Friday, December 9, 2016

My guest Blogger this week is Rickiyah McGrady

The media needs to advertise the reality of eating disorders. 

By: Rickiyah McGrady
Eating disorders affect 8 million people in just the US. Some common eating disorders are anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorder. These disorders aren't just people who under eat or starve themselves, but also people who overeat and can't control their eating habits. Some eating disorders aren't even relevant to a person's mental health; such as restrictive food intake disorder. It is when people simply don't eat enough food and don't give their bodies the nutrition they need.

Anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorder are the most common is the US and around the world. Anorexia is when someone doesn't eat enough and is clearly underweight due to their fear of gaining weight. They are typically very worried about their body type and image and will have constant behavior of avoiding weight gain. They are very insecure with low self esteem and can't understand the severity of their situation or weight loss. Bulimia nervosa is when someone will eat large amounts of food and then force themselves to vomit and preventing their weight gain. These people also are very worried about their body image. Binge eating disorder is when someone eats and eats with no self control then feels very ashamed, disgusted, and/or embarrassed of themselves. This disorder is the most common in the US most likely because of our body images and standards that we have.  These people are usually depressed and have a high rate of attempting or committing suicide.

Without treatment up to 20% of people with serious eating disorders don't survive. Suicide is the number 2 leading cause of death of woman ages 15-24. For men it is the 2nd leading cause of death for ages 10-34.(CDC) The main reason these women commit suicide has to do with the double standards we hold, especially towards body types. In today's world women are held to such high beauty standards it's nearly impossible to ever meet them unless you have the money to surgically change your body, or buy hundreds of dollars worth of cosmetics. You’re always too much or not enough so many girls think,”Why try anymore?”.

Eating disorders are a very big problem in the US and all around the world. We’ve put body image over everything else made it the most important characteristic for us to have. We need to teach girls and boys from a young age that there is so much more to life than to please other people and worry about keeping up with the trends. Body shaming needs to come to an end and we need to start advertising real women, not the photo-shopped, fake ones. We need to see more people in the media for their great minds and achievements rather than their great bodies that their doctors gave them.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

*Anon Interview

Teen v Eating Disorder

The subject of my recent article has asked me to keep this anonymous for her protection.

After asking her a series of questions, I had asked her for a quote on her eating disorder or on anorexia as a whole: “Anorexia is not a healthy lifestyle for anyone to lead. That may sound hypocritical but, if I had received the help and attention I needed when i was 12, my life would have changed for the better. I guess what I’m trying to say is don’t be afraid to ask for help.”

How old were you when you began starving yourself?
I was twelve. Someone very dear to me passed away and I started to not care what happened to me.

How long did your ED last?
Technically speaking, I still have an eating disorder. But as far as anyone around me is concerned, I am at my happiest and healthiest.

How long did it take for loved ones to notice or ask?
I was about fifteen the first time anyone ever actually noticed. I went three years of my parents, whom live in the same house as myself, and sister(who lives in a separate home) thinking I was perfectly fine. I think that if anyone had noticed sooner, I wouldn’t have self-destructed as greatly as I had.

What sorts of lies and excuses would you use to avoid eating?
Often times I would just tell my family I had eaten earlier because I was playing sports and often home alone. I would also tell them that I just wasn’t hungry or I would “eat later”. I was only called out on that lie one time and I told them “I never said how much later, I just said ‘later’”.

What is the worst effect of your ED?
The worst effect of the ED is the distance. I often distance myself from everyone to avoid the questions and stares, but now, I no longer distance myself as much. I have a boyfriend, I spend most of my lunches with him or my sister who is now a freshman in high school, or other friends. My boyfriend has not quite yet figured it out but he suspects, we’ve been dating for almost a month now and I haven’t eaten a single thing in front of him.

Did the thought ever occur to you that what you were doing was wrong?
The thought did occur; often. After reading your blog, Letting Ana Go, i realized what i was doing to my body but, i still dont have the proper mentality to stop. Nor do I want to. I want to lose weight, I want to look good for my boyfriend. I want to be able to fit into my prom dress in April and not worry about whether or not I have fat-rolls or extra skin hanging over the side of my dress.

