tw: anorexia, numbers
i’m not sure what others see when they look at it. perhaps they think i look chubby or fat, or maybe they think i’m slim, thin even. like many people fighting anorexia, i struggle with my perception of my body (i say ‘many people’, because fear of being fat and body dysmorphia are not universal in anorexia nervosa, but present in the illness in cultures where there is a pressure to be thin). if our culture was totally fat positive, i think anorexia and other eating disorders would still exist. but it’s undeniable that diet culture is an initial trigger and it also hinders recovery.
i have a thigh gap. i weigh 90-something pounds (before you say lol no you don’t, i am 5”2). i am very self conscious about looking a lot heavier than i do. i am aware that if i had a lower body fat percentage i would look thinner (i’m grabbing fat on my hipbone in the picture), but i will still be pear-shaped with small bones. i know i’m not the only underweight person with anorexia who looks ‘healthy’, ‘normal’, etc (note: i’m at an in-between point with my ed which is hard to describe. clinically it might be ednos. i’m not stereotypically anorexic but i’m not normal either)- those words hurt. in case you didn’t know, most people with eating disorders aren’t emaciated. the reality of an eating disorder, despite what some ~awareness~ blogs on tumblr portray with all their black and white images of cadaverous women in their underwear, is looking ‘normal’ whilst going through organ failure, suicidal ideation, being misunderstood, exploited, mistreated by nearly everyone, including the ‘experts’. the severity of an eating disorder, of a person’s suffering, isn’t defined by what they weigh. i can eat cake, raspberry pastries with lashings of cream and maintain a bmi of 17. and my mind is another story. it’s complex. some anorexics reach crazy low weights and the media jumps on them and reports them as being ‘worst case of anorexia in the country’. NO. that person had a resilient body. others will have died before reaching that weight. i think death is pretty severe. others will have started starving at higher weights, and will have slower metabolisms. in treatment we gain weight and people think that means we’re better! nope. and that’s one of the reasons why it sucks when people say ‘you’re looking healthier!’, as well as you mean it, the anorexic mind warps ‘healthy’ to mean ‘fat’, and of course, ‘failure’. what kind of anorexic looks ‘healthy’? not a successful one. ‘health’ is not just physical. it’s mental too.
another thing that isn’t simple is clothing sizes. i have a pair of 00 super-skinny jeans, which i’m wearing in the picture below.
i also have a couple of pairs of 12 panties. i don’t have a picture of myself in those, but i’m not lying, they fit. and they’re 7 sizes larger, and what would be considered a ‘plus size’ in the uk. that would upset your average person, never mind an anorexic. i don’t know my bottom measurements, but it would be physically impossible for them to be 12. the weirdness of those 2 garments doesn’t change the size i am in reality. this was a 5am ramble with 3 points
1. you can’t tell how severe someone’s eating disorder is from looking at them or knowing their weight. really, don’t EVER let anyone tell you you’re too fat to have an eating disorder or that you’re not deserving of treatment or recovery because of it (and that includes you) . you deserve health. they’re ignorant and their ignorance kills people. don’t listen to murderers.
2. you can’t necessarily tell what someone weighs from looking at them (or whether they are healthy)!
3. don’t get upset about the number on your clothes. take into account diversity- the randomness of clothing sizes, and the variety of human bodies, before you judge yourself or others. i’m short, so how on earth is it fair to compare my legs to those of a victoria’s secret model, or even the average woman? even in the same clothing size, my stumpy legs aren’t going to look as thin as those of a girl whose fat is stretched out by her height
ps: please don’t reblog this with ‘bmi is bullshit/bogus/etc’. i find it triggering, and no, i don’t need to justify my triggers to you.