I Thought Starving Myself Was Normal
It took me a long time to realize I had an eating disorder. I thought starving myself was normal. I thought obsessive food thoughts were normal. I thought hating my body was normal.
I didn’t know that there was another way to live.
I didn’t know my life didn’t have to revolve around food.
I didn’t know my mind could think about something other than what you eat.
I didn’t know I didn’t have to shrink myself and hide my body.
I didn’t know there was an alternative to food guilt and body shame.
My eating disorder felt normal to me because I didn’t know any better, and eating disorders are normal for a lot of girls and women...
Over one-half of teenage girls and nearly one-third of teenage boys use unhealthy weight control behaviors such as skipping meals, fasting, smoking cigarettes, vomiting, and taking laxatives .
35-57% of adolescent girls engage in crash dieting, fasting, self-induced vomiting, diet pills, or laxatives [2, 3, 4].
Eating disorders are normal.
But they shouldn’t be.
If you don’t know yet, 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.
I don’t want you to spend one more minute wondering if you’re thin enough to be loved.
I don’t want you to spend any more time hating yourself than you already have.
I don’t want food and binge-eating and dieting to take up any more of your time and energy.
If you feel guilty about the way you eat and ashamed of your body, consider using the National Eating Disorder Association’s screening tool — it gives incredible resources at the end, including an online chat service.
And of course, you know how to reach me.
Hang in there.
If there's someone you know who needs to read this, please, please share this with her. You may save her sanity and her life.
 Neumark-Sztainer, D. (2005). I’m, Like, SO Fat!. New York: Guilford.
 Boutelle, K., Neumark-Sztainer, D., Story, M., &Resnick, M. (2002).Weight control behaviors among obese, overweight, and nonoverweight adolescents. Journal of Pediatric Psychology,27, 531-540.
 Neumark-Sztainer, D., & Hannan, P. (2001). Weight-related behaviors among adolescent girls and boys: A national survey. Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, 154, 569-577.
 Wertheim, E., Paxton, S., & Blaney, S. (2009). Body image in girls in L. Smolak & J. K. Thompson (Eds.), Body image, eating disorders, and obesity in youth: Assessment, prevention, and treatment (2nd ed.) (pp. 47-76). Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association.
About Holland Hettinger
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.