Hey Optimist Minds!
Do you worry about how many calories you consume in a day? Does this worry seem to be taking over your life?
When people become overly cautious about their food intake to a point where it starts causing significant impairment, it’s likely that they have developed an eating disorder.
Eating disorders are serious conditions related to persistent eating behaviours that negatively impact your health, your emotions and your ability to function in important areas of life.
In this video, we will talk about five signs of an eating disorder. You can use this information to help yourself or someone you care about recognise the signs and get help.
However, we want our viewers to know that this is just a self-assessment and cannot replace an official diagnosis by a licensed therapist.
Now, let’s begin.
You have an unhealthy preoccupation with your body shape or weight.
Do you spend a lot of time worrying about how you look, which clothes fit you, or how much food you ate all day? Has it gotten to a point where your entire day is focussed around your weight goals?
It’s alright to want a fit and attractive body but it becomes a problem when this concern becomes an unhealthy preoccupation. It could manifest as quite a few sudden changes in lifestyle like exercising too much, being very picky about food, counting calories, skipping meals, or wanting to eat alone.
The more pervasive the thoughts about food and weight, the more unhealthy is this preoccupation. In extreme cases, it might be all you can think about from the moment you wake up.
You start starving yourself.
Have you put yourself under rigid food restrictions? Do you go through the entire day only eating one light meal like a salad and some crackers?
Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder that causes people to either lose their appetite or refuse to eat. The lack of eating can continue to the point of starvation.
In many cases, along with fasting, the individual may develop obsessive-compulsive habits like hoarding food or collecting recipes. Starving yourself isn’t easy. The constant hunger may cause pain, mood swings, and uncontrollable thoughts about food.
You binge eat and then force yourself to throw up everything you ate.
Do you sometimes get tired of restricting yourself and pig out on all your cravings? Do you only allow yourself this treat if you promise to get rid of it from your system immediately?
These are signs of another eating disorder called bulimia nervosa. In this condition, the individual eats a lot of food in a very short span of time. Then, they purge it out by forced vomiting. Other ways of purging include using laxatives, enemas, or excessive exercise.
The idea is to enjoy the taste of food and fill yourself till it hurts only to release it all before it gets fully digested and absorbed. Unfortunately, though this may prevent one from gaining weight, it also severely damages their overall health.
Your body is showing signs of malnutrition.
One of the overt warning signs of an eating disorder is the impact it has on your body. These conditions always have a way of showing up in your appearance.
You might start looking pale or sickly. It’s not unusual to see hair fall, skin issues, delayed menstruation, dizziness, and dehydration. If the eating disorder has been present for a long time, it can lead to more serious health problems too.
You’ve lost a lot of weight and you still feel fat.
Often, people with eating disorders start losing so much weight that others can notice it. Nevertheless, when the person looks in the mirror or photographs of themselves, they think they could drop a few more kilos.
It could be that when you weigh yourself on a scale, the number indicates you’re underweight. Regardless of that, your low self-esteem keeps telling you that you’re not good enough and that you need to be harder on yourself.
A negative body image is a gateway to many psychological problems, including eating disorders. Beware of how you feel about your body and work on making it a healthier, more holistic outlook.
So, did any of these signs remind you of yourself or someone else? Do you think you might have an eating disorder? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section. We’d love to hear from you.
A link for further reading and the studies & references used in the making of this video are mentioned in the description below.
Thanks for visiting optimist minds, take care. Until next time.