9 Things Everyone Should Know About Eating Disorders
Learn more about eating disorders and what a Eating Disorder Dietitian wishes you knew
*Trigger warning: discussion of eating disorders*
One of the most common statements I hear from clients who have an eating disorder is that they feel completely alone with their disorder and that no one in their life seems to ‘’get it’’. They feel like nobody understands the struggle that they are going through.
And that is the truth, the very nature of eating disorders is isolating and can make it extremely difficult to reach out for help and support.
What my clients want you to know:
- Eating disorders do not have a ‘’look’’, You never know who is struggling.
- Recovery is both the hardest and the best thing I have ever done.
- I would never wish to have an eating disorder and I would never wish this experience upon another person.
- Recovery is long-term. It is not just about medical stabilization, weight change, or abstinence from eating disorder behaviours. That is only phase 1.
What do I, a Registered Dietitian who works with clients struggling to recover from their eating disorder, want you to know?
- The eating disorder serves a purpose for the client that is NOT about body image.
There is a reason the eating disorder is there, and it does go deeper than just how a person looks. If it were only about looks, they would be easier to recover from.
- Imagine spending 24/7 with a bully that no one else can fight for you.
Recovering from an eating disorder is a BATTLE. While we may not see the daily, nonstop, war that the person is fighting, trust that they are fighting as hard as they can.
- Progress is messy.
Changing your relationship with food and eating disorder behaviours is not as simple as ‘’just eat’’ or ‘‘just stop when you are full”. It is complex and may look very slow at times, but that is normal and okay! Keep fighting for change.
- You don’t have to understand what a person is going through to be a good support for them.
A person with an eating disorder isn’t asking for you to fix the illness for them, however, it can be extraordinarily helpful to let a person know that they are not alone in the fight and that you are there for them.
- Do not compare illnesses
Every eating disorder is individual. While there may be some common themes, what applies to one person does not apply to the next.
Above all else, please know that there are people who can help. Do not let the eating disorder keep you isolated and away from your supports or receiving the help that you deserve. If you know someone who is struggling, let them know you care and are there for them.
Looking for an Eating Disorder Dietitian that “gets it”? We can help.
If you are seeking support for an eating disorder such as anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder, ARFID or disordered eating behavior we can help.
We have Eating Disorder Dietitians on our team that can help provide you with the confidential supportive care to meet you where you are at and work with you to progress recovery at a pace you can manage.
We also work collaboratively with your physician and therapist to ensure we are helping you move forward with the right type of support needed to assist you.