'But you don't look anorexic!'

Today I went to school - my first day back. I was heading towards the office for my program, where I was to speak with my academic advisor. When I arrived there, I saw one of my friends who knows about my anorexia. She was standing with one of her freinds who I did not know. After she asked me how I was doing, I continued on my way. As I left, I overheard her friend saying, 'BUT SHE DOESN'T LOOK ANOEXIC!'.

Ouch. Like, really really REALLY ouch.

This threw me off. I did what I needed to do, and then I got home. The entire time, the person's words echoed in my head: she doesn't look anorexic...

What did this person mean? That I didn't look 'thin enough' or 'sick enough' to have anorexia? That I looked fat and could possibly have had an eating disorder? That to have this illness, I have to look emaciated and deathly?

ED, of course, took this to heart. And he made me think about it over and over again.

They said you don't look like you have anorexia. That means you look fat. See how much weight you have gained?! You look hideously fat!

This really bothered me. ED began to put thoughts in my head

...If you still starved yourself and stopped eating like a pig, you would look thin and then people would not say you are fat.

In reality, this person did not actually say that I was fat. They just said that I did not look anorexic. But to ED, the two meant the same thing. If I could not look thin enough to haev anorexia, that must have meant that I looked fat. And this scared me so much.

The more and more I thought about this, the more I got hurt. I had to stop my running thoughts, take a deep breath, and think rationally.

Okay, so maybe this person said that I do not look anorexic. But that does not mean that I look fat. This is a good thing - I do not look sick anymore. I look normal. This means I have triumped over ED. And ED is just too angry that I am no longer an image of his dirty work. So he is trying to pull me back through his deceptive words. But I must not give in. I must stay strong.

This does not mean that what this person said was right. I truly believe that people need to stop labelling 'anorexics' as people who look like they are only stick-and-bones. Nonetheless, it is disrespectful and hurtful to say that someone who was ill with an eating disorder does not look as though they might have once been sick. That is plain wrong.

Now. DEEP BREATHS. I don't look anorexic. Fine, I can learn to live with that. I'd rather look this way than look as though I'm dying. No, ED, I DON'T look fat. I look perfectly healthy. So there.

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