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 Post subject: Who are we and what is post-proana?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 4:17 am 
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Joined: Sun Feb 10, 2013 6:04 pm
Posts: 45
What is proana?

Pro-ana is an online subculture made up of people with eating disorders seeking to strengthen the conviction of their eating disorders with tips, ana buddies (for mutual competition), thinspiration, charts, and so on.

What is post-proana?

Post-proana is an online subculture made up of people actively working to decrease disordered eating habits. Recognizing that proana communities provided teens and adults alike with an appreciated supportive environment, we have created a community that provides support without encouraging anorexic or bulimic behavior patterns. When the mirror lies, each person must learn to rely on the eyes of those who care about us. Those eyes are reading these pages. Working together as a team, we are overcoming our eating disorders together. Successfully. See for yourself.

Are you an anti-pro-ana site?

Complicated answer: We are all for free speech regarding eating disorders, but this site is privately funded. Hosting donations are welcome.

We Bite Back is advertising-free, has no external funding and generates no revenue. We are against the creation of communities with a blatant purpose of normalizing the self-harm. Disclaimers on proana sites do not spare their site creators from moral responsibility. We urge proana site owners to at least acknowledge the sway each owner holds over crowds of well-meaning people who want to lose weight for various misplaced reasons. Readers will copy what they read. We are anti-spreading-negative-behavioral-patterns-as-a-sustainable-lifestyle.

Why not call yourselves anti-ana or anti-proana then?

If you create a self identity based on a negative first thought, it can be easy to put off self-healing by pursuing a witch hunt of those currently dealing with eating disorders.

We are letting go of the need to create a boogeyman out of people who suffer from disordered eating, and instead learning to accept ourselves as we are, as we discover that a lot of negative opinions we had of ourselves just weren't true.

So you're not proana?

We do not support pro-ED sites. We are deciding to take an active role in our own recovery. We encourage growth and progress towards that goal. Proana communities have an air of permissiveness in regards to self-harm, as the people visiting the site want to feel "allowed" to hurt themselves, carte blanche. We on WBB are actively choosing to say it is no longer acceptable to hurt ourselves, and we will take as long as it takes to bite our eating disorders back. If we are not yet strong enough, we will become stronger.

What if I'm not ready for recovery?

What's stopping you from even considering it? No one is forcing you in this setting. We just want to open people up to the idea that recovery could be a sustainable lifestyle choice and we welcome all members at all points on their recovery journeys.

What's the point of We Bite Back?

We're trying to grow past our eating disorders to have happy, normal, fulfilling lives. Yes, the orange is scary. Do you know how many calories are in a glass or orange juice? It's absolutely terrifying to an anorexic, but we swallow our fear and the OJ anyway.

What's so bad about proana?

The media demonizes the eating disorder community online by and large with scary tales that make proana communities appear to be actively recruiting. If someone is seeking out such sites, there's a deeper underlying problem there - regardless of whether or not such sites are then there to be found (haven't been deleted yet). The research is now clear that most people who seek pro-ED sites find a place where they and their struggles are accepted with true understanding and empathy and without judgment.

We Bite Back offers the same judgment-free, empathetic understanding, because we have all been there, but we also support members to address the issues that drive these self-destructive longings. Our community approach to recovery is working for exactly the same reason that proana communities continue to proliferate.

Won't people think this site is proana and bad and try to shut it down?

Many free online community providers will delete proana communities when found. The complaints from concerned parents worldwide has urged many sites to try and flush out these groups.

This site actively challenges and supports members to fight back against their eating disorders. When someone on this site talks about her problems, others suggest constructive strategies to become healthier, stronger. Any concerned parents or friends could take a peek at our forum to see that we are all working together to bite back. We welcome suggestions to improve our community and recovery strategies. The people who write on these boards are what make The Orange the powerful recovery tool it is.

Does We Bite Back shut down proana sites?

We are not involved in any efforts to shut down any communities. People with eating disorders often isolate themselves from family and friends, and shutting down online communities - even destructive ones - simply drives them further underground. While we do not support any pro-ED activities or groups, at least people involved in such communities are not being futher isolated and thus further in danger of serious health crises or death from their illnesses.

Instead of spending energy fighting pro-ED online communities, we are working on building and sustaining our own recovery community to heal and allow ourselves to become healthy, happy people. We Bite Back is here to offer a positive alternative for anyone who is reaching out to try to get free of their shackles.

In the last decade, proana has existed on the fringes of online culture, and massive shut downs have not solved the problem. If anything, they have made the pro-ana communities thrive, giving these web sites free publicity and their members feelings of persecution and alienation while driving them further and further underground.

We must learn how to help ourselves. We must learn to be more open to discussing eating disorders in our communities, in our families, in our circles of friends.

That's where we come in. We Bite Back is all about keeping that support network in place without having to pander to some tired and silly notion of anorexia being a person. Believe me, this is a huge step in the right direction.

Can we talk?

Sure, why not? Message us at WeBiteBack on Facebook

Eating Disorder Recovery: One Bite at a Time!

Register for WeBiteBack here

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