Misconceptions of an Eating Disorder

Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional, the contents of this post are my own opinions through my own personal experiences. This blog post is to spread awareness, to inform and inspire, if you are suffering from an eating disorder, please seek help from a qualified practitioner.

“It is not about how you physically look, you can be ANY size and still suffer from an eating disorder”

There are so many misconceptions of an eating disorder and what someone with an eating disorder looks like or should look like. It does make me sad that a label has been created amongst so many, and that is the reality of society, but we can make this change by spreading awareness, educating and help tackle that stereotype that has been fragmented in people’s minds.

It is not about how you physically look, you can be ANY size and still suffer from an eating disorder, a perception that I have encountered on numerous occasions is that you have to look a certain way to be suffering…No no no! It is how you think, your mindset, the struggles in your head, which can then in turn effect your behaviours to cause an eating disorder. I have had comments where because I do not look like someone’s stereotype of what someone with an eating disorder looks like, that “how can I have it?” This is so wrong, because in their eyes I am not ‘thin enough’ so I am not suffering, let me tell you, this disheartens me so much. From my experiences, the perception most of the time is about the physical look and not about the person’s mental state. I want to try and make a difference in changing this perception, for people to be more mindful in what they say and how they act towards others which can have a detrimental affect. Anyone of us could be suffering and we are not aware of it, just remember that because someone does not physically look sick, does not mean they are not.

“I want to have a life free of rules and restrictions”

For me, regardless of how I look to others, the struggle is serious. A daily struggle that is so strong, I feel can be too overwhelming at times and I want it to stop, I want to stop feeling like this, I want to have a life free of rules and restrictions, to be able to venture out more and just eat all of the foods I used to enjoy. For me, it consumes me everyday, the everyday process of what to eat, what to pack with me when I go out, how to survive another day. Always preparing in advance, having to think, research, ensuring I always have my own food whether it be main meals or snacks, wondering where I will get my next meal from and what it will contain. Will there be an ingredients list? Will there be labels? If not do I ask all of these questions?

I am looking for that path where my journey begins – to attend to my mental health, by getting to that place where I shouldn’t care about what others think of me, as after years of being put down, with people not realising how their actions impact on one’s life and what it can cause and do to a person, it has in turn made me feel the need to constantly prove myself to fulfil others’ needs – but why do I need to? Why should I? I should only prove things to myself and stop worrying what others think, learning to be happy within myself I believe will then in turn help change some of my behaviours and my distorted perceptions. It is not about a drive to look a certain way, it is my mental state, my mental state which is creating the rules and restrictions around food. I know I have a long way to go, but I am so grateful that I am aware of it and no longer in denial, unlike many others out there.

“I am looking for that path where my journey begins”

Just being more mindful and open minded can make a difference, anyone could be suffering with any illness at any time, it may not be visible but it does not mean it is not there. It is not about the visibility of an illness, it just needs to be present to make it real.

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