Saturday, February 20, 2010

National Eating Disorders Awareness Week

In Thursday’s Hatchet Edition, the Opinions page was graced with an article not usually seen in the paper.

Kelly Zentgraf, a junior, wrote about her personal battle with an eating disorder, in honor of National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, which begins on Sunday.

As another junior girl, hailing from a wealthy suburb in Connecticut, I certainly have been exposed to this crippling disorder. I have watched some of my closest friends become afflicted with the disease, which means I am forever “on watch” for weight-loss, and constantly asking about food-intake. It was the norm in my high school for girls to have lost ten pounds by graduation and to never eat anything during lunch period. (Though, as Zentgraf points out in her article, eating disorders can afflict people of both genders of any age or sexual orientation).

As for the reasoning of the disorder, Zentgraf says this:

The commonly known reasons are as follows: low self-esteem, poor body-image, underlying depression and/or anxiety. But I have also met individuals who starved and binged and purged for altogether different reasons: as responses to the most extreme traumas and as methods of the most violent self-annihilation. I have met people who cannot even name a reason for why they did those things. "It just felt natural, it felt right," they say.

I commend Zentgraf, to the nth degree, for being able to publicly share her emotional story and for bringing awareness of eating disorders to the GW community. Among my GW friends, her article has initiated conversations over dinner. If you haven’t read the article yet, I hope you will chose to do so now and learn a bit more about eating disorders, from someone who has experienced one.


Fiona Place said...

According to Zentgraf there are many different reasons why people might have disordered eating. Her observation is not only astute but crucial when it comes to treatment options. Meaning it is important we do not assume all women are simply concerned with body image and weight.

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