We have all seen the pictures of the emaciated model, or the girl who is standing in front of the mirror with her ribs protruding. In contrast we also see the images of obesity whether it be in gym ads or dieting commercials on tv. When we talk about eating disorders this is what we picture, this is what we are told and therefore this is what we believe. So what about the girl who lives off of 600 calories a day but whose body looks healthy instead of sick? Or the person who binge eats every night at home when she is alone, but looks thin and fit?
One of the most challenging parts about eating disorder recovery is letting people know you are struggling. What makes that even harder is when you tell people and they don’t understand because you look “normal.” This then turns toxic when we tell ourselves that we must not really be sick because we don’t have the emaciated frame or appear overweight.
In reality few people who struggle with eating disorders look the way we assume one would look. Bodies, like people, are all different and therefore they show the disorder all differently. So if you, or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder please stop confusing body size with severity of the issue. Having an eating disorder for a day is a day too long. The more we minimize, dismiss or ignore our own journey the longer we or our loved one has to struggle.
So if there is one piece of advice I could give you it’s to stop getting hung up on size and start focusing on taking one step forward towards recovery and support. Know that you deserve to heal because you are worthy not because your body looks a certain way. Take a step, even if you’re scared, and know that you are one step closer to beating this painful disorder once and for all.