Tag Archive for: eating disorder

The Jungle of Eating Disorders

Monsters in the eating disorder jungle: Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, Binge Eating Disorder, Rumination Disorder, Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID), Night Eating Syndrome, Orthorexia, Diabulimia,

How much time do you spend daily thinking about your food, weight, body size/shape, comparing yourself to others, and thinking if you weighed less you would be happy? Be honest – do you spend enough time thinking about these things that it interferes with your peace, fun, and social activities? Be brave – consider you might be dealing with an eating disorder or at least the beginning of one.

Eating disorders appear as food issues but are actually mental health disorders with food as the tangible resource to manipulate. Frequently, “control” is at the root of the disorder. When life feels overwhelming, painful, or insecure and you think you have no “control” over these feelings, the one thing you can always control is what you choose to do with your food. The style of food control or manipulation you choose does provide you with a degree of temporary relief from the painful feelings. A few minutes or hours pass, the painful feelings return, and you have layered on top of these feelings shame, guilt and frustration with another declaration “I just want to be normal, eat normally.”

The American Psychiatric Association defines the following eating disorders:

Anorexia Nervosa: Severe food restriction leading to low body weight-intense fear of gaining weight-unable to see how thin they are – very reliant on their body weight and shape for self-esteem- on occasion weight may be restored but the individual still suffers from an anorexic food controlling mind.

Bulimia Nervosa: Recurrent episodes of binge eating within a 2-hour time period, hiding all evidence this behavior occurs- strong feelings one cannot control or stop the excessive amount of food intake—binge eating is followed by trying to get rid of (purge) the calories consumed by vomiting, excessive exercise, laxatives, diuretics- very concerned about their weight/shape – typically of normal weight or slightly overweight.

Binge Eating Disorder: Recurrent episodes of eating large amounts of food with an overwhelming feeling of lack of control – eating rapidly, eating until feeling uncomfortably full, eating large amounts of food when not hungry, the overeating is typically always alone because of embarrassment, feeling disgusted, depressed and guilty.

Rumination Disorder: Re-chewing, re-swallowing or spitting out food occurring over a month. Frequently the individual wants to taste the food but does not want to swallow the calories.

Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID): An eating or feeding disturbance leading to inadequate nutritional and energy intake- ARFID may arise from a texture, tactile, visual, or taste disturbance.

When you meet some of the criteria for an eating disorder, but not all, you may be in the category of Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorder (OSFED):

Purging Disorder: No binging but purging occurs via vomiting, excessive use of laxatives, suppositories, diuretics, exercise. You may try to justify the purging declaring your stomach is always upset or you are always feeling constipated.

Night Eating Disorder: 25% of intake occurs after dinner, bedtime snack and/or waking up during the night to eat.

Orthorexia: Eating in the name of good health – many food rules and food restrictions based on the individuals personal ideas of what they have decided must be consumed or restricted to be healthy.

Diabulimia: A person with insulin dependent diabetes restricts their insulin medication as a method to eliminate calorie absorption and lose weight – very dangerous!

Have you decided or been told you do not have an eating disorder because you are not under-weight?  You can be underweight, normal weight or overweight and suffer from an eating disorder. Eating disorder patients at Banister Nutrition have been from 10 y/o – 73 y/o, males and females. Males and females of all ages consume food which makes everyone a possible candidate to have a ship wreck with their food relationship. Listen to your body and your feelings, if you think you might have an eating disorder then something is askew and worthy of a conversation with a dietitian (RD/LD) who is experienced working with eating disorders. Don’t postpone your health care or self-care, there is only one you!


Moms, Do you know how your daughter sees herself?

This week is National Eating Disorders Awareness week and the National Eating Disorders Association’s (NEDA) 2017 theme is “It’s Time to Talk About It.” We are thankful to have a mom who is willing to share her story and talk about her daughter’s battle with eating disorders. With Kristen’s permission, we’d love to share her story and insight as a mother:


Dear Girl Moms,

Isn’t it fun when you are scrolling through Instagram and come across a picture with your daughter posted by one of her friends? Your eye is immediately drawn to her and I imagine like me, her smile makes you beam. You couldn’t love her any more. To you, she is perfect.

Only that’s not at all how she sees it.

Even if she “likes” the picture, on the inside she can’t believe her friend chose that one to post!  She scrutinizes every detail. Everyone else looks perfect, but not her. By comparison she is convinced she is fat, not as pretty or whatever else. And the longer she stares at the picture, the more down on herself she becomes.  In her mind, everyone perceives her in the same way she sees herself.

I’m telling you this because this is how it was for my daughter.

I had no idea she felt the way she did about her changing middle school body. It never entered my mind to even ask because at the time nothing about her demeanor let on to the deep dissatisfaction she felt. She was beautiful; still is.

