiful no matter what.
I have always been very self concious and insecure as a person. About six months ago I was diagnozed with social anxiety disorder, which shortly means I feel awkward in social situations, and I feel like I’m constantly being judged critically. As a consequence, I had a distorted self image. I was convinced I was ugly and that no one really liked me. I could make an endless list of flaws with my body, a list that I would use as an excuse to keep judging myself harshly.
In addition, I have always been thin. This is not by choice though. My weight has always been unhealthy, but didn’t become a problem until recently, when it once again dropped to a (for me) critical low. I’m now trying to gain the weight back to try to be healthy. I know i feel a lot better, in both body and mind, when the weight isn’t a problem.
I’m now starting to like my body more and more, and at the same time working on my self esteem overall. I’ve realized that I actually am beautiful. In time, I will be able to walk with my head held high and be proud of myself and my body. I’ve already taken the first steps towards that goal.
Trigger Warning: Addiction, Depression, Self-Harm, Suicide.
First time submitting.
Since I was 8, I’ve been battling suicidal depression. That means, I will use anything to hurt myself. I’ve been going through struggles for 6 years. It all started with a case of anorexia. I didn’t eat for weeks, and lost a lot of weight. I was a healthy weight of 95, but by the time I got help, I was 75. I was only 8 when this happened. I was better for 2 years. Then when I was 10, I started self-harming. Anything that would cause pain, I would use it. Nobody noticed that I was slowly hurting myself and leaving scars. That lasted for a year before I started drugs and alcohol. By the time I was 11, I was addicted to all sorts of drugs and alcohol. It was horrible and nobody noticed that I was slowly killing myself. This lasted 2 years. Then I met a boy who helped me clean up. By the time my 13th birthday came along, I was clean and happy. But we broke up and I fell back into everything, only worse. I was anorexic, addicted to drugs/alcohol, and self-harming. For a year I was killing myself slowly with everything I could think of. I now live with scars on my wrists, thighs, stomach, and hips. I was VERY insecure about how I looked. But now, I can wear a bikini and short shorts and be proud of how I look. I can leave without wearing bracelets. I can look at myself in a mirror now and say, “You ARE beautiful. You ARE worth something.” I’m learning to love my body and how I look.
Trigger Warning: mention of an eating disorder/self harm
(I don’t have Word or anything like it. :( )
The mirror picture is me after all this was said and done, and there is nothing wrong with that picture. My camera isn’t working and I have no other full-body shots, but that one is the most honest and recent. All the others are ones taken while I was in the grips of this eating disorder and I want nothing to do with them any more, except to have them serve as precedents of what I never want to be again.
So, this is my first time ever submitting here and it takes a whole lot of courage. Like many girls, I’ve never quite felt secure about my body and for the longest time, all I thought when I looked in the mirror was, “you need to lose weight. You’re so fat.” I really wasn’t, but I convinced myself that I was. These thoughts led to a battle with bulimic tendencies in the seventh grade that have continued on even into today. They would come through when I was feeling stressed out or trapped or even when I was happy. I just thought, “You’re happy now, but you’d be happier if you weighed 20 pounds less,” and those thoughts consumed my life. I never felt good enough for myself or others, and it was terrible.
For a while, I didn’t have those feelings, though. I was happy but I wasn’t healthy. I was eating all kinds of junk food all the time and misplacing my calories when counting them, and I got up to 180 pounds. That was the saddest point in my whole life because not only did I begin to feel fat and worthless again, but I was cutting myself pretty regularly as well. At this point, I was dating a boy who supported me and told me I was beautiful every single day and he was the most amazing boy I’d ever met, but that still wasn’t enough. Nothing can stop you when your own thoughts are plagued like that, not even the love of another person. These negative thoughts led into an all-new battle, one where I would starve myself for two and three days at a time just to feel worthy of life. From July 2011 to February 2012, I was in the midst of a terrible eating disorder, which made me do 1,000-2,000 sit-ups a day, 100-200 push-ups, and 175 squats so I could burn off foods I hadn’t even eaten. If I did eat, I binged on 2 bowls of ice cream, 3 bowls of cereal, 2 sandwiches, and whatever else I could find at hand to eat. Every time, I felt so disgusting that I would immediately go and throw every bit of it up and starve myself for even longer. But sometimes my gag reflex wouldn’t work, and I would be sitting in the bathroom with a stomach full of sweet, decadent food and I couldn’t get rid of it. I deluded myself into thinking if I cut my stomach open, it would all come out and I could be thin again. (That was a disordered thought: one binge made me obese whereas two days with no food made me “perfect”).
