In honor of National Eating Disorder Awareness Week, today I’m tackling the data on Eating Disorders. **Trigger Warning**This is a weighty and emotional topic. If you’re recovering from an ED or have been diagnosed already, you may want to just skip this episode in case you find it triggering.

My purpose today is to expose the many symptoms of eating disorders and alert you to the reality that some of what we consider “normal” in our health culture is actually disordered eating or eating disorder behavior. Almost 30 million Americans have or will have an eating disorder sometime during their lifetime. Many eating disorders go undetected and only 6% of people with eating disorders are underweight. Dieting and restriction are not the pathways to health. In fact, the data shows the opposite. Dieting and food or food group restriction is ineffective at best and could lead to the dangers of disordered eating. Improving your body image doesn’t mean you disregard your physical health or ignore the signals when the foods you eat make you feel bad. But food avoidance, food fear, and calorie restriction have consequences that we should all be aware of.

Candidly, I would have told you a few years ago there was nothing “unhealthy” about dieting and restricting. I believed this was the only way to have a healthier body. But, now I’ve learned that this thinking is the same as that which accompanies disordered eating and the mental illness of eating disorder. Yes, it’s a mental illness. I think it’s time we stop encouraging people to develop a mental illness so their bodies can meet a cultural standard.

Here’s where we go in today’s episode:

  • We talk about how EDNOS–the category Heather used to associate with–is no longer a category and why.
  • The fine line between eliminating foods for other health reasons and triggering an eating disorder.
  • How dieting can lead to eating disorders.
  • Why food shouldn’t be a threat to our identity–and yet, somehow, it feels like it is.
  • The most common emotional and physical symptoms of eating disorders
  • And, more…

If You’re Battling Disordered Eating or Eating Disorders Check Out These Resources:

Today’s research came straight from the National Eating Disorder Awareness homepage. You can access the data I read today and so much more information on eating disorders here:

If you think you have an eating disorder, please check out this list of suggested resources here:

Interested in coaching or joining the next coaching group that begins April 4th? Learn more on the coaching tab here:

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eating disorders