Should Goverment, Doctors and Media have have right to tell us what to eat and what not to eat?

Do you know someone who has an eating disorder? Have you seen how damaging they are? Is it possible today’s society has lead to a rise in cases of eating disorders and disorderd eating?

We are surrounded by media. Social networking, newspapers, magazines, Tv, Radio. The goverment is never shy to spread opinions on what we should and should not be eating 5-a-day. Or is it 7? Then there’s that change4life initiative, which is a goverment initiative, using the media to get it’s point across. The Media itself has told many food horror stories The debate between fat and sugar, how excess carbohydrates will make us fat. Contradicting comments on almost everything, it’s all just a little overwhelming! The rise of “Thisperation”. Pro-ana/Pro-mia sites. Vunerable pre-teens and teens have easy access to these sites, day upon day upon day. As a suffer of an eating disorder myself and haqving previously visited these sites I can say that to a pre-disposed mind, there is something about thinspo pictures which are quite enchanting, beautiful. It is also a place people can find friends, for someone with no friends you can see this could cause real problems.

Some say diets don’t work. Some suggest 5:2 or weight watchers. All involve some sort of restriction which can go in either one of to ways and has probably infact lead to an increase in obesity. You say a food is “Bad” you’ll want more of it. You restrict yourself then you want more. Your body craves more. You eat more. The other way restriction can go is leading to an eating disorder, suggesting you have a genetic pre-disposition and you would be surprised by how fast they can take hold.

A huge proportion of people in today’s western world has some form of disordered eating, spurred on by media and goverment. The “fat phobia” many people face. This also discourages people with eating disorders from getting help. They think what they’re doing is normal. The super-skinny celebrities, obsessing over sclothing size and stick thin models. People belive being skinny is right, being skinny is good. There is a commmon association that by being skinny you will be sucsessful. Now you can see how that leads to eating disorders. Right?

Eating disorders are of course an extreme but clearly something has changed to cause the rise. Children as young as 5 even are developing eating disorders. With the increase in media, it would be logical to suggest that is partially a reason for the rise, we are contantly bombarded with health advice, diet tips. Things that not so long ago we were not. It would be logical for the media to be a partial cause. Seeing the effects the media can have, why should they give us diet advice, health tips and all the rest of it? It’s harmful to all, more to some than others.

Going back to the goverment, school curriculums. Teaching children about food and nutrition from a young age. Lat year my brother came home from school one day, decided he couldn’t eat a cake because they are “bad for us.” He was six then! Isn’t is sad that a child who is slim, healthy and eats a balanced diet feels they can’t have a cake because of a lesson at school. We’re constantly reciving lessons of health and nutrition. Actually part of the AQA B1 spec is learning about BMI. Does this not flag up an issue for you? Take a 14/15 year old girl, wants to lose weight and realises according to that BMI chart her BMI is slightly over what is classed as healthy. Mix that with a perfectionistic personality, maybe recently divorced parents or bullying and you have created the perfect confitions for an eating disorder.

I do however realise the opposing veiw and understand it. To me healthy eating is just common sense and I belive all of us have the ability to eat intuitivly, others may struggle. Going back to the goverment, parents may eat unhealthy diets and it is important for the schools to teach children about healthy eating in this case, so they can make good desisions as adults and lead healthy lives. Then there is the issue of doctors If a patient has a weight problem. Either over or underweight then the doctor should work with them on a personal basis to help improve things. The same goes for when a patient is suffering from a condition which could be cured by a change in diet. Doctors should work with the patient on a personal basis, maybe refer them on to a dietistion or a nutritionist. Then there is the issue of the Media. “Supersize vs superskinny” and other such shows can be seen as light entertainment. That is what they are right? They shouldn’t trigger or lead to an eating disorder and people should be responsable enough to make the decision to watch it or not. No ones forced to watch these shows, they shouldn’t be banned just because they have triggered or lead to a few eating disorders. That’s not fair on everyone else.

In conclusion I do not think the media or the goverment should tell us what and what not to eat, and if they do it should be regulated, less contradictary and have more research into whatever is being said. I belive thos because of the effects today’s society can have on innocent indaviduals; doctors however should be allowed to tell us what we should and shouldn’t eat if properly trained in that area. This should only be on a one to one basis if in best intrest of the patient.

 

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Fear of failure. Where it stemmed from.

Recantly I have come to realise that I have a huge fear of failure. Probably explaining why up until now I have always been such a high achiver. 

Even more recantly I realised where this fear came from. As a child making mistakes was never ok. I have never been pressured to get perfect grades. I have also however never been taught that it is ok to make mistakes. I guess in some respect it lead to my eating disorder and ideals of perfection. 

Each mistake I make; I am ridiculed, blamed for when things don’t go according to plan. They blame it on me and my mistake. I guess over time this lead to the great hostility which now stands between myself and my family. Feelings of loneliness. Anxiety due to fears of doing something wrong.

These experiances, in part are what has caused me to feel so awful for “not doing as much work as I should.” The way my parents have treated me, peers riduculed me and teachers pushed me have lead to feelings of inadiquacy. Never being good enough.

 

Between Fiction and Reality.

I’ve noticed something. I’m happier when I’m out of reality. Obsessing over TV shows. Fictional characters. Fanfictions, roleplays. I guess the reason I’m writing about it is because I recognise it is a problem. I’m actually in tears right now. I can’t handle real life anymore. I’m such a skank it’s not even funny. I can’t keep my room tidy and I have such severe anxiety around my family that I struggle to shower or have a bath when there in. I havn’t washed my hair in over a week because I feel I’m being judged for turning the shower on. I feel I’m getting in someones way, being a burdan. The only way I can wash is by turning taps on in the sink and using some shower gel or whatever. It’s like unless I’m told I just physically can’t bring myself to shower. I’m too scared, which is why I try to wash in a way people won’t know… I’m scared of being judged for everything I do because that’s what my parents do. They are the most judgemental people ever.

