So, this is Jen writing a little something about a topic that I may just be an expert in. I am on the last part of the nutrition book and this one topic that hits very close to home….eating disorders. It has taken me almost 20 years to even be able to say those two words and now here I am writing about it. I think that most women at one point in their lives deal with some sort of ED. For some it may only last days or weeks, but for many others it can last a lifetime. About 5 million Americans have Anorexia, Bulimia or Binge-Eating Disorders and it is growing everyday. We are constantly reminded of what the “ideal” woman should look like and in reality, that is just not attainable or sustainable.
We all know the common ED’s; Anorexia and Bulimia, but there are so many others. Many times people suffer from not just one, but a combination of them. Here are a few that people may not necessarily realize are ED’s: Binge Eating Disorder, Body Dysmorphic Disorder, Night-Eating Syndrome… The one I found interesting is called Anorexia Athletica. People who suffered from this want to achieve an unrealistic body size that they consider desirable for competition. The problem is that this may start off mild, but turn into full blown Anorexia if not treated in its early stages.
Here are a few ways that we can start to prevent eating disorders:
- Celebrate the diversity of the human body.
- Present accurate information about nutrition, weight management and overall health.
- Discourage restricted eating and skipping meals.
- Reinforce messages about good eating and exercise.
- Promote images of fit people in all shapes and sizes.
Overcoming an eating disorder is not an easy task and I truly believe that you will always have to fight to keep those ED thoughts out of the forefront of your mind. For me it is a daily struggle to remember that I am on the right path and that I am more than my ED. I am so happy that I am finally in a place where I feel safe and can make the changes I need to be healthy and happy.