Have you ever sat with a friend, talking over dinner but your focus is not on the conversation? Your mind is not just wandering, but is rather fixated on one thing on the table. Maybe you stare at the bread basket in the middle, as you think about not eating more than one roll. Maybe you stare at the glass filled with water, as you try to imagine yourself feeling full just from your calorie-free beverage. Do you push your food around on the plate, giving the appearance that you are eating? Maybe your mind is on creating a plan to purge after this meal without your friend noticing or asking any questions.
Do you ever wonder if your relationship with food is overwhelming and spiraling out of control?
It is estimated that 7 million people in the United States have eating disorders. Nearly half of all Americans know someone with an eating disorder. 10-15% of those 7 million are males. Eating disorders cause disturbances to daily eating habits, ranging from eating little to no food to overeating substantial amounts of food regularly. Eating disorders involve both men and women, of all cultures, ages, and body types. Many call eating disorders the “unspoken issue” because those that struggle with disordered eating stay quiet about their problem. It becomes easy to binge and purge alone without anyone ever knowing. Others learn to be experts at skipping meals without friends and family realizing what is happening.
If you read this with any conviction, sadness, or frustration in your heart, take the time to ask yourself why it bothered you so much. Beg God in prayer by asking, “Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts.” (Psalm 139:23). Become mindful of your eating patterns and seek help, finding freedom from the unspoken issue that may control you.
More information and statistics can be found at http://www.state.sc.us/dmh/anorexia/statistics.htm.