15 Thoughts In The Mind of Someone Struggling With An Eating Disorder

15 Thoughts People Who Haven’t Struggled With An Eating Disorder Don’t Understand

It's more complicated than you think.


I know a lot of people have been asking me how to help people with eating disorders and what to say to them without being offensive. Honestly, it's not that easy. A lot of things can be triggering to someone struggling with an eating disorder and it varies depending on the person, type of ED, and how long they have been struggling with it.

Typically, it's easier to help someone when you catch it early on, otherwise, it is extremely hard to change their mindset. It is all a mind game, the weight loss/gain is just a result. Here are some things that may help you to understand a little better:

1. No we can't just "eat".

Eating disorders make you believe food is the enemy. That even a piece of lettuce will make you gain weight, and that you immediately need to burn it off. Yes, of course, you know you need food to survive, but it makes you care more about how you look than actually living.

2. The scale number will never be low enough.

Eating disorders LIVE for the scale. That is its only purpose. To see the number and get as LOW as possible. Thinner is better.

3. Eating disorders are selfish. 

It doesn't want you to have friends. It doesn't want others influencing you or trying to change your mindset back to normal. It wants you completely isolated from everyone. And that is exactly what happens.

4. Eating disorders are not a choice. 

No one WANTS to have an eating disorder. It is never intentional.

5. Eating disorders never fully go away. 

Even though you see some people weight restored and doing well throughout their recovery, doesn't mean they are fully recovered. Honestly, it will never go away, it will always be lingering and it takes so much strength to not fuel it back to relapse.

6. Eating disorders love attention. 

Yes, please tell me how skinny I am and acknowledge the dramatic weight loss...No. Do not do that. It only fuels the fire and creates a hunger for more.

7. Every struggle is different. 

Everyone has different emotions and highs and lows.

8. No one is the same person they were before the eating disorder. 

Fact. You might be similar, happier, healthier, but you will always think of food differently than you used to in some way, shape, or form.

9. Eating disorders will never eat anything unless they know how many calories are in it. 

Don't bother going out to eat. Way to many calories.

10. Food is constantly being thought of. 

It's an obsession. They make you plan out when and where you are going to eat in advance, and how much. It consumes almost 90% of a person's thoughts.

11. Social media feeds are filled with skinny models, food recipes, pictures, and diets. 

It never goes away. They could be on social media for hours watching videos, researching, etc everything they could to lose weight or what the absolute lowest calorie foods are.

12. Eating disorders make you think you don't deserve to eat or that you shouldn't. 

Again, manipulating your mind into thinking that food will make you gain weight, and that gaining weight is a bad thing.

13. Losing weight becomes the most important thing in life. 

It makes you think that once you get to a certain weight or look a certain way that you will be happy with your life, but in reality, there is no magical number because any amount of weight loss is never enough.

14. It can be very stressful especially when other people come into play. 

Nothing stresses a person with an eating disorder out more than themselves. When other people try to distract or hinder the eating disorder, our emotions become angered and think other people are the enemy, and trying to get in the way of your progress.

15. Eating disorders hate feeling full. 

It is the worst feeling in the world. It prefers to feel your stomach rumbling and that you go to bed starving.

Always be patient and understanding. Eating disorders are extremely hard to overcome and it never really goes away. Talking to someone who has gone through it also helps. Having a good support system is one of the best ways to recovering. Please reach out to someone for help if you feel yourself falling into this mindset. For those who haven't gone through it, maybe this cleared up some things you just couldn't understand.

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An Open Letter From The Plus-Size Girl

It's OK not to be perfect. Life is more fun that way.


To whoever is reading this,

My entire life has been a juggling match between my weight and the world. Since I was a young girl every single doctor my family took me to, told me I needed to lose weight. The searing pain of those words still stabs me in the side to this day. I have walked past stores like Hollister and American Eagle since I was 13.

Being plus-size means watching girls the same age as you or older walk into a store that sells the cutest, in style clothing and you having to walk into a store that sells clothes that are very out of style for a young girl. Being plus-size means being picked last in gym class, even if you love sports.

Being plus-size means feeling like you have to suck it in in pictures so you don't look as big next to your friends. Being plus-size means constantly thinking people are staring at you, even if they aren't.

The number on the scale haunts me. Every single time I think about the number I cringe.

Can I just say how going shopping is an absolute nightmare? If you haven't noticed, in almost every store (that even has plus sizes to begin with) plus-size clothing is closed off and secluded from the rest of the store. For example, Forever 21, There are walls around every side of the plus "department."

Macy's plus department is in the basement, all the way in the back corner. We get it that we are not what society wants us to look like but throwing us in a corner isn't going to change the statistics in America today. That being that 67% of American women are plus-size.

