Understanding Eating Disorders

Understanding Eating Disorders

We live in a culture that worships bone-thin movie stars.  Eating disorders usually begin in the teen years, when we’re most susceptible to scrutiny by our peers – and it can affect both men and women.

Prevention begins with awareness and education.  It can become a serious psychological problem that results in permanent physical damage to your body.  Family and friends can get frustrated with your pickiness.

They can dismiss your very real problem as “just trying to get attention” or “simply needing to find a good diet and stick to it.” Neither of these comments is constructive. In fact, this kind of criticism can drive a person to become even further immersed in the disorder.

Eating disorders aren’t just a problem among the girls anymore. The number of men who become obsessed with diet and weight is rising rapidly. Men complicate this already difficult problem with steroid use to bulk up muscle.

Young men are finding out what young women have know for centuries – how it feels to be criticized when their bodies don’t meet an objectified standard. Body types are different and not everyone will respond to the same treatment.

Some people have high metabolisms, thin frames and eat like linebackers without gaining weight. Other body types, particularly women, retain fat and struggle trying to squeeze into single digit dress sizes. Trying to work against your body type is a something that attracts people to eating disorders to get results that aren’t realistic by healthy dieting.

You may have been subjected to influence from your parents when you were growing up.  If your mom was occupied by her “fat thighs” then chances are, you’ll inherit that incessant worry.

You have to recognize that you can’t control life through your food choices.  Eating a banana split might make you feel good right now, but if you over-indulge, it can cause guilty feelings to crop up. Likewise, if you binge and purge or restrict yourself from eating healthy, you’re going to pay for it in the long run.

Try focusing on what’s causing you to want control in other areas of your life.  Are you stressed beyond belief?  Anxious about something you fear won’t work out?  Don’t use food as your tool of comfort.  If you’re already mired in an eating disorder, seek help before it snowballs into something you can’t break away from.

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