Surprised by the title of this post? Trust me. When I heard the words eating disorder in a sentence about me I was shocked.
My relationship with food became problematic and it lead me down a very destructive path. My food choices were no longer about being healthy.
For months I debated whether or not to share my experience. I was embarrassed. I kept thinking about the number of clients I’ve worked with over the years that struggled with eating (with and without a formal diagnosis of an eating disorder).
How could I have not seen this coming?
So, I stopped debating and knew that if I was meant to share this I would know when.
The when is now. I’m less embarrassed and I’ve forgiven myself for doing this to my body and the people that I love.
I’m sharing this with the hope that my story will be helpful to others.
Almost anorexic falls under the a little known class of eating disorders know as OSFED, Other Specific Feeding or Eating Disorder (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, 5th Edition) includes five subtypes of eating disorders that do not meet the diagnostic criteria. One of those subtypes is atypical anorexia in which a person has features of anorexia without low weight.
The almost effect describes problems (in this case an eating disorder) when the problem
- falls outside of normal behavior but falls short of meeting the criteria for a particular diagnosis, anorexia;
- is causing identifiable issues for individuals and/or others in their lives;
- may progress to a full blown condition meeting accepted diagnostic criteria.
The gray area between normal eating and [a full-blown disorder] is home to a great deal of pain and suffering.
Looking back I can clearly see how I created an unhealthy relationship with food.
Food became to be all about control.
I never ate a single thing without debate and anxiety. Not eating at all occurred to me more times than I care to admit. There were times when I would sabotage my eating just so I could turn to restrictive eating, a situation that I knew I could control.
The more restrictive the better.
Where am I now?
- My only dietary restriction is gluten free (for medical reasons I will continue to eat gluten free)
- My preference is still vegetarian meals (what can I say, I love fresh veggies!)
- I can eat chicken and fish when I want to, but the thing is, I don’t want to.
- I have found a balance.
- I’m chasing my dreams and living life with a whole new perspective
- At first it was hard, but now, eating without restriction is a relief.
- I don’t think about food 24/7.
- I’m laying off the food “challenges”, cleanses, resets, etc. for a while. As great as the programs can be, right now I would be doing them for the wrong reasons.
Not everyday is perfect. Some days are a struggle, but I’m able to see the disordered eating thoughts for what they are and I stop them before they become actions.
This information is not intended to be advice of any type. I am sharing information and my experience and offering a light on a very dark path.
Please talk to a doctor or therapist if you think you or someone you know has an unhealthy relationship with food.
Almost Anorexic Is My (or My Loved One’s) Relationship with Food a Problem? by Jennifer Thomas, PhD and Jennie Schaefer (Amazon)
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Happy Friday my friends!
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