Sister says “It’s Just About The Weight”

My sister, who played a big part in my recovery, and I had a conversation last night that was interesting.  Although she played a part in it, she didn’t understand this “bulimia”.  She is a teacher and she said when she was teaching grade 8 that a couple of students were suffering from bulimia and to her it was all about weight loss.  I explained to her that maybe at the beginning it may start out like that, but in the end it is much more.  It is a way of dealing with emotions.  I told her with me the times I was at my worst was feelings of anger, frustration (not being able to feel in control of something), sorrow.  I tended to gravitate towards “comfort foods” quite often ones Mom Life is a Balanceused to make for me in my childhood.  To me this was a way to find comfort in emotional chaos, but to complete the “ritual” I had to throw up the person or situation and cleanse myself of the emotion.

Apparently this intrigued my sister, who said she had no idea.  I just replied that it is clear there are still not many people who have an idea.  I told her the story of Furious Pete and how his anorexia began during hardships his parents were enduring and again – that loss of control, the feeling of helplessness.

Sis was also unaware of the growing trend of men with eating disorders.

I suppose we still have a long way to go to truly educate those outside.

I read somewhere that bulimics actually only throw up approximately 30% of what they consume.  I believe that.  I actually maintain my healthy weight much better now that I am recovered, and I don’t yo-yo up and down like I used to.

The myths of bulimia and other eating disorders to those who have not researched them remain.  I only hope that educators can learn more so that if a student confides in them they can understand that an eating disorder is not just about weight, and can even be detrimental to their learning and studies.

0 thoughts on “Sister says “It’s Just About The Weight”

  1. I can totally relate to the purging sensation of ‘release’ it isn’t so much about the food you ate, or your weight. To me a binge was an extra potatoe, or a cookie. Anything that I wasn’t allowed by my ED, the purging was to make me feel bad. To hurt me, and it did hurt.

    Although I could purge at the drop of a hat. (I have an oesophageal reflux) it still was about the pain. When I was in recovery. That need to hurt myself turned away from the purging and anorexia to alcoholic binges and self harm. From one way of coping to another. And all just as difficult to deal with.

  2. I research and learn a lot about eating disorders because I have one. However, I’ve always felt like this is a self-induced, self-perpetuating sickness and not other people’s responsibility to know all about or even empathize with.

    1. I respect your feelings, but I do believe if someone is reaching out, as those students were obviously doing, it is well worth the knowledge to be able to help them, or at least guide them to where they can find more assistance.

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