Thursday 21 March 2013

Why Being Healthy Is More Important Than Being Skinny

When I came up with the name Skinny Dreaming for my blog in 2008, it was because I was morbidly obese and wanted to reach a healthy BMI. To me, getting healthy was "skinny dreaming." I set up a Google alert that lets me know when someone is trying to use my blog name and, since then, I most often come across other blogs of young severely anorexic girls who post pictures of themselves and give tips for other anorexic girls on how to starve themselves or purge the food they eat and other very dangerous activities. It makes me so sad. I don't want my website's name associated with that kind of thinking and I really, really want these girls to understand that they are beautiful as they are and they don't need to hurt themselves through starvation and/or binging/purging. 

According to the National Eating Disorders Association, anorexia has one of the highest death rates of any mental health condition.

Side Effects of Anorexia:

1 - Hair loss
2 - Dental decay
3 - Osteoporosis

These three symptoms are just the visible symptoms, and, if you're thinking about losing weight by starving yourself, take a look at those three symptoms right there. They are not pretty. You may end up skinny, but you'll also end up bald, toothless and hunched.

4 - Weakness
5 - Fatigue
6 - Heart problems
7 - Paralysis - temporary but can lead to more permanent nerve damage and paralysis
8 - Kidney damage/kidney failure
9 - Loss of menstrual cycle/infertility
10 - Dizziness/vertigo/low blood pressure/anemia

There are other symptoms and side effects, but the really important side effect to take note of is

I take pride in the fact that I have not only lost the excess weight I was carrying, but that I stopped while I was still at a healthy weight. I have grown healthier and stronger. How can anyone think that all of the other side effects and risks are worth starving themselves or purging after meals? I know that some psychologists will say it is about the anorexics' need for control, but there are other ways to take control of your life that have nothing to do with how much or how little you are eating or allowing into your body.  How about taking control of your HEALTH? How about taking control of your mind and increasing your knowledge and learning? How about working on getting stronger, physically and emotionally?

To anyone who thinks that it is worth starving themselves or making themselves vomit in order to be thin, please, PLEASE choose instead to value yourself and your life more than that. Please.