If You Have a Vagina, Do You Have an Eating Disorder?

Jeanne Sager
9

tape measureI don't remember the last time I felt comfortable in my clothes.

Not when I was 115 pounds (13 pounds below my optimum weight for my height and body type).

Not when I was 9 months pregnant.

And certainly not when I was a size 6, with strong legs from regular 8-mile walks and decent arms from lifting my baby regularly.

Sound familiar?

I have an eating disorder.

Chances are: so do you.

Ours are different, it's true. I spent years in the bathroom, the shower running to mask the sound of my gagging, the regurgitation of a meal's worth of foods. I would be back in two hours to do it all again, after a binging cycle that could take out an entire box of Pop Tarts, a pint of Ben & Jerry's. 

You may not throw up.

You may not have a diagnosis -- bulimia, in my case, complicated by depression.

I've spent decades feeling like a freak with my unyielding hunger, my quiet cries in the back of the changing room at the mall.

But you are probably like me -- just not to the extremes.

You don't feel right in your body. You think you're fatter than you are. You aren't a puddle on the floor, but you're not comfortable.

And scientists are starting to prove that people like me, we're the norm, not the exception. 

Women, a new study found, see their bodies as 2/3 wider than they actually are. We're also misjudging our own heights -- setting off a complicated weight to height ratio visualization that will force a size 0 to whine to her friends that she's fat.

She's not.

But I have to grudgingly afford her that belief today, because she's not rubbing it in. She's just like me.

 

Image via pink sherbet photography/Flickr

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