But I'm Not Skinny Enough to Have an Eating Disorder

Shannon Ricks, LMFT on May 04, 2022 in Mood and Feelings

I’ve met with so many clients who don’t think they have an eating disorder because they’re "not skinny enough" or their "weight is fine." I think when people picture an eating disorder, they think of someone who doesn’t eat and is extremely thin, with their ribs and other bones showing. While being underweight can be one of many signs of an eating disorder, most of the time it’s not! According to ANAD (National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders) less than 6% of people who have eating disorders are clinically diagnosed as underweight. That means 94% of people with eating disorders are not underweight! MOST people with eating disorders, according to BMI, are at a normal or higher weight.

Here are some more common signs of eating disorders:

  • Obsession with food, dieting, weight loss, calorie counting, macro counting, etc.
  • Fear of certain foods and experiencing extreme guilt and shame over eating those foods
  • Need to compensate when eating certain foods (i.e., you know you’re going out to eat tonight so you don’t eat the whole day to compensate OR feeling like you need to burn off all the calories you ate by spending hours running or at the gym)
  • Food rituals or games — only eating one food at a time, counting your bites, eating extremely slowly, not letting your foods touch, eating the safest food first
  • Constant body checking (checking your wrist size or obsessing in the mirror about how your body looks)
  • Cutting out entire food groups
  • Withdrawing from friends or social activities
  • Mood swings
  • Low energy
  • Dizziness — especially when you stand up
  • Irritability
  • Hair loss or breakage
  • Menstrual irregularities or losing your period
  • Feeling COLD frequently
  • Hard time concentrating
  • Cuts and wounds are slow to heal
  • More bruising than normal
  • Brittle nails
  • Extra hair growth on your face or arms (usually light colored)
  • Swelling of feet

If you are experiencing several of these symptoms, maybe you’re not sure if you have an eating disorder but would like to talk to someone who can help you figure that out. You may benefit from seeing a therapist and dietitian who specialize in eating disorders. Here at Modern Eve, we are trained to help you recover from your eating disorder. You can book a free consultation with one of our therapists or dietitians.

Shannon Ricks is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Salt Lake City, UT.

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