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I talk about eating disorders and they talk about weight

CW: Mentions of weight loss, weight gain, eating disorders

“As long as you’re not gaining weight – if you start to gain then we’ll have review”

Recently, I heard this of my psychiatrist – an eating disorder specialist, I might add. And I was so pissed off because it’s always the same, and I thought that this one was finally different.

I am fat. I have been for many years, was in early childhood and then became again during my “recovery” from anorexia in my early teens. I put recovery in inverted commas as it wasn’t really a recovery: my self-hatred and body image issues still remained, and my disordered eating just morphed to a different form. You see, I have at some point gone through all the different types of eating disorders and disordered eating. All of them. For different periods of time and with the exception of the anorexia, not one has been interested in helping because I’m fat.

Every time I reach out to a new eating disorder professional, I tell myself it’ll be different, but it never is. I start telling them my journey with eating disorders starting when I was about 8 up until now, which is 25. And every time they treat me with scepticism, I see in their body language, I hear it when they speak, the questions they ask. "Anorexia? Over-exercise? I don’t think so, they’re fat. They just need to stop eating."

I talk about eating disorders and they talk about weight.

That’s what happens every time. No one wants to talk about the issues or where they stem from and, if I don’t understand why, I won’t be able to stop doing anything. And it’s after happening again.

But the playing field changed a little 2 years ago: I got a gastric band. A poorly advised decision, I might add. I have since replaced the entire team of 5 eating disorder specialists, because they all thought this was a fantastic idea. She’ll lose weight. Job done. What could go wrong?

Not like this is actually a psychological issue that needs to be dealt with.

I wish I had a happy ending to give this piece, but I don’t. I lost a little weight at the start. Then it stopped because I started bingeing again when grad school got stressful. Not to the same extent though, that would be impossible. But the psychological aspect was still there, the same intent was still there, the volume of food had just reduced, so everyone sees it as a win. “That’s not really a binge”. I’m now being told that I can eat whatever I want as long as I’m not gaining weight. As if eating disorders are just to do with weight and eating. There are no words for how frustrated I am with eating disorder specialists.

I talk about eating disorders and they talk about weight.

Thank you so much to Linda (@LindaCCor on Instagram & Twitter) for sharing their story.

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