Ok. This will be a rant. Consider yourselves warned.
I cannot stand all of this "pro-Ana" "pro-Mia" BS. I just can't. I don't know how to explain it, how to put into words how absolutely unfathomable it is to me that anyone would see this as some sort of diet. That teenage girls are going around trading secrets on how best to purge, restrict and camouflage it all from their parents. There is no being "pro" bulimia. No one wants to be bulimic. You don't choose it, you don't decide it. In the same way that you don't choose or decide to have cancer or pneumonia or schizophrenia or depression. You want to know what it's like to have bulimia? Well, here's what it's like for me.
Today, I didn't even go on a full-blown binge, but I ingested over 1000 calories in one sitting. When I go on a "real" binge, it's 2, 3, 4, 5 times that. That's what bulimia is. It's shoveling spoonful after spoonful of food into your throat, not tasting any of it. Just cramming it all in to fill some sort of gaping hole in your heart. It's uncontrollable. It's overwhelming. It's the best way of punishing yourself, of hurting yourself from the inside out. It's like wanting to make yourself explode, wanting your insides to explode so that maybe it will somehow numb all the pain that you're feeling. It's not attractive, it's not sexy. But it's stronger than you.
Like I said, usually, I have much more than that. Today wasn't even a "binge" per se, more of my one meal for the day. But I felt so sick afterwards. That's what happens. You get so used to throwing up, that even the smallest amount of food makes you feel sick. Suddenly, it doesn't matter what you are eating, where, when or why; it all just wants to come up. Your body rejects it because that's what you've taught it to do. It's a battle to keep anything down at all. Even water. Drinking water makes me nauseous. Sometimes, I have to throw it up. Not because I want to lose weight, not because water frightens me; because my body doesn't know what to do but vomit what I put into it.
So it's a battle. Every single time I eat something. It is a godforsaken battle to not run to the toilet. Even if I'm with people, even if I'm out, even if I've thoroughly enjoyed what I've just eaten and it wasn't over the top and I wouldn't mind keeping it down. It's stronger than me. Do you think that that's glamorous? Do you think that it's pleasant? It's not. Nothing about it is.
It isn't control. It may start off as a form of control, but, soon enough, it dictates how you do things, what you eat, when you do. When I throw up, it isn't controlled. I'm getting pretty "good" at aiming and all that, but, sometimes, it comes in violent heaves that end up everywhere. On the toilet rim, on the toilet seat, on my face, on the floor, on my feet. It gets into my nose, which starts to run, and tears slide down my face and into the toilet. That's because the nerve that controls vomiting also controls your tears.
After, my gums are bleeding, my teeth are tingling. I blow my nose, and coloured gunk comes out. I brush my teeth, examine my red gums, wash my face. My skin is dry, my lips crack, my throat hurts, and my voice is raspy. While I'm bent over, I grab my thighs, to prove to myself that, at least, this has some sort of purpose. After, I stand in front of the mirror and examine what I've done. Classy, huh?
I understand why this may appeal to some. And I understand that not all those that have bulimia are like me. Some need to stick their finger down their throat. I don't. It all comes up on its own.
This is not some special club. Older girls should not be "educating" younger ones about this, making it out to be some sort of chosen lifestyle. No, you didn't choose it. You may choose not to seek treatment, but that's not the same.
I am a medical student. I will be a health care professional. It would be hypocritical of me to condemn the actions of anyone that engages in this behaviour, but it doesn't mean that I will condone it. And I sure as hell won't tell young girls how to become like me in this respect.
I would love to be a role model, but not for this. Ask me how to study, ask me for tips and tricks on learning things, ask me how to be a strong woman, ask me how to fight for things that are good and just. I want to be a strong female role model. That's why I coach girl's soccer. That's why I always stand up for myself. That's why I did karate. That's why I'm a soccer referee. I will never stand for injustice. I will never stand for someone thinking less of me for being a girl.
This is what we should be teaching girls. Not how to bow to the porcelain thrown. We should teach them to hold their heads up high and to be strong. We are a community of girls, of women, and we owe it to each other to be strong for one another in times of hardship, to help pick each other up when we're down. We all have different lives and live in different cities, but we have much more in common than disease.
I just want to remind you all that you are beautiful. More than just your bodies, you are defined by your thoughts and your hopes and your dreams. More than what you look like, you are defined by what you do. So, today, just let me tell you that you are beautiful, inside and out. Give yourself a break, even if it's just for today. Find something in you that you find inspirational. Think of something that you do or have done that makes you proud. Your worth is not dependent on the number on the scale. You are wonderful.
Have a gorgeous weekend.
All my love,