It’s sad that we live in a world that judges you for being over weight, too skinny, or for just having a NORMAL body. I’m so sick of the click bait associated with picking apart celebrities appearances. This behavior by the media and society is not ok and never will be. Everyday, when I scroll through news articles, there’s been a minimum of at least 9 articles addressing a celebrities appearance or weight. This isn’t just harmful to the individuals these articles are written about but are extremely harmful to every individual who reads it.

Here are the facts, according to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa:

  •  9% of the US population, 28.8 million Americans, will have an eating disorder in their lifetime.
  • Eating disorders are among the deadliest mental illnesses, second only to opoid overdose.
  • 26% of people with eating disorders attempt suicide
  • 10,200 deaths each year are the direct result of an eating disorder
  • 42% of 1st-3rd grade girls want to be thinner
  • 81% of 10 year old children are afraid of being fat
  • 35-57% of adolescent girls engage in crash dieting, fasting, self-induced vomiting, diet pills, or laxatives.
  • 46% of 9-11 year old are “sometimes” or “very often” on diets
  • 10-15% of those diagnosed with anorexia or bulimia are male.

That’s a lot to take in. Being one of those statistics, I can tell you that by 3rd grade I was already comparing myself to others and wishing I was skinner. I’m not sure when but I’ve always had a fear of obesity. I’ve done crash diets, fasting, self-induced vomiting, diet pills, and laxatives. Not only that but, I’ve gone as far as having procedures done and participated in excessive exercising.

The problem I keep running into while trying to write this is the vulnerability it takes to talk about the DAILY struggle of eating disorder recovery. A huge part of that is the fear of judgment that will follow and reliving my past to write about how bad it really got. The guilt and shame I still feel around “achieving” my “goal weight” only to be where I’m at today. As women, our value in society is based on our appearance. By not fitting that “perfect mold” one is left to feel worthless or unwanted.

I guess where this is all stemming from and why I felt it so necessary to finally put this together, is seeing what Khloe Kardashian has had to endure this past week because of a pour angled photo. She has worked tirelessly trying to no longer be the fat ugly sister that society has labeled her. The final straw though was seeing a post from another celebrity, who prides themselves on being an advocate for positive body image and eating disorder recovery, calling Khloe out and telling her to take this opportunity to get honest about all the surgeries. THAT is also part of the problem. Expressing that in order to achieve what Khloe has achieved she must have had surgery completely disregarding the hard work she has put in to improve her appearance.

This isn’t just an LA thing, this is an everywhere thing. I had an eating disorder well before moving to Los Angeles. In fact, it was improperly diagnosed as “disorderly eating” at first. I’ve been working in the treatment industry now for over a decade. That diagnosis was, “You’re not bad enough (yet) to be labeled an eating disorder but your behaviors around food are not normal.” Within two years I had begun purging my food and participating in crash diets. Within five years of that diagnosis, I was starving myself and struggling to keep food down if I had to eat. I had damaged by body so badly that even when I did start eating again, I was instructed by my physician to eat “something” every 30 minutes.

What had happened was, I started eating a balanced diet yet my body had no energy, I’d feel faint, and I was physically weak. I made an appointment to meet with my physician to have blood work done to see what was going on. When he got the results he called me immediately. “Did you eat prior to having your blood drawn?” he asked me. “Yes, I had some Greek yogurt with hemp seeds and berries.” “Your blood sugar is so low that you could seize at any moment. Which would explain the symptoms you’ve been experiencing. Until this changes, you need to be eating something, even if it’s just a few almonds, every 30 minutes.”

The irony.

(to be continued…)