Thursday, February 5, 2009

Did you know?? (journalism thoughts)

8 million people in the United States suffer from eating disorders

3% of all young women and girls suffer from anorexia

3-4% of all young women and girls suffer from bulimia

1% of men suffer from eating disorders

15% of young women have some kind of disordered eating patterns

Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any psychological disease

There are more than 8500 different web sites that deal with anorexia
-The Secret Languge of Eating Disorders

 I have had to confront four close friends about their eating habits, known four different girls who have been either hospitalized or admitted to rehab for an eating disorder, lived with one or more girl every semester at college who has struggled with eating disorders, and had friends from Jr. High, High School, and College who have confessed seriously unhealthy and dangerous eating habits they've had. I've smelt vomit on their breathe, supervised their meals, seen the scars on their hands from their fingers hitting their teeth cause be bulimia, and cried with them over the consumption of their compulsive behavior. I've witnessed the lost pounds and colors in faces,  and all kind of physical effects from binge eating, Bulimia and Anorexia. I know what it feels like to look in the mirror and not like what you see, I know the desperation that can come from feeling you have no control, and I know how easy it is to get lost inside your own mind losing sight of reality. But most importantly what I know is I am so grateful for God. I know I can have a deep inner peace that comes from knowing I am a daughter of God. It's a peace that is so much a part of my being there is nothing physical that could replace it.

I'm not sure if it's the pressure of fitting in, the temporary pleasure that comes from praise and attention or the need to feel control over something that drives people to get sucked into an eating disorder, but I know it can ruin lives. I know that an eating disorder is no way to fill any of those kinds of voids. I know lasting peace and stability come from the inside out and not what society would have everyone believe, that who you are and how great your life is, is dictated by your appearance. 

Harold A Frost wrote in a January 1990 Ensign article called the thinness obsession, “Individuals who struggle with eating disorders appear to go through addictive cycles similar to those suffered by alcohol and drug abusers. The obsession with food and dieting often becomes a way to alleviate inner distress.” For the people I know who have dealt with eating disorders their disorder becomes a way to channel energy towards something that person can control. It becomes a way to distract from other issues in their life. No amount of dieting, workout, or filtering food can relieve the pain and heartache eating disorders can bring. If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder find help! 

2 comments:

Freezie said...

Very well written! Food for thought-pardon the pun!

Mary Dawn said...

I just stumbled upon your blog and could not stop reading your story! I loved it. It made me make my husband and I sit down and write everything about our engagement night. Truly inspiring! You will have so much fun being married! Goodluck planning!