CW: Talk of eating disorders.
As someone whose eating disorder got very tangled up with climbing I thought I’d do a little review of this documentary film because it’s important and needs speaking about.
Light is a documentary about eating disorders in climbing by Caroline Treadway.
It starts very relatably, atleast to my experience of eating disorders as a climber. The inner monologue of the guilt of eating too much and the thinking people are jealous when they say you should gain weight. That delusional monologue the disorder tells you to keep you holding on to it.
I honestly couldn’t find any negatives, I personally didn’t find it triggering (although as always be careful). I also think it was an accurate look at eating disorders and it wasn’t your average rich white girls documentary’s and did highlight on eating disorders among men.
So here are the highly relatable moments I found.
- Feeling like water over the rock
- Your mind being fixated on when am I going to climb, what am I going to eat
- Wanting to be the best
- The success feeling good
- Not liking climbing – My eating disorder turned climbing into a source of stress for me for a few years. I ended up stopping climbing due to my physical health and it was a 4 year break (I was climbing 2-4 times a year) and meeting some amazing women that allowed me to fall in love with it.
And the positive educational moments
- The most common thing for a person with an eating fisorder to say is I’m fine – this honestly goes to people with many conditions. The standard I’m fine when actually the world is falling apart. If your friend or family member starts saying this often and your concerned don’t be too probing but be gentle, be kind and make them feel like they can open up to you without judgement when ready.
- The comparison – people with eating disorders or often perfectionist and often compare themselves to others in their eating disorder and life. Even when not an elite athlete. We are constantly measuring our self worth against the success of other people.
- Diet culture – It’s hard these days to know is it an eating disorder or is it just normal. Even more so in any sports! The film highlighted this point very well.
- Talked about male eating disorders and how these are likely to me missed because of stigma
- Talks about the effect on the body and mind
- Recognition of the fact that no matter how recovered you are the eating disorder will always be there in the back of your mind and you always have to keep check on it and know your limits to avoid relapse.
And finally, I really liked how it ended positively. Positive messages of recovery but awareness of the difficulty and how many have to go it alone.
If you haven’t watched it already it is available on youtube and definitely worth a watch!