Why is EATING so hard for someone with an eating disorder?
When I was sick, I can’t tell you how many times people asked why I can’t just eat. I don’t blame them for not understanding because eating disorders are most definitely complicated & if you never dealt with them first-hand, it seems absurd that a person has such a hard time practicing one of the most natural & innate human needs.
But the truth of the matter is that for someone with an eating disorder, eating is more difficult & fearful than physical pain, heartbreak or not landing your dream job because eating means we betray something we worship & love. In the same way that one would feel horribly about mistrusting or hurting the one they love, we feel horrible when we betray our eating disorder.
Eating is hard because we anticipate the guilt we’ll feel after it & suddenly, it’s not worth it.
Eating is hard because our eating disorder teaches us that we don’t deserve to eat or nourish our bodies. It teaches us to praise starvation & deprivation & to feel good when those “needs” (or lack thereof) are met.
Eating is hard because it means we fall off track & that we fail. It means we run the risk of the numbers, pounds, measurements, weights & grams not remaining exactly where they are. It means we lose control.
As you can see, eating disorders are not so much about FOOD & EATING as they are about CONTROL. Not eating is the vehicle by which we maintain control.
They’re mental illnesses, not weight disorders. The truth about eating disorders is that unless you get to the root of what’s allowing the disordered thoughts to permeate your mind & take over before you can filter or weed them out, you can want to eat all the food in the world, but a force more powerful than you will always find its way in.
In retrospect, when I look back on my disordered thoughts at my rock bottom, trust me when I say that if it were so simple as to JUST EAT, there’s nothing in the world I would’ve wanted more than to do just that.
Eating disorders are addictive in nature. In the same way that an alcoholic, drug addict, smoker or gambler can’t just stop drinking, using, smoking or gambling overnight no matter how badly they want to, we can’t just eat.
I truly NEVER thought I was worthy enough to get to a place where I could FIX my relationship with food & learn to eat intuitively: to eat whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted & whenever my body craved it.
BUT I DID.
You can too.
You can have EVERYTHING your heart desires – you just have to want it so bad that you never give up the fight. I’m rooting for you, xx.