First, let me say that the subject of eating disorders is a serious and complex one that cannot be reduced into a handy list. With that being said, the following is only a fraction of the behaviors a person can exhibit that could be red flags for having food issues. Having any of them should set off bells but having more than half of them might be a bigger deal than you realize. If you want the full rundown on ED then click here for more info.
- You’re ALWAYS dieting and justifying your disordered eating patterns: If you’re constantly claiming allegiance to limited ways of eating ( i.e. one meal a day? check? overeating one day and under-eating on another? check? juicing? check!). A normal eating pattern is one that includes enough calories to support your organ function and energy needs. If you routinely fall below or exceed these requirements by a large margin and for no other reason than you’re always starving or pretending not to be ..look into that.
- You regularly booze your calories: Going out for drinks does not a meal make. Find out what’s really at the root of the need to dull the edges of life with alcohol but deny yourself food. You deserve food too.
- You mostly hide food/don’t eat in public/push food around on your plate: These are grouped together because they are part of the same idea. Shame in eating, a need to exert control over your appetite, denial of what you’re really feeling (hunger, hurt?)
- You choose constantly choose a restrictive lifestyle: Do you consistently choose activities that require a completely ascetic lifestyle? Be careful and ask yourself the real reason why you need such control over all aspects of your life.
- You order much larger meals when you’re alone/ don’t eat unless in public: Like the above, these might indicate food control issues: (1) that you lose control and binge when alone and (2) you want to prove to the public that you do eat even though you don’t really.
Eating disorders are serious business and equally troubling is that wide gray category that many men and women fall into. Eating or not eating out of emotional distress is a vulnerable place to be. Do a heart and head check to make sure you’re nourishing yourself properly.