The Philosophy of Anorexia

Discussion in 'Philosophy' started by Toke'n Girl, Nov 26, 2007.

  1. Strange title, I know.

    I have some thoughts about this most terrible disease, as it is a major problem in my family and one I battle every day.

    What causes anorexia? Bad self image? Boyfriends? Parents? Super models? Paris Hilton (probably)? Probably all of the above.

    I have two sisters who are definitely anorexic. They both weigh a lot less than they should. I think one of my sisters even miscarried because of her anorexia. What caused their problem? Simply put, it was their mother (different mother from me). She constantly told them they were fat, chubby, pudgy, eating too much. It was always something. Very hypocritical too, as she's pretty chubby herself.

    My personal battle stems from a few key events as well as the social view of weight and the desire to be beautiful. My mother conditioned me quite well to think that fat was one of the least attractive things in the world. She even pulled me aside one CHRISTMAS EVE to tell me that if I didn't lose weight, no man would ever love me. After that, I lost all control and began a destructive cycle of binge eating. Binge eating is like anorexia with periods of intense eating. The cycle can be refusing to eat in the morning and then pigging out at night because you are too hungry not to.

    Also, one thing people don't seem to consider much is that the fat isn't always our fault. I lost INCHES off my waist when I stopped eating McDonald's food. Nasty stuff really.

    What is your opinion? Know anyone? Can anyone help me find a way to help my sisters?

    I have found that the key to eating happiness is to not over eat or under eat, and to only put things in your body that are truly worth the time and effort required. I want to live a long and healthy life.

    Also something to consider, does someone's economic position make a difference? My opinion, yes. If you are not very well off, it is easier just not to eat the junk that's cheap and will make you gain weight anyway. In America, I have noticed, the less money you have the easier it is to be obese. This seems unlikely, but the truth is that cheap foods are make with cheap ingredients. High fructose corn syrup gives us calories, but our bodies do not register them, so we absorb the calories and still feel hungry. Be careful if you tend to eat HF corn syrup, it is actually pretty dangerous stuff. If you do consume it regularly, cutting it out of your diet could cause you to lose INCHES off your waist, only this is easier said than done as it is in EVERYTHING. The Point: cheap foods do not fill you up and tend to have a lot of calories.

    What should a person do in that situation? I mean, if you can't afford to eat enough GOOD food, do you trade out for horribly unhealthy alternatives, or just not eat as much??
  2. I agree that poor people have an easier chance of being fat. I see it being very relative to the fact that America has a growing amount of lower class and a rise in the amount of obese people(which if i remember correctly is around 40%, pretty ridiculous). I also despise High Fructose Corn Syrup, which is probably the #1 cause of the rise of obesity. They put that shit in just about everything, from what you drink to mostly all the snacks you buy. And of course, one factor of that is that it's CHEAP. And since people like it and are buying more of it everyday, the food manufacturors will put it in MORE products they come across. It's just a growing vicious cycle that most people are not aware of.

    As if what a person should do in the situation, well there isn't much to do. Just about the only thing to do is cooking everything yourself, but that's also pricey. If in a consistent situation where the income is steady, you're only choice would be to find a balance between eating unhealthy and healthy foods.

    As for anorexia, I haven't a clue. It's just people conforming to a sick society, the only thing you could do to help them is be more aware of themselves. But this doesn't come easily, as the person who has the problems MUST want it for themselves. Being coerced into changing never usually turns out the way you want it to.
  3. Anorexia is definitely a product of modern culture... I mean yeah there are plenty of cases where the parents were a big influence like you mentioned, but there's also plenty where the person develops the disorder independently of their family. It's the way we're brought up to think of the ideal woman... look at Barbie dolls for example. I heard somewhere that if Barbie were life size her proportions would be way out of whack.... 7 feet tall and 110 pounds or something like that. Take a look at the models on TV and in magazines... they're all practically stick figures. Too many girls are being raised thinking the skinnier they are, the better. There's an ideal weight for everyone... and most often, you need to have some amount of body fat to be considered healthy. If you aren't happy with the way you look, exercise and eat healthy. Not eating at all is horrible for you.

    As far as economic position, I think most people can afford to eat healthy if they choose to. There's some on the lower end of the scale who can't, but that could easily be fixed. The problem is that it's way too convenient to eat nasty horrible fast food. These companies are all competing with each other to make more money... so they're practically shoving it in our faces. I think we should have more emphasis on nutrition in school so people actually realize what they're doing to themselves.
  4. I'd definitely say the media has a big part in anorexia, but I don't know if it completely causes it.

