Eating disorder awareness week 2022
TW: EDs, body image, etc.
A few gentle reminders as we come towards the end of Eating Disorder Awareness Week...
Not all EDs develop from body issues, it can also be to do with their relationship with food. There has been so much more awareness spread about the relationship between eating disorders and body image, but when it comes to food - the conversation stops at calorie counting, binge eating and diet culture. I’m hoping to help someone today feel less isolated about what can be a truly awful and lonely journey.
How somebody’s body looks is not synonymous with an ED. Weight changes are not always synonymous with recovery. Please stop comparing someone’s body changes and asking when they’re going to ‘do something about it’ - what you deem to be what looks like their healthiest self may actually have been their unhealthiest. It’s rule number one - losing weight does not equal healthy and gaining weight does not equal unhealthy.
What could be a ‘fussy eater’ to you, might actually be somebody struggling with something deeper. The person who always orders the same dish should not be the butt of your joke. They may be insecure and embarrassed about their safe food! If you see that someone is eating a lot of the same foods, leave them be! Some people need these safe foods to get through the day.
Don’t shame people for learning new foods! They're trying their best to better their relationship with food. This goes the same for people who are also learning to cook. Don’t ask them when they’re going to start ‘cooking something different for a change’, or shame them for not living up to your domestic standards! Chances are that this person has been super excited about making progress in their relationship to food.
Just like how we all show the best of our lives on social media - for some people, that means showing the best of their food and moments, too. A sad looking brioche bun (for those who saw my Instagram post last week) that doesn't look like it belongs on the feed, might actually be an achievement for them! Same for uber aesthetic brunch flatlays - don’t laugh at the person taking a second to photograph their food, they may be documenting an achievement!