Saturday, August 2, 2008

From Dieting to a Disorder

     Who am I to claim I can give you advice about preventing an eating disorder? Well, I had one. And it was a slow, slippery process.  Each false belief that I accepted as fact contributed to the demise of my self-esteem, and each unhealthy decision I made gradually contributed to my disease. Eventually, I was suffering from a full-blown eating disorder. I fit the clinical definition of bulimia.
     But before that, I was a “disordered eater.” 15% of young women are. It can mean everything from skipping meals and constant dieting to binge/purging, but these women are all at risk for developing a full-blown eating disorder. I was one of the ones who crossed that bridge.
     There are points where nutritious eating becomes restrictive, and exercise becomes excessive. There is a line between being body-conscious and body dysmorphia (or losing all sense of reality.) Dieting can turn to disordered eating, and disordered eating can turn into a clinical disorder.
     In our minds, thoughts we might have might seem normal. Maybe we think someone is skinnier than us who really isn't. Maybe we think people are staring at us, wondering if we should be eating that fattening food. Whatever the self-deprecating thought, it seems much more plausible in our mind than it does when written down or discussed with others. 
     Staying in shape while going to to school will be difficult. But it does not warrant obsession. (Nothing does.) It will require compromises, planning ahead, hard work and dedication. But you will also make mistakes. That's unavoidable. Demanding perfection is setting yourself up to fall short. 
     I hope you will share your stories with me. I hope you will open up about fears you may have. You will likely learn there are many others who feel the same.

1 comment:

Casey said...

Hey Erin,
I want to congratulate you on having such an informative and inspiring blog! It must take a lot of courage to talk about disorded eating habits when you've dealt with it firsthand. I'm currently interning as a blogger for College Lifestyles (TM) which is a nutrition, style, and etiquette blog for co-eds. Our director is a registered dietition and author of the book "Eat Well and Be Fabulous." It's a website where you'll never find the word "diet" but instead will get information and tips from college girls who are going through the same things you are! I hope you'll check us out and consider adding us to your blogreel! Thanks, and I look forward to reading more great posts from you!