Hey ya’ll. Wondering if you could forgive me. I literally jumped right into this blog expecting everyone to know inside my mind, to know my past, to know the science of everything Eating Disorder related.
I do not know who all my readers are…(I think I have a sum of 30, so I probably do lol). Family, friends, fellow ED warriors, mental health advocates, high school acquaintances, teammates, who knows. But I appreciate your support whomever you are.
What I’m saying is, I think it right to do a basic and fundamental post related that might bore me, but enlighten you.
This blog is as much about me as it is about you!!
Alright. Time to rewind a bit.
Brrb brrb brrb (that is my *truck backing up* beeping sound).
What are Eating Disorders?
Eating Disorder Hope (one of my all time favorite ED related support network sites) describes them as illnesses that are characterized by irregular eating habits and severe distress or concern about body weight or shape.
Some of the more common eating disorders are Binge Eating Disorder, Anorexia Nervosa, and Bulimia Nervosa. But there are are a whole host of other disorders such as Orthorexia, PICA, and Purging Disorders.
(*not everyone has their ED defined by the Mirriam Websters dictionary, or the DSM5–they take all forms, and no one is smaller than the other).
It seems odd that food, something to vital and basic to our human needs, can cause such disruption in an individual’s life. When I was a wee tot, food, meal time, and exercise was never a chore or disturbance in my life. When I recall back to these days of food and body weight neutrality, I am amazed how off my rocker I have come in regard to a life essentials.
But, ya’ll. It happens. To a LOT of people.
Just like any other mental health disorder, you can’t fully understand it unless you have experienced it. If you are fortunate to be able to find peace, acceptance and gratitude with your body on a daily basis, I hope my schpeel makes a little sense of what a life with ED is like.
It’s an obsession with what is going into the body.
It’s a control-thing.
It’s healthy habits turned ROGUE.
It’s the effort to find perfectionism. In everything.
It’s having abnormally high standards health–standards so tight they choke.
Your heart weakens. You grow tired. You think you are weak, so you do an interval workout after your HIIT workout. And this only makes you weaker. Weaker, weaker and weaker.
Pretty soon, when you finally realize you need to eat more to have more energy, you realize you can’t. You just can’t.
Welcome to an Eating Disorder.
What does she mean by Behaviors?
At times, I mention that I partake in behaviors.
Everyone has a different combination of behaviors, it just depends on the type of Eating Disorder they have been diagnosed with.
Last year, I was diagnosed with Anorexia Nervosa. With this type of eating disorder, I also experience periods of restriction (not eating for a long period of time, or purposefully limiting my intake of calories), which is then followed by an uncontrollable binging episode. (excessive and sickening amounts of food). This is followed by enormous emotional levels of guilt. The only way to undo my doing is to purge. So I run and I run, and I restrict and I restrict.
But then the cycle happens all over again.
It’s exhausting. And it’s also a problem.
Sometimes, I whip out some wicked cool words and phrases that I learned in therapy. These words and phrases may be known to the ED community, BUT I believe that even those who have not/are not suffering from mental health issues can be a part of the ED community.
So let me let YOU into our little secrets.
ED: (pronounced Ed, like the name). What I/we call the evil villain that is our eating disorder. He happens to be a guy I guess. It is also an abbreviation for Eating Disorder.
Behaviors: See above.
Triggers: Things that make me want to do behaviors. Examples include but are not limited to: diet talk, skinny girls, fit culture, feeling full, and boredom.
Thoughts: When I ruminate about what I ate or did, or about what I WILL eat or do. Example – I might want to pop off to the gym instead of eat lunch during my break. I guarantee you I will have thoughts that said action is disordered. But I might do it anyway, plagued with feelings of guilt and little peace due to ever ruminating thoughts.
Recovery: The journey towards cultivating a balanced lifestyle, mentally, physically, and spiritually. Being in recovery means I am actively working towards understanding and accepting my abilities and disabilities, as well as cultivating a positive sense of self.
So, my friends, I leave you there. A little awareness goes a long way.
Thank you for baring with me.