Emma on Eating Disorders

I’m Emma Tattenbaum-Fine and I’m a comedian and writer. As a kid and as a teenager, I had eating orders and that’s sort of my
connection to this project. When I was nine, I was bulimic and then when I was 13 and 14 I had anorexia. I had the real issue of just hating my body and
feeling really ashamed of it and I would sort of look around at other people and how they would eat and they seemed so free and like it wasn’t a big deal and I just
thought what would it be like to be normal like that and what would it be like to just feel like a regular person and it seemed really impossible at the time. I couldn’t see my way out and the present moment felt like forever but the truth
is that your brain is always changing just like your body and I think I was so
obsessed with my body’s changes that I wasn’t really aware that my brain was
also on a journey and that’s something that I wanted to talk about is that I
think when you’re a teenager your brain goes through really drastic
changes and you have so many hormones going on and so many brain waves going
on and it just feels crazy. Everything feels really insane and whether you seek
treatment and whether you’re on medication or neuro-feedback work or some
kind of treatment your whole life or whether you just outgrow your problems
you, you change and what’s really nice as a grown up is that you just get new
problems which is great and I thought I would be stuck in the rut of the same
problems forever but I’m not anymore and I think that’s something that I’d like
to have been able to tell myself as a teenager so I wanted to tell you that. It’s not like body image issues go away and certainly our culture doesn’t help
but the the mental health aspect of it, I feel so much more in control of my mind
and I feel so much stronger and so much more confident now as an adult. I never thought as a teenager that I would be able to look in the mirror as I can
sometimes now and say, “I like you with all the flaws even though you don’t look
like the pictures in magazines, I like you.” I never thought I’d be able to do
that. You are okay.

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