. . .

I shouldn't have been surprised to read a number of people's responses to the survey saying things like they were driven to lose weight to avoid looking "digustingly fertile," or that, at 18, their appearance hadn't changed since they were 11 years old. It's been written in books about eating disorders that many people develop disorders around the time of puberty, as a method of preventing these changes, to escape from growing up.

But on the other hand, maybe my surprise to read this was founded - a great number of respondents also wrote that their ideal life included a husband and children.

So I'm wondering what creates this contradiction - do they not realize that starving themselves is preventing the maturity, both emotionally and physically, that marriage and having children require?

Or is this "ideal life" an idea put in their heads by conventionality, when in fact a husband and children aren't things they really want to think about yet?

Or have they just not thought about it - "thin, husband, children," as an ideal life, without thinking about what it takes to achieve and maintain those things.

I don't know. But I can ask you to think about these things. Question your want for thin, understand your want for a future family. I know it won't change your behavior, but I'll say it again and again, the more informed you are and the more ground you cover in your head, the better.

As far as the effects of an eating disorder on fertility, if you've lost your period for any amount of time you may be damaged but with weight gain or loss you may get it back and still be able to have children, and if you don't have your period for long enough you may lose it all together and become infertile.

And for me :} if you do happen to think about this and want to indulge my curiosity, please do so - lexusine@candyandrazorblades.net. I'd like to find out more about the connection between sex and eating issues and I'll appreciate anything you have to share.

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