The military’s emphasis on discipline, rank, and teamwork, combined with rule-based conducts, regimented eating, and grueling physical training mirrors the mindset often associated with eating disorders.
The point is that the perfection those suffering from eating disorders are longing for in themselves in most cases is neither physical nor real. We will need to overcome our societal inability to see errors for what they are—an opportunity to learn—if we want to deal with eating disorders.
Modesty taught me that my first priority needed to be making sure I wasn’t a “stumbling block” to men. Not being sexually attractive was the most important thing I had to consider when buying clothes, putting them on, maintaining my weight (can’t have things getting tight!), and moving around (can’t wiggle those hips, or let a little knee show). Modesty taught me that what I looked like was what mattered most of all. Not what I thought. Not how I felt. Not what I was capable of doing. Worrying about modesty, and being vigilantnotto be sexy, made me even more obsessed with my looks than the women in short shorts and spray tans I was taught to hate
What are our bodies telling us when we have an eating disorder?