I Refused to Believe I Had an Eating Disorder


In 2013, I refused to believe I had an eating disorder. 

Even though I felt out of control around food...

Even though I hated my body...

Even though starving myself felt normal...

Even though nothing was more important to me than losing weight...

Even when my mom made me go to the doctor...

Even when my husband gave me that look — really, Holland? — every time I freaked out about food...

I told myself I was fine. This is normal. This is fine.


Despite all this, I refused to believe I had an eating disorder. Until I came across the National Eating Disorders Association Screening Tool.

I was terrified to press start because I was living in a kind-of beautiful illusion — I believed that I could be happy if I just lost some more weight — I believed that my life would be so much better if only I was skinny — I believed that all the pain I felt around food and my body would be worth it soon, if I just held on a little longer. Could it really be that bad?

But deep down, I wondered if there was another way to live, another way to be happy, I wondered if there was a way out. I started the screening.

"How afraid are you of gaining 3 pounds?"

"Compared to other things in your life, how important is your weight to you?"

[Content warning: disordered eating behavior] "In the past 3 months, how many times have you made yourself throw up, used diuretics or laxatives, exercised excessively, and/or fasted as a means to control your weight and shape?"

I didn't even have to get to the end of the screening...

It was clear I needed help.

It's not fine if you're obsessed with food. It's not fine if you're trying to starve yourself. It's not fine.

And you don't have to live this way. 

You have access to resources that can get you to the other side.

Do yourself a favor and use the NEDA Screening Tool

I've been selected as a collaborator for National Eating Disorders Awareness Week 2019, which starts next week, so if you or someone you know needs help, reach out.


About Holland Hettinger

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Hi, I’m Holland Hettinger, and I help women stop binge-eating. I believe your life doesn’t have to revolve around food. Your mind can think about something other than what you eat. You don’t have to shrink yourself and hide your body. There is an alternative to food guilt and body shame. And none of it includes dieting, meal prepping, weighing yourself, or forcing yourself not to binge-eat for just one—more—day. (Insert sigh of relief here.) Through training videos, coaching emails, and one-on-one work, I teach women to stop binge-eating for good.

Holland Hettinger