Here is the full transcript of Catherine Pawley’s TEDx Talk: After Anorexia: Life’s Too Short to Weigh Your Cornflakes at TEDxLeamingtonSpa conference.
Listen to the MP3 Audio: After anorexia_ Life’s too short to weigh your cornflakes by Catherine Pawley at TEDxLeamingtonSpa
I’m Catherine. I’m a chemistry finalist at the University of Warwick, I’m a daughter, a sister, friend, girlfriend, and recovering anorexic.
I want to give you an insight into eating disorders and recovery using my journey, my journey of pain, tears, acceptance, and discovery. Eating disorders do not discriminate: gender, age, sexuality, and race mean nothing. These illnesses are not reserved for troubled teenage girls who want to look like models. They are serious illnesses with devastating consequences. Anorexia has the highest mortality rate of any psychiatric illness.
I suppose the question here is: why? Why do we choose to starve ourselves, make ourselves sick, and exercise to oblivion? Why do we choose to harm ourselves and those around us? The answer is simple: it’s not a choice. Eating disorders are not a choice. They are a coping mechanism, a safety blanket, an identity. They make life simple by giving you a rule book for life. Rules that tell you how to live; what to do, what to say, what to eat.
Rules take away chance and decision, and they take away risk. They give you control. Of course, we all want to feel in control. But often, demons arise: alcoholism, drug abuse, self-harm, eating disorders. All addictions, all seeking control, in a world, full of social constructs set by somebody else.