Our culture is very diet-obsessed. This makes it very easy for an Eating Disorder to fester and go unnoticed for a long time, which makes recovery all the more difficult. In our culture, certain Eating Disorders are revered as amazing acts of “will-power” and “strength.” If the Eating Disorder leads to weight loss, the person who is suffering may get compliments about how “great they look” and such, which reinforces the behaviors that they are using, which are actually Eating Disordered.
With that said, when exactly does an innocent diet turn into an Eating Disorder? It’s important to note here that Eating Disorders are mental health disorders that have both physical and mental consequences. Eating Disorders develop as coping skills, the disorder offers some sort of comfort or distraction from whatever a person is looking to cope from. This often is unconscious and most people see certain Eating Disorders as just a method to lose weight, when it’s actually much more than that. Learn more here about How Eating Disorder Develop.
The big factor that indicates whether an otherwise normal or functional behavior becomes a disorder is the point when it disrupts your typical life functioning. Lack of flexibility is often a huge characteristic of certain Eating Disorders. You become very rigid and will not move from your comfort zone. For example, let’s say you decide that you can no longer eat carbs more than once a day and had cereal for breakfasts. Your friends later ask you to go out for pizza and you say no because your carbs allotment is filled for the day. This is a problem, because your eating behaviors are now affecting your life functioning.
Anxiety and fear around food and food situations is another characteristic you will typically find with certain Eating Disorders. Perhaps, in a diet, you may be a little annoyed that your favorite food that you deemed is now off-limits to you is being served at a social gathering. With an Eating Disorder, this will likely cause anxiety, fear and sometimes full-blown panic.
Food obsession is typical in both dieting and Eating Disorders. Since dieting isn’t natural, biologically it causes you to start obsessing over food. However, this obsession takes to new levels for an Eating Disorder. Most people believe that with certain Eating Disorders, the person either doesn’t like food or never thinks about food. On the contrary, they may be the ones buying cookbooks to flip through, baking for friends and family but never eating the baked goods, watching baking shows for hours and thinking about the next time they will eat before they’re done with what’s right in front of them.
It’s a fine line to cross from diet into the world of an Eating Disorder. While diets typically precede some Eating Disorders, it does not mean that all people who diet develop Eating Disorders. These are just a few things to look out for in deciphering the difference within yourself or a loved one. If you feel you are struggling with an Eating Disorder or any sort of eating issue, please find the proper help from an Eating Disorder therapy. This guide will help you Get the Right Help for an Eating Disorder.
I hope you found this post helpful! If you know anyone else who could benefit from reading this, please share with them. If you have any questions, concerns or requests for future posts, please leave a comment or message me privately.
I wish you wellness on your journey to finding your State of Balance!
You may also find these videos helpful:
How Do Eating Disorders Develop
Anxiety and Eating Disorders
Do You Have an Eating Disorder?
The Truth About Diet Mentality
Getting the Right Help for an Eating Disorder
And these posts:
Snapshot of the Different Eating Disorders
What to Say to Someone you Feel May Have an Eating Disorder
The Diet Scam
Binge And Restrict Cycle
Eating Disorder Specialist
Healthy Self Vs. Eating Disorder