[Dumpster] Diving Into Male Eating Disorders: Matt’s Story & Recovery

Several years after I graduated from my high school, and well into recovering from my eating disorder, I heard about a guy running cross country at my high school who had developed anorexia. From afar I yearned to help him, but not knowing exactly who he was and feeling I would overstep boundaries (a random woman who wanted to help this guy because she experienced something similar?!), I stayed distant and heard he was getting the help he deserved.

Little did I know that around that time Matt had found my Running in Silence website, and knew as little about me as I had known about him (he didn’t even realize until later that we had gone to the same high school!). I eventually found Matt’s incredible recovery story online through the Daily Mail and finally had a face. Soon after, we found each other through social media, and participated in an event during National Eating Disorders Awareness Week in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He agreed to connect further through the interviews I recorded with him below.

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Facing the Stigma: Living with an Eating Disorder as a Man

I am honored to introduce Steve Sanders for our next guest post. Steve is a recovering alcoholic , writer, and blogger at Haven House Addiction Treatment. He lives in Los Angeles, California and enjoys spending time with his family and on his motorcycle when not writing. He can be reached at oneroadtorecovery@gmail.com.

The typical image of a person with an eating disorder is a woman, or more specifically a white teenage girl from a well-off family. Almost all the popular information available about eating disorders is aimed at women and is about women.

But studies suggest that about 10 million men and boys in the U.S. will have an eating order at some point in their lives. In fact, while anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa are more common in women, men are at greater risk of developing a binge eating disorder (overeating without purging or otherwise compensating for the excessive food intake).

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Eating Disorders Prey on Men, Too

If you can imagine how tough it is for women to be open about their eating disorders, just imagine how tough it is for men! I had a friend who I asked to share his experience here on the blog. I encourage anyone who struggles with an eating disorder or disordered eating to speak up when you feel ready–even if it’s just by letting it out through this blog.

I found Rachael and her blog a year ago, and every now and then we’ve talked about our eating disorders, specifically in the realm of raw food and bingeing. Like her, I don’t particularly fit the descriptions of bulimia, anorexia, or binge eating. At this point in my ED, I sway between binge eating and orthorexia. The 80-10-10 diet is always my fallback after a long 1 or 2 week bingeing episode.

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Guest Post with Bev Mattocks: A Mother’s Struggle to Free Her Son from Anorexia

I’d like to introduce a guest blogger for the week, Bev Mattocks. I first discovered her blog about three months ago, only to find out that it was a blog-turned-book. I was able to read Mattock’s book, Please Eat… A Mother’s Struggle to Free Her Teenage Son from Anorexia. It helped to see the struggle from the perspective of a parent, especially as my own parents have learned to deal with my eating disorder. It has been a long journey since the moment I told my mom everything.

In the second chapter of my book Please Eat… A Mother’s Struggle To Free Her Teenage Son From Anorexia I describe my pride at watching my 15-year son, Ben, win the 1500 metre race at the school sports day in July 2009. At the time Ben (who lives in the UK) was into a whole range of sports, not just running. Then, over the summer of 2009, his sporting activities got even more intense. He was swimming, running and working out at a local gym every day – and more. With this came a whole new dedication to ‘healthy eating’, especially fat-free food. Ben quickly became an expert at slimming down recipes, cutting out the ‘baddies’ from his diet and examining the nutritional content of food packaging in microscopic detail.

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