The Unexplainable Mind of Disordered Eating

Someone with disordered eating can’t explain how they are feeling to anyone. Their family struggles to get into their mind, but they can’t. They just don’t understand. And I wish I could say someone with disordered eating could explain all the emotions, feelings and thoughts they encounter.... but, you really can’t explain how you think when you have disordered eating, it is just a jumble of thoughts swirling around your mind… every single second. of every. single. day.

I thought I would share a typical thought process that I went through in order to .. hopefully explain and help others understand why someone with disordered eating really struggles with the amount of foods they are to eat, and why their daily thoughts and ability to process even saying ‘hi’ get tossed aside because of disordered thoughts.

Some days I got overwhelmed with food. What do I eat, what should I eat, should I wait to eat more; even if I am hungry still? Am I even hungry, or am I just tired? Am I tired because I have no energy stores or because I was studying or just got home from work? Am I tired because I simply ate food… and that food is causing my body to process it with the only energy left that it has? I really don’t know. I could not tell you. The aches in my belly always left me confused, anxious and stressed. What is it that I need? I also felt discomfort in my stomach and my back… was this because I was sitting all day? Or possibly I didn’t digest food right, or pair the right foods together? Or maybe I am just full, I ate too much - or at least I think I did. But - ‘too much’ to someone with disordered eating is similar to eating an extra carrot stick. A SINGLE carrot stick. You are probably thinking, ‘you’ve got to be kidding me’. But actually! An extra carrot stick or an extra tiny scoop of rice is viewed as ‘too much’. So maybe I am not full… maybe I am just anxious. What does full even feel like - or anxious for that matter? Is my discomfort from food due to my digestive system not being able to cooperate with more food? Did I go to bed hungry… is that what I felt? Or was I just so tired. I really did not know.

The extra energy expended by thinking 24/7 leaves someone with disordered eating struggling to find energy to do small simple tasks, to even show affection to the ones they love the most. One single conversation can drain all the energy one has stored for that exact moment in time.

I hope this gives you a better idea of why someone with disordered eating can’t explain how they feel. How food alone consumes their mind from the second they wake up, until the moment their eyes shut as they rest their head on a pillow at night.