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Eating Disorders

Anorexia Doesn’t Have to be a Death Sentence

By January 3, 2011 April 27th, 2020 No Comments

To eat or not to eat?     If this isn’t a reminder of of the deadliness of anorexia, I don’t know what is: Isabelle Caro, a French model and actress well-known for bringing mass attention to the issue of anorexia in the world of fashion died last week. She was a mere 28 years old. It’s not just her youth that saddens me, but the overwhelming destructive nature of eating disorders in general. They wreak havoc in the most pervasive way: infecting family meals, creating shame-based thinking over the mere act of fueling our bodies, shattering any sense of self-esteem, and creating the sensation of falling down the rabbit hole whenever we venture into the realm of nourishment. The truth is, they negatively impact those suffering in more ways than the few I’ve mentioned. 
    Circumstances maintaining the virulence of eating disorders are in abundance: fashion magazines tout the ultra-thin, we’ve got a myriad of celebrity diets and pop-up ads declaring easy weight-loss without exercise, but the piece du resistance — pro-ana (pro-anorexia) sites celebrating and encouraging emaciation. In fact, when Caro died, it was a pro-ana site that posted her images with the tag line “die young, stay pretty.” On sites like this, recovery is the anti-goal.
    Recovering from an eating disorder takes time, support, and patience.  It takes acceptance of the fact that there will be good days, bad days, and days that fall in between. For me, it also takes the willingness to be transparent when transparency is usually not an option–this means I let someone know the tricks of the trade, so to speak, by sharing my “tells.” I have gleaned new ways and means of dealing with the lies my head tells me by being mindful about what I am feeling and thinking in relation to food. I engage in a loving-kindness practice when I eat, particularly when the day is rough. I regularly practice yoga, which directly brings my attention to my breath and body in a positive way. I share my experience, strength and hope whenever I can.
    I’m deeply saddened by the death of Isabelle Caro. It reminds me of how precious our lives are and how invaluable it is to be healthy. Taking a step towards recovery has positive, life-changing consequences. Why enter another decade suffering needlessly? I encourage you to reach out, ask for help, and begin talking about what’s going on. I’d like to be able to look at Isabelle Caro as a beacon of change, not just a victim of this disease, her voice becoming a vehicle for awareness, encouraging us to get to a place of healing and recovery. Nothing is impossible!

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