Eating disorders are becoming more and more common in our society. They affect people of all ages, genders, and races. They don’t discriminate. However, they’re still something that’s glamorized in our society even though they are incredibly hard to get past despite intervention and treatment. So, here are some reminders for both people with and without eating disorders. These 5 reasons why they’re just not worth it — and why unhealthy eating habits should not be glamorized.
1. You feel out of control.
Eating disorders are known for giving a (false) sense of control, and they definitely can. But often, you will feel simultaneously in control and incredibly out of control. You’ll tell yourself that you’ll only go down to a certain weight. But with each passing day, that weight will get lower and lower. You’ll tell yourself that you’ll eat a certain amount a day, but you could end up going over or under that. You’ll tell yourself that you won’t compensate by eating less the next day or by using any kind of purging, but you will. No matter what kind of eating disorder you struggle with, you will feel out of control despite it telling you the opposite.
2. You experience many physical effects.
Eating disorders take a major toll on your body. It doesn’t matter if it’s anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder or anything in between. And it doesn’t matter how much you weigh. What’s more, possible effects of eating disorders can include low blood pressure, low blood sugar, low heart rate, a Mallory-Weiss tear (a tear in your esophagus), electrolyte imbalances, a stomach rupture, organ failure – and yes, even death. If you’re like me or anyone else I know who’s struggled with an eating disorder, you’re going to feel physically terrible while you’re using disordered behaviors.
3. You experience negative mental effects.
Just as with your physical health, your mind and mental health suffer as well. Food and weight will be all you can think about, all the time. Numbers will fog up your brain, whether it’s calories or pounds. This, along with the physical effects, makes it extremely difficult to concentrate on anything. As a result, a lot of people lose hobbies and the things that they’re passionate about. When you’re hungry and your mind won’t be quiet, it’s difficult not to be irritable and in a bad mood – being hangry is a real thing! Moreover, eating disorders often coexist with mood and anxiety disorders.
4. You hurt your relationships.
It’s hard to keep a relationship (romantic or otherwise) when you’re constantly canceling plans because you’re avoiding food, you can’t be fully present, or because you’re constantly in a bad mood. Not to mention, when you have an eating disorder, it often becomes your best friend.
5. You will never feel good enough.
It doesn’t matter how low your weight gets, how little you eat, how many times you’ve been hospitalized – it will never feel good enough. Losing weight isn’t going to magically make you feel better about yourself. Listening to your disordered thoughts is never going to make you happy. Your eating disorder will never let you feel good enough.
To put it simply, eating disorders suck in every single way. They completely ruin your life and will do so without you even realizing it. Losing weight fast and looking like the bikini models you see on social media seems like a good idea… until it’s not. Slowly, you’ll start losing everything else in life, including yourself. I promise you that listening to disordered thoughts or your eating disorder will never be worth it. So, we should stop glamorizing it.
If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, learn more about treatment options here.
Featured image from Netflix ‘To The Bone’