Education for the Ignorant

I am extremely happy that I have received so much positive feedback about my last post. Thank you all for your emails, comments, and messages telling me how much sharing my story and my feelings has helped you. I am also somehow honored that I have officially received my very first hate mail. I seem to have irritated someone enough for them to take the time out of their day to comment with ignorant, hateful, and hurtful messages!

Before continuing with other posts, I want to take some time to educate the one individual who replied with a very negative and hurtful comment, and remind my readers of a few things.

1.) If you don’t like me or my blog, you certainly do not have to read it. No one is making you. Thus, if you have nothing but negative comments to make, why are you spending your time reading my blog?

2.) Oh man, the ignorance is out the wazoo! I would like to take the skills I learned as an RA and turn this moment into an educational moment, for this anonymous poster that stated two main things about my previous post:

– That my current size somehow means that it’s both unlikely that I truly had an eating disorder and even more, unlikely that an eating disorder would have caused harm to my body and

– That the word beautiful only applies to appearance. (They found it “lame” that I only remembered an individual my their “beautiful appearance”).

I was going to avoid addressing hate mail on my blog, but everyone I forwarded the hateful comment to laughed at the commenter’s ignorance and said I should utilize this moment, which is ripe with educational opportunities.

To address the notion that overweight individuals can’t or don’t have eating disorders:  Out of the main eating disorders (anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, eating disorders-not otherwise specified, and binge eating disorder), only one lists weight as a diagnostic criteria—anorexia nervosa (American Academy of Eating Disorders, n.d.).In fact, many individuals are surprised to know that roughly a third of people awaiting bariatric surgery (you know, surgeries commonly suggested to those that are “morbidly” obese) have diagnosable eating disorders, including bulimia nervosa (Dahl et al., 2010). Bulimia is a disorder known to cause electrolyte imbalances that can lead to irregular heartbeats, heart failure, and death (National Eating Disorders Association, 2012).  I, like many other overweight individuals, thought that I was immune to consequences of an eating disorder and that health problems only occurred among “those” people that were incredibly thin—until my heart entered a rhythm called fibrillation, a rapid, unsynchronized, and irregular beating of the heart.

Finally, I’m pretty sure I don’t need to address the concept that the word “beautiful” can refer to many things other an appearance. In all actuality, if that is not something someone can understand, any attempts at education seem futile. Seriously, people, before you engage me in a debate regarding the definition of a word, do yourself a favor—look the word up in a dictionary.  One of the odd things about the English language is that things have multiple definitions and connotations.  One word can mean many things, and on the flip side, one concept can often be described with many different words!

Thank you for providing me with a wonderful opportunity to do some education. My very first hate message has turned out to be quite an honor!

 

And finally, because I don’t make statements unfounded by science:

American Academy of Eating Disorders. (n.d.). Diagnoses of eating disorders. Retrieved from http://www.aedweb.org/Eating_Disorder_Diagnoses.htm

Dahl, J.K., Eriksen, L., Vedul-Kjelsas, E., Strommen, M., Kulseng, B., Marvik, R., & Holen, A. (2010). Prevalence of all relevant eating disorders in patients waiting for bariatric surgery: A comparison between patients with and without eating disorders. Eating and Weight Disorders, 15(4), e247-55.

National Eating Disorders Association. (2012). Health concerns. Retrieved from http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/information-resources/general-information.php#health-concerns

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3 thoughts on “Education for the Ignorant

  1. Jenn says:

    I can rest easy knowing that calm and classy people like yourself are headed for leadership roles in the future. ( Now, you can lead a horse to education buuuut…)

  2. Diane says:

    I love you, Alex.

  3. Deanne says:

    Very interesting about bariatric candidates having diagnosable eating disorders! Love that you posted this.

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