Sunday, January 16, 2011

Anorexic Competition

These are all from highschool where I was on the varsity dance team and also did cheerleading. Our coaches were tough and we placed in every competition. We had several dance competitions on weekends and cheer responsibilities during the week. I also included one of one of my coaches at my graduation where I graduated with honors and had been a straight A student. So much pressure to make the grade and place in competitions. Pressure to be the best.

Today I started thinking about all the competition in treatment centers for anorexia and other eating disorders. It's horrible and oftentimes hinders recovery. I remember being at Remuda Ranch years ago and how I felt like the "fattest" anorexic/bulimic there. Girls even made comments asking if I were on maintenance as I was above 100 at Remuda. I vowed someday I would be a true anorexic and show them I could succeed. I felt I was already a failure for taking a break from college and never felt good enough or smart enough but this I could do better at and I did. I got to 92lbs by 2001 which is very low for my 5'8 frame but you know what? I never saw skeletal. I never got to "enjoy" my anorexic success because I was too far gone into the disease and only saw fat. Last year when I went to Reasons there were girls who wanted to stay sickly and be the thinnest. At first I was one of them. My weight had once again dropped below 100 but again I thought I was one of the biggest and vowed to go lower. I struggled at first but soon stopped focusing on the competition of who could be the sickest. The girls in the program seemed fairly on the ball with recovery minus just a few stuck in it and wanting the attention of being sicker than sick. I had to keep reminding myself I wanted to get better. And so I did.

I slipped again this past summer with so much stress of court. I again sought treatment and noticed this time around that several girls were wanting to stay stuck in the disorder. Reasons felt different this time. The atmosphere wasn't as accepting and so many were so into their disorder. I found myself not fitting in because I was only there a few hours at a time and wanted to get the most out of it. I was not there for competition and I was okay with gaining weight and being heavier when I started this time around. It's easy to get sucked into the competition of the disease and lose sight of recovery. You have to really be sick of being sick and want to be in ompetition for recovery or better yet, focus on YOUR OWN recovery and not what others are doing with or without their own recovery.



  1. oops don't know why that photo of me stretching posted twice but mistakes happen. oh well! lol

  2. i soooo agree with you about the competition of ED. I never wanted to compete at Reasons , i just wanted to get well. I eventually discharged because I was in a different place of recovery. I know I have never nor will i evere compete ED's. It's my life and my recovery. I think you post is important to let others know that it's not a competition because if you compete you are just competing for a life of hell..thanks for the reality check. your the to you, cheryl

  3. i know that you are strong enough to do this honey. know that i'm always here for you. i miss you a lot and i love reading your blog. keep up all your hard work <3 xoxoxo