Eating Disorder Recovery · Uncategorized

We Teach them Better

I’m not a fan of quiet restless days. They seem to eat away at my brain till all I have left are the thoughts that make me question everything about the universe. I have never been the type to be able to leave things alone but I’m not sure that in the grand scheme of things that that is such a terrible thing to do. Maybe it means that I give myself a headache more often than I like but in a way it also means that I don’t let things go. I don’t see something wrong in the world and choose to ignore it because that is how it has always been. I believe in changing things and making them right when they are wrong. I find the world to be a worrying place at the moment but sometimes I am not sure how I do try and change it. Earlier today I read a tweet by a doctor who had just admitted a 10-year-old in to hospital for an Eating Disorder. 10 years old! It is an incredibly sad thing but what probably makes it worse is that it is not uncommon. The news in the UK this week has been focused on the push of healthy eating in schools. Are we taking it too far? In our adult pursuit of reaching this state of health that is unbalanced and restrictive, we end up having 80% of 10 years olds having a fear of being fat and 80% have also tried dieting at some point. Does that not terrify you? People talk about the obesity epidemic the west is facing and yet why are we not talking about how the rates of Eating Disorders in both males and females are soaring and have been for some time? We let all this self hate spill from our lips and we forget who may be listening. We forget that how we understand things is not the same way that a child will understand them. It has to stop and when we teach kids about healthy eating, we teach them that healthy eating means eating a balanced diet of everything, that nothing is truly terrible or not allowed. There is a difference between guidelines and rules.

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See…chocolate and sweets are recommended by the NHS.

The next generation is constantly bombarded. They see these images in the media, they go in to schools and get told off for having unhealthy foods, they are constantly told that if they do not eat less and move more than they are going to get fat and fat is a terrible thing to be! I know what it’s like to grow up with those messages, with the people around me hating themselves, hating their weight, hating that they have needs and desires in regards to food and although it didn’t cause my Eating Disorder, it didn’t help. It certainly doesn’t help my recovery when I hear it now. I’m a fully grown adult person these days and even I am swayed and tested by what I hear and see. Can you imagine how a child deals with that? Instead of telling them that they weigh too much, or their clothes are too big, we should be telling them that they are worthy, that they are good people and deserve to feel strong. We build kids who like themselves, have better self-esteem, better relationships and then all those scary statistics might begin to drop. The more we tell people what is right or wrong, what foods to eat or not to eat, the more we are just fixing the surface problem. Education is important but I think what is needed in the end is a different kind of education.

I know that many of you who read my blog have struggled or still are struggling with an Eating Disorder so I know you get it…and I also know that overwhelming sense of fear that you feel when you see someone else begin to fail or get themselves caught up in the mess of this disorder. You want to catch them…you want to stop the crash. We’re not always going to be able to but maybe…we stop one person before that hate grows in them and makes them hurt themselves in this way. A child should learn to respect their bodies, whatever it’s size and know that its ok to look after it. It’s what I wanted, I’m pretty sure it’s what you would have wanted…so lets try make it more of a reality for the next generation.

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