The teenage girl who is always posting beautiful, smiling selfies on Instagram.
The guy who is in great shape at the gym.
The middle-aged woman who turns down an invitation to have dinner with friends.
Which one has the eating disorder?
Spoiler alert: They all do.
Let me ask you another question? When you think about eating disorders, what kind of statements come to mind?
You have to be below a certain weight to have an eating disorder.
Eating disorders only affect girls.
Eating disorders only affect teenagers.
Eating disorders are all about appearance.
Eating disorders are a lifestyle choice and are all about vanity.
People with eating disorders can just get over it.
Eating disorders mean anorexia or bulimia.
If people look healthy on the outside, they cannot have an eating disorder.
Which one is false?
Spoiler alert: They all are.
Eating disorders are widely misunderstood and underestimated and yet are a serious, sometimes life-threatening, psychological condition worldwide. In the UK alone, it is estimated that 1.25 million people have an eating disorder, including some children as young as six years old and men and women in their seventies.
The truth is that eating disorders can affect ANYONE.
Eating disorders do not discriminate.
They affect people of all genders, ages, races, abilities and class.
And the huge problem here is that most people do not even fit the ‘eating disorder stereotype’, therefore making it easier for them to hide it.
Yes, the most common types of eating disorders are anorexia, bulimia and binge eating disorder (BED), but it really is just the tip of the iceberg. For some people, people you pass on a daily basis, food and body image is a constant thought, a drug, an addiction. It consumes their every waking hour and controls their life, sucking out all of the joy and pleasure that life can offer.
But it really doesn’t have to be that way.
Can people really recover from an eating disorder?
YES. YES. A MILLION TIMES YES.
You can absolutely recover fully from your eating disorder.
I work with many women who have done just that and have gone on to find the most incredible things such as a new job, a new house, a new relationship, new friends, a new business.
Some pretty amazing gains I think we can agree? But that’s not all they have found. How about these for gains:
A new-found love for my body.
Light amongst the darkness.
A better relationship with myself.
Better relationships with others.
A best friend within myself.
I see the positives in myself.
I have got my life back.
Yes, it is possible.
No, it is not easy.
It takes time. It is not a linear journey. There will be ups and downs, twists and turns and paths leading in all directions.
But the journey is worth it.
And that journey begins with one thing……. self-love.
Eating disorders are a broken-down relationship with food and/or your body.
How do we fix a relationship? With love and connection.
We need to attack this from all angles; mind, body and soul. A holistic approach. What is the root core of the eating disorder? What is this broken-down relationship with food/our body the symptom of? What are we really hungry for? No diet is ever going to answer that.
It is time to love and connect to that beautiful body of yours again. Your body is amazing. Look at the incredible things it does for you every single day. Breathing. Moving. Keeping you alive. All without you even realising it.
It is time to make yourself and your recovery a priority, to give yourself love no matter what your shape or size. You deserve it. You deserve love. You deserve your own love.
No amount of dieting or losing weight will make you love yourself.
Your eating disorder is causing long term damage to your body.
Food is not the enemy.
Food will not harm you. Your eating disorder will.
You can feel happy and healthy in the skin that you are in without having to change.
You are enough.
You are loved.
You are so much more than your eating disorder.
You are needed in this world.
You are not broken.
It’s time to rewrite your story.
Your life is waiting for you…