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When Loved Ones Can’t Understand Your Eating Disorder

When I first told my mom about the eating disorder, she seemed to continually ask the wrong questions and make the wrong suggestions (“Well let’s step on the scale to see where you’re at!” and, “But did you throw up all your food?”). It’s tough to get off to a good start when someone hasn’t experienced an eating disorder. My dad probably had one of the most difficult times trying to break it apart.

“How can you physically keep stuffing in more and more food?” he asked one night when we had agreed to sit down to talk. “I mean, I get to the point where enough is enough in one meal.”

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Doesn’t Every Woman Have An Eating Disorder?

It’s amazing how many of us are obsessed about our weight. This does not, of course, exclude men (men getting eating disorders, too), but it seems typical–almost normal–to see nearly every woman out there on a diet, attempting to lose weight, or at least never feeling satisfied with their body. It’s an unfortunate truth, and it’s a big problem in our society. With all the fat-shaming, and especially a bias against women (see just one of many articles about the subject here), it makes eating disorders that much more common.

We can’t just blame the media, either. Eating disorders are not caused by the media, but media images/pressure can act as a ‘trigger’ to someone who may be predisposed to developing an eating disorder. It wasn’t like one day I looked at a skinny woman on a magazine and thought, I want to be skinny as her, and developed the eating disorder.

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Do I Really Have An Eating Disorder?

If you are wondering if you have an eating disorder, then you probably do. Bold statement, maybe. But the fact that you are questioning it means that you might want to take a closer look.

I had a feeling for a long time that something felt “off”. But I thought it wasn’t “that bad”, so I continued with what I was doing, only to see more and more that I was falling into a trap. What began as reasonable weight loss (just taking out a few processed foods here and there), led to counting calories, restricting calories, weighing myself twice a day, feeling the need to compete with my past weigh-ins to get lower and lower . . . and it goes on.

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