The image of snow is one of innocence, purity, and beauty. It conjures up thoughts of children laughing and throwing snowballs, of hot chocolate and sledding. But snow can be just as destructive as it is beautiful. A small flurry of snow can seem innocent enough, until you are on an icy road with low visibility. In this way, driving in a snowstorm is comparable to the dangerous path of anorexia. Anorexia does not begin as a dangerous, fatal disease. It begins as an innocent diet, or just a way to gain control. But, like driving in a snowstorm, something simple can snowball into a something so dangerous. Depending on which road you choose to take, you can either pass safely or spin out of control.
Snow falls softly, painting the town in white. It is beautiful, and innocent, and you are determined to get to your best friend’s house in a nearby town. So, you get in your car and drive, looking around and appreciating the light covering of snow on everything. You wish every day could be so pretty. As you drive, the snow starts to come down harder, but you continue on, thinking of movie choices and the latest gossip. Your local radio station warns you that the roads are icy, and the city is advising everyone stay off the roads. You ignore the warning. You have been driving for years; you can handle a little snow.
It is impossible to accurately describe how something like anorexia begins. For some, it starts in early childhood, for others in adolescence, and even later in life. At first, it seems harmless, a skipped meal here or there, a tiny lie, calorie intake limited just slightly. Just like the snow, it seems innocent, somewhat beautiful. So it begins, a game of numbers and that ever present, impossible goal of “perfection,” of being good enough. However the compliments turn into concern; the envious looks turn into worried frowns. These are the warnings on the radio. No one says anything, but you can feel...