Monday, 3 June 2013

Do I have an eating disorder?

"81% of 10 year old girls are afraid of being fat"

After visiting the Eating Disorders Association of New Zealand website, I was not shocked at all when I read the statement above.

It seems that as humans, we socialise around food. Food is a necessity of life and we can't escape it. When you feel that your life is crazy and you feel lost, controlling food intake is something that can give people the feeling of control and order. 

The EDANZ outline personalities that are prone to these disorders:
  • Kind and caring
  • Self critical
  • Ethically aware and generous
  • Low self-esteem
  • Low mood or depression
  • Intelligent and a deep thinker
  • Very sensitive to other's opinions
  • Very self conscious
  • Perfectionist
  • Anxious
  • Fears about sexuality
  • Feeling unprepared for adulthood
  • Poor problem-solving skills
I remember as a young girl, worrying about my weight. Hearing adults talk about it and observing how fixated our society is on appearance and particularly size/shape. I tried starving myself (not even lasting a day may I add - I love food too much!) as early as 10 years old. I used to binge because I hated the way I looked and would use food to 'cover' those emotions.

My family have struggled with eating disorders and currently one of my family is battling an eating disorder. It is so scary as it seems to happen to the most kind and loving people (as you can see in the traits listed above). Furthermore, because it is prevalent in my family and as a society, we love to jump at the opportunity to throw around such diagnosis without the proper knowledge - I have been accused of having Anorexia after losing over 35 kilos (I was borderline obese - over 90 kilos). It may have been one of the most hurtful things my loved ones could do - shut me out or claim things when they didn't know enough to make such statements - but I have used this experience to make sure that I don't slip into this disease - which is so easily done.

I identify myself as having many of the traits listed above and I do control my diet and worry about gaining weight (because I remember how much life sucks as an overweight person)...and when I was overweight, I did binge and often lost self control when eating - hiding food and eating in private. To me this sounds a lot like someone with major issues concerning food and body image. So I did some research, turns out that it is very common for people feel this way and through these resources (below) and seeking professional  advice (dietician and doctors), we have concluded that I don't have a disorder... but I am one-hell-of-a control freak/perfectionist!

What is an eating disorder?

What is EDNOS?

What is Bulima?

What is Anorexia?

I hope by talking about my struggles, that if you are feeling concerned or obsessive about your weight or body image that you get the strength to ask for help. The more professional advice you gain, the better. It is important to monitor your self-talk and learn to identify destructive behaviour.

All the best,
Anna :)


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