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Anorexia and Bulimia in Early Adult Females

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________________ Growing up in a traditional Italian family and community, the concept of ?stuffing yourself silly,? was not an unfamiliar one when it came to dinner time, Sunday lunches, and especially not on big holidays. Similar ideas had been instilled from a very young age, and are often revisited and reinforced particularly because of my age and gender. Interestingly enough, on a lunch break at work, a co-worker were enjoying and I were talking while standing over a plate or freshly (homemade, might I add) baked bagels and other baked goods. After a fair amount of time indulging, it comes to my attention that my co-worker had not touched anything the entire time we were talking. When I go to ask her why in her right mind that she did not dive into the plate, she simply responded to me with the phrase ?Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.? Various thoughts ran through my mind with mixed emotions attached to them. Little did I know, ?calorie watching? is a very popular concept to many female individuals of various shapes and sizes. This is a very unforgiving and indiscriminate mindset that most women tend to adopt as they enter into their teenage years, and tend to linger on into mid and more often then not, late adulthood. Some of the questions, to name a few, I asked myself are: Where does one come up with such an outrageous train of thought? ...read more.


While purging is a means of altering ones body weight by removing food that was eaten from the body. Common purging methods include vomiting (usually self induced), or using laxatives to excrete food quickly. Most of the young women that I spoke to were much more open to speaking about fasting and skipping meals then talking about purging. It seemed like the key to fasting was to eat something small and then follow it down with fluids to fill up and delay gastric emptying. One person even suggested that they find that if they eat a meal very quickly, then they fill up much faster and find their hunger does not return for longer periods of time. This kind of eating habit can be referred to as ?binging.? Where individuals will typically consumer relatively large amounts of food in relatively short periods of time in order to cope with feeling hungry. When it came to talking about purging, individuals would not confirm how often they purge, but had admitted to participating in at least one of self-induced vomiting or taking laxatives or diuretics to maintain their weight. Another interesting theme that caught my attention on the Pro Ana website was the theme of depression, suicide, self-injury, and substance abuse. This leads you to believe that this is not just strictly an issue with one?s physical state, but also mental state. These young girls are submitting posts on the website saying things like: ?So I fasted yesterday and today I decided I would eat a little... ...read more.


One of the most quote on quote ?depressing? thing that can happen, according to one of the subjects, was to put on an article of clothing they bought when they were younger and be unable to fit in it the way they used to. This then reminds them how thin they once were, even at a point in their life when they were still growing, and they have feelings that they ?let themselves go? or weren?t as active or involved in movement as they were. With these feelings of regret and remorse sometimes bring in depressing thoughts and naturally the body?s defence mechanism for that is to eat. This then becomes a huge downward spiral which can be very difficult to steer clear of without the right kind of intervention. Ultimately these poor lifestyle choices are affecting individuals on a mental, physical emotional level that makes it very difficult to cope with at times. With all these pressures, it?s very easy to cave and give into alternative methods of controlling weight that may be very unhealthy for the body in the end. This is why it is important for family, friends, teachers, and people close to these individuals to look for any unusual signs or symptoms that may suggest that these girls are partaking in any bulimic or anorexic behaviours, and correct the behaviour from the start. This way by addressing the issue before it happens or even early on, you can prevent possible damage done and help allow for a better quality of life. ...read more.

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