As defined by Thunberg (1992), disordered eating encompasses a continuum from single dieting to the clinical diagnosis of anorexia and bulimia. The disordered eating continuum below illustrates classifications along the continuum, according to Vohs, Heatherton, and Herrin (2001), ranging from the nondieter to persons with clinical eating disorders identified in the DSM-V.
The purpose of this blog is to encourage those with disordered eating that there’s hope for a full recovery. I have both the life experience and the educational background to help and encourage anyone dealing with food issues. Over 20 years ago I struggled with bulimia. Back then when I was under stress I would find myself binging on an entire loaf of bread followed by purging through taking laxatives. I attribute my food struggles with growing up in an environment that encouraged the use of food as rewards and punishments, which I believe is a common problem today in Appalachia, if not across America. Food always tends to be central in any type of celebration, such as birthdays, weddings, and any holiday. Additionally, in Appalachia where I live I have noticed how parents and other childcare givers often use food to manipulate children’s behaviors. One example is when parents tell children that they will take them out for ice cream after church if they behave in church. What many parents who have used food and who continue to try to reward and punish children with food do not realize is that they are setting those children up for disordered eating.
Eating disorders do not develop overnight. Likewise, recovery from disordered eating is a process that can take years for some individuals. My recovery from bulimia lasted months as I worked through my issues, gleaning as much knowledge and insight as possible from the resources related to disordered eating that will be shared on this page.
After I recovered from my unhealthy eating patterns, I continued to have an interest in the topic of disordered eating as I went through graduate school. I wrote several research papers related to the topic of disordered eating, for example, Disordered Eating in Adolescents. I also developed a PowerPoint presentation entitled Food as a Drug. This has been updated and may be downloaded as a .ppt format FoodasaDrug or viewed in a .pdf format: FoodasaDrug. My thesis to receive my Education Specialist degree is entitled Exploration Linking Self-Reported Disordered Eating and Wellness in Undergraduate Health Students.
Disordered Eating Websites
Are you battling the bulge? Struggling to maintain healthy attitudes and behaviors surrounding food? I found the Websites below helpful as I walked my journey to recovery from disordered eating. I also include more recent resources that I have become familiar with since my recovery and that I recommend to individuals I counsel now.
Anorexia Nervosa and Related Eating Disorder, Inc. Home page. [On-line]. Available:http://www.anred.com/
Bulimia.com (2016). Home Page. Available:http://www.bulimia.com/
Canopy Cove Eating Disorder Treatment Center. Home page. [On-line]. Available:http://www.canopycove.com/
Eating Disorder Referral and Information Center. Home page. [On-line]. Available: http://www.edreferral.com/
Eating Disorders Mirror Mirror. Home page. [On-line]. Available: http://www.mirror-mirror.org/
Eating Disorders Treatment Center at River Oaks Hospital. Home page. [On-line]. Available:http://riveroakshospital.com/programs/the-eating-disorders-treatment-center/
National Alliance on Mental Illnessnedic.ca. Home page. [On-line]. Available: http://www.nami.org/
National Eating Disorders Association. Home page. [On-line]. Available: http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/
RehabCenter – Substance Abuse and Eating Disorders: Two Issues, One Recovery. [On-line]. Available:http://www.rehabcenter.net/substance-abuse-and-eating-disorders/
Remuda Ranch Programs for Anorexia and Bulimia. Home page. [On-line]. Available:http://www.remudaranch.com/?flash=yes
The National Eating Disorder Information Centre (1998). Home Page. Available: http://www.nedic.ca/
The Renfrew Center Foundation. Home page. [On-line]. Available: http://www.renfrew.org/
Something Fishy Website on Eating Disorders. Home page. [On-line]. Available: http://www.something-fishy.org/