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Inside the Mind of an Anorexic

Girl freakng out for her increased weight

“You are really pretty; do you know that?”

A phrase that an Anorexic has a hard time believing. Anorexia Nervosa is an eating disorder that is like a judgmental roommate that never lets you forget how many calories are in your food. The constant criticism in your head is marked by severe food limitation, resulting in significant weight loss, and accompanied by a dread of weight gain and excessive exercise.

Should I eat this? Should I cover an extra mile today? Should I wear this dress or Should I find something baggy? Do I look fine? Is everyone looking at me? Have I gained weight again?

This daily wordplay makes the life of an anorexic difficult. The distorted perception can go as far as to make them believe that they are overweight even when they are severely underweight.

When an anorexic looks in the mirror, they often feel disgusted and disappointed. They tend to selectively focus on specific body parts they consider problematic such as their stomach or thighs while disregarding or downplaying other aspects of their appearance.

In this blog, we will dive deep into the mind of an anorexic, the thoughts that one goes through in their daily life.

(Please note this is just a depiction of what it can be like to have anorexia nervosa. However, everybody goes through different experiences with eating disorders. This can also be triggering to the people with same disorder. Consider whether or not reading this story will be more helpful or triggering for you.)

Waking Up

UGH! Another Day. I wake up and see the mirror while dreading to see it. I feel like I have gained weight overnight. The voice in my head suddenly start

What the hell? What did you eat? Was it the late-night sprouts you had? Was it the milkshake? Guhh, you shouldn’t have. You deserve to look like this because you never do enough! You should plan to fix your calories again!

I start doing yoga and some exercises focusing on my problem areas. I decide to skip my breakfast. I look at the mirror again not wanting to look at it. I shiver as I step on the weighing machine. I feel tired already and the day hasn’t even started.

I find myself asking again whether I should eat a banana or should I just start my day. Now there are two voices in my head.

Voice 1: Bro, Eat a banana. You will starve yourself to death.

Voice 2: Are you crazy? How can you even think about it? Have you not seen the mirror today? You are at the same weight as yesterday. Look at the mass.

Voice 1: Do you want to faint or what? You are having constant headaches and stomach aches.

Voice 2: It is better to faint than to look this ugly.

I see the time and find myself getting late to the office again in wonder of whether to skip breakfast or not. So, I try to shut the voices and wear palazzo pants and a loose shirt. At least this part of the day is over!

Random Employee Birthday Celebration

When I thought everything was going just fine. There had to be a cake! How am I going to decline eating it this time? Should I say I have a spiritual fast that my mother told me to keep? Wait a second, that was my excuse last time when I went out with this same circle. They will think I am weird.

Sara: Did you eat the cake, Anaya?

Me: Oh, I….. I…. I actually… don’t eat eggs. I think this cake contains eggs.

Sara: Oh, I think you are mistaken. This is an eggless cake so you can have a piece.

What the f***! What am I supposed to do now? I cannot even come up with another excuse now. I’ll just ask for a tiny bite.

Me: Oh, that’s good then. Give me just a little piece.

Sara: Here you go. (Pours a little piece)

Although that piece doesn’t seem so tiny to me. I get anxious just by looking at it. I start calculating calories in my head again. I take 2-3 bites. I look around if anyone is watching me. I wonder if I can throw it in the dustbin without anyone finding it out. I succeed in executing my plan but I am somehow still on a guilt trip for the pieces that I did eat.

Sweets have the maximum calories. What were you thinking? How is your weight going to decrease if you don’t change your ways? Guhh!!

I feel disgusted at myself and completely distracted from my office work. All I want to do is hit the gym or go on the run or take a walk. I look at the pending work that adds to my anxiety. How did I manage to pile all this up?

Will you Go Shopping with Me?

No, Shweta. The only thing that shops with me is my anxiety. I don’t want to buy another piece of clothing item that looks awful on me.

Shweta: Hey, what are you thinking? Are you in?

Me: No, you go ahead. I have a family function. Maybe later.

Shweta: Oh okay, No problem. You are so in shape. I wish I had your physique. I love how you look.

Voice 1: Good job. You should be applauding yourself. You have worked hard for this.

Voice 2: What? She thinks I am in good shape. Really? Me? I guess people say anything to make the other person feel better. I mean, look at me. Who would ever want me? I feel like it was sarcasm.

