Commonly overlooked signs of an eating disorder (tips from a former Anorexic)

Commonly overlooked signs of an eating disorder (tips from a former Anorexic)

 by Bailey Smith
Hello there!

Today I'm here to talk to you about commonly overlooked signs of an eating disorder, as if you couldn't tell from the title.  In all seriousness people tend not to know much about eating disorders, such as the fact, if they are actually losing body fat that they've had for a long time, or the fact that people with eating disorders tend to lie on a constant basis. We all need to start looking for signs before it can become a horrible habit.

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Bad Hygiene (or bad breathe):

Yes I know, it seems very specific yet vague, but it is a very common sign. Most people with eating disorders do it to feel a sense of control and are depressed on top of their ED.  It's easiest to spot people with bulimia, seeing as they have yellow teeth and their breath smells like it’s been sprayed with febreeze (bulimics tend to gargle with mouthwash, pop gum or breath mints like candy to hide their bad breath.  Trust me I had it, too.)  Besides the bad breath bulimics will have brittle and thinning hair, because of the lack of nutrients getting to the roots of their hair and scalp.


Binge watching weight loss shows:

This one is quite on the nose, but like I said OVERLOOKED!  Now when I was in the early stages of anorexia those shows were my primary motivation, all depicted people losing an unhealthy amount of weight at an ungodly fast pace.  I'd watch these shows while doing secret binge workouts at 2 am, because hearing a guy say that a person who has dropped from 240 to 160 in 4 to 5 weeks is good motivation for people especially for those who are anorexic.

Sudden change of diet (veganism and pescetarianism):  

Now that I’ve caught your attention with vegetable woman, let's talk about crash diets and veganism! Most people will go on a crash diet or heck just be to poor to get food, but sudden drastic lifestyle shifts are a huge sign of ED. The fact is, fad and crash diets are used for the sole purpose of losing weight as is veganism.  People who follow diet cults as well (yes, they are a thing and it is extremely terrifying) where they endorse eating little to nothing or only live on carbs. I am not saying all vegans are anorexic, but saying most anorexic people do attempt to go vegan.


Refusal to go out to eat or eat in front of others:

Most people with a developing ED don’t eat in front of others, because they are lying about their food habits to friends/family. Going through this is probably the worst part, seeing as it's painful emotionally to completely isolate yourself from everyone.  It makes you eventually have to turn to pro-ana and pro-mia websites and chatrooms which lead to the next point.

Any Website/image search with Thinspiration/pro-mia/pro-ana/thinspo in it:

A very VERY big problem with the internet is the fact that we have all the knowledge and answers we need in a simple flick of the wrist, thinspiration is the most common amongst the beginning phases of ED which leads to the rabbit hole to get onto Pro-ana and Pro-mia websites that promote those who have an ED disorder to lose more weight with the popular slogan of, “It's not a mental disorder, it's a lifestyle.”

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Gaining weight:

Yes believe it or not you start gaining weight before losing it, for me I gained about 15 pounds before i started to “lose” weight but even then it was muscle mass not actual fat. Once that came off the weight did as well but that wasn’t till around month 5-7 I believe, I don't quite know exactly since it's been awhile (I stopped right before entering this lovely high school).

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now this one is a bit weird, anytime I start to relapse I get horrible breakouts, and when I had it in the beginning I got horrible acne I was told that the lack of nutrients messes with the PH levels in your body.  Human biology is fun.

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Calorie tracker apps/ Workout apps:

Now that we are in the 21st century pretty much everyone in the 1st world has a smart phone, Back when I got mine in 2013-2014. I downloaded probably one of the worse types of apps for my mental health, a workout app. The most popular one with my friends still struggling with Ana (heck even I had the thing) is the 30 day fit challenge which gives you extreme work outs for a toned body in 30 day (doesn't work well by the way).  Another one I used all the time was Pumpup which was like the instagram of fitness apps; it enabled me alot in freshman year. It let's you track calories, weight, and customize workouts, which is great for a healthy minded person but for someone like me it was horrible, I ended up having delete it all together.

You might say hey! This only happens to girls so I don't need to worry about it myself right? WRONG about 10 million (10 less than women but still in the millions!) men suffer from an significant eating disorder in their lifetime. As a matter of fact  I've dated two different boys with anorexia and one boy with a binge eating disorder but none of them realized it cause they thought that it only happened to women! It's an illness that will never go away, the thoughts permanently etched into your brain, telling you you're fat and ugly and gross but let me tell you, they're wrong and if anyone tells you that you are less than for admitting your problem they can politely heck off, NO BAD VIBES ALLOWED!
About the Author: 




Bailey Smith, a student who has attended our school for the past three and a half years, wrote the following article from personal experience.  She will be graduating mid-year and aspires to be an actress/playwright/director after graduation.  Let us give her a jolly fair well and a hearty rah, rah for her future endeavors.  Having already fought off the consuming passions of an eating disorder and successfully conquered this dreadful creature.  Her determination to achieve better things in life has been proven already and now the silver screen awaits her.