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‘The Arguement for Disordered Eating’ by Adam Langley

I really don’t want to talk about my Eating Disorder. I don’t want to write about it. I don’t want to give it a name or join a Facebook group where I can exchange messages of support and affirmation with other people with Eating Disorders. I just want to ignore it, and why shouldn’t I? It takes up enough of my time already.

Planning meals and finding times to eat when I know that no-one will see me eat; making sure that I am not over my daily fat or carbohydrate quotient; keeping myself as active as possible so that I actually deserve to have three meals a day. These are just facts of life now. To be honest, I am sometimes amazed that I am the only person who can see how important it is to keep to the

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rules as far as food is involved. We are told over and over again that we are living in an obesity epidemic. That we need to exercise more and pay attention to what goes into our bodies now so that we are not a burden to society later. But go into any supermarket or shopping centre and you can see people wolfing down takeaway pizzas and buying cakes, biscuits and crisps. You see them drinking Hot Chocolate and Coffees smothered in whipped cream and marshmallows. Just watching these people is enough to kill your appetite and makes the idea that saying “No, we don’t need to eat so much” is a problem seem pretty ridiculous.

Yet if you try to play by the rules-if you exercise, eat only when you need to and make sure whatever does go into your mouth is healthy in some way-then you are the one with the problem. You are the one who is “losing too much weight” or “too set in their

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ways” or “hurting yourself”. You are the one who is going to die, even though everyone around you seems to be intent on giving themselves diabetes or a stroke or a pretty spectacular coronary. You are made to feel like a freak for recognising that treats are just that-treats. Things that should only happen once or twice a year, if at all. Why are you the odd one for making sure that you eat enough to function but not enough to lose all control over your body?

So no. I don’t want to talk about having an Eating Disorder. I don’t want to talk about having a problem, because as far as I’m concerned, there is nothing to fix. If anyone needs to have a reality check, it’s everyone else. If they can skip meals, if they can say “I’m full” while getting bigger and lazier, then why can’t I do the same thing? Why should such blatant hypocrisy be rewarded?

Because, I suppose, they are not medically underweight. Because their hands do not swell up and crack in cold weather. They are not cold all the time or have to take medication and vitamins to stop themselves getting brittle bones. Because they can go out for meals and have friends without the constant worry about how such things will affect their routine.

So why am I the one with a problem?



'Men Get Eating Disorders Too' is a registered charity in England and Wales no. 1139351.

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