Rehab Truth: Naw, You Don’t Have To “Look Sick” To Have An Eating Disorder

bikini then
2013 vs Now

A couple days ago, I was asked to submit a “before” and “after” pic for an interview I did about eating disorders.

Spent about an hour scrolling through old pictures trying to determine where I “looked sicker” vs now.

“Dude I never even looked that thin- people are gonna say mean comments about how I didn’t have an ED,” I complained to my best friend, to which she immediately backhanded me (👊) over gchat and said “Yo- Why do you give a shit about that!? You’re the one always writing that weight doesn’t define an eating disorder so no offense but like practice what you preach Linds.”

Thought about it for awhile… And realized she was right- ED got the best of me. I wasn’t being authentic at all. In the picture to the left I am about 11 pounds less than my weight in recovery on the right. 11 measly pounds guys.

Spent 8 years to look like that. Missed life for 8 years so that I could get my clavicle to stick out a lil more than it should- 8 years with stress fractures and binges and purging over a toilet trying to feel good- and yet I still remember taking that picture on the left and wearing shorts with that bikini because I was horrified by my legs.

A reminder that eating disorders are NOT about who can look “more sick” than another, or about what your weight is when you’re suffering.

I weigh 11lbs (sometimes 12-13-14) more than I did 2 years ago, and frankly I don’t look all that different- but I FEEL different. I eat different- and I live different. And no one gets to tell me otherwise 💛

7 thoughts on “Rehab Truth: Naw, You Don’t Have To “Look Sick” To Have An Eating Disorder

  1. Pingback: Think Your Friend Has An Eating Disorder?: 4 Tips On What The Hell To Do Next – I Haven't Shaved In 6 Weeks

  2. Thank you for this. I’ve struggled with BED and been in and out of treatment and therapy for over ten years, but looking at me, no one would know that. In fact, when I first officially told family and friends I was going to treatment, the main comment I got back was that no one knew I even ever had a problem, I always seemed so happy.
    I still struggle with ED from time to time, but I’ve been in recovery for over a year now, and I think explaining the struggle has been sometimes harder than ED himself. It’s hard to tell someone that it isn’t that you’re at a healthier weight so much, as much as it is that food doesn’t form my day. Eating no longer controls my every waking thought. It’s hard to say those things, so thank you so much for writing this, and for your blog in general, because talking is hard, but it’s so much easier when I can read your work and know I’m not crazy for feeling what ive felt and for thinking the way I do, and have.

  3. Man, the before and after pictures and the “screening tests” they mess with your head. I once ate donuts, a bowl of food from Whole Foods, cake balls, pizza, scones and brownies to the point of nausea in a matter of 2 hours because I was so upset/anxious/emotional and after crying I took a screening test which told me I didn’t have an eating disorder. How sick an individual is can’t be quantified, but I think we’re so distrusting and so enthralled by other’s misery that we want to see just how truthful a person is. If it negatively fucks (excuse my french) with your life though, it’s serious. Hopefully the conversations around EDs will change. Looking forward to hearing more about your Cosmo interview! You go girl!

  4. Before and after pictures are a sensationalist and irresponsible way for the media to report eating disorders anyway – we all know how competitive EDs can be and it just further perpetuates the public misconception that an ED=skinny. Well done you for choosing honestly – but I’m annoyed for you that you were put in that position. Well done on your interview though!

    1. Lindsey Hall – Brooklyn, NY – Eating Disorder Recovery blogger at award-winning I Haven't Shaved in Six & Lindsey Hall Writes. IG: @lindseyhallwrites
      Lindsey Hall

      THANK YOU for this comment. I’ve never really put my finger on the word, but you’re right. Sensationalist. That’s a great description. Ah- thank you for posting this.

  5. Good post! And glad to read you feel better now and that you can feel/see that 🙂

    I remember helping a girl who was heaving an eating disorder. I was the only one who believed her. Some people considered her (slightly) overweight so people said it wasn’t possible. But she already lost too much weight in an unhealthy way and I saw signs everywhere. Just because she still looked ‘good’, didn’t mean she had a problem. And the diseases start somewhere, so of course not everyone looks immediately like the ‘thinspo’.

    1. Lindsey Hall – Brooklyn, NY – Eating Disorder Recovery blogger at award-winning I Haven't Shaved in Six & Lindsey Hall Writes. IG: @lindseyhallwrites
      Lindsey Hall

      UGHHHH yes- this is such an accurate post. I’ve definitely seen those same signs in someone else and had people stare back and me blankly when I suggested there could be a problem. If there’s ONE thing I could change about ED culture, it’s that people who don’t suffer with them do NOT seem to care about the severity unless that person is emaciated. It has just GOT to change. HAS to.

      Thanks for this 🙂

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