Me: Ew. Just go shopping already. I’ll see you later.

Is it a Date or Calories on my Plate?

I hate going out on dates. Why can’t we have a no-food date? It would be so simple. Ajay has asked me twice and I keep postponing it. This time he will think I am not interested in him.

Voice 1: Just go. It will be all right.

Voice 2: Stop telling yourself fake promises. You will become overweight and anxious.

Voice 1: You like him. You always do this. Give yourself a chance to be happy.

Voice 2: Or a chance to be overweight!

I start to get ready. My skin looks pale. Choosing the outfit is another nightmare. I try to find something a little less baggy but still baggy enough to not showcase even a hint of my skin.

He picks me up and comes to my door with chocolates and flowers. Guess the kids around the corner are going to be happy today. At least someone is.

I get through the date somehow by giving a thousand lame excuses. I eat super slow to make it appear I have eaten enough.

I don’t feel well. I think I should go to the washroom. I feel nauseous. I’ll order a small meal for myself. You continue with your crispy fried chicken.

Me: Would you like to come over for a cup of coffee?

Ajay: Amm. Yes, I would love that.

Voice 2: Are you stupid? You were about to get over this. What if something happens? Are you ready to expose yourself like this?

Voice 1: It is a new experience. It is going to be fun.

Voice 2: New experience scaring this guy off? Like the date wasn’t enough!

Now I become terrified and petrified. We drink coffee as he starts to look at me with googly eyes.

What does he even see in me? Is he noticing my dry and chapped face? Or Is he looking at my face fat?

“Let’s turn off the light,” I announce. I don’t want him to notice me further and find out how ugly I am. I am scared he will leave once he sees me like this.

Anorexic and Pregnant

Early Pregnancy

I am so scared about becoming a mother. I am also excited but I don’t think I will be a good mother. I won’t do justice to my baby’s health. My body is changing so rapidly. I'm trying to focus on the fact that it's for a good reason, but every time I see myself in the mirror, I can't help but feel uncomfortable and insecure. I am not ready to lose control of my body.

Voice 1: This is also a chance to take care of your health and let go of the obsession with the strict diet.

Voice 2: Here goes all your hard work down the drain!

Mid Pregnancy

I see other pregnant women embracing their bodies and enjoying the experience. Why can't I do that? I feel so isolated in my struggles. I feel the constant urge to restrict my eating. I don’t want to eat. I have to force myself to eat as it is necessary for the baby. I should be happy, but I'm also struggling with guilt. Guilt for not being able to fully enjoy this experience and guilt for potentially affecting my baby's health.

Voice 2: Ugh, Look at yourself in the mirror. Skip the breakfast. Skip every meal. This is horrible.

Voice 1: This is supposed to happen when you are pregnant. The weight will shed off after 9 months.

Voice 2: Look at your body right now. How are you even looking at yourself like this? Gross!

Late Pregnancy

Will I be able to shed off all this weight once the baby arrives? Have I eaten enough? Have I affected the baby because of my insecurities? The stress and anxiety kill me. I just want to get done with this so that I can focus on my weight but I also want to do everything right for the baby. It feels like I am in hell.

Voice 1: It is almost time. You can leave this anxiety behind.

Voice 2: Go for a run. You should be at the gym right about now.

Voice 1: You are tired. You shouldn’t be doing heavy workouts during pregnancy. It is not good for the baby.

Voice 2: How many calories are you taking? You need to minimize them!

It is a constant battle fighting between these two voices. Pregnancy heightens all my symptoms. I am more worried than I ever used to be. It is not fun watching yourself in the mirror or weighing yourself. I want to do things that are healthy for my baby but I feel there is an inner force trying to stop me and it is so hard to fight this force. It feels like I am walking in a tornado.

Hear from Lostalittle

Remember, this is a fictional representation, and experiences can vary widely. Distorted body image is a central feature of anorexia nervosa, driven by complex interactions of psychological, societal, and biological factors.

Understanding this distortion is crucial for developing targeted interventions to help individuals with anorexia regain a healthier perception of their bodies and ultimately recover from the disorder.

If you or someone you know is struggling with similar thoughts and feelings, seeking professional support from therapists experienced in eating disorders is crucial for the well-being of the individual.

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