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Obesity isn't the opposite of anorexia. It's its twin.

Posted by on Jul. 17, 2013 at 1:29 AM
Jen
  • 5 Replies

I found THIS article tonight and here are the points I found interesting:

1. We see these THREE things separate problems with separate solutions; eating disorders, a general cultural anxiety about food and weight, and the rising obesity rates. Yet they all stem from the SAME root.

2. We tend to look at people with anorexia with sympathy because it reads like a victory. A superhuman feat - to live beyond foods emotional highs and lows. And they can live in their recovery without people knowing their struggle. Even though they hate their body hard, they are the only ones doing the hating.

3. For the obese person, they are considered lazy and deserving of public harassment, even though their emotional struggle is just as intense as it is for someone with anorexia. Its almost never recognized that obesity is an eating disorder too.

4. And then you have the people in the middle, who carry an unhealthy relationship with food. They don't do it to the point where it rises to the level of a diagnosis so therefore, it's invisible.

Do you think that all people who use food or weight to cope are worthy of compassion, whether they are fat or thin? Why do you think we treat them differently?

by on Jul. 17, 2013 at 1:29 AM
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alc4evermom
by Member on Jul. 17, 2013 at 8:01 PM

That's funny.  I was anorexic, and obese.  I agree that they are similar but I don't think that they are the same.  Anorexicia  was about control, and obesity is lack of.  I am extremely healthy and balanced now and don't have a lot of tolerance for either side.  Its one thing if people are young and trying to work things out.  I grew up in an abusive house, and I realized bulimia was directly related to my addiction to alcohol and drugs.  Once I worked out my addictions and realized the nature of the abuse, and that i could have the lifenthat i want through hard work and letting go of the things that caused me to self abuse, my eating disorders went away.  I don't feel sympathy for women who make no effort to change.  It's very childish and pathetic on both spectrums.  

Jenndill
by on Jul. 18, 2013 at 3:37 PM
I had anorexia, but have never been obese. I have had obese friends and seen their struggles, and talked to them about their struggles. Anorexia is such a control issue and becomes an obsession, taking over ones life. I can see how obesity, in terms of emotional eating, overeating beyond control, etc. can also be an obsession, and a control (or lack thereof). Many struggling with obesity, may use food as a means to an end. In other words, they may see things in terms of the weight will not ever come off, so why control my eating. That leads to depression and low self-esteem. As an anorexic seeing oneself as overweight, the over-control and obsessive thoughts (on the other end of the spectrum) can cause depression and low self-esteem. There are distinctive similarities to both, but they are inherently different. I agree with pp that both have to want to change. Sometimes, it takes counseling, nutritional counseling, hitting rock bottom (including health scares or medical intervention), or other reasons for an individual to make changes. I made the decision that I didn't want to live in that way or mindset for the rest of my life. I wanted to be healthy and fit. I wanted to know how to properly care for myself, through healthy diet and exercise.
motamaid
by on Jul. 25, 2013 at 5:11 PM
1 mom liked this
If anorexics had control over anything they wouldn't be anorexic. Obesity is different from being a compulsive eater. There are people who become obese because of stuffing their faces to no end, but there are also people who have issues in the body where the brain and body work hard to store fat "for winter" all the time with no real cure.
Saying obesity is a disease is wrong. It's just a result of a disorder or disease.


Quoting alc4evermom:

That's funny.  I was anorexic, and obese.  I agree that they are similar but I don't think that they are the same.  Anorexicia  was about control, and obesity is lack of.  I am extremely healthy and balanced now and don't have a lot of tolerance for either side.  Its one thing if people are young and trying to work things out.  I grew up in an abusive house, and I realized bulimia was directly related to my addiction to alcohol and drugs.  Once I worked out my addictions and realized the nature of the abuse, and that i could have the lifenthat i want through hard work and letting go of the things that caused me to self abuse, my eating disorders went away.  I don't feel sympathy for women who make no effort to change.  It's very childish and pathetic on both spectrums.  

Basherte
by on Jul. 26, 2013 at 7:52 AM

I've never been anorexic. I'm overweight, but don't see myself as obese, yet.  Some heavier people really do just need to push themselves away from the table, or put the spoon/fork down. Some have issues with their body, metabolism, thyroid issues, or mental or chemical issues in the brain. Some, just lack exercise. Me, I'm in the last category.

I know what to do to lose weight and keep it off. I don't trust any "diet". I just need to get out more and do more things.  That I don't, is my fault. I don't think I look bad. I've never really been thin. I started gaining weight when I hit puberty. I was pretty darn active back then.

LindaClement
by Gold Member on Jul. 27, 2013 at 2:29 AM

I think all people are worthy of compassion (which has led to come heated discussions on CM, let me tell you!)

I don't treat them differently: I'm just as likely to make a blunt observation about the addiction, disordered thinking, self-involvement and lack of perspective of an anorexic as I am someone who is obese ... I'm an all-opportunities realist :)

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