Emma Woolf

The Ministry of Thin

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cvrritchiehas quoted2 years ago
Some academic studies claim that up to 80 per cent of patients with eating disorders also have a history of abuse. The links between eating disorders and sexual assault make sense – something about punishing oneself, denying one's own needs, the betrayal of the body, finding a focus for the shame/hurt. Sexual abuse makes them feel intensely guilty, as does food hunger, so they try to deny themselves everything. Victims of sexual abuse often blame themselves, thinking that they must have invited the abuse: they cannot control or punish the offender so they damage their own bodies and punish themselves. The parallels between sexual abuse and disordered eating are logical, when you think about the self-hatred caused by both conditions. (I should say, this hasn't been my experience, nor that of many women I know with EDs, but it's thought-provoking nonetheless.)
cvrritchiehas quoted2 years ago
If nothing else, nothing at all, you've been for a run.
And there are the rare moments, running through Hyde Park, or along the Embankment, when everything falls into place. Rare moments when my legs and arms are working in perfect coordination, when I'm pushing myself hard but not on the verge of collapse, when a great song comes on and I'm Mo Farah, Jess Ennis and Paula Radcliffe rolled into one. Cue 'Eye of the Tiger'!
Yes, music helps: for me it has to be something loud and upbeat, and the cheesier the better – Queen, Beyoncé, Black-Eyed Peas or the theme tune to Rocky (anything to block out the sound of my own hyperventilation).
cvrritchiehas quoted2 years ago
And yet I love running (or rather, I love having been for a run); I love being outdoors on freezing winter mornings and on glittering summer dawns; I love being athletic and neat
cvrritchiehas quoted2 years ago
Never admit you are skinny enough.
2. Binges should only occur a maximum of once every six weeks and must be kept private, if you expect perfection. Purging and excessive exercise MUST follow… otherwise, you're a failure.
3. Never let your stomach growl. You can control it.
4. 10 glasses of water a day, 10 sticks of gum, 10 diet sodas, and 10 cups of black coffee must be consumed on a regular basis for your perfect body's essential needs.
5. Wrist bones are infatuation. Ribs are sexy. Collar bones are beautiful. Hip bones are love. Back bones are submission, but the two bones that connect your ankle to your foot, those are perfection.
6. Flat stomachs are banned; concave stomachs are the only kind acceptable.
7. Fast at least 5-7 days every month, and exercise 7 days a week, at least 2 hours a day.
8. Weigh yourself at least three times a day and hate yourself no matter what the number is.
9. Never give up on what you want most. Ana loves you only if you're thin.
10. Recovery is a sin… but sins are forgiven. Remember obesity is a crime and crimes are on your permanent record FOREVER. (Source: theanabelles.blogspot.co.uk)
These are the thin laws, and it's this kind of madness which fuels the misunderstanding of anorexia. Most people with eating disorders do not think like this. You may think that doesn't make sense at all, but trust me: the Ana Belles and their 'thin laws' are utterly misguided, and I don't agree with a single one. I may have spent several years living on '10 sticks of gum, 10 diet sodas and 10 cups of black coffee' but I've never referred to anorexia as 'ana'. It's a terrible addiction, not a sister or a friend.
cvrritchiehas quoted2 years ago
Female standards of beauty are impossibly high, and male and female expectations are warped by pornography and airbrushing.
cvrritchiehas quoted2 years ago
All this disordered eating and body dysmorphia destroys our self-respect. Peace of mind, when you're at war with yourself, is impossible. In the unlikely event that you do, as a woman, feel OK about yourself these days, you're wrong: there is always someone thinner, fitter, younger and more beautiful. Anyway, as the debacle over Samantha Brick (of whom we'll hear more later) reminds us, it's socially unacceptable to be satisfied with yourself.
cvrritchiehas quoted2 years ago
Look at what the Ministry of Thin can do. It can cause us to hate ourselves, to starve or spend hours in the gym, even undergo risky surgery. It can make us feel inadequate and unattractive, telling us we are failures, and ugly, and weak. It sets us against ourselves, profoundly at war with our own bodies. It imprisons us in a lifelong cycle of weight loss and gain; a war we'll never win, and which will never make us happy.
cvrritchiehas quoted2 years ago
disordered eating is rife, but this is different from an eating disorder. Lots of people are mixed up about food and their bodies, but a diet is still just a diet. Much as I hate to admit it, true anorexia and bulimia nervosa are in a different realm. They're on the other side of madness.
cvrritchiehas quoted2 years ago
Being constantly hungry is no life at all. Getting thinner doesn't make you happy. The more you starve your body, the more you starve your brain, which in turn makes it even harder to manage your emotions or maintain your self-esteem.
cvrritchiehas quoted2 years ago
Anorexia stems from a terrible need for control, an anxiety that if you let go for a minute, you will spin wildly out of control.
cvrritchiehas quoted2 years ago
I think intuitive eating appeals to me because eating disorders are so unnatural. They mess up simple hunger responses; they destroy what should be our most natural relationship – with our own body. Eating disorders come from a place of profound mistrust. Bulimics and binge-eaters cram in large amounts of 'forbidden' foods; anorexics deny their bodies its most basic human need. Both are forms of self-hatred and self-neglect, you binge or starve and in both cases you become sick and unlovely (which is what you always knew you were, and no less than you deserve).
cvrritchiehas quoted2 years ago
anorexia is a disease associated with affluence
cvrritchiehas quoted2 years ago
Women's magazines play a devious game of peddling thinness at all costs, while simultaneously preaching self-acceptance. Even as they're advising us how to lose weight, cut calories and burn fat, they're reminding us to love the shape we're in.
cvrritchiehas quoted2 years ago
Of course 'fat' is a very loaded word. I try to use it literally, to describe the deposits of fatty layers under the skin and around organs – but look, already that word 'fatty' sounds judgemental. The facts are simple: our bodies are made up of lean tissue and adipose or fat tissue. Lean tissue is composed of muscle, bone and organs. Fat tissue is composed of three different categories: essential fat, storage fat and non-essential fat. A 'fat' person simply has a large amount of excess flesh, but they carry so much more than that. As a society we're ashamed of being fat, afraid of getting fat – and horrified at some of the immense fatness we see around us today
cvrritchiehas quoted2 years ago
A fascinating research study in California (published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology) gave participants a randomly assigned bucket of either fresh or week-old stale popcorn and measured their consumption. They found that it didn't make any difference whether the participants were hungry or not before the film, or whether the popcorn was stale or fresh – they still ate it. The study concluded that 'once we've formed an eating habit, we no longer care whether food tastes good'
cvrritchiehas quoted2 years ago
Maybe it's no wonder we're obsessed with eating, not eating, losing weight and getting fat. As well as being surrounded by food outlets when we venture outside, assailed by diet and calorie discussions with girlfriends and colleagues, we also have television and magazines shoving it down our throats
cvrritchiehas quoted2 years ago
I smiled recently at this opinion piece online from Sydney Morning Herald writer Jacqueline Maley: 'One of the more insidious trends of the modern era… is the moral sanctity people attach to their food choices. Eating is no longer something we do for taste and energy consumption; it is a political act. The ability to select and consume biodynamic, macrobiotic, locally sourced and fully organic food is surely the greatest middle-class indulgence of our time.'
Amalie Marie Vennikehas quoted2 years ago
it's not easy but it is simple.
Amalie Marie Vennikehas quoted2 years ago
All the rule-making and rule-breaking in the world won't fix a bad relationship with food.
Amalie Marie Vennikehas quoted2 years ago
The Straight Dope Website (Fighting Ignorance Since 1973)
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