Eating Disorders/Body Dysmorphia

If you are struggling with eating and/or body image, here are some things to remember:)

A Bit About Eating Disorders

We were lucky to have a special guest, Kaylee Parish (founder of the ED hope project), join us for our second zoom meeting to discuss her experience with an eating disorder and answer questions. Eating disorders can come in several different magnitudes, and there is no specific “look” to an eating disorder in terms of appearance. Kaylee shared lots of information with us about eating disorders, and advice on how to overcome one.

The process of recovery is different for everyone, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. When defining the term “eating disorder” it becomes challenging due to the vast range of different eating disorder behaviors and causes. defines it as “any of a range of psychological disorders characterized by abnormal or disturbed eating habits (such as anorexia nervosa).” Essentially, any unhealthy relationship with food an/or body image could be categorized as an eating disorder. Below is some advice about eating disorders/body dysmorphia that was discussed during the eating disorder zoom meeting.

Listen to your body

It is crucial to listen to your body. If you feel hungry, satisfy your body with food, or else the hunger will only continue to intensify and it can hinder your body and brain from performing at its best. And ultimately, it is not good to starve yourself. By the same means, it is important to listen to your body’s cravings, and satisfy them. In the same way as hunger, ignoring cravings will only make them worse. Listening to your body is important because doing this will allow you to showcase your best self. No one is comfortable when they are starving and prohibit themselves from eating, and this behavior will have physical impacts on the way you function on a daily basis. Similarly, restricting and withholding your body from cravings can lead to binge eating and psychological damage.

Body Dysmorphia

Eating disorders and body dysmorphia go hand and hand, however it is also entirely impossible to suffer from body dysmorphia without having an eating disorder and vice versa. It is difficult to combat body dysmorphia, and it doesn’t happen overnight, but here are some things to keep in mind.

Your body does not define you. You are so much more than your body, and your appearance in general. A body is a generic framework that every human is gifted, and every human has the ability to change their body to some extent or another. What’s more important than your body is your personality, and more importantly, the qualities about yourself that make you unique. Your mindset is everything in life, and plays a much larger role in the big picture than your body every will.

Getting Help

Getting help can oftentimes be one of the most challenging elements of an eating disorder. This is because getting help begins with acceptance. Acceptance that your behavior is disordered, and you need to change your habits-which does not happen overnight by any means. A comforting way to start the process of getting help is by calling the eating disorder hotline (1-800-931-2237). This helpline offers support Monday–Thursday from 9 a.m.–9 p.m. EST, and Friday from 9 a.m.–5 p.m. EST.

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