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The Prospector

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An eating disorder is much more than that—it’s a disease


To recognize and admit you have a problem is one of the most difficult things to come to terms with.

I had an eating disorder for a couple of years, and it’s still something that exists in the back of my mind.

My disease has a name: anorexia nervosa.

The UTEP Counseling Center lists signs of this disorder to include excessive weight loss, disruption of the menstrual cycle, extreme sensitivity to cold, fine, downy hair covering the body surface, dull stringy hair, wearing bulky clothes to hide thinness and denial of the problem.

It’s only one of the many types of eating disorders that exists. Someone who was anorexia nervosa obsesses over what they eat, over exercise and will often starve themselves.

For me it started right before my freshman year of high school. I had never noticed my body until one day I went to the pool with my friends and all of the other girls’ bodies looked different than mine.

After that, I began by trying to eat healthier and exercise more. I was already playing basketball at the time so exercise wasn’t new to me—I just pushed myself more. I began noticing other people’s bodies more and more, and compared myself to them. When I felt I didn’t see any changes, I started eating less.

Little by little, I would cut my food intake even more. I would just have breakfast at home and lie about having lunch at school so my mom wouldn’t notice. After that, I skipped breakfast and lunch and would only have a bowl of cereal for dinner.

This went on for three years. I had to hide the food my mom gave me so she would think I ate it. I thought that because I never went to the extreme of throwing up or taking pills that I didn’t have a problem.

Eating disorders, especially anorexia nervosa, have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.

At one point I weighed 106 pounds, when the minimum weight for my height and age group was 119.

I kept losing weight, but I never saw the results. Through my eyes I looked exactly the same as I did when I started.

In focusing on my body looking a certain way, I didn’t notice all of the other things that started to go wrong. My hair thinned out, I never had a regular period, I disrupted my growth, I became weak and had a vitamin and iron deficiency.

My anorexia disorder has even resulted in more serious health problems that I still have today.

At least 30 million people of all ages and genders suffer from an eating disorder in the U.S., and every 62 minutes at least one person dies as a direct result from an eating disorder.

It took a very serious health scare, my mother constantly supervising me as I ate and a tremendous amount of discipline for me to be able to get back on track and eat regularly.

Anorexia is a terrible mental disease that’s nearly impossible to get rid of. I want to be better, so I have to make it a big deal to always want to eat in order to condition my mind to it. I have subconsciously found myself looking at nutrition facts and often skipping one meal here and there.

If you recognize any of these symptoms in yourself or anyone you know, please seek help. This is not something that can go untreated.

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About the Contributor
Leslie Sarinana, Copy Editor
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An eating disorder is much more than that—it’s a disease