Personal Essay on Eating Disorders – Health
I have very strong feelings about many of the topics we discuss in class. One topic I can personally relate to is eating disorders. So many people want to be super model skinny and not work out to achieve it. Eating disorders
are so common, because it is easier to skip a couple of meals than it is to go to the gym for an hour every day. The media plays a large role in the way women want to look. Characters and models in advertisements, movies, and T.V. shows are always very fit or very skinny. Super models are especially skinny, and all have the same body type. All models are around six foot tall and very flat chested. Every woman compares herself to these women, and wants to look just like them. Most models and actresses have very serious eating problems.
I never realized how much an eating disorder could control your life, until I had one. I never worried about weight until I started hanging out with a lot of girls. Girls have big impressions on other girls. When I made the cheerleading squad was when everything started. Just like sports players were in competition for the best player, our squad was in competition for who could be the skinniest and prettiest. If you were the skinniest and prettiest you were more likely to be popular. A lot of girls, including myself, on the squad were either anorexic or bulimic. Both disorders are equally bad but very different.
I started to become anorexic at the very beginning of the season. Our coach was very supportive of all of her cheerleaders, and worked our butts off to try and get us in the best shape we could be in. For me, exercise was not enough. I started to get into drugs to lose weight. I started on the diet pills, which cut my appetite in half. The diet pills and the exercise combined were still not working fast enough for me, so I began to experiment with cocaine. I knew what I was doing was wrong, but I didn’t care, because I was losing weight faster than I had ever before. At the beginning of the season I weighed 130 pounds and within two months I was down to 100 pounds. At this point from the drugs I had lost any appetite I had and I was only eating two crackers a day. A twenty-ounce bottle of water would fill my stomach and sometimes push my belly out. I was so dissatisfied with myself when I would look in the mirror. My thighs were always too big or my tummy wasn’t flat enough. I was never going to achieve Cindy Crawford’s body and still never will.
I was the perfect stereotype, for an anorexic woman. I was very driven in every thing I did. I felt I needed to have control over everything and everyone around me. I felt I was slipping and letting the drugs control me, and my eating was something I could control. My self-esteem got very low and I started to become depressed. I got so bad I was to the point to where my period would start to skip a couple of months and then come back every once in a while.
My boyfriend was the first to confront me about my problem. I didn’t want anyone’s help, because I felt I didn’t have a problem. One day at work I passed out in the middle of taking someone’s order and an ambulance rushed me to the hospital. The doctors could tell my body was so undernourished that they told my parents I was twenty pounds under weight and I needed to see a specialist or be checked in to a clinic. I freaked my self out when I woke up in a hospital bed and eventually with the help of my friends and family I began to gradually start eating and getting nutrients in my body. I quit cheerleading because of all the pressure to stay thin.
Bulimia is another eating disorder that is very serious in our society. People who have problems with bulimia have different characteristics than people dealing with anorexia. People who are very outgoing and promiscuous are more likely to be bulimic. Bulimia is when a person has frequent episodes of binge eating and pukes after meals. Bulimia is very dangerous because it destroys your stomach lining, gives you very bad breath, and could give you ulcers in your esophagus. This disorder is a little harder to detect because the person can usually maintain a normal, steady body weight. Women who are bulimic often take laxatives to lose a couple of pounds quick.
Weight and appearance isn’t only a problem in the female gender. Eating disorders seem to be getting more common in men as time goes on. The media shows men in a whole different light. The exact opposite is expected from men than what is expected from women. Men are supposed to look strong and muscular, the bigger the better. I don’t personally like a very muscular man; I would rather have someone I could cuddle with, not someone who feels like a rock.
In Conclusion, Eating disorders are becoming more common everyday. In my opinion I think that beautiful is not one shape or size it is the way you present yourself. Women and men in the old days weren’t all skinny, take Marylyn Monroe for example, she was a size 7/8 and one of the most beautiful and most admired women in the world. This subject can be very depressing to talk about, but is something a lot of people deal with every day.