FAT – a poem for #EDAW2014

They looked at her
And they saw a fat girl.
The kids taunted.
The adults sighed.
She should eat less,
The kids whispered.
She should exercise more,
Said adults in muted tones.
She heard every word.
Lazy.
Greedy.
F A T.
The words of others taunted her daily.
So she comforted herself.
With food.
She knew she shouldn’t.
But she couldn’t
Stop.
Each mouthful
Faster than the last,
Trying to numb the pain.
Pain she couldn’t explain.
Couldn’t talk about.
Couldn’t even begin to think about.
Guilt with every mouthful.
But no control.
Finally,
Some relief,
Some numbing of pain,
Amidst her feeding frenzy.
Then,
Bloated,
Disgusted,
Fat,
She would stop.
And cry tears of despair.
She should eat less,
The kids whispered.
She should exercise more,
Said adults in muted tones.
She heard every word.
But she couldn’t stop.

Fat - a poem for #EDAW2014 by Pooky

This week is eating disorders awareness week so I’m writing a series of poems about eating disorders. Today’s poem is about binge eating disorder, which has only recently FINALLY been recognised as a diagnosable eating disorder. People often fail to take binge eating disorder seriously but it is every bit as psychologically damaging as anorexia or bulimia. Here’s a post I wrote on one of my other blogs about how you can support people with binge eating disorder.

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9 Responses to FAT – a poem for #EDAW2014

  1. wow, quite a hard hitting poem. But one sadly many can relate to i am sure. I know i can to a degree. Well written. Thank you for sharing.

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    • PookyH says:

      Thanks – people don’t take binge eating seriously – but anorexia, bulimia and binge eating disorder are all slightly different expressions of essentially very similar illnesses. It’s very common for people to recover from one and to move onto another (including going from anorexia to binge eating and vice versa).

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  2. wbdeejay says:

    “Trying to numb the pain that she couldn’t explain” that really tugged at me.
    Pooky, I feel you have conveyed the issues so clearly here about an eating disorder that most people, myself included, are uneducated about, with compassion and clarity. A very heartfelt thankyou, I will share this today.

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    • PookyH says:

      Thank you Peter. Please do share it. I am very passionate about raising awareness of binge eating disorder – it is a most lonely illness to suffer from as society continuously judges and bullies you. At least if you’re anorexic you are somewhat admired (wrongly so but it is an illness that is much glamorised).

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  3. I think it is a wonderful initiative Pooky to do this during this week. Most people I don’t think have any idea of the damage eating disorders do to those afflicted. I had a student last year, she is in her final year of school now, she has an anxiety based eating disorder and I suspect she will battle her whole life with it. The damage to this young lady we wait to see long term, but for a student as highly intelligent as she is, the struggle she has to complete school work must be enormous. I know we did all we could for her, at certain times we would exclude her from exams and assignments if she health was in danger of deteriorating. In school you can do that, but beyond school I don’t know how she will survive.

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    • PookyH says:

      this is always a tough question I have to address with many of the school staff I teach. We have to think about what support network the student can draw on when school is no longer there. A good school is such a safe and stable environment and certainly my personal experience was one of just about managing in school and then crashing and burning badly once I was left to my own devices at university.

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      • I fear that happening to this girl but she has a wonderful support in her mum who is very intune with her daughters habits and mods and whatever. Schools can be a very protective environment I know but that is their role in many ways. This year our Principal is looking out for her and I know she will do a good job but was good to hear on one of my last days the mother say to me she knew her daughter was going to be safe at school because I was there. I thought that was a lovely thing to hear, all I did was make sure she was ok every time I saw her.

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  4. Another very powerful, hard-hitting poem Pooky. And very well written in my opinion. Xx

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