~Anorexia Hotline

Friday, October 14, 2016

In the Blink of an Eye

Have you ever had one of those days where you wake up and nothing is right? Maybe it’s the weather, it’s raining when you’d prefer it be sunny. Or maybe it’s your sibling, being loud when all you want is quiet. Or perhaps it’s your weight. You weigh more than you’d prefer. That happens a lot to me. I wake up and I feel alright at the start, then I get up and instantly feel the hunger in the pit of my stomach. I have trained myself to not give into this hunger first thing in the morning. My body doesn’t process it how it should, I eat, and I’m still hungry. Instead, I force myself out of the warmth of my bed, and B-line it for the bathroom. Instantly, I step on the scale and wait for it to tick to life. Finally, the light flashes across the screen and I watch anxiously as the needle climbs higher and higher, rounding past 100, past 120, slowing to a stop at 145. Instantly, my throat closes and I struggle to swallow. I take in a deep breath and slowly back off the scale. One hundred and forty-five pounds. Too much. Forty-five pounds too much. I look down at myself, still in my crumpled pajamas. I frown at myself, a tank top and sweats, my usual for cold nights, but last night was different. I ate. I ate my dinner. All of it. I regretted it instantly but did nothing to fix it. Stupid.

“Let’s go kiddo, get ready for school.” I hear from the kitchen.

I sigh and turn, grabbing a hair tie and braid my hair. Simple. I walk out of the bathroom, flicking the light off on the way through the door. I can hear my older brother roaming around upstairs, making enough noise to raise the dead. I jump up and slap the ceiling, “Could you be any louder!” I scream at him.

I hear a loud thump. “Sure can!”

Suddenly music fills the house. Dubstep. Brady’s specialty. “Really Sarah? You just had to taunt him didn’t you.” Mom says as she rushes past me, her hair and makeup done already. She’s got her work shirt in one hand and a pair of heels in the other.

I give her a half smile and continue to the kitchen. “Be sure to eat,” Dad says as he walks past me, carrying Mom’s purse. “There’s apple slices on the counter for you.”

I nod and give him a smile. I look at the apple slices and then look down at the dog, wagging his tail expectantly. I smile at him and drop and apple slice down to him. I’m the only one that feeds the dog people food, and he loves me for it. “Good boy, Sam.” I say, patting his head and giving him another apple slice.

I munch on one and drop the other two down to him before exiting the kitchen and turning to face Brady at the foot of the stairs. He glares at me. “How was breakfast, Sarah.”

I smile up at him, his blonde hair a disaster. “Fabulous, Brady. Thanks for asking.”

He looks down at me knowing damn well I didn’t eat it. I wave the rest of my apple slice at him before slipping past him and up the stairs. I slept in the spare room last night, a weekly deal with Brady. As I climb the stairs, I begin to feel lightheaded. Don’t panic, I think to myself. I try to think back to everything I’ve eaten lately. An apple slice this morning, last night’s dinner, and a tuna sandwhich three days ago. I make it to the top of the stairs before my vision goes dark. I can feel myself starting to fall. “Brady!” I shout out.

I hear the pounding downstairs as he runs through the kitchen, racing to help me. “Sarah!”

I fall. I feel the back of my skull connect with the stair and then hands around my shoulders. I go numb, my legs and my arms, my hands. My vision is very slowly coming back, I can see Brady above me, crying, Mom and Dad at the foot of the stairs, in shock after having witnessed everything, and the sudden realization in their eyes. “Take her to the hospital. Sarah, you promised.” Mom says, unable to move.

I don’t move, I don’t think I can. Brady picks me and up and carries me out the door, placing me in the back seat of the family car. It was already running, Mom’s purse in the passenger seat. It’s a short and quiet drive to the hospital, and from there, I am taken a placed in the trauma room. I can hear the doctor’s talking outside, words like “rehab” and “facility for eating disorders” are thrown out in the air as if they mean nothing. Finally, everyone walks back inside, Brady leading the way. He instantly scoops up my hand and gives me an apologetic smile. “I’m going back,” I whisper to him, a tear gliding down my cheek.

He nods his head solemnly, “You’re going back to the hospital you were at when you were 12. Maybe they can actually help you this time, Sarah.”

I look to Mom for pity in hopes she will see that I don’t want to go. “There’s no choice anymore, Sarah. You’re killing yourself.”

I look back at Brady. A gurney is wheeled in and I am lifted on it immediately, the last view I have of my family is from the back of an ambulance. And in the blink of an eye, that was taken from me.

~Anorexia Hotline

Thursday, October 13, 2016

The Importance of Education

Throughout history, it has been made known that women who appear smaller and prettier are chosen instead of a heavier set woman. For young women, they often see the biased decisions a society makes and inflicts that on themselves. They get it in their mind frame that if they aren’t pretty enough, they will never go far in life. Women are taught from a young age that they need to not speak their opinions, but instead sit there and look pretty. A woman’s vote is almost always based off looks. If she is thin and pretty, she will get elected long before a heavier woman who is not equally attractive will, never mind the ideas and goals either woman has.   

