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February 22, 2016

#ExplainingED: What I Want You to Know about Eating Disorders Is…, Part 2

#ExplainingED: What I Want You to Know about Eating Disorders Is…, Part 2

Today we share part 2 of our #ExplainingED campaign. Over the past month, we have been gathering submissions from providers who help individuals and families recover, the clients who are currently or have previously dealt with ED, and the families and friends who are impacted and supporting their loved one for our #ExplainingED campaign. For these submissions, providers, clients, family, and friends, were asked to complete the sentence “What I want you to know about eating disorders is______________.” Our #ExplainingED campaign sheds light on some of the dos, don’ts, insights, hurt, shame, resilience, recovery, and other factors that come with an eating disorder. How would you complete the sentence?

Make sure to check out part 1 of #ExplainingED. Join us for part 3 on Friday.

These are personal perspectives; everyone will have unique experiences on their own path to recovery and beyond. Some stories may mention eating disorder thoughts, behaviors, or symptom use. Please use your own discretion. And speak with your therapist when needed.

What I want you to know about eating disorders is they’re not sexist. Ed is not racist or picky. He is ruthless, but he can be beaten.

With hard work, motivation, and support,

the fight is winnable.


What I want you to know about eating disorders is…

Eating disorders are not a choice. When I didn’t have an eating disorder, I always thought that people wanted to get thin, so they stopped eating. Pretty much that whole sentence is a big myth. I did not choose to limit my calories one day. It was gradual and I guess I didn’t even realize I was doing it. After time, I would avoid dessert and have fruit instead. I would have small meals. I would only eat so-called “healthy foods.” Not because it was my choice, but because if I didn’t the voices inside my head would make me so stressed. The voice of my eating disorder always, always remind me of the calories, the fat, the unhealthiness. In fact, when I did choose to have a dessert or maybe a piece of pizza, I wouldn’t be able to enjoy it because the voices in my head would not relax. During eating it; before eating it; after eating it; they were constant. It was not me that was controlling what I put in my body. It was not my choice. It was actually easier (so much mentally easier) to take an apple instead of the brownie. Another thing that I wanted to touch on is that people with eating disorders do eat. In fact, I ate three meals a day with a snack at night. The thing is, I was not eating the right amount for my body. Although I was having the typical number of meals, I was starving my portions. I had food on my mind pretty much the whole day. It was hard to concentrate. I think that’s why eating disorders are so hard. It’s not a thing that’s like, “hey I’m not happy with my body. I am going to eat less.” It is so much more complicated. Recovery is a long mental journey, and it is really hard to change those thoughts that I have been having for so long. Recovery isn’t just, “oh have some supper and a snack.” Recovery isn’t weight gain. Recovery isn’t eating food. In order to recover, it takes so much time and mental healing. I have to change so many previous beliefs. Eating disorders screw with your mind and make you believe things that aren’t true, and in the recovery process, it is so hard to decipher what thoughts are yours and what thoughts are the eating disorder. It is so hard to find myself again because I have been believing these things in my head for such a long time.


What I want you to know about eating disorders is…

I do not refuse food because of vanity or for attention; my brain goes into panic mode and I can’t think of anything other than trying to avoid eating. It started off very innocently. I wanted to lose a few pounds thinking it would make me a better person, but I started to get high off of not eating, and soon that high was controlling my life. I would avoid foods I once loved and avoid spending time with friends in fear that they would try to get me to eat. Eventually, I was pulled out of sports and school because my brain was screaming at me so loudly that I could not even give it the nutrition to make my heartbeat normally. I never asked to get to the point where a bowl of cereal would bring me to tears because no one wants that. My eating disorder took over my life, it became the opposite of being in control.


What I want you to know about eating disorders is…

They are                                           It’s not                               You will miss

a disorder,                                        as simple                            birthdays & holidays

NOT a                                               as “just                               and graduation and

decision.                                           eating”                                school dances

                                                        again.                                 because you will be

                                                                                                  in & out of treatment

                                                                                                  and hospitals.

  They Kill.                                                    Most people

                                                                    with eating


They make you                                              are very

feel like your                                                  good at

mind and voice is                                            hiding it.

taken away and

someone else is                                                                                   There is

in control.                                                                                            hope for

                                                                                                           recovery if

                                           They are                                                    you are

                                           never okay                                                struggling.

                                            to joke


                          They affect you physically and mentally.



What I want you to know about eating disorders is It’s NOT Me.


What I want you know about eating disorders is it’s a journey.

God created us.

God shaped and formed us to become the people we are today.

To become the people who God created us to become, we have to go through tough situations in our lives.

One of those tough situations can be an eating disorder.

Eating disorders can be brutal sometimes.

The person affected by an eating disorder does not see it coming, until it is too late.

Lies, sneakiness, control, just to name a few, become second nature to the person affected by this terrible disease.

It’s all about control.

The things you once loved become no more.

Your life is now in the hands of the eating disorder.

It is your master.

You become a slave to it.

You begin to spiral out of control.

Seeping deeper into the ground.

Having no way out.

Feeling lost.

Having no direction of where to go.

Feeling cold.

Watching as time passes you by.

The pain…oh how it hurts.

The light at the end of the tunnel seems so far away.

The voices you hear.

The tears that you cry,

Are all part of a journey.


Thank you to all who sent in submissions for #ExplainingED. Your voice helps bring awareness and education for eating disorders. This campaign would not have been possible without you.

Get help. Find hope.