an·o·rex·i·a noun 1. an emotional disorder characterized by an obsessive desire to lose weight by refusing to eat.
Today is the end of NEDA, or National Eating Disorder Awareness Week. This brave soul came to me with the idea of expressing the battle she fought – and won – with anorexia through the medium of photography. She wanted to illustrate the negative effects of this disease and contrast them with the strong, triumphant woman she has become. The quotes you see below the photos are her words.
100% honest. 100% real.
Eating disorders are not something to be glorified. They are devastating, destructive emotional disorders that need to be treated with professional help. They are not fads. They are not “just a phase.” They can destroy relationships and have serious consequences for your health, both physical and emotional. The longer an eating disorder goes undiagnosed and untreated, the more difficult it can be to heal. If you struggle with an eating disorder, you are not alone. You are valued. You are loved. You can get help.
For professional help and support: National Eating Disorders Association: 1-800-931-2237 (Monday-Friday, 11:30 am-7:30 pm EST) National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders: 630-577-1330 (Monday-Friday,12 pm-8 pm EST)
“Anorexia is exhausting . . . Society always has something more that it wants from you . . . By the end of the day, I can't think straight, so I hide under my massive covers and I dream of a skinnier me.”
"Anorexia is like that annoying, negative friend that you keep around because you've known them for so long . . . she makes you think twice before you get ready in the morning, checking every angle twice to make sure nothing looks big. And if it does, she tells you.”
“It's hard trying to defend yourself against a voice in your head.”
"The numbers on the scale had to always be going down. As the numbers went down, so did my anxiety.”
“Being disgusted with yourself is the worst feeling.”
Q: What made you realize you needed to seek help? A: I read a devotion about a mother who was in her 40’s and still battling anorexia. I knew that wasn’t right. A voice in my head feeding me lies shouldn’t take a toll on my kids or my husband. [Anorexia] can’t have my career and my future. She’s had too much of my past.
“It's never fully over, but I know what anorexia is and how it tries to destroy me. I know how to live with it. I am stronger, smarter, and happier than I've ever been. I can eat, shop, and wear what I want . . . The fitting room used to be a scary dungeon with walls closing in on me. Now it is an oasis to me. It’s an adventure.”
“I'm okay with me. Society may always want something more, but Christ gave me all I need.”