Some guys would be more likely to pick a girl with a “bangin’ body” who pretends to be dumb rather than a girl who is intelligent and going far in life. It has been pushed into our brains as females that if a female speaks her mind she becomes a threat or intimidating. If a girl sits back and looks pretty while pretending to be the airhead of the classroom, she will get more attention. Another stereotype against females is that if you’re blonde, then you are dumb. Hints the “blonde jokes”. Thin and pretty is what guys look for most of the time, and because that’s all a guy will look for is why girls present themselves as “stupid” and will do just about anything to look thin, including making dangerous choices. Anorexia and Bulimia being some of them.

Perhaps, if health and nutrition classes were taught in middle school and high school, then young girls wouldn’t get in their minds that this was acceptable. If people know from a young age, maybe then they would understand what the cost is to look “pretty”.  If I had known back then, I wouldn’t treat myself the way I do now. Girls and sometimes boys even, beat themselves up when they don’t meet society’s standards. They are outcasted or made fun of. Sometime’s you will have the people who will welcome in anyone who’s different, and it either works out well and they become friends, or they decide that said “different” person hurts their reputation and will push them away.

~Anorexia Hotline

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Just to Put This Out There

     One thing that I definitely feel the need to discuss on this blog post is models. Victoria Secret models, Abercrombie and Fitch, and NFL cheerleaders. The Cowboy cheerleaders for example: "Even returning veterans aren’t a shoe-in to make the squad of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders. Mouthing off, gaining weight and lackadaisical technique were all cited by Kelli Finglass and Judy Trammell on last night’s DCC: MAKING THE TEAM."

     The NFL's Dallas Cowboys football team has their own set of rules for cheerleaders. There is even a T.V. show based on the tryouts and cuts of the girls. In some cases, a girl will get cut because the color of her skin doesn't blend well with the others, and in other cases, a girl will get cut if the has any belly fat. If her skin "jiggles" in anyway, she is automatically cut because it is "unattractive" and "not appealing to the eye". It bother's me so much when a girl will get cut because she has natural belly fat, or leg fat, or arm fat. It's not unattractive, it's natural. Some of the girls will actually starve themselves, eat as little as possible, or even not eat at all and try to survive on just protein shakes and cleansing juices.

     Victoria Secret is the same way. If your body isn't "fit and perfect" enough, they will not bring you on the be a model for them, especially not an Angel. A Victoria Secret Angel has to have a flat stomach, preferably a gap between your thighs, and the ability to show off the latest lingerie.

     Anyways, those are my thoughts on the body standards of well known models and females. i don't think your beauty is based on the amount of body fat or whether or not your thighs touch.

~Anorexia Hotline

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

A Little Humor?

"You have a Slim-Fast for breakfast, a Slim-Fast for lunch; then, you eat a sensible dinner.' How sensible are you going to be after eating powder all day?"- Barry Marder, comedian.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

*My Opinion on Pro-Ana Websites

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These websites need to be shutdown before anymore damage is done. I believe there should be a fine if a Pro-Ana website is reported. These websites are encouraging people to kill themselves by denying themselves the nutrients a human being needs, no matter the age or maturity of a person and the mental health.

This website encourages Anorexia. This website lists rules an Anorexic person may feel the need to follow to continue after their goal of losing weight and being "perfect". In my mind, "perfect" is an impossible image. I had the want to be the perfect body size, the perfect weight, to fit into anything at the store, I wanted to be able to pick out my prom dress and not stress about whether or not I was going to fit into it. I realize now, how unhealthy the want for a "perfect" body image is. Pro-Ana websites encourage young adults, or even older adults, to push themselves to be underweight, to be thin, to be unhealthy. An Anorexic mind may not realize that they are slowly killing themselves. "Nearly 30% of patients had relapses following hospital discharge, prior to clinical recovery." John Wiley and Sons Inc.

This is another Pro-Ana website that encourages others to follow this "lifestyle". Anorexia is not in fact a lifestyle as many are lead to believe. Anorexia is a disease and a very dangerous one at that. "178 deaths in 3,006 subjects"The American Journal of Psychiatry.

Again, this is not a lifestyle, this is a disease!!! Please don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Anorexia is extremely unhealthy and fatal in a majority of it's victims. I don't think the younger age group understands the downside to Anorexia. Anorexia can lead to heart-failure, brain damage, infertility, the shut down of major body systems, and even death. Anorexia is a serious situation that needs to not be romanticized by these websites, the difference between my blog and these websites/blogs is that I am trying to bring awareness to the consequences and the true danger of the disease. Pro-Ana blogs and websites are romanticizing and creating a fantasy world of this, they are promoting Anorexia, they are encouraging it. They are giving rules to follow, suggesting an Ana Coach, they are giving you tips on how to hide your eating disorder. The one thing these websites are not providing, are true statements of the aftermath of your eating disorder. They are hiding what it will do to you. They are ignoring the truth of their problem.

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog post about the truth and dangers of Pro-Ana websites.

~Anorexia Hotline