Life without Anorexia

My motto is
'Dont let the sadness of your past & the fear of your future ruin the happiness of your present'

My life at the moment is completely different to how it once was. I spent 5 years sick with anorexia nervosia and depression as well as struggling with self harm and overexercising. I spent 2 years in different treatment centres.
And since 2012 i have been declared healthy from my eating disorder.

I have been blogging for 7 years, and my whole journey is written in my posts. I now represent healthy and happiness. I want to show anyone struggling that it is possible to recover, no matter how hard it may seem.

I now blog about recovery, my life, veganism and positivity!

If you have any questions leave them in the comment section as i am much quicker at answering there, otherwise you can always send an email: lifewithoutanorexia@hotmail.com

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Thursday, October 22, 2015

Difference between an eating disorder and disordered eating

I got asked about what is the difference between disordered eating and an eating disorder. At first i thuought the question would be rather simple to answer, but the difference between the two is sort of subtle.



Disordered eating can lead to an eating disorder, but not everyone who has disordered eating has an eating disorder. I guess i can atleast say that eating disorders are a mental illness, maybe disordered eating is as well somewhat, but eating disorders are when a person loses control. It may have began as wanting control over food, but once you have an eating disorder you actually have very little control over food. Either you eat too little or too much and its not "you" controlling that (in this post i guess i will sort of seperate the sick person and their eating disorder, even if it sort of the same person... but its easier to explain that way).

Disordered eating and an eating disorder are also about the extent of the behaviours and how much they control you. I mean disordered eating can affect social, mental and physical health and can stop you from living a better quality type of life.

I guess disordered eating is also the type where people are scared to eat certain foods because they think they have a weird texture or they have some type of weird belief about the food. Or when someone has very rigid eating times. From my own opinion i can think that people who are obsessed with eating every 2-3 hours for their metabolism or muscles, that is a little disordered.... because then you arent listening to your body. You are eating just because you think your metabolism will slow down if you dont or you think your muscles will waste away if you dont. However, sometimes you do need to eat even if you arent hungry and that isnt disordered, that is making sure you get the energy you need. But if you are very rigid and get anxiety if you eat at different times then that is disordered.

Below is some information which might clarify it a little better. But in a way disordered eating isnt a diagnosis and it isnt as extreme as eating disorders even if it can affect the person negatively in many ways and can be a form of OCD as well - such as food cant be touching each other on the plate or eating only one type of colour per meal (i.e just purple foods or just white foods or just green foods etc).


It was stated in the article by Carrie Gottlieb in Psychology Today, 
"Research suggests that up to 50% of the population demonstrate problematic or disordered relationships with food, body, and exercise. Rates of clinicaleating disorders are much lower, estimated from 1% to 3% of the general population. "

According to Beth Fontenot, "Disordered eating is characterized by a wide range of unhealthy eating behaviors and weight loss methods such as chronic restrained eating, compulsive eating, and habitual dieting. It may also include irregular eating patterns, avoidance of certain foods or food groups, and the denial of physical hunger and satiety, usually for the sake of losing weight. Disordered eating may begin as an effort to drop a few pounds or get in better shape, but the behaviors can become obsessive. Some disordered eating patterns can include symptoms of both anorexia and bulimia nervosa" Source (X)


Signs and Symptoms of Disordered Eating
Symptoms of disordered eating may include behavior commonly associated with eating disorders, such as food restriction, binge eating, purging (via self induced vomiting or excessive exercise, and use of diet pills and/ or laxatives).  However, disordered eating might also include:
  • Self worth or self esteem based highly or even exclusively on body shape and weight
  • A disturbance in the way one experiences their body i.e. a person who falls in a healthy weight range, but continues to feel that they are overweight
  • Excessive or rigid exercise routine
  • Obsessive calorie counting
  • Anxiety about certain foods or food groups
  • A rigid approach to eating, such as only eating certain foods, inflexible meal times, refusal to eat in restaurants or outside of one’s own home
Disordered Eating vs. Eating Disorders
What distinguishes disordered eating from a full-blown eating disorder?  It is all about degree.  An individual with disordered eating is often engaged in some of the same behavior as those with eating disorders, but at a lesser frequency or lower level of severity.   However, disordered eating is problematic and to be taken seriously, though the symptoms might not be as extreme as those of a diagnosable eating disorder.  Individuals with disordered eating may be at risk for developing a full-blown eating disorder and are more likely to have a history of depression and/ or anxiety, or be at risk for anxiety anddepression at some point in the future. 
Understanding and Assessing The Risk of Disordered Eating
 As with other mental health issues, it is important to explore how and to what extent disordered eating is affecting an individual’s daily functioning.  Issues to consider include the following: 
  • Concentration and ability to focus-- do thoughts about food, body and exercise prevent concentration or impede performance at work or school?
  • Social life--is socializing restricted because it might require eating in a restaurant, consumption of foods that are scary or uncomfortable, or disruption of exercise routine?
  • Coping skills-- Is food consumption and/ or restriction used as way to manage life’s problems or cope with stressors?
  • Discomfort or anxiety-- How much discomfort do thoughts of food and body cause?  Are these thoughts hard to shake and anxiety provoking?
Source X

Source: http://www.thedoctorwillseeyounow.com/content/dieting/art3393.html 

2 comments:

  1. Can I ask Izzy -- when recovering from an eating disorder, can it then turn into 'disordered eating', if you still are restricted by some of the above? [i.e. not eating out or depression]

    Thank you X

    ReplyDelete
  2. The way I see it, when I try to explain it as simple as I can, is that disordered eating is all about controlling and avoiding certain foods in hope to look a certain way. Often caused by pressure from the society.

    An eating disorder has very little to do with food at all. its trying to gain control over your life again, when serious mental issues and pain takes over. ... it feels like food and weight is the only thing you have a say in when everything else falls apart.

    Both disordered eating and an eating disorder looks very similar from the outside, but they are caused by different things. An eating disorder are much more serious and harder to recover from, but not impossible!

    does this make any sense at all? haha :)

    ReplyDelete