Thursday, July 14, 2016

Instagram & French Fries

I'm not really on Instagram, but I do have an account. I'm among many who probably had brilliant ideas about creating the ultimate account that didn't actually translate into anything interesting. When someone pointed out to me the account of an acquaintance of his, I was shocked, no horrified, to see that this woman is posting what looks like Pro-Ana content under the guise of healthy living. Her alarming images and the general topics are so clearly the result of an eating disorder or, at minimum, disordered thinking. If anyone in an eating disorder forum posted what she does, discussing every calorie she eats or doesn't eat and every single pound she gains or loses, the posts, especially the images, would be deleted immediately.

What's scarier is that people are liking her posts and encouraging her, as if she is doing something good when it's so very clear that this is a train wreck in the making, one that may put her life at risk. The worst thing about it is that she is apparently completely unaware that she is promoting an unhealthy fixation on her already too lean body that could potentially cause a lot of harm to anyone with an eating disorder or on the verge of one, or to youngsters who view this kind of subject matter.

I hope she will be OK, and I hope others will stop encouraging her to lose more weight, eat fewer calories and workout more. It's hard for me to understand why anyone would encourage this, but people might not know how to handle it. People who don't know about eating disorders might not realize how dangerous they can be. I don't like to see anyone suffer, so I hope this woman can get the help she needs to get healthy.

Sometimes I forget how far I have come, because I get caught up in the areas I want to improve. There are some very minor incidents that make me realize that I have come a long way. For example, when I was really struggling, if anyone made comments about what I was eating, I often would feel self conscious and stop. The other day, a friend of mine commented on the large plate of french fries I was eating, but I told him he didn't need to worry about how many fries I consumed. It's the "My Body, My Rules" approach, as Carmen Cool would say. I'm going to eat as many fries as I feel comfortable eating. If it happens to be a large quantity, so be it. The main thing for me is to be aware and keep checking in with how I'm feeling. Mostly, I'm glad I can laugh about these kinds of things now and enjoy both the company I'm with and the food I eat.

In the past, I might have taken things out on myself and punished myself unnecessarily over something so trivial. It feels good to know that those around me understand how sensitive I used to be around these issues. It means a lot to me that my friends try to understand what it was like for me in the past and acknowledge the hurdles I have jumped to get to where I am now.

Quick left turn...

I keep wanting to get some images of the animals in the vet clinic where I'm volunteering, but it's not usually the best environment for snapping cute shots, though I really wish I would have gotten a picture of the bunny rabbit I was holding last week. She was slow to come out of the anesthesia and was still snoring away by the time I had to leave. I tend to leave my phone behind, but that was one time I really wish I had brought it with me. Total cuteness overload! I did snap a quickie of the new batch of kittens on the way into the clinic, though. I don't know how I'm going to resist coming home with a million pets working there, but my heart is still aching with the loss of my sweet little Romo. I'm not ready for another pet, so this is a nice way to be near animals, even though it's a challenging position. I have so much respect for the people who work long hours there.

Sweet little babies at the Humane Society want to go home with you.

On a final note, the lumps in my breast are benign, which is a huge relief. Also, I am able to do some very, very minimal jogging. It's not even really jogging, but it is movement outside. I'm happy with that, even though I know in my heart how hard this is going to be. My feet will never really be the same, and I traded one set of problems for another. I'm so grateful to be able to even walk, though. For a long time, I was worried I wouldn't even get that far. And finally, in August or September I will be a guest on a morning radio show about mental health. I'm excited about that and will post more details when I get them.

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