My life is a double-digit number being carved into my jiggly arms and thunder thighs. It is me constantly wanting to dress cute but turning to running shorts and a gigantic sweatshirt instead so that people don't judge me on my size.

It is time that the American society stops making plus size look like a curse. It will never be a curse. If every person was the same size, what would be the point of uniqueness? I will never despise who I am because while I was growing up multiple people told me that I needed to be a size 6 in order for a guy to fall in love with me. I will never hate myself for getting dressed up and being confident.

To all the girls reading this who may be plus-size,

It's OK! You're beautiful and lovable. If you want to buy that crop top, buy it. Life is too short to hide behind a baggy T-shirt. We are just as gorgeous as the girls that we envy. Be the one to change the opinion of the world. Fat rolls don't need to be embarrassing. Your stretch marks are beautiful. Don't ever let the world tell you not to eat that cheeseburger either.

In the end, this earthly life is temporary. We are on this earth for a blink of an eye. Don't let anything stand in your way. Wear the bikini, the crop top, and the short shorts. Post the sassy selfie you've had on your phone for 6 months and you won't post because you have a double chin or your head looks "too big." Who cares. BE YOU and love yourself while you're at it.

I'll start.

Cover Image Credit: Victoria Hockmeyer

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Buying New Clothes Every Month Has Been The Key To Helping Me Become Happy With My Body Again

Loving my body in new outfits has boosted my self image so much.


Being body-positive has been really hard for me to do throughout 2019, despite there being an overwhelming surge in body-positivity around me, whether through my friends and family or YouTube. I look in the mirror and what I see is someone I want to make a jean size or two smaller like in the past. That being said, I've slowly been coming around to accepting the body I have now, instead of bashing it constantly. A key way I've come to accept the body I'm in now is through buying myself something new every month, like a new T-shirt or a pair of jeans or sneakers that help me see myself in a positive light. When I'm in a new outfit, I feel invincible. I don't think about how pudgy my stomach is, or about the hair I have growing in random places, like my neck or on my nose (yes, not just in, but ON too).

My bank account tends to suffer as of recently because of this, but it's worth it when I can genuinely feel good in what I am wearing every day. I like to wake up and think about how many outfits I can put together, ready to post my #OOTD for Snapchat without caring what anyone thinks. I've let social media dictate how I feel about myself more than I care to admit. I see how perfect all the models are in everything they're wearing from brands I know and love, yet when I try the same thing on, it's a whole different ugly story.

I don't enjoy trying things on to avoid the shame I feel when things don't fit me right, or if something that I thought would flatter me actually makes me look like a sack of potatoes. Instagram has really hurt my body image a lot — enough to make me delete it for a week after one post sent me spiraling. Going through those bumps made me finally realize it's not my fault if something doesn't fit. Sizes range depending on the item, it's the clothing items fault, not mine. Now that I see that, it's easier to brush off something not fitting me as it should. I know my size very well in the stores I frequent the most, so it's easier for me to pick out things I know will look good and not have to worry about the sizing issue.

Buying yourself something new is not something you should limit to every few months or longer. You shouldn't be afraid to go out of your comfort zone price wise every once and a while either. Coupons exist, stories always offer you them when you first sign up to receive emails and even texts. You can be crafty and still get a high price item for less. If you treat yourself to cheap things, you won't feel half as good as you want to. Granted, sticking to a limit is important but there's no shame in going over the limit every once and a while.

I love shopping as much as I love country music and writing short stories — a lot. Yes, I get yelled at almost every time I get something new. I need to save my money for important things, like for my sorority or for medical issues that could suddenly arise, or for utilities at my house next year off campus.

However, my mental well-being is not something I can ignore.

I can't push the good feelings aside to save 30 or 40 bucks a month. I don't want to feel as low as I've felt about myself anymore. I'm tired of feeling sad or angry at who I am, and I want to learn how to accept myself as I am. Buying myself something new, like clothes, is what offers a positive light to view myself under.

Whether you treat yourself to dinner at your favorite restaurant, or to face masks, or to a new movie when it comes out — don't be afraid to do it. Put yourself first and you'll realize your worth and how much you've been ignoring it in the face of poor confidence.

My confidence isn't back up to where it used to be, but it's getting there.

It may not be the most cash efficient method of self-love, but my body positivity is better than it was a few months ago. Aerie and American Eagle have really helped me become happier with my body, and I can't thank them enough for being more inclusive for people like me who are learning to love themselves again in a new body.

There is a light at the end of the tunnel for all of us hoping to promote our own body positivity, and it could all start with a simple purchase from your favorite store after you read this.

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