When I realized it was all wrong was one day while I was watching America’s Next Top Model. Thinspiration, of course. And I watched with glazed-over eyes without even the energy to keep my head from lolling back and forth as I gaped. I didn’t even have the energy to close my own mouth because I hadn’t eaten in two days. I got food from the kitchen and chewed it up, spitting it back into a cup once the urge to swallow disappeared. Usually that kept the hunger away, but it didn’t today. I was so depressed and lonely, I began to cry. I realized that, 52 pounds later, I was even more unhappy than I was before. I was with the same boy, but he was away most of the time and we never talked. I was in love with him, though, and wanted him to tell me I was beautiful again. Maybe this time, I’d believe it. But I was trapped in my own problems and wouldn’t have had the time to worry about anything he did. So, I handled it on my own. One night after I’d eaten 800 calories at dinner and nothing else all day, I looked at myself in the mirror of a bathroom at a restaurant and I touched my fingers to my reflection. Tears rolled down my face as I apologized to myself. “I’m so sorry for what I’ve done to you. I am so, so sorry. Can we ever fix this? God, I hope so. I’m so sorry,” were the words I repeated over and over again to myself. I decided that night to seek help because this was no way to live.
I talked to my Biology teacher, an ex-nutritionist, and she told the school nurse, who told my mother, who got me help at our doctor’s office. I was expecting a diagnosis of bulimia or EDNOS, but I was shocked when I was given a slip of paper that said I had the disease so often referred to to describe girls who looked “a little too skinny.” I had anorexia nervosa, and I couldn’t believe it. I was too fat to have it, right? I weighed 128 pounds, and you have to be underweight to have that, right?? Wrong.
I had stopped my own menstrual cycle for six months, lost ten pounds in two weeks, and given myself a case of hypothermia and quite a few skin rashes that were all symptoms of anorexia. My blood flow was poor and I could wear five sweaters at a time and still feel cold. (My body temperature was about 90 degrees, instead of 98.6). I needed help badly because it was possible that I could die very soon.
I was sent to Vanderbilt Adolescent Health Center, and was given a diet plan to follow. I was excited about getting to eat again at first because someone was actually telling me it was OKAY to eat! I was thrilled!
Until I got to the grocery store and had to actually find food to eat. I was reduced to the verbal skills of a five-year-old. When asked if I wanted something over 200 calories (my usual daily limit when I did eat), I could only shake my head profusely and give an adamant “no,” and I couldn’t find words to speak. But I did it, and I got food and multivitamins and calcium pills and I thought I would be fine.
That was when I hit my second lowest point. I was in the shower eight days after seeking treatment, and I had been eating 1,400 calories a day. I looked down and saw my stomach, bloated with gas from suddenly receiving all this food, and I told myself it was all fat. I was 180 pounds again and I was “ugly”. I began to punch myself all over, in the stomach, arms, and legs, and I cried. No, not cried. Screamed. I screamed and howled and sobbed like I never had before because I felt so very miserable at being “fat” again, and my sister came in there and sat down and listened to me cry. That was one of the most meaningful moments of my life. My sister always avoids emotional situations but she listened to me cry on the saddest day of my life, knowing she couldn’t help but wanting to be there for me. She kept me from punching myself and gave me logical explanations for everything, but was quiet when she knew I needed her to be.
That incident got me put on Prozac, and it has been such a blessing. Every part of this has.
