Many people donít realize that bulimics are compulsive eaters. The difference between a bulimic and someone who is ďonlyĒ compulsive eater is the form and frequency of the purge. Bulimicís purge immediately after their binges, while compulsive eaters purge via periodic dieting. Looking back, only my loathing of vomiting probably kept me from turning to bulimia.
I find myself struggling as I read posts about Big Brother 4. Jun bashing seems to be everyoneís favorite sport this year. Comments ranging from saying sheíll be the ďbiggestĒ ever to claiming they will have to cut a wider door for her to leave run rampant across message boards. Iíve even witnessed people who have turned it into a drinking game.
Yes, going onto a reality show means you subject yourself to being in the ďpublic eye.Ē You put yourself out there for people to throw eggs at. But as someone who is a compulsive eater and has battled this disorder for over half her life, it is quite disturbing to see people Iíve gotten to know in the last year or so saying vile things about someone Ė even a reality show contestant.
Compulsive Eating is typically a secretive disorder. If you worked with me, saw me only during the day you may never guess that I suffer an eating disorder. You would never know that I have a difficult, and at times nearly impossible, time controlling my eating habits. Many factors contribute to compulsive eating, including stress, anxiety, fear, self-esteem issues, and frequently, the need to control something in your topsy-turvy life. Personally, Iíve eaten not for hunger, but to stuff the empty spot inside me; as a way of not feeling the emotions that at times overwhelm me; and as a way of exerting some form of control in my life when other parts of my life have been out of control. (i.e. my world is falling apart but I feel like eating chocolate cake and Iím going to have all of it).
Not only am I struggling with this because of my own eating disorder, Iím struggling because Jun has lost a significant amount of weight (67 pounds!). Trust me that is no easy feat. Add the stress of being on television, living with 11 strangers, the stress of living in close quarters with her ex, and the fact that she quit smoking shortly before entering the Big Brother house, and you have a recipe for compulsive eating triggers.
Yes, part of the fun of Big Brother and other reality shows is what I call the 'superiority factor'. That secret desire many of us hold to look at others and think that you are better than they are. This is one of those secrets we canít act upon in our day-to-day lives, but can get a thrill from while watching reality shows.
And if were just the Jun bashing, I could probably move on with my life and ignore it. However it seems that the same people who have no qualms about bashing and making fun of Jun are horrified at Erikaís Ďracistí comments about Jee, or by the offensive way Nathan, Dana and other houseguests have spoken about homosexuals. I find myself perplexed and sometimes downright angry over the double standards and hypocrisy people are acting with.
I have tried remaining silent on this subject. I have tried not reading those posts and threads that contain the cruel subject matter. However, they are often hard to miss. I have tried waiting the issue out, only to see it boil back up again with yet another round of cruelty.
Logically, I know that the things being said arenít aimed at me. It isnít people calling me names. But Iíve struggled, and failed, on a daily basis to overcome compulsive eating for years, which makes it difficult to see things being posted and not apply them to myself. As I said earlier, self-esteem issues are a key piece of compulsive eating. Not to mention the fact that many of the things I see posted are things the evil critical voice inside my head say to me on a routine basis. That critic sees the posts about Jun and whispers to me ďthatís what people would think about you if they knew, if they could see you eating at home.Ē Overcoming an eating disorder is much like overcoming an addiction with one key difference. You donít need alcohol, drugs or cigarettes to survive. You do need food. Many of lifeís events, and those of the Big Brother house, are structured around food.
Nobody ever said it made sense. I guess it doesnít have to. I just
wanted to share what was going on in the deep recesses of my head regarding this
rather sensitive issue.
Jun Song's Response:
Thank you for opening up your life and heart and writing such an amazing story. You seemed to know exactly what's going on.
This summer for me was one of unexpected surprises, unpleasant moments but still...fun. I realized after I got out of the house that I had put on nearly 18 pounds in 3 months! Wow, being in that house gave me no kind of perspective on how my body was changing. Sure I couldn't fit into half my clothes anymore, but comparing myself to Erika, Dana etc. made me feel fat anyway.
And it's been very hard going on line to find that people did indeed rip me apart, probably because my behavior was less than bearable (which I admit now), but also because it's always easy to make fun of someone's weight. It should be an Olympic sport because it's been around so long and there are so many pros at it.
But I am now dealing again with losing the weight and try as I might, I probably will go through more weight fluctuations for the rest of my life but hopefully it will be for good reasons i.e. maternity.
Thank you again for sharing yourself...Jun
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