• DearNeurotypicals

Consequences of Skinny

Dear Neurotypicals,

People treated me like I was stupid when I was fat but trust me I didn’t get smarter when I got skinny. Maybe I got a little bit better at math, but only eating disorder math. Starving yourself the way I have actually reduces your brain function.

I was organizing my closet the other day which required going through old notebooks to see which ones are empty and I found so many journals where I had written down the comments people had said about my body. In so many entries there were logs about the way people praised me when I lost weight or talked about how I ate—whether I was eating too much or too little.

People give me quizzical looks when I say I have an eating disorder. People tell me I don’t look like I have one or couldn’t have had an eating disorder because I was fat once. I made my MyFitnessPal account in junior high. It’s the longest relationship in my life. I only recently realized that’s not normal.

I found out today I have severe Osteopenia. I’m only a few decimal points from Osteoporosis.

I’m less than a year away from being able to reverse any of this. The fact that I also have endometriosis worsens my odds. Having brittle bones is scary to someone who enjoys being athletic and working out. I’m not supposed to exercise at all to help heal. I’m supposed to eat more and move less. And I just don’t know if my brain can handle that.

I’m also on a daily heart medication. My doctor ordered the proper testing so I’ll know for sure in a few weeks hopefully, but she thinks my heart shrunk from malnutrition and is struggling now as a result.

So, when you were making fun of how much I was eating—I was experiencing excessive hunger pains because my body was so starved it was pulling muscle from my heart and mass from my bones. When I was underweight the body you were complimenting was feeding on itself.

Being alone since the pandemic has been kind of nice, because I don’t have to hear these comments but I think a lot about how I already gained some weight. If I gain anymore you guys will make jokes at my expense about how I gained a “Quarantine Nineteen” when really what happened is I fought my brain so my heart and bones could be healthy. Those weight gain comments and jokes will make me relapse because I remember how I was treated when I was fat. So why bother trying to get better?

I heard this spoken word right after I had first lost my BED weight several years ago. It’s always stayed with me and I’ve been thinking about it a lot in the past few weeks. I think it’s a pretty good summary of the response you get when you “start out” at a higher BMI.


Sincerely,

Afraid of Being Full

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