When an individual becomes so preoccupied with food and weight issues that they find it harder and harder to focus on other aspects of their life, it may be an early sign of an eating disorder. Without treatment, eating disorders can take over a person’s life and lead to serious, potentially fatal medical complications. Eating disorders can affect people of any age or gender, but rates are higher among women. Symptoms commonly appear in adolescence and young adulthood. Find out more here.
We asked B. Freeman, one of our Ending the Silence presenters who has lived experience with an eating disorder, to help us end stigma by sharing their thoughts on the subject. They also shared a poem, below.
“My eating disorder is easily the diagnosis that was hardest for me to accept. I would look at what society viewed as people with eating disorders, and I wouldn’t see myself. I spent a long time not feeling ‘sick enough.’ When I finally accepted that I didn’t want to feel the guilt around eating anymore, it was empowering. I know I have a long journey ahead, but with a therapist that I trust, I am confident I can see this journey through.” —B. Freeman
“Just One Bite”
I can’t help but wonder,
When did food become the enemy?
Three meals a day with a balanced plate
Became filled with so much hate.
I want so desperately to
Take that bite and let it
Fill my soul with all my might.
It sits in my stomach
And drags me down
To a place I cannot digest.
A place that I protest.
Booming with a voice
That controls my poise.
My ability to feed my own worth and value.
My ability to feel fed.
My body might be hanging on by a thread,
But I mustn’t forget
That thankful bread.
I took that bite.
It’s done its job,
And my appetite has since fled.
If you suspect you or someone you love may have an eating disorder, there is help and hope. Find out more.