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Talking About Eating Disorders | Manolo for the Big Girl

Talking About Eating Disorders

The final week of February is National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, which means it’s coming up fast. This year’s theme is “It’s Time to Talk About It.”

I agree. Let’s all talk. Let’s talk about full-blown eating disorders, the normalization of disordered eating, anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder, and orthorexia. Let’s talk about the assumptions based on body type (‘you’re too fat to be anorexic), the trivialization (‘if only I could get just a little anorexia, I could wear a swim suit again!’), the shaming, the fear, and the treatments that do and don’t work in fighting EDs. That’s what I’m going to be talking about throughout the month of February. I hope you’ll all join in the conversation with your experiences and questions.

To get started, I want to point those of you who have something to share with the world in the direction of Project Body Talk. It’s not just for eating disorders, but they certainly are among the topics up for discussion.

But whatever you have to say about your body, the positive as well as the negative, the frustration and the glory, this is a safe place to talk frankly and share your story with the world. Record your story and submit it, or just listen to other women talking with breathtaking honesty about how they feel about their bodies. Someone out there feels much the same way you do. Someone out there can tell you about what it’s like to live in a body very different from yours.

Some of the stories will break your heart. Some stories might be triggering to you. But they’re all important. Our voices are important.

Let’s speak up.

(Note: Big oops. This was supposed to go out yesterday, and I even hit the publish button, I swear… but WordPress knew better, I guess. At least it’s up now.)

10 Responses to “Talking About Eating Disorders”

  1. Emily January 31, 2011 at 12:14 pm #

    The normalization of disordered eating is definitely a conversation that needs to happen. So many girls and women (and probably men too, I just haven’t heard it from them personally) think that, as long as they can draw a line between what they’re doing and a “real” eating disorder, there isn’t a problem. And it’s amazing how far that line can be pushed.

    Looking forward to your thoughts, Twistie!

  2. Linda Sumner January 31, 2011 at 1:45 pm #

    With a Slim-Fast ad alongside the posting?

  3. Miss B January 31, 2011 at 1:48 pm #

    Yeah, the slimfast ad is a bit….disconcerting.

    However, it is good to talk about these things. Thanks for the link to Project Body Talk

  4. Twistie January 31, 2011 at 2:04 pm #

    @Linda Sumner: Alas! I have no control whatsoever over what ads show up on the site. If I did, believe me, Slim-Fast would never appear here.

  5. Twistie January 31, 2011 at 2:06 pm #

    @Emily: That’s very true. Denial is a powerful force. And with magazines, TV shows, etc. calling disordered eating habits the way to health, it’s even easier to ignore dangerous warning signs.

  6. Twistie January 31, 2011 at 2:07 pm #

    @Miss B: Agreed. I wish it weren’t there. And you’re welcome for the link! It’s an amazing resource.

  7. Orora January 31, 2011 at 3:06 pm #

    I’ve been in recovery for about 5 years now. I have EDNOS (Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified). One of the best things I’ve learned about my disorder is that it’s NOT about food. It’s about feelings, and finding ways to deal with them. I’m in group therapy and one of the things that’s always amazed me is how similar the stories, thoughts and feelings are, no matter what the ED is. I’ve heard anorexics who weigh 100 lbs less than I do saying “I just hate my body.” We all suffer.

  8. Frances January 31, 2011 at 3:09 pm #

    My body is a thing of beauty and a joy forever! And it’s MINE. Unless I start Cossack-dancing on your spine, nothing I do with it is any of your business. If, from time to time, I feel like making changes to it, I’ll do so without whinging to the whole world about how haaaaaard it is.

  9. Harriet February 4, 2011 at 11:52 pm #

    Hi there,

    Thanks for the shout-out to Project Body Talk. I would love for all of you to record your commentaries and send them my way. They can be posted on the site anonymously if you like. But there’s so much power in hearing these stories told in real people’s voices.

    As NEDA says, it’s time to talk about it. All of it.

  10. emmme February 22, 2011 at 6:42 am #

    I’m with Frances: I love my body! It never seems ok for women in general, and fat women in particular, to say that. I went to a professional meeting the other month and the FIRST way the skinny women bonded was to start kvetching about weight loss, exercise, how much they hated their bodies, and reassuring each other, “oh no, you’re beautiful! i’m fat!” And these were Black women (for all the media touts our so-called better body image). Being the only woman in the room over 200, I was amazed at the assumption that I couldn’t be happy with my size.
    But I am. I love my figure, I love my style and the way I look. I think many of us do, it’s just not considered polite to say so.