THE GYM, AND THE HEARTBREAK OF ANOREXIA

by admin on May 30, 2011

lincolnshire gym

limbs like sticks

while the noirs were in lincolnshire, esme had the privilege of swimming at cousin desdemona’s gym.  so different in some ways from her own (indoor pool, huge hot-tub, steam room), and yet the same.  the pool was just like esme’s only indoors, perfect for swimming during a thunder-storm.  and every gym seems to have one or two resident anorexics.  esme thought she saw a little girl of perhaps five in the locker-room (she was not wearing her contacts).  on closer inspection, this tiny person turned out to be a woman in the advanced stages of anorexia. her limbs were like tiny medical tubes, and her body was almost non-existent.  she was on her way to or from some form of extreme exercise regime, attempting to burn off whatever miniscule number of calories she might have consumed.

such a sight always breaks esme’s heart.  years ago, esme managed to work up the courage to speak to the anorexic at her former gym, a japanese woman who would sit in the sauna looking like a little pile of sticks.  in scanty english this woman explained that she had been in treatment several times, was trying to gain weight, but simply could not eat.  i doubt she is alive today.  i heard that her husband eventually forbid her from going to the gym.

esme has often wondered whether gyms have any legal or ethical obligations in cases such as this.  she gathers that they don’t.  ……not to speak of the fashion industry, notorious for bombarding us with unrealistic body-image ideals.  in any case, if you or someone you love is wasting away from this terrible disease, get help ASAP before it is too late.

sadly,

esme

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