This lady, right here

The Back Story

A Love Affair began as a project for credit. You see, as an Honors student I had a choice as to how I wanted to go about getting my degree. You could either write a thesis, or do an independent project of some sort (which is essentially the same thing, but presented in a far more interesting way). I decided to go the independent project route, seeing as I like being creative and I thought blogging about my chosen topic seemed new and exciting and would probably have a larger readership than a thesis would (but hey, you never know). My only problem was that I was really unsure as to what to focus on as a topic. This would have to be something I knew well, could obtain research on, and provide lots of insight to. It hit me at the end of August.  I would do my study on the one thing in my life that has affected me the most and where that fits within society today.

Enter Sociology of the Body – A Love Affair.

I knew for months that I was having disordered eating issues. I refused to believe that I may actually have an eating disorder. I mean, I loved food, I loved to eat, and I was healthy. It was when I started to measure my food, count the calories, play games with myself to restrict my food to get that last ten pounds off… That’s when I should have seen it coming. Alas, I didn’t. My fall into Anorexia happened over many years of difficulty with depression, stressful life events, and a feeling of not being in control of my life any longer. Everything was spiraling down around me, and my food intake I suppose seemed like the only thing I had left that I could get a handle of. I began to fear food, fear becoming “fat”. I became extremely anti-social and cranky. Sex no longer interested me. Parties no longer interested me. I bought smaller clothes every few months and convinced myself I was finding happiness, or something. People complimented me on reducing my size. This fueled the fire in a sense. It was over these months that dear ED (Eating Disorder), or Edward, as I like to call him, came into fruition. He had complete control over my life. An abusive boyfriend who dictated who I could see, what I could (and couldn’t eat), what I could wear, what I should feel…

The Regression

I had gone from an outgoing, opinionated, independent, strong, athletic, young woman to what basically (for my frame size) constituted a rack of bones with some left over skin from the one hundred plus pounds I had lost. I had no muscle tone, I got chest pain when I got too excited, wore pants, sweaters and scarves in the middle of the summer heat, and apparently I saw nothing wrong with this. Sure, lots of people pointed out how worried they were, but it’s important to remember that unless a person wants help, there’s no way you’re going to force them into it. I found that place around the end of August.

I was formally diagnosed with Anorexia Nervosa – Restrictive type in September of 2012. Since then I have been fighting to get my life back, or start a whole new one (which is equally as exciting). I hail from an island on Canada’s East Coast. I come from a family comprised of two amazingly supportive parents and a wonderful younger brother. My interests lie within the realm of blogging (of course), music (playing and singing), dancing (which is being put on hold for a while), running, reading, activism, feminism, peace, crafts, knitting, yoga (lots of yoga), hitting the gym, being a coffee snob and watching Zombie movies. So…I’m a real person, not a robot, promise, I just have a brain that’s a little different than some people. 

I could only keep up with academics for so long. It was when I collapsed after dance practice was when I knew I was in real trouble. To make a long story short I moved home, found a way to continue my academics and really buckled down in order to beat this thing. It got to the point where I was near hospitalization. I honestly feared for my life at that point. The good news is, however, that I have completed my degree, and I’m starting to iron out plans for my future. They’re shaky right now, but things will come together.

Things have changed

Anorexia has changed my perception on life. It is the root cause of my last relationship ending(which upsets me greatly, and is something I likely won’t ever be OK with), causes me to be cranky and short tempered, causes me physical and emotional pain, and has taken away most of my confidence and my love for not only social situations, but for people in general. All of this is slowly changing for the better. In complete honesty, this disorder is going to cause me to become the healthiest I have ever been in my life. I don’t know if that makes sense to you, but it does to me, and it’s my blog, so hah.

As an aside – I guess you could say that I’m on the upslope in my recovery. I’m restoring my weight slowly but surely, and I’m hoping that staying determined and taking things one step at a time is going to bring lots of reward. Progress gives me hope for the future. There are bad days, but they’re going to happen. They happen to us all, and I’m learning to take things as they come.

The Blog

I understand that my language is… well… Crude at times. I won’t apologize for that. If you know me personally, you’ll know that what you read here is actually quite tame. By using “strong” language I am voicing my sheer distaste for the situation at hand, usually. At other instances, well, it is simply the way I speak colloquially. I never wish to offend, so don’t take anything personally.

As for content, I write about issues surrounding eating disorders, body image, beauty ideals, etc., in our culture that I feel are worth shedding light on and I am always open to suggestions. Some posts may be heavily academic, others will not be. They are usually pretty lengthy, so don’t let that throw you off. I am entertaining and informative, I swear. My goal is to analyze these issues in a sociological way while also inserting my own opinion. The main goal is education, remember. Education, understanding, and the hope that you will spread the word regarding the importance of these issues, become more conscious of the role of advertising in our society, learn to love yourself and accept yourself, or if you are in a patch of trouble, are given the courage to reach out. I hope to lean toward a more casual approach with the blog now that my study has concluded. This means mixing in a little more of my own recovery updates and insight regarding my experience of this journey.

My heart and soul is in this. I thank you for reading, and I hope that A Love Affair is something you feel is just as awesome as I think it is.

Take care,

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