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What is an eating disorder?

When most people think of eating disorders, it falls into two categories; Anorexia or Bulimia. From my own experience and work with eating disorders, they can come in all different forms. This includes rules around eating like when to eat, only eating certain foods, or not eating after specific times. You may be reading this thinking well that sounds like many popular diet plans. The element that changes a diet to an eating disorder is the emotional toll around the rules, rituals, and food.

People with an eating disorder may love the feeling of hunger because it gives them a sense of accomplishment. They may only eat small amounts of food to avoid losing too much weight but to sustain their ideal body image. The best way I know how to describe the satisfaction people experience from an eating disorder are when you are overwhelmed with emotion and unable to cope. The eating disorder is a comfort. We know the outcome of the eating disorder. We may not know the outcome of a situation or the feelings. That sense of control feels like an emotional release on a pressure cooker.

Eating disorders are some of the hardest disorders to work through. Food is a vital part of our existence. We all deserve to have a healthy relationship with ourselves and food. We deserve to go to parties or events and not have to worry about the food options. My hope is that we honor ourselves and our bodies, so no one has to suffer alone with an eating disorder.

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