“I want to be fat!” Yeah right. by Mady Villanueva

28 Mar

“I want to gain weight! I want to be fat!” As far as I can remember, I’ve been waiting for this to happen to me since I was in high school. Some of my friends back then will kind of hit my head lightly and will say “Yung iba nga gustong pumayat, tapos ikaw ganyan. Ikaw lang ata ang kakilala naming gustong tumaba”.

Yeah right.

I feel sad and it hurts me if someone tells me that I’m thin but when somebody says that I’m fat, even though they’re joking, I’ll really smile and that makes me happy. Yeah, I guess that’s just for me but then I think I should be thankful because I can eat what I want and the fact that I don’t have to stop eating because I might gain weight = YAY! Good for me I guess.


But in reality, this is not what is happening. Most of the people and I’ve witnessed some, they will look for every possible mean just to shed their extra pound away and the sad part is, because they want to look like the girl they see on television shows or the models, eating disorders arise and this happens a lot especially in women. The perception of beauty, peer pressure and the image that you want yourself to look like is likely the cause why eating disorders exist.

There are three major eating disorders namely—anorexia, or voluntary starvation; bulimia, marked by bouts of bingeing followed by compensatory behavior such as purging; and binge-eating, marked by episodes of out-of control gorging.

To further define it, an article from psychologytoday.com says, “Eating disorders happen as a result of severe disturbances in eating behavior, such as unhealthy reduction of food intake or extreme overeating. These patterns can be caused by feelings of distress or concern about body shape or weight and they harm normal body composition and function. A person with an eating disorder may have started out just eating smaller or larger amounts of food than usual, but at some point, the urge to eat less or more spirals out of control.”

The symptoms for anorexia, bulimic, and binge-eating are as follows:

Anorexia nervosa:

  • Significant weight loss
  • Continual dieting
  • Intense fear of gaining weight or becoming fat, even if underweight
  • Undue influence of body weight or shape on self-evaluation
  • Preoccupation with food calories or nutrition
  • Preference to eat alone
  • Compulsive exercise
  • Bingeing and purging
  • Brittle hair or nails
  • Depression
  • Infrequent or absent menstrual periods (in females who have reached puberty)
  • Growth of fine hair over body
  • Mild anemia, and muscle weakness and loss
  • Severe constipation
  • Low blood pressure, slowed breathing and pulse
  • Drop in internal body temperature, causing a person to feel cold all the time

Bulimia Nervosa:

  • Recurrent episodes of binge eating
  • Purging by strict dieting, fasting, vigorous exercise or vomiting
  • Abuse of laxatives or diuretics to lose weight
  • Frequent use of bathroom after meals
  • Reddened fingers
  • Swollen cheeks
  • Self-evaluation is unduly influenced by body shape and weight
  • Depression or mood swings
  • Irregular menstrual periods
  • Dental problems, like tooth decay
  • Heartburn or bloating
  • Intestinal distress and irritation from laxative abuse
  • Kidney problems from diuretic abuse
  • Severe dehydration from purging of fluids

Binge-Eating Disorder:

  • Eating much more rapidly than normal
  • Eating until feeling uncomfortably full
  • Eating large amounts of food when not hungry
  • Eating alone because of embarrassment caused by how much is eaten
  • Marked distress about the binge-eating behavior
  • Binge-eating occurs, on average, at least 2 days a week for 6 months
  • Binge-eating not associated with regular use of compensatory behaviors (purging, fasting, excessive exercise)

Like most disorders, it can be treated. If you know of someone that has eating disorders, try your best to help them. As friends and even family members, they can do simple psychotherapy and just being there for that person to fight off their eating disorder habits will do a lot. Some studies says that family-based therapies in which parents assume responsibility for feeding their afflicted adolescent are the most effective in helping a person with anorexia gain weight and improve eating habits and moods.

Most people with eating disorders often do not recognize or admit that they are ill = denial and as a result, they may strongly resist getting and staying in treatment. As what I mentioned earlier, family members or trusted individuals such as friends can be helpful in ensuring that the person with an eating disorder receives needed care and attention and hopefully, they’ll get pass through this.


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