Can we stop glorifying people with disordered eating?

I follow a gal on Instagram who goes by the name of Zoe Roe. Initially, I started following her because I find her and her content to be hilarious, but in the process of following her on Instagram, I came to the realization that she, like myself, has a history with eating disorders, and some of her content relates to her struggles.

She posted a reel recently which can be viewed here. Prior to posting this reel, Zoe, a few days prior, asked her followers to ask her any questions they so desire. The video I provided the link for depicts Zoe responding to a question from a follower that read ‘What do you eat? I wanna know the secret.’

Zoe is a slim woman. She has shared via her account she is at a far healthier weight now than she once was, and I applaud her for the progress she has made. I also applaud her for how she responded to this question; in her reel, she states how this question is one she gets asked a lot, arguably because of her slim figure. She goes on to state that she is not the person to reference for any diet, nutrition, health or diet-based questions because she endured an eating disorder and is still working towards a better, healthier, and kinder relationship with her body. She explains how her body looks the way it does because she is not kind to it, and further, because of her disordered eating habits.

I guess the word that comes to mind when I contemplate how I felt when I watched this video was relief. Personally, I couldn’t tell you the number of times people have asked me for workout, nutrition or diet tips based on how I look, with the person having absolutely no idea the reason I look the way I do is because of my own disordered eating.

I am in what I consider to be lifelong remission from an eating disorder, more specifically, a combination of Anorexia, Bulimia and Orthorexia. Yes, you read that correctly; a lifelong remission. I say lifelong because I firmly believe that while I’m not in the thick of my eating disorder like I was years ago, the thoughts and tendencies remain, and they arguably always will. Recovery is, in my opinion, and based on my own experiences, an infinite struggle to control the thoughts and tendencies and refrain from allowing them to take complete control once again.

It’s a fucking struggle, and I wouldn’t wish it upon anyone. But, I figure it’s best to be honest, so that’s the truth in my own words.

I can’t really put into words how awful it is to be complimented on your physical appearance, or worse, praised for it, even when your intentions are pure, when it is the result of severe mental illness and disordered eating. I encourage everyone to keep this in mind before they compliment someone for being super slim.

Image from https://images.pexels.com/photos/6975491/pexels-photo-6975491.jpeg?auto=compress&cs=tinysrgb&w=1260&h=750&dpr=1


3 thoughts on “Can we stop glorifying people with disordered eating?

  1. Thanks for this post. I agree, the glamorisation of disordered eating is so toxic. I am also in recovery from Anorexia but I have the opposite problem in that I’m no longer slim and have put on more weight than planned due to Thyroid issues. I’m dreading the moment when someone suggests I should eat less or exercise more. I don’t fit the stereotype for a recovering Anorexic which makes it hard to make people understand how much it still affects me. I wish we lived in a world where being slim wasn’t valued above everything, it does so much damage.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for reading and for your words. It takes a lot of courage to even talk about eating disorders, and I thank you for sharing your own with me. I’m really happy to hear you’re in recovery, but I agree, it’s so debilitating when you’re gaining in a healthy way and someone comments on how you’re bigger. It’s so easy to spiral backwards. I hope your physical and mental health continue to improve, and if you would ever like to chat or need some support, feel free to reach out.

      Liked by 1 person

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