Out of order

Last week was Disordered Eating Awareness Week, part of an annual campaign to raise awareness and educate people about a range of irregular eating behaviors that can lead to serious physical and emotional health problems.

Most often, the media portrays disordered eating as relating solely to eating disorders primarily affecting waif-like white girls, creating a misguided and inaccurate picture in the mind of the public. Disordered eating can include restrictive eating, binge eating, purging, and other behaviors that can disrupt normal eating patterns. It’s important to note that disordered eating is not the same as an eating disorder, but it can be a precursor to one.

Although I have never had an eating disorder, over the course of much of my life, I have engaged in disordered eating. In my case, the intrusive thoughts that OCD invites to run rampant in my brain become obsessions that frequently center around body image and, by extension, food. I have spent so much time trying to shrink myself, to take up less space.

It is not atypical for OCD to be misdiagnosed as an eating disorder, so I feel fortunate to have a therapist who was able to pinpoint the true underlying cause. As part of my ongoing recovery, I’m working on my relationship to food, eating, and my body. It’s slow, but I am making progress.

I am reclaiming my space.

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