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TW: Eating Disorders. I’ve had a binge eating disorder since I was about 10 or 11. Binge eating is more openly discussed now but 10-15 years ago it was very taboo and most discussion of ED surrounded anorexia or bulimia, and many (still) equate EDs with visible thinness. I was never diagnosed because I binged in secret and did it without realizing what I was doing for many years. EDs are not a choice. They don’t exist due to lack of control or will. They are a result of biological, environmental, and psychological impacts. There are defined eating disorders; there is also a wide spectrum of what we’ll call disordered eating for the sake of this convo. That spectrum intersects with exercise habits, body image, and more. It’s insidious and often problematic patterns and internal dialogue go unnoticed. For many, myself included, it takes many years to find a place of body freedom, guilt-free eating, and exercising/moving to feel good and not to counteract eating. Taking care of ourselves for “health” can quickly spiral to obsession and restriction, and it can feel very normal. For those of us with eating disorders or who recognize tendencies of disordered eating, freedom is the goal. Not necessarily “health” in the traditional sense. What I mean is, the healthy choice for someone may be to eat what someone else might deem unhealthy because health is dynamic, can’t be seen, and can’t be assumed in any facet. My perspective is that intuitive eating is wise. Tuning into feeling is essential. Different ways of eating work for different people. Working towards a relationship with your body where eating and movement aren’t directly tied to it’s image is key to breaking the cycle that diet culture perpetuates. With that freedom we can foster autonomy. Making the choices that make us feel good in all ways. Organically shifting perspectives and patterns to find ourselves seeking holistic health that works for the individual. While it’s true we eat for nourishment and fuel, it’s not the only reason we eat. Food is also a sensory experience, can be pleasurable, can evoke feeling, can be communal, cultural, and our relationship with it is as dynamic as we are. Share below?