June 26th, 2006


Media Messages

Originally posted in my blog

I wrote this more for non-EDs looking for information on how the eating gets disordered. This is info I learned in my CBT group. Oh, and I'm posting these in reverse order from my blog. That is, the newest post (the latest thing I learned) has already been posted to LJ's ed_ucate.

If it's not okay to post the pic of food, please, let me know, and I'll remove it.

My mom made these for xmas dinner. They were very good. All she did was spritz them with olive oil and roast them.

I have an eating disorder, and the most important remedy for those who suffer is to eat enough. If you aren't hungry, you are much less likely to binge which leads to purging and restricting which leads to binging and so on down into the deep, dark pit of an eating disorder. The second most important rememdy is to eat right. I've noticed several patterns or themes that tend to accompany eating disorders. The most obvious one is to eat nothing, but then you aren't eating enough, so that goes back to remedy number 1.

Media messages drive a couple of themes. I'll blame Atkins trying to make a buck for the low carb hysteria. The idea that carbs are evil, toxins to our bodies, is very popular among the eating disordered. When you starve yourself of carbs, like the veggies pictured, your body will respond by craving carbs and chances are you will eventually indulge that craving with a binge. Your body needs carbs.

The second theme is the opposite one and comes from the message that Americans eat too much fat and protein. In this one, fat is evil, toxic to the body, and protein is to be avoided. This was my m.o. I added skim milk because "women need calcium". My diet devolved to raw carrots, apples, and skim milk. I mean, after all, that stuff is good for you, right? The same thing is true for protein and fat as is true for carbs. You don't get it, and your body will crave it resulting in the eventual binge.

Remedy number 2 is to eat a balanced diet. Carbs, protein, and fat are all necessary if you want to kick the eating disorder. These vegetables are an excellent example. In my deeply disordered days, I would not have eaten them because of the fat. Protein is missing from the picture, but this isn't the entire meal.
  • Current Music
    the hum of the xerox machine


This is just an observation/theory that I've come up with, and I think it makes sense.

Do you think that when a person is starving, the fat around the area of the ribcage disappears first?

I only ask, because when I was first dieting, eating a healthy amount (although my thoughts weren't healthy), I was at a lower weight than I currently am, but my ribs weren't nearly as visible.
Now that I'm restricting, I find that my ribs are quickly becoming more visible.

It would make sense, in a survival/instinctual-type way, sort of like "Oh wow your ribs are showing, you must be malnourished!" and thus making the search for food more urgent?
Also, in literature, and just day-to-day stereotypes, visible ribs are always a symbol of starvation.

I think it's an interesting observation/theory, and am curious to know what you think.