National Eating Disorders Association
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Understanding Eating Disorders

“Dear Melody” is an advice column by Dr. Melody Moore, a clinical psychologist, yoga instructor, and the founder of the Embody Love Movement Foundation. Her foundation is a non-profit whose mission is to empower girls and women to celebrate their inner beauty, commit to kindness, and contribute to meaningful change in the world. Dr. Moore is a social entrepreneur who trains facilitators on how to teach programs to prevent negative body image and remind girls and women of their inherent worth.

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I've noticed a tremendous inconsistency throughout my years of eating disorder treatment. When I was in treatment for anorexia nervosa purging type, one of the first parts of my recovery was weight restoration. I felt like before I even got into the work of dissecting how/where my eating disorder started, I was required to gain weight.

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On September 21, NEDA asked Twitter to respond to the question “Does your school have eating disorder resources?” After collecting responses from 405 people, the results showed that the schools of nearly half of these respondents (46%) had no resources in place. The rest of the results were as follows: 14% said “Yes,” 17% said “Very few,” and 23% said “Not sure.”  

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As someone who attended a public high school, health education was a really valuable class to me. While some may have considered it a joke of a class or an “easy A,” tackling topics like substance abuse, domestic violence/abusive relationships, obesity, and mental illness are extremely relevant to teens today.

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August generally marks the start of school, back to hectic schedules and anticipation of what the new year might bring. To some this may bring about memories of triumphs; however, for others it could serve as a reminder of how far is left on their journey. 

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Yes, eating disorder treatment involves all the wonderful things that are delicately spelled out in pastel pamphlets. Yes, there can be yoga mats and Rumi and more gentle nodding than the normal neck could take. 

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One of the most common questions I’ve received as both a clinician and an eating disorder survivor is how to know whether someone truly has an eating disorder. In this day and age, when food fads and diets come and go quickly and people so regularly, casually discuss the manner in which they “eat their feelings” as a means of coping, it can be hard to discern when one’s eating practices morph from disordered eating into an eating disorder.

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Binge eating disorder (BED) is the most common, but least understood, eating disorder in the United States. Intuitive eating and Health at Every Size® may be helpful tools for those in recovery, but public understanding of these concepts is limited. 

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This blog post was sponsored by Monte Nido (Clementine).

I can recall first wanting to become a physician when my mother would take me to the pediatrician’s office when I was feeling sick as a child. Oftentimes, my doctor would sit next to me and calmly explain what he felt was going on and all the options for treatment that were available. 

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When people hear that I have an eating disorder, they usually don’t know what to say. It’s awkward on both ends, I’m sure. I sometimes feel the need to apologize for making the other person uncomfortable. It doesn’t have to feel that way. When ED patients share this detail of their life with another person, they usually aren’t expecting sympathy or compliments, so you do not have to feel obliged to give them.

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