April 8th, 2006

lilo slurp

discussion questions about / excerpts from 'Fasting Girls: The History of Anorexia Nervosa'

by Joan Jacobs Brumberg.

bold text added by me, for emphasis.
italicized text = my notes/questions/thoughts.

I am disquieted by the tendency to equate all female mental disorders with political protest. - pg.37
...the madhouse is a somewhat troubling site for establishing a female pantheon. To put it another way: as a feminist, I believe that the anorectic deserves our sympathy but not necessarily our veneration.

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hands down i'm too proud for love


I've been talking to a friend lately who says that exercising is a "healthier" way of "getting rid" of food as opposed to purging. He thinks running for two hours is "better than" bingeing and purging.

1) Do you think this is accurate?

For me, no matter what the activity is - purging, exercising or restricting - the fact that you are "trying to get rid" of something, trying to "cleanse" your body, trying to "burn off calories" obsessively is a mental problem. It doesn't matter WHAT you are doing physically, it's what happens in your head that is disordered.

I've told my friend about non-purging bulimia and compulsive over-exercising but I don't think he can accept it...which also makes me wonder, "How do you convince someone close to you that they might have an eating disorder?". It's very difficult and most people are in denial until the tragedy already happens; they fuck up their metabolism, they crash, and their eating/exercising habits become unsustainable.

2) Have you ever talked a friend into getting help for their disorder?