Chloe talks about her struggles with an eating disorder over the Easter period, and suggests some advice for those suffering from an eating disorder over Lent.
- Chloe Murray
Thank goodness Lent is over!
As a Catholic, I am often surrounded by friends and family who give up something for Lent. Whether it be chocolate, crisps, biscuits or cakes. Since being diagnosed with anorexia, I have always found Lent a difficult time of year. Previously, during a major relapse into anorexia, I was banned from participating in Lent. Since then, I have found it difficult to give up any item of food for Lent, in fear that after 40 days without eating that food, it will become a fear food and I'd struggle to eat it again.
Unlike most people that can't wait until Lent is over so that they can eat whatever they gave up straight away, I feel like anorexia would convince me that if I could go 40 days without it, why stop there? Instead, I have tried giving up other things instead: such as Facebook, playing with my hair, or biting my fingers. But these are all much harder for me, and I very rarely last. This makes me feel weak, and like a failure. I often feel guilty for not giving up something such as chocolate, like my family do, but for someone that doesn't eat a lot of chocolate, this would be very easy to do.
In my opinion, many people seem to use Lent as an excuse to diet, and I worry that my friends are all going to lose weight and I'm not. As someone that still sticks to a rather small range of foods, giving up something I eat regularly would be difficult as I'd struggle to find a substitute.
I'm sure many people do, but I wish more people would use Lent as what it truly is - a time to reflect and think about what Jesus sacrificed for us. As opposed to a time to give up chocolate and lose weight, not reflecting upon Jesus any more than usual. Even my non-Catholic friends give up something for Lent, which baffles me, as it isn't in their religion. I think its much better to do something extra during Lent, such as volunteering.
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