National Eating Disorders Awareness Week: My Story

This is National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, and while the name doesn't roll off the tongue, it's such an important time to really talk about something that usually carries such stigma but is really pervasive in society.

 

In the United States, 20 million women and 10 million men suffer from a clinically significant eating disorder at some time in their life, including anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder, or other specified feeding or eating disorder (OSFED).

I had no idea that I had one.

I had been worried about my weight since I was 5, when I started learning my mom's dieting ways. I thought that battling being legitimately overweight didn't have anything to do with an eating disorder. You could SEE that I didn't have problem with eating food, right? But you couldn't see it. Appearances can be extremely deceiving. Throughout the years, I restricted, binge exercised, and binge ate.

I didn't really understand what binge eating meant, I just told myself that I had no self control and was lazy and ate too much. The turning point came when I could understand:

Eating disorders are serious illnesses, not lifestyle choices. 


Thanks to ongoing therapy and education, it's been about 3 years since I last binged, but it's something that never goes away. Binge Eating Disorder (BED) is just one of several types of eating disorders. My hope is that by talking about personal experiences, we can start talking about it instead of judging others and keeping quiet.

More of my story can be found at Ladies' Home Journal online. To learn more about eating disorders or to find help, visit NEDAwareness.org.