My Relationship with Weight
Despite being my lowest weight since my 20s, I still sometimes struggle with seeing a fat person.
National Eating Disorder Week has been yet another reminder to me that I border on the brink of an eating disorder. It’s not something I talk about a lot, but it’s an important part of who I am.
Most people picture an emaciated figure refusing to eat, or a person binging and purging, but eating disorders aren’t so cut and dry. There are those of us who struggle with weight, whether it’s the number, our body image, or needing to feel control of something. I’m one of them. I’ve dealt with all three.
According to ANAD (National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Related Disorders), at least 10% of the population is suffering from an eating disorder. Most of these are women. Intelligent women with common sense who have a problem.
ANAD acknowledges signs of an eating disorder include adapting food rituals, withdrawing socially, extreme mood swings, and notable weight fluctuations. They are considered psychological disorders, but can affect the health of your teeth, gastrointestinal system, skin, hair, and even major organs.
It’s also not uncommon for people like me, dealing with disabling health problems we can’t control, to try to take control of something we can — food.
I have previously written a little about my struggles in Is BMI Obsession Necessary?. After over 20 years of dealing with healthier eating habits, I started going to a healthcare group that wanted to weigh me every time I went to the doctor.
I have chronic illnesses and this often meant a few times a week. While you have the right to refuse, I found nurses would give me a hard time so I’d “prepare” by cutting calories, wearing thin clothing and light shoes (despite the weather).
I went into the doctor one day and decided I was not going to get caught up in the system. I ate lunch before I went, and put on boots and warm clothes for the winter. I didn’t look at the number on the scale.
Two weeks later, I was in for a gallbladder surgery and the nurse was going over my chart. She had my weight from that visit and it was about 20 lbs…