Probably, the desire to lose weight is a special gene with which all girls are born after the 60s of the last century – that is, since it has already become unfashionable to have outstanding forms. The norms of beauty finally went in the direction of the photo-shocked supermodels. The ideal is, of course, a narrow waist and pumped butt, but the so-called “heroin chic” is still in trend.
Yes, now there are timid attempts to explain to the world the idea that all people are different and their bodies are different, and in general beauty is a subjective concept. But, unfortunately, while there is little chance of body positivity. We do not want to be special and beautiful in our own way, we want, as in Vogue. As a result, millions of women under the auspices of journalistic ideals are waging an irreconcilable struggle with kilos. And now the question for connoisseurs: is it better to win or lose?
One apple, a vegetable salad and a small piece of chicken breast are the daily ration of our today’s heroine Lera. In this mode, she lived for several years. At first I wanted to be beautiful, then I stopped wanting anything at all. Anorexia is closer than it seems. And the first step towards it is an obsessive desire to lose weight.
Lera: I got sick at the age of 15 (today Lera is 23. – Note). The first thoughts about what to lose weight, appeared in the summer sports camp – all smart, cool, pay attention to them, and here I begin to round off as a teenager. I started to run, but somehow nothing worked. After a couple of months, the thought of losing weight became obsessive. She reduced the ration, counted calories, actually transferred to vegetables, fruits, low-fat cottage cheese. Weight quickly fell, there was euphoria, the motivation to continue. When I reached my ideal – 52 kg – I understood that I had to stop, but it was very hard. Then you just roll down. Yes, and actually do not want. In the end, it reached the weight of 39 kg.
2008, the onset of the disease
In this disease, an idea first appears; it develops and begins to progress. Then there comes a turning point, when you are treated all around, trying to help. Remission may begin. But one cannot say that there is a total recovery. Some thoughts, uncertainties remain, that is, there is a big chance to slip into the disease again. Some on such a swing for 15 years live. I talked with these people – very sad stories.
You say – nonsense! Every first man loses weight, but only a few before anorexia – not so, they say, everything is dramatic. Only here the problem is that this disease is almost one of the most socially acceptable. Not is – fine. If you refuse to eat or eat little, they do not look at you with condemnation or even anxiety. You are the product of mass culture. You are approved. Even in the family about your illness can not guess. Hence, a huge number of hidden cases of anorexia and the complete absence of adequate statistics.
Women of different ages, different professions and different incomes face this disease. The reasons for all their own. From a psychological point of view, a big weight loss is not only a desire for beauty, but also an attempt to take control of your body, which creates the illusion of control over life. Hence, the main risk group is perfectionist girls, whose lives resemble an endless report: anyone, themselves, their relatives, friends, men, colleagues.
Lera: In my case, it was the desire to look better in front of friends, to be an example for friends. My family has always made great demands on me. Suffice it to say that the grandmother is the principal. And I felt obliged all the time. She constantly tried to prove something to her, her father, who also demanded good grades. And then she grew up and began to prove all this to herself and society. Like, how can I not? Certainly can. I know that many girls with anorexia have the same attitude towards life, they all have a desire to draw attention to themselves, to prove something to someone.
The first months were, of course, great. But when I reached 39 kg, I could not get out of bed. No matter what anyone says, but there is still some physiological norm – these are genes, complexion. And when there is not enough weight, there is neither physical strength nor moral strength, you start to think slowly, sometimes you’re frankly stupid. This exhaustion, everything becomes uninteresting: and study, and work, and parties. Constantly tired, and I want only one thing – to sleep.
Then I began to lose friends. I was not interested with them. And to them too – when you constantly keep in your thoughts, it’s quite difficult to communicate with you. At first, everyone tried to make them eat buns and get fat, and then they simply fell behind. If a person does not want to be treated by himself, he will not be helped.
I also remember that at that moment she started to accuse fat people. There was no compromise: once full, it means they eat a lot. Of course, I did not think about hormonal changes and illnesses. Now I understand that the manner of looking at others is unhealthy in principle. The human body is his own business. No one is entitled to charges. But when you have been sick for many years, the psyche changes. You look at the world differently. By the way, this also affects relationships with men. After all, they are initially a serious motivator for many. I want to be thin and beautiful to like. And young boys under 25 still tend to think on the level when it really matters to them how much you weigh. They need lightness, grace, carelessness, beauty. And your eating behavior and their health is of little concern. But all normal people eventually come to the conclusion that appearance is secondary to relationships. And when you have anorexia, you don’t care whether men like you or not, so that only an illusion of relationships can be created.
