Can you have an eating disorder if you aren’t skinny?

Kelly Davis, Mental Health America

Yes.

Most of the images we’re exposed to about eating disorders show very underweight women, but looking at someone is not a good way to determine if they have an eating disorder.

Restricting food intake, laxative and diet pill abuse, compulsive exercise, binge eating, and other obsessive and compulsive behaviors around food and exercise don’t necessarily make someone underweight. People with eating disorders can be underweight, can be overweight, and anywhere between.

Regardless what someone may weigh, eating disorder behaviors can have serious—sometimes fatal—health consequences. They can also destroy your relationships, work, education, and quality of life.

If your relationship with food, exercise, and your body are getting in the way of your ability to function, is taking up an exorbitant amount of your time and energy, and causing or putting you at risk for health problems, you deserve to feel better. There is no weight you must reach for your struggle to be valid or for you to be allowed to express how you’re feeling.

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