National Eating Disorders Association

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not looking sick

although i've struggled with binging/purging on and off for years, the behaviors + restricting were really triggered at the start of COVID and i've lost a significant amount of weight over the past year. it's been a year of some of the most extreme ED behaviors of my life, but i've only gotten more and more compliments as the weight loss progressed. even as i've been actively seeing a therapist, going to support groups etc, this positive reinforcement is the hardest thing to let go of.

even now, i don't look like i have an eating disorder and everything functions properly (i've had exams and blood work). one might even describe my body as curvy. i have the thought a lot that my body would be the "starting weight" or "high weight" for many people with an ED. almost like i progressed to a new score at a video game and now i need to start all over at a harder level. i struggle with wanting to lose more weight and chasing the good feeling of people noticing.

i'm really troubled by the thought that i would like to look sick. i wish i could stop shifting the goalposts lower and lower. i'm wondering if anyone can relate to this.

thank you for sharing your

thank you for sharing your experience here. i very much can relate. i'm used to getting positive comments about how my body looks from other people. and i have to admit that it's seductive. i like flattery. who doesn't. but very recently in therapy i've started to realize that i'm the one putting a lot of weight on what others think and say about my body in part because how i see and feel about my body is very negative a lot of times. i've taken what they say as more truth than what i know to be the whole truth about my body and health. not long ago two friends asked me if was eating enough and said i was very thin. these weren't complements. they were concerns. and they said these things because they've seen my body change over time, and they said it out of love and care for me, not out of their own projections or fantasies or even comparisons about their own body, which i've come to understand a lot of so called complements about how i look are really about the other person and how they feel about their own body, which says something about our body culture more than them as a person. i'm starting to learn i get to choose who i listen to, myself first, i'm my best guide, and those who truly care about me. the others i'm learning to tune out. anyhow that's a bit about where i'm at and appreciate you opened up that helped me open up too. sending you good energy for the day.

thank you healn, your

thank you healn, your perspective was really helpful to me too. it meant so much to know there was someone out there who relates