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National Eating Disorder Awareness Week and Common Signs that Go Under the Radar

Blog post written by,

Allison Ford, M.S

Registered Counseling Intern


We are constantly flooded with diet culture. It is inescapable; there is an advertisement for a new fad diet at the grocery store checkout line. There is a new workout regimen on Instagram that will mysteriously “bust” all of our body fat, along with the promise of taking our problems away with it. We are told to work at and change our bodies to fit into a narrow perception of what a body should be, not what feels comfortable. It all seems so normal; we are told, “This is what everyone does!” It is no surprise that eating disorders have far reaching effects. Did you know that 28-30 million of Americans experience an eating disorder in their lifetime?


National Eating Disorder Awareness Week is critical because I often hear clients say that they did not know what an eating disorder was until they were deep in their own. Eating disorders can be sneaky and can stem from a multitude of reasons like: diet culture, disordered eating, high exercise/activity environments, family dynamics, etc. Everything can seem so normal until symptoms worsen and you feel out of control around food or your body. If we are aware of what we are experiencing, we can seek help sooner and prevent medical complications or even death.


Here are some signs of eating disorders and malnourishment that are not commonly known:


  • Eating alone or feeling socially withdrawn

  • Frequent dieting or body checking (checking yourself in the mirror/reflections)

  • Feeling like you need to “burn off” calories after eating

  • Constantly being cold

  • Talking a lot about food or a diet

  • Only wanting to wear baggy clothes

  • Excessive drinking of fluids (coffee, water, etc.)

  • Dizziness or difficulty concentrating

  • Difficulty sleeping

  • Food rituals (examples: taking small bites or big bites, eating in a certain order, excessively drinking water between bites, etc.)

  • Feeling uncomfortable touching food

  • Exercising past what your body can tolerate

  • Fighting your genetics by modifying your body shape

  • Snacking at night even when not feeling hungry

  • Noticing in the morning that you ate a large amount of food the previous night and you do not remember how that happened.

  • Baking at midnight and staying up eating large quantities of food

  • Excessive or unnecessary use of laxatives to avoid discomfort related to constipation

  • Inducing vomit to experience relief from anxiety

  • Limiting the intake of food to compensate for eating or drinking in large quantities

These symptoms can go on for a long time and can be so engrained that you don’t notice it is problematic. If you are noticing some of these symptoms in yourself or in a loved one, please know that there is help. We are here to go to battle advocating for you; you are not alone!


Resources For Help:


National Alliance For Eating Disorders https://www.allianceforeatingdisorders.com/

www.findedhelp.com


National Eating Disorders Association

Helpline: call or text (800) 931-2237


ANAD






 

Allison Ford, M.S

Registered Intern for Mental Health Counselor Licensure


I'm interested in working with individuals who struggle with eating disorders, depression and anxiety . For a FREE phone consultation and more information about nutritional counseling, please call me directly at 561.600.1424 or email me at allisonfordmhc@gmail.com. Services available in person and online.



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