March 23, 2005

I Wasn't Gonna Do It

...but this article touched a nerve.

And yes - this post will be somewhat about Terri Schiavo. But only in part. I'm not going to address the legal battle being waged across the globe. I'm not going to weigh in on what I think about the situtation. There is enough being said about that.

What I want to talk about is what they are saying is the cause of her initial collapse.

It is believed that Terri suffered with an eating disorder. Bulimia, binge-and-purge, is a dangerous, dangerous thing. And it does lead to heart failure.

So many children, both boys and girls, suffer in one way or another with bad self images tied to their weight. And it is tragic.

I know of what I speak. I had grown up thin. Painfully thin. Add being overly tall for my age and it was.....awkward to say the least. But I ate what ever I wanted, whenever I wanted so that kinda made up for it.

Being so thin, I was a "late bloomer". It wasn't until my Sophomore year in high school that I really started to curve out. In other words, I got hips. I freaked out. I became so tormented about the change I didn't know what to think. To add insult to injury one evening some friends and I were out dancing and she said to me...."Your ass shakes like jello when you dance." HOLY SHIT!!

So I stopped eating. I lived on OJ and chicken broth. I lost all those curves and felt more like myself. Then Mama started noticing what I was doing and made me eat.

OK - there's more than one way to skin a cat. So I'd eat. Then for dessert I'd take a box of Exlax. Oh yea - that was fun.

This practice continued 3 years into my marriage. The only reason I stopped then is we couldn't afford my exlax and I wasn't about to make myself vomit.

But the damage had been done. And I still pay for those mistakes.

My 14 year old niece is obsessed with her weight. I'm afraid she is following in the footsteps of her mother and her aunt. I'm gonna have to be talking to her about that.

But tell me......with all the talk going on this is the perfect opportunity for the MSM to reach out to those with eating disorders. But have they? No. This is the first that I've heard of this tie-in.

That's a shame. There are several lessons to be learned through the tragedy of what is happening with Terry Schiavo. Above and beyond living wills and feeding tubes.

I think this quote from the above linked USA Today article sums it up perfectly:

"Paint me a picture of an eating disorder it's an emaciated woman,"[Psychologist Doug Bunnell] said. "But that's not the reality. They don't get down that low. The face of eating disorders is your next-door neighbor's daughter or maybe your own."

Hat Tip ALa - Blonde Sagacity

Posted by Tammi at March 23, 2005 07:22 PM

Yep, had my share of weight problems to. Geez, you think it had anything to do with a mother who puts a 5 year old on a diet?

Posted by: TNT at March 24, 2005 12:21 AM

Unfortunately, I don't think that using Terri as an example is going to do the least amount of good for those with eating disorders. Over the years we've had Karen Carpenter - who died of a heart attack because of anorexia, we've had books, movies, television shows... lately one of those Olsen twins.

Just think back to when you were doing that... you didn't even listen to your own mother - would you have been phased in the least by this story on TV? Would you have related it to yourself? Highly, Highly unlikely.

Yes, this story could be used... but the end result would be - yet another aspect of Terri's life is dragged through the public eye. And those in the choir (anyone with any sense) listen and say... ya that should help some girl with an eating disorder... and the kid with the disorder says - boy she really had a problem, glad that's not me. *sigh*

Posted by: Teresa at March 24, 2005 02:15 AM