Now, I’m at a healthy weight. I don’t know what it is, and I can’t say I don’t care, but I don’t want to know. I LOOK fine, and that’s all that matters. I love myself and no longer think about how much weight I “need to lose” and I feel fine. The boy I was with left me after a year and a half with virtually no explanation, but that didn’t make me hate myself. No, I love myself even more because I know I never needed him to be happy. I am strong and smart, and SO ARE YOU. The thoughts I had, the things I saw as “ugly” in myself were not ugly. They were unique and I had been fooled into believing that was bad, but it isn’t. I was sick, and those thoughts aren’t normal to have. Sure, I felt good when I felt thin but you know what? I feel even better than I ever did losing ten pounds, just by loving myself. I have incredible friends, a wonderful life, and a body that could take me to the ends of the Earth if I let it, as long as I fuel it properly and let everything work itself out. If you have any doubts, don’t. You can do this. If you have any problems with abuse, self-harm, or an eating disorder, seek help. Not because anyone wants you to be unhappy, but because you will be so much happier and healthier once you do. I want you to. If nobody else supports you in this, I do. I don’t know you, but I love you and am always here to help anyone in need.
TRIGGER WARNING: EATING DISORDERS, NEGATIVE BODY IMAGE, MENTAL ILLNESS
This photo was a self-portrait I submitted as part of a project for my photography class. It was my way of getting my struggles with my body out into the open, a step along the way to recovering from an eating disorder and lifelong negative body image.
When I was a little girl, I was teased for being fat. When I hit puberty, my body shape changed, but in my mind, I was still fat, and therefore unlovable.
When I got to college, my body image (and untreated anxiety disorder) transformed into ED-NOS.
After over a year of therapy, I am learning to accept myself. I don’t love my body just yet, but I am slowly letting go of all the self-hatred I internalized through the years.
This photo is a step along in that direction. It let me take all of that toxic, internalized hatred that I had been hiding from the world, bring it out into the open, and acknowledge how absolutely ludicrous it is.
I am not fat. But I am learning that bodies, at any size, are beautiful, whatever society says. Fat is not the insult I used to consider it to be- it is merely another adjective to describe the myriad of wonderful ways each of our bodies are unique. And I am slowly learning to accept my body for unique and beautiful shape it is.
possible trigger warnings: eating disorders, depression, self harm
There is nothing wrong with having red hair. There is nothing wrong with having pale skin. There is nothing wrong with the length of my nose, the size of my teeth or the freckles on my face. There is nothing wrong with being a “ginger”. There is nothing wrong with my height. There is nothing wrong with my weight. There is nothing wrong with the size of my boobs, the size of my butt, the size of my thighs.
I will eat that piece of cheesecake if I want it. I will not throw up the cheesecake after I eat it. A bag of chips is okay to eat. Chicken nuggets are okay to eat. I will no longer binge and I will no longer purge.
When I’m upset, I may cry, but I will not take a blade to my arm, leg, stomach, anywhere.
Sexual assault is not okay, but I will not think about it anymore. It’s over and done.
I will not put myself down, and I will not put others down.
I am beautiful, and there is nothing wrong with the way I look.
YOU are beautiful, and there is nothing wrong with the way YOU look.
Eating disorders will not haunt my life anymore. Self harm will not haunt my life anymore. My depression will continue to improve every day until the day when it’s finally gone.
This picture makes me feel confident and beautiful, and I will not try to find something I don’t like about it.
Everyone is beautiful in their own way and deserves to look in the mirror and feel happy. I hope that all of you do.
Smile, you’re beautiful :)
my tumblr: http://mojohoejo.tumblr.com/
i’ve been told countless times that i’m too pale and too big. i’m also covered in stretch marks.
this used to really bother me, actually ! i refused to wear anything but jeans or baggy sweat pants and long sleeves to cover as much skin as possible. i couldn’t have people seeing how pale i was underneath the makeup, or see the stretch marks on my hips, thighs, calves, or anywhere else !
i struggled for a very long time trying to lose weight. (in a very unhealthy way) when i wasnt even very big ! average, i’d say ! my weight was perfectly healthy for my age of 14.
then i gained a bit of weight. the stretch marks grew, along with my body and my state of mind. and i looked back realizing how small i really was, and how i definitely did NOT need to lose weight. and at any size, you will recieve criticism !