When I started to lose weight, I really liked this guy. He began to take care of me, everything was as I wanted. But the more I lost weight, the more I lost all interest. And then it seemed to me that I had achieved a lot. And then I just put off my personal life for a couple of years. Depletion greatly affects hormones, banal interest disappears. Therefore, I advise men: if you want a normal relationship with a girl and high-quality sex life with her, you should make sure that she feeds adequately.
I started treatment when my mother took me to a child psychotherapist, after which the first stage of awareness came. Then she went abroad, looked at the Europeans, how they live their lives, how they do not care about the appearance and weight. The main thing is that you be happy, healthy, able to work. I then thought that my goals were the same. But even understanding everything, I was very afraid to gain weight again. You know, people with anorexia go for a variety of tricks. They can eat something at home when everyone sees, but this is compensated by sweat, either with a hunger strike or with increased training. So fool relatives.
I reached 50 kg only in a year. Then I restored hormones for a long time. And then she went to study in Lithuania and slipped into illness again. There was a lot of responsibility, problems, nerves. And not in the university business, but in my attitude, in perfectionism is still the same. Even came to a nervous breakdown at the session. As a result, she stopped eating again and lost weight. The family council made the decision to return home. I took a sabbatical, and then transferred to Minsk. The parents thought that I would get comfortable, I would gain weight again, but it did not work so quickly, I still remained thin for two or three years. At the same time she was constantly twitching, nervous.
Many still do not take anorexia seriously. Women and girls with weight-bearing complexes dream that their appetite will disappear completely and irrevocably. It never occurs to them that those extra pounds are the lesser of the evils that await in this fight. Anorexia treatment can last for years and not produce results. And this is an invaluable time of your life.
Lera: I started to recover in 20 years. It was a complex process. After 18 I went to the therapist again. Until now, by the way, I go to him, but already to solve any personal problems. This is really good support. Besides him, people helped me – interesting, strong, active. I tried to take an example. Patients with anorexia always accept the position of the victim. They pity. And the more you regret a person, the more he uses it. It is still hard for me, because now I need to achieve everything, to fight in a competitive society. As soon as I acutely began to understand this, I began to recover. After all, while you are sick, your whole life fades into the background. And you also need to somehow earn money, arrange your personal life. We have to catch up.
The main thing – do not be afraid, do not lose heart. There are times when you just have to endure. At first it is hard to eat, then it is hard, on the contrary, not to eat. It’s hard to find a middle ground. It’s hard to fight with yourself. It is said that it is like breaking drugs. The first time had to drink antidepressants. It was a temporary measure in my case – like a pill from the abdomen. In combination with therapy, they work well: you understand yourself, you become calmer. Another very helpful young man. Thanks to him, I changed my perception of myself. He is an ordinary guy, but he normally perceived my problems, supported him, calmly explained that I am not the only one who can do much.
The main recipe is to create conditions that are quickly drawn from this swamp: hobby, boyfriend, environment. But at the same time, it is important to understand that there simply will not be, but this is also good. So quickly cease to feel sorry for yourself.
Now I eat what I like, it is clear that I am trying to find some golden mean, not to overeat, but I do not limit myself much. Yes, and I have too many things to focus attention on food. I do not say that I am absolutely healthy, but I know what I expect from life, therefore now it is much easier for me. I am moving in the direction I want. Sometimes there is a desire to lose weight 4 pounds, but this is not the goal of a lifetime. And I only regret that I lost five years of time that I could have spent on self-development, relationships, and career. It must be borne in mind that everyone does not care. Only your knowledge and skills are important, and appearance is your own choice.
I learned a lot during my illness. Maybe I didn’t achieve the success I could if I hadn’t lost my time, but I became morally older. I understood many things, I realized their value. Trying to look at life more seriously. Time is lost, but it is never too late to start over.
Olga Ilchik, Candidate of Psychology, a Gestalt therapist, specializes in eating disorders:
– Indeed, anorexia nervosa is a treacherous epidemic of modern society, which is still not carefully considered. Close relatives, in particular parents, believe that the main thing is to feed and regain weight, and everything else is "dope" and "will pass by itself". And in fact, this is a long and laborious work of a girl together with specialists. It is believed that the time of recovery is the experience of the disease, multiplied by two. On average, psychotherapy takes from 3 to 6 years or more. At the same time, it is desirable that the nearest environment with understanding and support takes part in the treatment. The first time work is aimed at the formation of motivation.
Believe me, almost no girl wants to recover at will. This is a disease that includes a lot of secondary benefits of a diverse level: the acquisition of power in the family, the regulation of the marital relationship of parents, a sense of superiority over other people, a way to manipulate loved ones to achieve their own goals and
Dear parents, be attentive to your growing children and do not ignore the changes in the dietary behavior of daughters and sons.