What's OUR excuse?

Eating disorders, like anorexia and bulimia and all their cousins, are biologically driven illnesses. They make sufferers have irrational and self-destructive thoughts.

But, what's OUR excuse?

The rest of us, the ones who supposedly are 'normal,' how do we explain the irrational, self-destructive behaviors and language we use?

We say to anorexic patients: "we don't want to make you fat, we just want you to be healthy!"

And they look at the television on any given night and see no one over a size 2, unless the person is a punchline.

They see the commercials for weight-loss where the "Before" pictures are just normal people. They see diet ads for children and get their BMI judged at school.

Our eating disordered children come to the Thanksgiving table and imbibe -along with the amount of turkey and stuffing we tell them is 'normal' - a steady rant by all the relatives about their diets and carbs and feeling like a pig and 'just this once.'

They stand in the grocery check-out and see the tabloids gleeful gossip about anorexic celebrities and it quickly drowns out our "no one cares about how skinny you are."

I know what sufferers have to do to get well: they have to be emotionally supported while they rebuild their bodies and their minds.

But I don't have a clue about how to knock any sense into the rest of us. Even though I don't believe our silly, irrational, self-loathing attitudes CAUSE eating disorders, I do think they make us look like hypocrites when we try to support loved ones with EDs.


Popular Posts