EATING DISORDERS

I'm sharing my personal experience with eating disorders today with you. If you are going through this, please know that you aren't alone and you should go get personal and professional help.


18 years old me.

This picture was taken when I was 17, turning 18 years old. 3 or 4 months before this picture, I was 160 pounds. On this one, I was 100 or less. My thighs were not touching and I was happy. I was feeling pretty or, well, I thought I was. I was fitting in my 12 years old shorts. I went through binge eating, emotional over eating, anorexia and came close to bulimia.


what are the differences?

binge eatingBinge Eating Disorder (BED) is commonly known by compulsive overeating or consuming abnormal amounts of food while feeling unable to stop and at loss of control. It often leads to weight gain and obesity and can also leads to depression, anxiety or other eating disorders.


emotional over eating

Emotional over eating is turning to food to relieve stress, loneliness, boredom, depression, sadness and other unpleasant emotions. Emotional eating (or stress eating) is using food to make yourself feel better, to eat to satisfy emotional needs, rather than to satisfy physical hunger.


Anorexia

Anorexia is a psychological and potentially life-threatening eating disorder. Those suffering from this eating disorder are typically suffering from an extremely low body weight relative to their height and body type. Women and men who suffer from this eating disorder exemplify a fixation with a thin figure and abnormal eating patterns.


Bulimia

Bulimia is characterized by periods of binging (or excessive overeating) followed by some kind of compensatory behavior. A person with bulimia might eat more than 2,000 calories in one sitting and then induce vomiting. Vomiting, however, is not the only method of purging. Excessive exercise, laxative use, enemas, fasting, or a combination of purging methods are common alternatives to vomiting. People who binge without purging often receive the diagnosis of binge eating disorder.


only skinny people suffer from these

False. People with eating disorders have a fear of gaining weight. However, that does not mean all people with these disorders are underweight. Some people suffering from eating disorders are overweight or obese and may attempt to use purging, stop eating, etc. to manage their weight or to prevent additional weight gain.


MY experience

Food had always been there for me when I was feeling lonely, hopeless, sad, frustrated, anxious, etc. I did not know about carbs, calories, fat, protein, sugar. I didn't know anything! I was eating enormous muffins, bags of cookies, tubes of ice cream, 10 hot dogs, extra large poutines, I could not stop. I was not athletic so naturally, I gained weight. A lot. I did that for a long time.


After my first car accident, I had my first post traumatic choc. I ended up at the hospital and on pills. I lost weight tremendously and people were now telling me how good I was looking. I became so focused on my appearance that I stopped eating or was only eating celery and was feeling ashamed for it. I lost weight and my body was like a 10 years old body now.


When you are caught in this, you don't see yourself. You can't see yourself. You don't want to listen to other peoples opinions. You are hurting yourself, hurting your family, but you only realize it after the facts.


When I opened myself to others afterwards, I got told I wasn't anorexic because I was not skinny enough. I was a liar. It is important to go get help if you are someone close to you suffer from it. Eating disorders are real and please, look out for the signs if you or someone close to you might suffer from one.


Statistics

Research indicates that the prevalence rate of eating disorders is between 2% and 3%. Based on Statistics Canada population data (Statistics Canada 2016), an estimated 725,800 and 1,088,700 Canadians will meet the diagnostic criteria for an eating disorder.


A Southern Ontario study with a community (non-clinical) sample of 1,739 teens revealed only 4% of the girls who reported current binge eating and 6% of girls who were purging had ever received any assessment or treatment for these problems.


According to a 2002 survey, 1.5% of Canadian women aged 15–24 years had an eating disorder. Government of Canada. (2006). The Human Face of Mental Health and Mental Illness in Canada 2006.


A Southern Ontario series of studies with a community sample of approximately 2,000 students revealed 30% of females and 25% of males between the ages of 10 and 14 years of age reported dieting to lose weight (McVey et al., 2004; 2005).


In fact, 20% of overweight girls and 6% of overweight boys report using laxatives, vomiting, diuretics, and diet pills  (Neumark-Sztainer, Story, Hannan, Perry, & Irving, 2002).


4% of boys in grades 9 and 10 reported anabolic steroid use in a 2002 study, showing that body preoccupation and attempts to alter one’s body are issues affecting both men and women. Boyce, W. F. (2004). Young people in Canada: their health and well-being. Ottawa, Ontario: Health Canada.


37% of girls in grade 9 and 40% in grade ten perceived themselves as too fat. Even among students of normal-weight, 19% believed that they were too fat, and 12% of students reported attempting to lose weight. Boyce, W. F., King, M. A. & Roche, J. (2008). Healthy Living and Healthy Weight. In Healthy Settings for Young People in Canada


In a survey of adolescents in grades 7–12, 30% of girls and 25% of boys reported teasing by peers about their weight. Such teasing has been found to persist in the home as well – 29% of girls and 16% of boys reported having been teased by a family member about their weight. Eisenberg, M. E. & Neumark-Sztainer, D. (2003). Associations of Weight-Based Teasing and Emotional Well-Being Among Adolescents. Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, 157(6), 733-738.


70% of doctors receive 5 hours or less of eating disorder-specific training while in medical school. Girz, Lafrance Robsinson, & Tessier, 2014.


In 2004, only 6.3% of psychiatry residents felt they had spent enough time with ED patients to work effectively with them in clinical practice (Williams & Leichner, 2006)

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