There's been a lot of visceral (read: ICK) reaction to the stomach-draining device that was just approved by the FDA. An alternative to traditional dieting and more invasive than traditional bariatric surgeries, the AspireAssist system is definitely a new way of preventing calories from being absorbed by the body.
By and large, we live in a diet-obsessed society, so my health nuttiness went unnoticed. Plus, like most individuals with eating disorders, I was a master at hiding all this dysfunctional behaviour for many years. I was also incredibly successful at outwardly presenting a well put-together front when facing the world. I had been a model student, a star employee, a good friend and doting auntie to my young nephews. Until it all came crashing down on me.
For those of you who've been thinking that it's been far too long since the internet has given us a way to judge and hate our bodies, you can relax because there's a brand new "am I skinny enough?" challenge fresh from China that's trending like crazy, called the "belly button challenge."
Fighting an eating disorder is lifelong. And I realize this every time I think my mind is finally free. This week when I was navigating Twitter, I came across a tweet claiming a product which guaranteed weight loss of 20 lbs in 24 days. As someone who has valiantly tried to accomplish this, I finally realized that an eating disorder, although a mental illness, is aggravated by the bacteria in the environment disguised in the shape of advertising.
Here's the thing: eating disorders are not about a fear of getting fat. The weight gain is not fueled by the number on the scale, but by the feeling of perfection at having maintained self-control.
As I was reading through Twitter accounts and bios of people advocating for the recognition of eating disorders as real and dangerous, I came across the words "ex-anorexic." I was jealous. I am able to eat a meal with my family, and quietly endure the self-loathing afterwards with no physiological consequences; but the mental battle drags me through such an obstacle course, that by the time I've reached the finish line, I am no longer certain of whether or not I want to get better. Unfortunately, part of me is convinced that there is no such thing as getting better from this
I'm going to eat this muffin. I am. I really am. I'm so useless. I suck. I need to put this muffin down. And just not eat anything for the rest of the day. Nobody likes me anyway so who cares if I even eat this muffin? I can't do anything right.
Thinking of people with eating disorders as crazy or self-destructive is just wrong, says Dr. Steiger. In fact, there are still too many myths attached to eating disorders -- like the following. It's a rich girl's disease: In fact, eating disorders cut across all economic groups. Goals and values of being upwardly mobile, of being achievement oriented affect all social groups.
With so many misconceptions about anorexia, bulimia and overeating, can you spot fact from fiction? We talked to Julie Notto