Dreaming . . . Of A World Without Eating Disorders
What would a world without eating disorders be like?
It would be a world of unimaginable freedom for everyone. It would be a world that each one of us could thrive in.
It is only a dream of mine. But think of the possibilities . . .My mind was captured by this dream by a recent discussion by several members of an extraordinary group of women and men on Facebook. I am gratified to be a member of the Facebook group ED Activist Network and always glean wisdom from the posts and discussions that take place within the group. The Eating Disorders Activist Network also has a site on the Internet, and contains resources and other information vital to those with eating disorders, their loved ones, and the general public.
The recent discussion revolved around completing this statement: "When I think about creating a better world with regards to eating disorders, the things that come to mind are ______." It would be impossible to summarize all the responses to this provocative thought, but there seemed to be a general theme running through many people's minds.
A better world would include acceptance of everyone regardless of size or weight.
This started me dreaming about a world without eating disorders. Imagine if no one felt compelled to starve in order to fit society's artificial view of what women and men should look like. Imagine if no one felt fear when eating a normal meal and did not try to purge it through vomiting or laxative abuse or other means.
Imagine a world free of the tyranny of the scale and counting calories. A world in which no one felt he or she had to exercise to the point of exhaustion. Imagine seeing beyond how people looked and getting to know who they really are. Imagine . . .
The thoughts of the freedom that would be enjoyed by everybody is intoxicating.
I know that there has never been a world without eating disorders, but I also know that we are now living in a time that eating disorders are prevalent. I also feel that the number of people with eating disorders is going to skyrocket because of ongoing obsessiveness both with thinness and obesity. We have learned nothing about balance, and are raising a generation of children to be afraid of food.
What can I do to at least try and create such a world? By creating awareness that each person is valuable, that each person matters and has a right to his or her voice. By refusing to give into societal pressures to look a certain way. By insisting that fat jokes are not funny and that eight-year-olds shouldn't read books that show them how to diet.
But first I must accept myself. Until I do that — and I have a long ways to go; I am my worst enemy when it comes to accepting my body — I cannot create any change and a world without eating disorders will only remain a dream.
And that is the hardest thing to do.
Gambrel, A. (2011, September 9). Dreaming . . . Of A World Without Eating Disorders, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2023, October 1 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/survivinged/2011/09/dreaming-of-a-world-without-eating-disorders
Author: Angela E. Gambrel
I too dream of a world where I'm not constantly wondering if what I'm wearing makes me look big, funny, fat, etc. If only I could learn to accept myself as who I am not who I want to be. Once this happens I will be able to help change the way society sees people.