This post deals with eating disorders and might be triggering for some readers.
We all live with the nasties of our internal dialogue. Our days are bookended by aren’ts, shouldn’ts and wants.
My legs aren’t long enough. I shouldn’t eat that. I want to look like them.
For the most part our vanity is benign and, well, pretty self-centred. As Kourtney Kardashian would say, “Kim, there’s people that are dying!”.
But at what point does our quest for perfection transition from ponderous moments staring at the mirror into an all-consuming eating disorder?
On The Quicky, Mamamia's daily current affairs podcast, we look iat how the pandemic has fuelled disordered eating. Post continues below.
In 2016, 17-year-old me left the nurturing support of my family bubble in Adelaide, and moved to the big bad world of Sydney.
Buoyed by a near-perfect ATAR, I came to Sydney to pursue a career in the media industry. My lofty goal was to usurp Kochie on the Sunrise couch.
At the same time, I moved into a residential college with over 150 other young people and my perfect new life began.
For the next two years, my Instagram grid was an aesthetic curation.
I was committed to doing it all. I had three jobs, a diary packed with coffee dates, partied like it was 1999, studied a foreign language and exercised incessantly.
In the 18 months that followed college, I became obsessed with my appearance.
I was enraged that my stomach was never flat enough. I would poke, pick and prod at skin, begging for it to recede into a six-pack.
I would pound the pavements along Sydney’s foreshore for hours a day, no matter my exhaustion or mounting commitments.
My life was full of all the good stuff twenty-somethings need.
And hidden in plain sight behind the veneer of an Instagram filter, my perfectionism had manifested as an eating disorder.
Depleted of nutrition, my brain was rendered indecisive, stressed and sleepless. With memories fogged by self loathing and malnutrition, I can barely remember the good episodes in my coming-of-age tale.