A year or so later when she began trying to lose a little weight, I didn’t initially see anything wrong with her desire to eat healthier and to be more active, especially since her swim team season had ended. But as weight loss became noticeable and others began complimenting her on how good – how skinny – she looked it strengthened her resolve to keep going and her new found discipline became obsessive. (This is why I’ve learned to stop giving the “You look so skinny!” compliment to anyone.)

What started out as a little dieting quickly turned to sever food restrictions and major calorie-counting. I feared anorexia setting in. But she couldn’t see it, at least not yet.

Months later an extremely low resting heart-rate scared her back into eating, but as is the case with many who battle eating disorders it can quickly swing from one extreme to another.  Nearly a year later bulimia had become a controlling secret.

Finally, she admitted needing help and from there it was a two-year healing process. At times it felt like a never-ending road, but the care and counsel she received from Banister Nutrition was instrumental in her ultimate recovery. No longer is she held captive by the negative body image, comparison and eating disorder that characterized her high school years and for that we are eternally grateful for Carol at Banister.

Early in her treatment I struggled with my own worth – as a mom.  I felt like I had failed for not knowing the intense struggle going on inside her head and behind closed doors. It was especially hard to reconcile because we had a close relationship (even more so today) and talked freely about seemingly everything. But I now better understand the shame and guilt coinciding with an eating disorder which makes admitting the problem extremely hard. It is the reason far too many people suffer silently and even the ones being treated often hide behind a mask.

This is why my daughter and I both talk about eating disorders openly on social media and elsewhere. We want to be resources and encouragement to anyone living enslaved by an eating disorder or a false sense of worth from body comparisons and shaming. In fact, this part of my daughter’s story is also what has led to my upcoming book. Though not specifically about eating disorders, it is the reason why I felt it necessary to write a book for teen/college girls on identity and worth.

I hope to spare you moms the pain of walking this road with your daughter. I want to help your daughter know her worth secure in Christ.  Please don’t assume you know what she thinks when she sees herself in a picture. Start the conversation. Ask heart-penetrating questions and always, always point her back to who Christ is for her. Her identity is only secure in Him.

And if you do find yourself in my shoes, you are not a bad mom. Christ was perfect for you too. So, don’t hide in shame or fear of what others will think. Reach out and let someone bear your burdens with you. And if I can be that friend, I will.

Growing in Grace Together,

Kristen Hatton


To read more of Kristen’s blogs, learn about her book, or see her speaking events calendar go to http://www.kristenhatton.com/. More eating disorders resources, screening tools, and ways to get involved, visit www.nedawareness.com. Keep talking about it and be screened. -HM

Do You Have a Healthy Relationship with Food?

Do you have a friend or family member who’s eating habits concerned you? Maybe you’ve noticed some of your own habits may need evaluating? The Renfrew Center has provided a questionnaire which you may find helpful. Keep in mind, this survey is not a diagnostic tool.

Answer “yes” or “no” to the following questions:

  1. Can you eat when you are hungry and quit when you are satisfied?
  2. Do you stop eating because you think you should (as opposed to because your body is satisfied)?
  3. Do you make food choices based on foods you enjoy?
  4. Do you become physically uncomfortable (such as weak, tired, dizzy, a headache) when you under-eat or diet?
  5. Do you feel that your food selections are a combination of “healthy foods” and “pleasurable foods”?
  6. Do you have to eat in a certain pattern – always­ three meals a day or always at certain times of the day?
  7. Do you trust that if you eat when you are hungry and stop when you are satisfied, you will not get fat?
  8. Do you feel guilty when you eat to the point that you are stuffed and uncomfortable?
  9. Can you balance the time you give to thoughts about food, weight, and dieting with other important aspects of your life, such as relationships, work and self-development?
  10. Do you watch what other people eat and use that to determine what and how much you will eat?
  11. Can you leave some cookies on the plate because you know you can have some tomorrow?
  12. Do you usually pick foods based on their calorie content?


Add up all the “no” responses to the odd-numbered questions and give 1 point per “no”.

Add up all the “yes” responses to the even-numbered questions and give 1 point per “yes”.

Total both numbers.

Scores from 0-3 indicate a generally healthy attitude towards food and eating.

Scores from 4-8 suggest pressure about appearance and ideas about how much and of what to eat may be negatively affecting self-acceptance and overall happiness. It may be helpful to explore these issues.

Scores from 9-12 suggest more serious food issues, ranging from food obsession to disordered eating. Consider seeking professional assistance to deal with these thoughts, feelings, and behaviors related to food and body image.


For more information about food, weight, eating disorders, binge eating disorder, etc. contact Banister Nutrition, LLC at 405-755-7561, the Renfrew Center Foundation at 1-877-367-3383, or the Laureate Eating Disorder Program at 1-888-253-4827. -CB


Reference: The Renfrew Center Foundation for Eating Disorders