My mother was the one to recognize my anorexic tendencies (note: I didn’t actually have anorexia, but I showed signs of possibly developing it) but she wasn’t the only one to see that something was wrong. During my sophomore year of high school, I would weigh myself a few times a week, and each time the numbers on the scale would be significantly lower than the last.
Looking back on that time, I realize that there were probably two factors that helped contribute to my anorexic tendencies. The first was, unsurprisingly, depression. I’ve mentioned previously that during sophomore year I developed depression because of a variety of factors, including undiagnosed ADHD, bad friends, a bad teacher, and a bad therapist, etc. But because of my depression, I started eating less. Maybe I was trying to punish myself, or thought I didn’t deserve food, or maybe I just wasn’t hungry. I really can’t remember all that much.
But depression was just a general factor. More specifically, it was the bad friendships that helped contribute to my anorexic tendencies. In sophomore year, I was friends with a girl we’ll call ‘Lila’. And Lila was a bit overweight. And she talked about it constantly. But not only that, she talked constantly about her flaws and her weight and how she was trying to lose weight.
And I started to pick up her habits, including her tendency to insult her body. I (subconsciously) assumed that the way to be accepted by this group was pretend to hate and insult my body. So I did, and the more I pretended to hate my body, the more I really did. And slowly, I think I wanted to lose weight and be skinny. After all, it was what everyone else in my group wanted, and I was part of the group.
So obviously that hurt me more than a little. First of all, I never should have started hating my body, and neither should the others have. But they at least still ate. Eventually, I stopped eating at lunch, and my breakfasts were smaller, and I ate less dinner. And then when I did eat, I would binge and feel super ashamed afterwards.
And that just contributed more to my depression. It was a vicious, vicious cycle.
So if you have a friend who seems to encourage hating your body, it’s time to cut that person out of your life. You need to put your health ahead of that person’s friendship.
For the follow up to this post, click here ==> My Anorexic Tendencies, Part 2 of 2
Note: Below are the symptoms of anorexia nervosa. Anorexia nervosa is a life threatening disease, and if you think you may have it, please, please, please consult a doctor and get the help you need.
Symptoms of anorexia nervosa include:
- Inadequate food intake leading to dangerously low weight
- Chronic dieting despite already hazardously low weight
- Depression and lethargic periods
- Fixation with food, cooking, and/or recipes
- Obsession with calories and fat content
- Sensation of feeling cold, particularly in extremities
- Intense fear of weight gain, obsession with weight
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