    I've struggled with anorexia since I was in around 6th grade. So about 6-7 years. I think the reason I started wasn't just because I hated my body, but because, as I'm sure you've heard from other people with eating disorders, eating was something I could control, as apposed to other problems I couldn't. It definitely developed into hating my body and using starting myself as a way to control my weight. But I really think it was more of a way to "punish" myself for things, things that were out of my control. The media doesn't help. Seeing Britney Spears on tv, half naked, showing off her bones sticking out and her flat stomach, and then hearing people in the media call her fat DEFINITELY fucks up a persons self image. Comments like "how the hell can you be a stoner and an anorexic?" don't help either. I think it's mostly a combination of things.

    The one thing that's really helped me a lot though, is support from my boyfriend
    (l0gic, he posts here too :wave:). I know the relationship between sisters and a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship is a lot different but, having someone to talk to makes a huge difference. Even though I don't believe it, he tells me I'm beautiful and tells me I'm fine the way I am. That he loves me for me, and how I am now. It's pretty much impossible to change the past and how people have treated you before but trust me, as a recovering self injurer and anorexic, having someone to talk to and having someone there that won't judge you, it means the world.

    I'd say the best way to help your sisters is just be there for them and support them. Don't force them to eat. Don't try to convince them that they really are skinny and are just being unreasonable. Just be there for them. And if you offer them any food, offer them healthy foods. Fruits, veggies, pure fruit juices, etc, but don't force it at them.

    Sorry this was long, but I hope sharing my story helped. :eek:
  5. What about weightlifter's anorexia? It needs a better name, but alot of habitual weightlifters feel like they never get muscular enough... it's disgusting.
  6. Thank you for your wonderful input!

    I personally have learned the value of healthy foods, but I do happen to be in the bracket where it is actually cheaper to eat McDonald's value menu items for all of my meals than to cook my own food. It isn't the stuff like cereal that will get you. I am lactose intolerant, so I get soy, which costs more even though I'm pretty sure its easier to produce. Vegetables and fruit are pretty pricey as well, depending on the season. Right now, one good organic tomato costs more than 3 double cheese burgers ;p. If you buy in bulk, money isn't usually an issue, but we do not have a place like that in town and less than sufficient funds to buy in bulk.

    Also, I agree that they should put a much larger emphasis on nutrition in schools, but they won't. They've gutted that just like they have gutted everything else about schools in the US just to that 'no child gets left behind'. Tests are not the way to figure out if everyone understands the material! Also, it isn't the government's job to do that, its the teacher's job.

    I have to say, teachers, professors, and peers don't tend to help things. There really are so many people conditioned to think that thin is the way to be. I mean, its pretty ....... I can't even come up with a word. Something like 40% of Americans are overweight, and a size 0 (for women) is still the golden number!
  7. first, note: i am male. i am not anorexic.

    about a year ago, i starting taking running very seriously as i started to train for my first marathon. at this point, i decided that a healthy diet would make the training easier and more of an overall experience of bettering myself. i found that now that i have run a couple marathons, and am back to my normal running routine, i am still stuck on this diet. i have become obsessed with calories, grams of fat, fiber, every aspect of what goes into my body. i am disgusted by unhealthy foods and almost feel superior to those who eat poorly.

    i wish i could change this, and i have tried very hard. my girlfriend always complains about my "eating disorder". i do not consider it a eating disorder however, because it does not result in anything but a healthy balanced diet. i do, however, consider it to be a burden on social interaction and my own assessment of a truly happy lifestyle. now if somebody has birthday cake or eats with me in public, i have to think about what i am eating, and feel guilty if i know it is bad.

    ok, my point is: eating should NOT be a major element of any persons life. it is something us humans do out of necessity, and should not be focus of too much concern. i believe there is a happy medium between eating terribly and what i do. just be sensible, but do not become obsessed. it is no fun.
  8. Here is how it was put to me: It isn't the first piece of cake that kills you. It isn't even the second. It's the fourth, fifth, and sixth times that do.

    It is okay to eat something not completely healthy once in a while so long as you don't over do it. That's how you become unhealthy. Also, if you are on a diet and make a mistake, most people will just give up completely. That is the WORST thing to do in that situation. You should say "Oops, hmmm... That cake was good, but I shouldn't try to do that again for a while."

    Also, unnatural foods are starting to taste NASTY to me. I drank some soda recently, and it was so sweet it seemed bitter to me. Try Spritzers. They are organic, and have real fruit juice. Much tastier.

    Seriously though. Next time you feel like 'Man, I really feel bad about eating this,' just remember that you don't have to eat it again later, and one won't kill you.
  9. thanks, solid advice. i will definitely try to remember that.

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