The BED diagnosis and meds may be helpful for the few, but will almost surely be misused to mislabel and overtreat the many.
If my daughter had my body, did that mean that she would have an adversarial relationship with her body? Or was it possible that she could retain that natural self-acceptance that children are born with?
It turns out there's more than one way to make an attractive body, and those different body types evolve to be well-integrated. That's a liberating message for most of us: evolutionary biology has more to offer our understanding of diversity than the idea that only one "most attractive" body (or face, or personality) always wins out.
My eating disorder was about everything and nothing. It brought up issues of control, self-loathing, perfectionism, and spiritual hunger. But it wasn't traceable to any of these things. And it certainly wasn't traceable to the desire to attract men.
I found myself facing demons I thought I had long overcome, and suddenly found myself terrified of the weight gain that comes with pregnancy. I was still carrying some weight from my first, and the idea of it all piling on left me with intense, overbearing panic attacks that left me hospitalized at least three times.
Last I checked, no one claimed any of you to be the owner of me and my body. Why is it that my weight is of such importance to people? Why is it that everyone feels that he (or she, also!) can add in two cents about what I put into my mouth?
If you have a fraught relationship with exercise, you probably keep coming back to these three excuses. I know I certainly did. But here are some unconventional things for you to try when you encounter them.
Mother blaming is patriarchy's age-old way of taking the focus away from the harm that it causes women by making women responsible for harming themselves.
Fat girls are less attractive, less worthy, more obnoxious and more unwanted. Skinny girls are the opposite: pretty, worthy, smart and desirable. And because they thought I was fat... well, the rest fell into place, too.
As a woman who threw up for more than four decades to control my weight, even as I needed the comfort and "cure" that over-eating provided, I have some insights on what the 'over love of food' is all about. It wasn't the problem. It was the answer.
When we're throwing out such an obscene amount of food (which is, presumably, actual food: broccoli, juice, cheese, and the like) do we really need to be eating coffee cups?
I thought of my scale as a security blanket -- as long as I had it, I felt like I had some sort of control. In reality, the scale controlled me. It wasn't a security blanket; it was a ball and chain.
We are all susceptible to negative self-talk, but the quicker we can learn to shift those thoughts back to the positive track the more we will stay on course to truly show up shining for every moment in our lives.
Your stomach's feats should be celebrated, not shamed. And therefore, the stomach should be displayed with, yes, I'll say it, pride. Your umbilical cord connected you, your tummy, and your mother. Without that belly, you wouldn't be here.
Struggling does not mean that you're anywhere close to weak. No eating disorder, or any mental illness for that matter, should ever be a secret. Just sitting down to write this post has gotten me further than years of silence ever did.
While "disordered eating" has not yet been incorporated into the DSM as a clinical diagnosis, it is becoming prevalent enough in society that it is attracting attention.