AND THE MOST IMPORTANT THING I REALIZED,
you’re also beautiful at any weight, or any shade, or with any number of scars.
im a very healthy active person now. and it’s not to lose weight. its to be healthy, and its because i love myself. my body is a temple and i’m going to treat it like one. no matter how it ends up looking.
BUT DAMN IS IT BEAUTIFUL. (i bet yours is too!)
check out our positive ‘treat your body right’ blog ! healthy-petals
TRIGGER WARNING: Eating Disorder, Bullying
Hi, I’m Emily.
I’ve been following this blog for a long time, but I have never been able to say I that I love my body before today. So here’s my story:
Before I started middle school, I was super self confident. I was positive that all the boys liked me, and that everyone wanted to be my friend. That all changed when in 6th grade, a boy called me fat. I had never once looked in the mirror and thought I was fat before, but after that day, my self hate began.
I was surrounded by girls who were naturally sticks. Whenever there was a swim party, it was unacceptable to show up in anything but a bikini, or you would be made fun of. But if you didn’t have the “right body” for the bikini, that you were pressured into wearing, you were also made fun of. It was a lose/lose situation.
From 7th to halfway through 9th grade, I dieted insanely, restricting my calories to a very unhealthy budget. I didn’t keep track of my weight loss throughout the majority of those years, but I know that I lost 20 lbs in the summer before 9th grade. I was extraordinarily frail, I stopped having my period, and was getting sick constantly because my immune system was so weak.
Everyone was telling me I needed to gain weight, but I feared it. I weighed myself every day, and if I ever gained weight, I would hate myself even more.
One day, I finally realized what I was doing to myself. Trying to stop counting calories was one of the hardest things I tried to do, but I can say that I have. A year later, I have gained back about 25 pounds.
People think it’s weird when I speak positively about gaining weight, but I see it as one of my bigger accomplishments so far in life. When I look in the mirror now, I feel more beautiful than ever.
It goes to show you that even if you think something might be the smallest, most meaningless comment ever, it could affect a person very strongly, in a negative or positive way.
No matter what anybody says, YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL! Don’t ever let anybody tell you that you aren’t. <3
Good day, wonderful people!
I submitted to Stop Hating Your Body back in October, when I noticed all the stress and self-hate issues were causing a physical ED relapse. You all sent so much positivity my way & i was so grateful. Everyone on this blog— from the admins to the followers— is lovely!
I’m sorry to bother y’all with more awkward ramblings now, ten months later, but things are just so different. Since October, I’ve up-and-downed in weight enough to be able to fit into my old ED clothes. I took laxatives as a purging tool for a bit. I once nearly overdosed on water weight pills, taking 5 at once (ugh..), and got to the point I lost my gag reflex from vomiting so very much.
It’d be cool to say that things got better on their own or even due to some big epiphany, but that’d be a lie. They got better because of friends’ love and support. I still have trouble eating. I still mislike what I see in the mirror. But there are definitely days where I look at myself and though the face/body staring back remind me of all the negativity I’ve dealt with during these short twenty years, I also see my dad’s handsome features… the face and lips my Love so tenderly kisses… the arms and shoulders that have supported my loved ones when they were down… the sick shock of bleached bands on my forehead in homage to the X-Men’s Rogue, and the wide array of other weird things that make me who I am. And sometimes, that’s not so bad. : )
After learning to deal better with the physical issues, I’m learning to deal with all the garbage that caused them. Things will continue to get better… for me andddd for all of y’all.
I’m sorry if any of this sounds preachy.
Rock it out everyone <3 Embrace all the awesome in your bones.