February 26th- March 4th is the week to bring awareness to such a sensitive subject to my heart.
Roughly 30 million people suffer from some form of eating disorder in the U.S…. 30 million people. I am 1 of those people.
I weighed 96lbs in the year 2016.
Anorexia Nervosa causes you to obsess over weight loss/ gain along with what you eat.
Bulimia consists of binging and then doing things to avoid weight gain from the binging.
I was eating once a week then drinking water for the remainder of the week. The only time I ate more then once was if I got invited out to eat, but I physically couldn’t hold the food down. It hurt to sit or stand for long periods of time because I lacked muscle and sitting on straight bone for extended amounts of time isn’t pleasant. Underneath my clothes, my ribs showed and I was sickly obsessed with it.
You always see the image of beautiful women/men who are super thin being advertised as the “ideal” body. I think that’s why so many people suffer from eating disorders. Whether you over eat or under eat, it’s always because deep down you don’t feel okay with yourself. And I want everyone to know that’s okay.
It’s okay to not be okay. But ask for help. No one knew I wasn’t eating. I blamed it on not having money for groceries or being so busy with school I “skipped a few meals”. But in reality, I didn’t want to eat. I couldn’t.
It’s hard to bring yourself out of these things because you have to mentally convince yourself that you are enough the way that you are. The way you look is enough. The way you look doesn’t define if you’re beautiful. If someone doesn’t like how much you weigh, then they aren’t good enough for you.
I occasionally find myself going back to the thoughts that are so common in women in our society. “Why don’t I look like her?” “Maybe if I don’t eat for a few days I’ll be less bloated and look skinnier.” “If I could just shed a few pounds, I’ll be considered skinny.”
Ask for help. Talk to someone.
This is one of the many reasons I am so thankful to have Clay in my life. He loves me even when I can’t find the strength to love myself.
You don’t have to overcome things on your own.
There is always someone out there who will listen to you. ❤
Here are some statistics to get you thinking:
- At least 30 million people of all ages and genders suffer from an eating disorder in the U.S.
- Every 62 minutes at least one person dies as a direct result from an eating disorder.
- Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness.
- 13% of women over 50 engage in eating disorder behaviors.
- In a large national study of college students, 3.5% sexual minority women and 2.1% of sexual minority men reported having an eating disorder.
- 16% of transgender college students reported having an eating disorder.
- In a study following active duty military personnel over time, 5.5% of women and 4% of men had an eating disorder at the beginning of the study, and within just a few years of continued service, 3.3% more women and 2.6% more men developed an eating disorder.
- Eating disorders affect all races and ethnic groups.
- Genetics, environmental factors, and personality traits all combine to create risk for an eating disorder.
- 0.9% of American women suffer from anorexia in their lifetime.
- 1 in 5 anorexia deaths is by suicide.
- Standardized Mortality Ratio (SMR) is a ratio between the observed number of deaths in an study population and the number of deaths would be expected. SMR for Anorexia Nervosa is 5.86.
- 50-80% of the risk for anorexia and bulimia is genetic.
- 33-50% of anorexia patients have a comorbid mood disorder, such as depression. Mood disorders are more common in the binge/purge subtype than in the restrictive subtype.
- About half of anorexia patients have comorbid anxiety disorders, including obsessive-compulsive disorder and social phobia.
- 1.5% of American women suffer from bulimia nervosa in their lifetime.
- SMR for Bulimia Nervosa is 1.93.
- Nearly half of bulimia patients have a comorbid mood disorder.
- More than half of bulimia patients have comorbid anxiety disorders.
- Nearly 1 in 10 bulimia patients have a comorbid substance abuse disorder, usually alcohol use.
Binge Eating Disorder (BED):
- 2.8% of American adults suffer from binge eating disorder in their lifetime.1
- Approximately half of the risk for BED is genetic.12
- Nearly half of BED patients have a comorbid mood disorder.12
- More than half of BED patients have comorbid anxiety disorders.12
- Nearly 1 in 10 BED patients have a comorbid substance abuse disorder, usually alcohol use. 12
- Binge eating or loss-of-control eating may be as high as 25% in post-bariatric patients.