Now, I am incredibly aware that when most people hear the words eating disorder, they picture an emaciated, malnourished looking female, they think about that film For the Love of Nancy, staring Tracy Gold, that actress from Growing Pains, but this is not exactly the case for all individuals with eating disorders, yes, many fit this mold, but many do not. In other words, most family members, friends, boyfriends, doctors, and even the individual with the eating disorder are not aware of their disorder, because they may not fit this “preconceived notion” of what an eating disorder “should look” like. Therefore, I ask you to relearn what an eating disorder really is, it looks different for everyone, it may even feel different for everyone, but no matter what, it is common, and so incredibly real. It can be difficult, but I also ask you to avoid shamming individuals who may look “sick”, because again, someone may look “sick,” but that may be their healthy, and some may look “healthy” but that may be their “sick”….The amount of times you may tell someone how “healthy,” and “fit” they look, the more they may continue to justify their unhealthy behaviors.
I know of so many individuals that other’s view as “too skinny” or “emaciated” yet those individuals were and are within successful recovery and doing their best to be their healthiest self. So lets take away the shame, and the focus on outward appearances, and truly understand what eating disorder recovery means.
Eating disorders look, and feel different for everyone, this is something that must be recognized, recovery looks and feels different for everyone as well! Therefore, as you continue on through your life, I ask you to bring some awareness to this issue and understand the different, and many faces of Eating Disorder Recovery, because most likely it’s not what you think.