This is now something close to me as a close family member has been recently diagnosed with anorexia nervosa. She is 14 years old. I want to talk about this for a number of reasons but mainly to raise awareness. There is so much more to anorexia than just starving yourself. It not only affects you but everyone else around you. I also want to point out my views, I don't think there is anything wrong with being thin as long as you're healthy likewise are my opinions to larger woman. As long as you're healthy you have nothing to worry about, because we are all different so be confident in yourself because there is nothing better.
I want to talk about the tag #thinspo to begin with. It is a hashtag on many media site like tumblr and instagram. Thinspo gives people an unhealthy outlook on their appearance, we all have faults that we are unhappy about but why look up tags to make yourself feel worse. Or aspire to be something unrealistic and deadly. Your should love your body and nourish it. You don't have someone else's body and they don't have yours, so look after yourself. You will live in this body for the rest of you life. Don't waste time wishing you were someone else. Live every day loving your body whether you're having a messy hair pyjama day or you've made yourself up for an evening out. No one can replace you and that is so important.
There is a petition you can sign here to "Restrict use of thinspiration language and hashtags circulating the twittersphere." which I encourage you to sign as soon as possible.
A lot of websites seem to promoting eating disorders, they glamorise them and make them look like a quick fix. When in fact they are anything but. I want to open your eyes to the disadvantages of anorexia which you may not be aware of.
- Feeling cold. An easy sign of malnutrition and low body fat is being cold. Wrapping up warm just to keep your core temperature warm even in mild weather. You can develop hypothermia in extreme cases.
- Prone to illness. You'll have a weakened immune system so therefore you will be more likely to get catch illnesses.
- Over exercise. You won't be able to relax and will be constantly on the move, shaking your legs whilst sitting/standing is a common sign.
- Muscle loss. Muscle will waste away and decrease due to the body feeding off itself. This can lead to such things as kidney failure.
- Treatment centres. You can become a patient for months on end where you will be fed to a healthy weight and they may also offer counselling/therapy session to tackle the mental side. However this may mean you can have no contact with family and the whole experience can be rather overwhelming.
- No energy. You will be sleepy because your body is malnourished.
- Irregular periods. Your hormone levels can be affected by poor diet. Your periods can stop altogether or they may never even start. Which can later lead to being infertile.
- Thinning of the bones (osteoporosis). Lack of vitamin d or calcium can lead to easily fractures bones. In addition, the risk of getting osteoporosis increases if you are a woman and your periods have stopped. This is because oestrogen in your body protects your bones from osteoporosis and the levels of oestrogen in your body reduce when your periods stop. (information found here)
- Anaemia. Having low iron can lead to anaemia. Which makes yo feel weaker and more tired than normal. This means that you may also feel dizzy or faint.
- Hair and skin. Downy hair may appear on your body, where as the hair on your head may become thinner. Your skin may also become dry and rough.
So get help now as soon as you can. There are many websites like the NHS or b-eat which are there to help you, so take advantage of it. I know this is something different but I really want t raise awareness!
Thank you for reading,