This week is Eating Disorder Awareness Week and I wanted to share a couple of thoughts with you about my own experience. It isn't straight forward at all and it shouldn't be assumed that people who have eating disorders look a certain way. Because an eating disorder isn't a physical illness it is a mental one that is very hard to recover and overcome, it took me over 5 years. It started off at with under eating to the point of extreme calorie counting making sure I never went over 1000 calories max adding in over exercising. This kind of restriction then lead to BED Binge Eating Disorder where I would eat and eat to the point of feeling sick but continue. Even when I started to eat more and gain weight the obsessive tendencies surrounding food stayed with me as well as the BED.
It's the control that stayed with me and the need to count something and when the control went in any situation that's when I used to binge. However from the outside you probably wouldn't have noticed because it is also a secretive disorder that I didn't want people to notice. A person can look and be deemed a healthy weight and still have an eating disorder. There isn't a certain look that makes it, it it the mindset of a restrictive way of eating, the spiral of things out of your control so you control your food as a way of coping, it's the obsessive need to exercise to combat the food.
If anything as soon as I gained the weight and looked healthy I got congratulated and told I looked good (aka slim) which was true. HOWEVER this further controlled my need to stay at that certain weight but look like I was healthy by eating low fat everything and counting calories and then in secret the binges would happen.
Comments about the way I was eating could also cause a bigger effect that the person saying them would have assumed. It isn't really the most helpful to say a person should eat more or congratulate them on looking skinny. Guilt rules your every decision which makes food become a chore, something you have to have to stay alive but the enjoyment is gone.
In order to truly help yourselves or others to to talk, have open communications on how you are feeling. I needed to change my mindset and perception of food away from the need to hit certain numbers or target. Instead I needed to fall back in love with it and find the enjoyment, this is why I don't and will never count calories or macros again. As it sets me up for controlling obsessive tendencies I have worked to be away from .
Would you have been able to tell that I was actually suffering from an eating disorder of some kind from these 6 pictures ?
Because it was only 2010 and 11 where people expressed worry due to my physical appearance, the rest I learnt to hide it quite well.
People can be suffering it at any time, don't judge a book by its cover. You never know what people are thinking in their heads. A smile can hide a million of thoughts. Please just be a little more aware
I also wrote a guest post over on genetic supplements website where I share how fitness helped me on overcoming this
Love Vicki xxx