How to spot and avoid eating disorders
By Debbie Vergara
I used to have a friend when I lived in Brooklyn NY…her name was Lucy, she had an eating/weight disorder called “anorexia nervosa, and bulimia.” Back then Lucy was 18, the same age I was; she was at least 5′ 5″ tall and weighed 104 pounds. Lucy almost died back then.
Anorexia Nervosa is when a person is terrified about becoming FAT. A person who has anorexia usually weighs 85% or less than what is expected for their age and height.Bulimia Nervosa is the diet-binge-purge disorder. A person who has bulimia binge eats, vomits, misuses laxatives, exercises, or fasts to get rid of the calories, they may eat rapidly and secretly, or may snack and nibble all day long.
Lucy was a very attractive young woman; she had the prettiest brown eyes, brown curly hair, rosy cheeks and a cute chin dimple. Lucy’s face was always full even though she was thin, she hated that, but she did brag about how having the flattest stomach. As long as she had the flattest stomach she did not care, she thought she looked good. Lucy tried to control her eating disorder, she’d have it under control for a few months and all of a sudden would go right back into thinking she was fat.
Lucy began to get really sick though, her hair started turning brittle, she became really pale and her cheeks looked as if a vaccuum had sucked the fat right out of them. As soon as Lucy’s weight would reach over 105 pounds she’d panic. She’d go back into starvation mode until she went too far; Lucy passed away because of her eating disorder.
I know what Lucy was going through though. I had to write an essay about it when I was in high school, so I had to dig up a lot of information, and I at one point in my life almost became anorexic. I knew the signs though, so I really fought not to do that to myself. I had to learn to accept the way I was, to love myself.
There are people out there, boys and girls alike, that literally almost kill themselves to look like a model or an athlete. Did you know that people who have anorexia do not worry about how another person looks, like how fat they are? They worry about how they look, about what “others” think about them. They do this because of their negative attitudes about food, weight, and their bodies
Young people who develop disordered eating habits eat and exercise in ways that jeopardize their health, happiness, and safety. The desire to become thinner usually isn’t an idea that just pops into a girl’s/boy’s head. There is almost always a reason behind the disorder, like breaking up with a boyfriend, pressure in school, pressures from parents, etc.
Girls are taught by society – the media, friends, family, singers and TV shows – what they should look like. They are taught that to be thin is wonderful and beautiful, that they should look like models.
Teens need to understand how their eating and exercise habits get out of control, what starts it. They need to learn that their worth goes beyond how they look. They need to feel appreciated for their skills, talents, and personality, rather than appearance. They need to surround themselves with people who make them feel good. And avoid people who tease them about how they look. Friends and family can help teens stop this unhealthy behavior.
Girls and guys need to realize that their outer appearance isn’t the only important thing in life; a positive body image is what is important. If you are really beautiful, why do you feel so badly about yourselves? In reality it’s all about your learning to accept the physical beauty you were born with. Empower yourselves and your friends—don’t tolerate teasing about your weight and shape. Make a list of qualities that you like about yourself. Then make a list of what you don’t like. I’m sure the “like” list will be longer than the “dislike” list, and that will make you feel good! Don’t compare yourself to others. Don’t think there’s just one type of person in this world because there isn’t. Everyone is different, and that makes everyone unique in his or her own way. Love yourselves for who you are as a person.
Watch for warning signs of Anorexia and Bulimia. Disordered eating behaviors are easy to recognize. They include one or more of the following:
- Skipping meals
- Restricting food choices to a few “acceptable” items
- Focusing excessively on avoiding certain foods, particularly foods that contain fat
- Binge eating, especially snack foods and sweets
- Self-induced vomiting
- Taking laxatives, diuretics (water pills), or diet pills
This month’s beauty tip:
Here’s how to get beautiful full lips in four easy steps…
Step one: Lip balm
Prepare your delicate lips with a generous slick of lip balm in advance. Nobody likes cracked lips! Make sure that the lip balm has sunk a little before you go on to step two, otherwise your lip liner won’t work.
Step two: Line and define
Get a natural lip liner, and carefully draw around the very rim of your lips. When you have a firm line fill in the rest of your lips with the same color.
Step three: Now add some shine
Here comes the glamorous bit, the lip-gloss! Again, keep the color natural. Forget lipstick that’s too dark or too light. One thing you’ve gotta remember though, gloss looks better but doesn’t have the staying power of lipstick. Make sure you keep it in your purse and re-apply during the day.
Step four: Plump them up
All you’ve got to do, (after you’ve completed steps one through three), is dot a white shimmery product like eye shadow or an eyebrow highlighter in the very center of your lips. Start slowly, and blend very carefully. What you are looking to achieve is natural looking shading, with your lip color being lighter where your mouth opens. This will create the illusion of beautiful full lips.