But I just got back from a conversation with a very close friend of mine. Very deep. Very close, but there was something that added that little weight on the edge of the dialogue that dragged both of us down: she just admitted to me that she’s bulimic. Like I said, I’m not one to judge, but I do think that this is an appropriate space to let out my thoughts and my opinions on certain actions. This happens to be one of them.
This post will be going underneath my “Advice to Life” column, but I’m going to first start off by asking all of you, “Why do eating disorders even exist?”
I mean, the people who are bulimic or anorexic happen to be some of the prettiest girls I’ve ever met in my entire life. I wish I looked like them, but then I have to think to myself that their figures aren’t real. Well, obviously, I can touch it and I can see it, but it’s distorted. And it’s only killing them. Watching that kind of makes me think, “You’re making one of the stupidest decisions in your life. And you’re not accomplishing anything.”
Articles always say that it’s because a lot of girls have bad self-body images, peer pressure, bullying, or just a devastating background or childhood story. I’m not saying this isn’t true, because these do consist of the most generic causes, but by far isn’t a reason to do anything like that to yourself. I’ve been through that phase where I thought that guys would like me better if I was skinnier, that I could pull off that strapless dress if my arm fat disappeared, or that I would be more attractive and popular if I wore a Size 2. That I could do more with my life.
And, yes, I will admit that I’ve been through the actual stages. I know some of you don’t believe me, and you might not even care to look towards my direction when I say this: it’s tough. But I want to help you. There’s a reason why it’s called a disorder.
1. Admit to yourself that you have a problem. This was my biggest issue. I refused to tell myself that I was anorexic. I would just tell my best friend that I wasn’t hungry and I didn’t feel like eating that day, which obviously wasn’t the case. Sometimes we don’t even notice it because we don’t want to label or admit to ourselves that we have a disorder. That’s why it took me so long. But a good starting point would be when you’re not eating for eleven hours or you’re throwing up constantly.
2, You need to self-reflect. This is a method that seems really stupid. I know what you’re thinking: “I know myself. I’ve seen a mirror. I know what I look like.” And I know you’re probably under 120 pounds, which first of all, isn’t overweight for a girl, and that you’re stomach is bulging maybe an inch away from your waist. But, this isn’t stupid; as a matter of fact, this may be the smartest step in this whole process. You’re bulimic. You’re anorexic. But why are you this way? What are you accomplishing by starving yourself or throwing up into the toilet bowl? You’re wasting your time is what you’re doing. When you prevent yourself from eating or force yourself to purge, that’s time you could be using to healthily lose weight or to even move on with your life.
You have to move on. Being stuck in this phase will only end your life sooner, and if not, prevent you from fulfilling your one purpose on this Earth: to live. You’re not living, I promise that.
3. Tell someone. This is the hardest part. My parents didn’t even believe me when I tried to tell them, so I didn’t tell my friends because I thought they’d do the same. They wouldn’t listen to me. But I was wrong. Someone will listen. It may not be your parents and it may not be that friend who you thought you were really close with. The ones who will help you are the ones that will surprise you. Listen to what they have to say. You don’t have to nod your head after every comment and you don’t have to shake it either. But you should at least understand that they’re trying to be there for you.
4. It’s gross, it’s embarrassing, and it takes a lot of effort. Think about it. It’s hard to starve yourself and prevent yourself from going out to fast-food restaurants and splurge on something delicious and greasy or to just sit down with your friends and join them in a meal. You look awkward just sitting there and eating your two carrot sticks and a cheese cube. Listen to your stomach: it is speaking to you even when you’re trying to be busy in order to distract yourself. It wants food.
Sticking two fingers down your throat is also gross. And unsanitary. Every time you purge, it will stain your teeth and those will slowly grow yellow. When and if you get better, you will regret it because your teeth will be yellow and unhealthy. It’s not fun, and if you’ve read my previous blog posts, you should know that I think that regret is the worst thing you could possibly feel.
And for you college girls who are living in dorms with community bathrooms: you do realize that people can hear you throw up in a toilet. They will ask questions that you will not want to answer. That’s pretty damn embarrassing.
5. Nobody finds this to be attractive. It’s sort of ironic because I had a conversation earlier this week with one of my guy friends about what they look for in a girl. Interestingly enough, he said that she has to be healthy. Now, I’ve never heard anyone say this, but everyone does look for a healthy girl. The last thing a boy wants to deal with is an emotional roller coaster. Whether you’ll admit it or not, your disorder is or will cause you to cry multiple times.
I have talked to a lot of guys about this, and don’t think I’m weird, but trust me. Boys don’t like girls who are unnaturally skinny: they like substance. Don’t ask me why, but I’m sure you can figure out the reason based on that last statement. So, no, making yourself skinny won’t get you into a relationship or even a decent hook-up.
Because you cannot love someone else if you don’t even love yourself.