Can’t Eat vs Won’t Eat

I’ve noticed that I tend to express my frustration with my own inability to will myself out of anorexia as an inability to eat:

“I just can’t eat.”

At the instigation of a trusted person, I’ve started to realize that, no, I actually can eat. The more correct statement is that I don’t want to eat:

“I won’t eat.”

I think that the difference is illuminating. I don’t think that it trivializes the fact that this is a serious sickness that requires professional treatment. Nor do I think that it makes anorexia a simple matter of lack of willpower. Instead, I think that it highlights the role of anxiety and fear deeply embedded in all eating disorders.

Whatever I am afraid of manifests itself when I eat. By not eating I am shielding myself from that anxiety and fear and pain. I obviously prefer the physical pain and weakness from being underweight to the pain of dealing with those emotions.

Female Mannequins Are Unhealthy

A researcher studied the size and shape of female mannequins in the U.K. and just published his findings. He said that he could find no examples of a female mannequin that was a “normal body size.” He published his findings in the Journal of Eating Disorders and did an interview with the BBC. You can read the entire article here. The researcher points out that his findings were applicable to male mannequins as well. I hope that there is continued research on the topic — the images that society projects for what constitutes happy, and attractive make a huge difference.