To coincide with Eating Disorders Week, Fenella Lemonsky offers readers advice on dealing with eating disorders.
It sounds dramatic but it wasn’t enough to scare me. It never is when you’re anorexic; you’re invincible, the doctors just don’t know it.
If ever there was a reason to emphasise the desperate need for early intervention, greater awareness and compulsory education on the subject of eating disorders, this is it.
“Eatin’s Cheatin’” echoes around the office on a Friday afternoon as women pick over their naked salads and extra extra light low fat Philly on Ryvita. The preparations for ‘Rosé o’clock’ are well under way. They’ll grumble their way through the afternoon and suppress the urge to be ‘naughty’ whenever anyone offers a biscuit, sweet or chocolate.
There was a time when I would rather die than live with the guilt that came after drinking the nutrition substitute that replaced the contents of that plate.
The biggest mistake I ever made was making a connection between achievement and being underweight.
Two days ago, I celebrated my 26th birthday. Not a biggie, but on such occasions I often reflect on past events, memories and chunks of time spent or misspent and I’m often faced with difficulty when I think about how much of my life so far has been tarnished by Anorexia and Bulimia.
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In the Eating Disorder Unit, as we sat around in the lounge, cushions held tight over our swollen, protruding tummies, we were supervised post-meal to make sure we didn’t throw up, exercise or make a bid for freedom. The blaring TV would be immediately switched over at the slightest mention of dieting or weightloss, certain staff would rip pages from magazines and websites (even my own blog) were blocked from view.
Media coverage of eating disorders comes and goes in waves; one minute it’s in fashion and the next, every editor in the world is sick to death of it. If one frustratingly and frighteningly successful news site is anything to go by, though, anorexia, or coverage of it, is really hot right now.
The patient will blame his/herself. The parents will blame themselves. The tabloids blame the fashion industry. The fashion industry blames nobody (ignorance is bliss). The partners (those that last) don’t know who to blame. The public blame modern culture, celebrities; whatever or whoever they’re told to blame by the media. The media, strangely, tends to blame the media.
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