Eating disorders exist because they feed your brain with enormous amounts of false beliefs, contradictions and flat-out lies. I have uncovered a few of those.
“You are fat.”
No matter how skinny you are, no matter the size of jeans you wear, your eating disorder will always tell you how fat you are. It doesn’t matter if you can see all your ribs and bones, if the veins on your arms stick out, if your cheeks are hollow, you are fat.
It doesn’t make sense, does it? Well, your eating disorder hardly ever makes sense.
Maybe you cannot see it yet, but listen to your loved ones, the doctors or friends who tell you that you are underweight. They don’t want to harm you, but they want to help you.
And if you are a bit further down on the acceptance path, you know deep inside that you are not fat, but that the opposite is the case. Try to filter these thoughts and compare them with what is real.
“You are worthless.”
Everything that is going wrong in your life has to do with the fact that you are simply worthless. Something about you is not right and this will never change. Only your eating disorder can rescue you from this place of inferiority.
First of all, you are not worthless. Nobody is worthless. We are all born the same and we are all worthy of love, affection, health, fulfillment, joy, happiness and so much more.
“You are ugly.”
Your face will always be too round, your butt is not formed the way you want it, your nose is too big, your hair not thick enough, you ears too small and even your toes too long.
NO you are NOT. You are beautiful, you are unique, you are exactly the way you are supposed to be. Your eating disorder will always come up with new body parts to hate.
However, if you focus on those parts that you like (or used to like), you will begin to think positive again and you will be able to accept and embrace your body entirely.
“You are nothing but your eating disorder.”
Now, that you are in a relationship with your eating disorder, you finally found something that defines you and gives you a reason to wake up every morning and live your life.
This could not be further from the truth. I would even go so far as to say: You are everything but your eating disorder.
You are wonderful because you are you. You have so many gifts, so many talents and by letting go off your eating disorder, you will be able to engage in them.
“You cannot live without me.”
I occupy your mind 24/7, I give you commands you have to follow, I am the power behind every action you take, you would never be able to function without me.
At first it might seem that way. And I certainly was lost at the beginning of my recovery, but the more I let go off my eating disorder the more I was able to find myself and I discovered hundreds of things I didn’t know before.
The same is true for you, you can live without this vicious illness, you will live a life that is beyond anything you could have dreamt of. You will be free.
“You don’t deserve to be like everybody else.”
You don’t deserve to be happy, you don’t deserve to have lunch with your friends, you don’t deserve to eat a slice of Nutella bread just because you want to, you don’t deserve to eat dinner with your family like everybody else.
Yes, you do. You deserve to live a happy and fulfilled life, enjoying each and every moment. You deserve to eat like your friends and family.
You deserve to enjoy a slice of pizza or ice-cream or even just an apple. You deserve to be part of this world.
“You show great strength and power by refusing to nourish your body.”
Let’s be honest, who else has such unbreakable willpower? Who else can withhold so many important nutrients to their bodies?
Who else can work out ridiculous amounts of hours without eating? Who else is smart enough to purge after binging? Who else can live like that?
Unfortunately, way too many people can and do. But we can change that. It is not a sign of your strength to engage in these activities that damage your body, it is a sign of your eating disorder’s power over you.
Would you really consciously try to ruin your health, even risking death, if it weren’t for that other person occupying your mind? I don’t think you would.
I think you would treat your body like a temple and give it what it needs on a daily basis to be able to have energy, bear children, grow old or simply have fun.
“You are unworthy of love.”
And who would love you anyway?
This is so wrong, but I believed this lie the most.
Why? We have already said that every person is worthy and so are you. You too, are lovable, compassionate, have a lot to give and are allowed to receive bundles of love.
“You can only hide your flaws by holding on to your eating disorder.”
We have already defined that you are unworthy, so it only makes sense that you need your eating disorder to hide your many flaws.
Every person has flaws. Nobody is perfect and, quite frankly, who wants to be? Flaws and imperfections make you special, they make you unique and interesting. Flaws shape your character. You don’t need to hide them, you need to embrace them.
Otherwise, life would be quite boring, don’t you think?
“Others judge you only by your weight.”
When a person sees you for the very first time, they look at your figure, assume how much you must weigh and then define your worth as a person.
They don’t care about your wittiness, your smile, your character, your brilliance, your sympathy, your emotions, your empathy or your humor. People are super superficial, after all.
I think I said enough.
“If you give in now and eat, you will forever lose control.”
If you give in today and eat at least a tiny bit of something, you will lose control and then you won’t ever be able to stop eating, right?
No, surprisingly not. The more regular you eat, the more nutrients you give your body, the more control you will gain over your eating disorder and over your health and life.
Don’t believe everything your eating disorder tells you. In fact, don’t believe anything it tells you.
Which lies does your eating disorder tell you?