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The Young Woman I Saw…

Posted Nov 17 2011 4:42pm

Hello loves!

Can I just say, you are one fantastic bunch :) The supportive comments from yesterday’s post were simply remarkable and helpful beyond words. I won’t lie to you, I am struggling with this entire situation… It’s ridiculously “easy” for me to fall quite short of the number of calories I need. What is “hard” is challenging myself on a daily basis to do what is necessary to gain my healthy back. It’s one of the most difficult things I have ever battled, and the support I receive from this community is both amazing and essential. Thank you all <3

Now onto what thoughts are surging through my mind at the moment. I actually was not planning on posting today, as I didn’t feel I had anything new to explain, but then I saw something that made me well… rather upset.

I am willing to bet that a majority of us enjoy people watching.. I mean, it’s great! On nice days for example, I enjoy sitting outside perhaps with a good book or magazine and reading in an area of high people traffic. I just like observing others- seeing their habits, how they interact with others, what the are wearing and so on. I know this sounds pretty darn creepy, but it’s just kind of a fun activity!

Anyway, as my disordered eating has worsened over the years, I have intensified my focus on food- what I am eating, cooking, baking, ingredients, nutrients, and so on. Another rather annoying component of this is the habit of looking at what other people eat. If I am in class for example and someone pulls out an energy bar to snack on, my eyes will dart to the label because I am wondering what kind they are having. Or someone might have a carry a bag of cereal with them and when they bust it out to eat, I look at the food to see if I recognize any of the cereal. You know where else this happens… umm a lot? In the Dining Halls on campus.

For someone that simultaneously loves and hates food and is entertained by people watching, then any kind of dining area is going to be a “great” place to be, in accordance with this. I always eat in the DCs at lunch and during that time I do a combination of three things, eat, go on my computer/read a book, and sometimes bring my head up and glance around at others.

When I was at lunch earlier today, I happened to look up as a girl was walking right by my table. Immediately she caught my attention because she is one of the thinnest people I have ever seen in real life. Even though she was wearing jeans and a few sweaters and coats, any person looking at this girl could see how skinny she was. I mean perhaps both of her legs put together would make up 1/2 of one of my legs? Yeah, that bad.

I couldn’t help but to watch her after this. I wanted to know what she was going to eat (if anything), who she would be with, how she would act around all of the food and so on.

From my position in the dining hall, I could easily see her at the salad bar without looking like a total creeper. My eyes were glued to her actions as I watched her pick up a small bowl and slowly fill it with spinach, two wedges of a tomato, a few slices of cucumber, and some mushrooms.

I couldn’t pull my eyes away from what she did next.

This girl pulled out a very small tupperware cup and meticulously scooped dry cooked brown rice into the 1/2 of the TINY cup to measure it, and then poured that portion into the “bowl of salad” she had. She proceeded to do this with the fat free cottage cheese they offer, and then placed THREE kidney beans on top. Once everything was carefully put in place, she added literally a few single drops of olive oil, and mixed it around.

As she was going through this entire process, I could see her considering every.single.piece of food she put in her bowl. There were moments of hesitation about adding something else, perhaps “giving in” and then quickly taking it away. I could see the fixation and concentration on her face that every part of this meal had to be utterly perfect.

Although i don’t know for sure, I am willing to bet a whole lot that this girl has some serious eating issues. I mean physically it was obvious- her twig legs, lanky hair, dark shadows under her eyes… But what really gave her away was what she was eating and how she was going about doing it.

It honestly took some serious self-control on my end to not get up, walk over to where she was sitting and (sort of) eating, give her a hug and tell her that everything could be okay without this mental disorder. I promise.

However, I am fairly certain I would have scared the bageezes out of her, or she might have though I was a major creeper/weirdo/out of my own mind, etc. And then of course, the ever-present possibility of complete denial that there is something wrong with her.

This situation really struck a cord with me and made me impossibly sad… sad for this girl who was allowing this mental disorder to destroy her life. Although I never reached a physically low point that she had reached, I could certainly empathize with how she was feeling mentally- the need to critique and analyze the minimal amounts of food she was providing her body with. I of course have no idea what else is going on in this young woman’s life, but there something is clearly bothering her to induce such an emotional and physical response.

Again, I wanted to get up and talk… tell her that I understand and that she can be helped out the dark hole she is trapped in. Perhaps it would have helped knowing she is not alone in this struggle. I mean this is yet another reason I love the blogging world so so much. I know there are tons of people out there that are just like me; experiencing disordered eating, striving to overcome it, or able to tell their success stories of recovery from this mental illness. It’s an honest relief to know there are people like me because as a result I feel less “crazy.”

Eating disorders and disordered eating is such a prevalent issue in our society, and it’s becoming even worse. The idea of this makes me want to scream.

No one deserves to suffer from this…no one. I would not wish it on my worse enemy. The angst, thoughts, anxiety, fears, and anger that come along with this mental disorder can quite efficiently destroy you both physically and mentally. This young woman I saw does not deserve this… she deserves to get back to a healthy weight and be the young, thriving person she used to be.

Again, I don’t know for sure, if she is suffering with an eating disorder, but I am fairly positive this is the case.

Honestly, I don’t really know why I am telling you about this and I’m not necessarily trying to ask you anything. I just was so.. dispirited, by what I witnessed with this girl. It’s just I so KNOW how she feels and wish I could shake her and tell her to cut the crap, because no matter what you believe, life is better free of this illness.

Of course I am still recovering myself, and have a long way to go. But I am recognizing that my life has exponentially improved as my recovery efforts have continued in the positive direction. No matter what my eating disorder has allowed me to believe, me, myself, and I KNOW that life is 100% better without the constant nag and voice of ED. And this is why I continue to work so hard, because me, this girl I saw today and anyone else dealing with such issues, DESERVE to be free.

No specific questions today really… I guess I am just wondering your thoughts on this?

Or have you ever seen/been in a situation like this? Again, I couldn’t help but to tell you what I saw and the emotional response that ensued.

Thank you for reading… I promise a lighter post for tomorrow, it will be Friday after all :)

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