Thing is. I was happy. Happy when I was lost in the world of brothers and sisters. Ok I still havw that ever impeding feeling of how I’m going to fail my GCSE’s because I ever seem to revise enough and none of it ever goes in but atleast I was happy. This has been happening for years now. More noticably when I started to roleplay. It provided an escape. I don’t know what from, but something. I cannot remember a time when I have been happier in the last 2 years than when I was roleplaying. A time I felt so free from reality. 

I recognise this is not healthy and honestly I am fully aware of how much of a pathetic, weak failure I am and how I will get nowhere in life. It’s not even like my life is that bad. I don’t have a relationship with my mum atall anymore and my brothers always take top priority in the family but that’s nothing compared to people who are paralysed, have cancer, living in extreme poverty. It’s nothing.

I guess this is why I feel so guilty. So Self-centered. Like I’m the only important one. In part I’m jelous. I envy everyone around me. Everyone who can shower, everyone who meets up with there friends and makes something of their spare time, instead of just sitting around getting lost in fiction. Another reason I can attribute to this fictional obsession is longing. The desperation for someone to help me, save me from myself and the need for a mother. And yes I have a mum, I have a dad. Were the classic nuclear family. But what I mean but I want a mother has nothing to do with genetics or the Edexcel GCSE Religious Studies, Marriage and Family Life topic.

What I mean when I say I want a mother is this.

  • Someone I can talk to when I just need someone to talk to.
  • Someone who will hug me and tell me it will all be ok.
  • Someone to help when I need it.
  • Someone who tells me she loves me, Shows me she loves me.
  •  Someone who pays attention to me. Seems happy to be around me. 
  • Someone who shows intrest in my day.
  • Someone who will pick me after school when I have to stay back late (Walking when it’s getting dark is not fun)
  • Someone who listens to and respects me.
  • Someone Honest who doesn’t bitch about me behind my back.
  • Someone who doens’t make an argument out of everything I say and do. 

I guess many of my problems are associated with my lack of mother. I have the genetic figure but her actions are far from mother like towards me. My brothers well that’s a different story. I guess my obsession with fiction really does filter down to this though. My need for someone who is there for me, loves me unconditionaly and shows it. 

The Inner Fight For Recovery.

Recovery from an eating disorder really is a fight. The battle within to overcome that demon inside and discovering happyness. 

After struggling for a few weeks, I realised… time to pick myself back before I end up physically sick as well as mentally. I actuall ate lunch yesturday. Thing is I had 2600 calories and all I feel is overwhelming guilt. Overwhelming guilt because of the out of control, fat. obease pig I will become.

My dad rescued three of the easter eggs yeturday. I ate one; that alone triggered me into giving thr large eggs to my brothers. I can’t be associated with chocolate. It can’t be mine. I’m too fat… too out of control. The fear chocolate creates is immense. Each time I take a bite I can’t stop… especially when it’s my chocolate. In my room.  I ate three cream eggs earlier and I know my calorie count isn’t drastically over but…. THREE CREAM EGGS! This is why chocolate scares me because I am out of control when it’s near.  I am so exhausted and so stressed sometimes reaching for that chocolate is the only solution. This is where my irrational fear of it stems from. The binge that often occurs when it’s around. 

Maybe the reason my mind is still so disordered is because I never took full responsibility for my recovery and I never recived the correct help. Since reaching a more healthy weight any time I was under my calorie goal it was justified in my mind with “Oh it’s only one day”. This attitude is not a good one, nor is it healthy. It’s the attitude that lets the disorder in. The excuse that invited it back.

1900 one day, you want to get lower and lower and lower. The lower you get, the sicker you get. The skinnier you get, the skinnier you want to be. You aim become lowest possible intake, skinniest possible body. The untimate goal is to be empty. 0 calories, 0lb but in reality you know you’ll be dead then. It doesn’t seem to bother you however. You think your the exception. At 20lb you’ll still be fat. When in the depths of an eating disorder the idea of death never occurs to you. It’s just never ending. Each goal is nevrer enough, upon reaching each goal you set another and another and another until eventually uou are so lost that you don’t even recognise yourself anymore.

This is why I need to be strict with myself. However much I am going to hate it and however much my eating disorder will scream at me and hate me for it. I will never recover calorie counting and justifying being low on calories “just once” or skipping lunch “just once” It never is “just once”. That “just once” excuse end up being for days, weeks, months on end. The “just once” excuse can soon send everything spiriling out of control.

This whole being strict thing is unfortunatly easier said than done. I want to feel free. Eat what I want when I want. But either my ED rejects that or it gets entangles with it and I end up restricting. I hate feeling like I have to eat because “I’m low on calories” almost as much as I hate eating when I’ve had “plenty of calories”. With my eating disorder negotiation is near impossible. If I eat one cream egg I may aswell eat the rest because I’ve failed now. It’s not even like I have to gain, this in itself causes more problems. Previously being over 2000 calories was not as much the end of the world as it is now becuase I HAD TO GAIN and I used that excuse to help me through the initial stage of recovery. 

So yes. I need to be prepared for a long, hard journey ahead. The journey to recovery. The fight for my life back. Freedom from my eating disorder. I have acknowledge the problem and take action or I’ll be stuck in ED hell for life. Recovery is possible. Not easy but possible. And as Toby Mac sings. When you fall, you get back up again.