Weight Stigma and My Eating Disorder:
This is important because eating disorder research and personal accounts of eating disorders have focused almost exclusively on the experiences of women with the illness. Men with eating disorders have been largely marginalized.
This marginalization is holding back our understanding. Telling our story is human. It helps us to process what has happened to us. Female sociologists and psychologists have studied what women have lived through2.
I have tried to do this in my own work. I gather the personal stories of men who have experienced disordered eating. When men write their stories in their own words, we find a rich tapestry of personal experience.
What I want to offer here is a brief description of two accounts that I have studied in detail, as part of a much larger group of stories. I have deliberately chosen stories that are in the public domain, so that you can find them and read them for yourself.
An all-consuming relationship with a coping strategy that gradually became increasingly maladaptive. Both men report that they subsequently recovered from their eating disorder but the brief narratives I share below are not the usual and oft-seen stories of recovery.
If so, please bear in mind that, sometimes, reading personal stories can be triggering — so please proceed with caution. Story 1 Men who experience eating disorders deal with extreme amounts of emotional and physical pain. Jim is a man who is well-versed in pain endurance. He thought that being a good husband to his wife was about keeping things from her by not voicing his anxieties and concerns.
He encouraged is wife to express herself, all the while he was becoming more and more introspective and insular. When he had a serious health scare related to his weight and his diet, he began a regimen of low-fat food, bought a set of scales and a treadmill, and began to reform his excess.
Jim saw folds of fat, long after he had lost any excess weight, whenever he saw his reflection. He became more adept than any committed dieter at his knowledge and commitment to nutritional labeling on foods. What began as a scare-induced health-kick quickly degenerated into a grueling form of self-torture where personal pain barriers were transgressed, as his body was put through an ever-increasing obsessive schedule of exercise.
Even a normal bodily function, such as using the toilet became a mission to force his muscles to expel as much waste as possible so that he would weigh less when he stepped on the scales.
Then I sat on the toilet and put my bowels through a work out to eliminate even the tiniest bit of waste. The less in me, the less I weighed… As I took each step, my stomach somersaulted and twisted around itself, knowing that there was a possibility that the scale would show failure today.
Worse still, when he injured himself, the distress at not being able to exercise was acute and overwhelming. Not working off the calories became not just an inconvenience but a major challenge to his well-being. He was willing to endure any amount of pain, as long as it meant he could still get on the treadmill.
The more skeletal Jim became, the stronger was his resolve, the more pain he was prepared to deal with …the more he became a stranger in his own family. Story 2 Many men, like Frank, are raised with the firm idea that more food is better, that a growing healthy boy always needs second and third helpings and their family reinforces the notion that to have a hearty appetite is manly and desirable.
Unlike other men, however, Frank saw this, over time, morph into something altogether more damaging. As Frank himself says, his primary relationship was not with a sibling, friend or romantic partner — it was with his stomach.
Extreme weight loss can be observed more readily and be of more concern to clinicians and medical practitioners — but what about bulimia in an overweight man? People commented as much. As Frank relied more and more on food to make him feel comforted and worthwhile, his weight began to increase.
The humiliation of putting his nonswimmers body on display was too much. However, this did not mean that he accepted or embraced being big.
He convinced himself if he could just lose a magical inch from his waist size, then his confidence would be restored and he could hold his head high. Frank became adept at knowing where the bathrooms were everywhere he went so that he could instantly purge without any great delay.Spain notices a change in Romano.
This change starts out small but progressively gets worse and worse. Characters in the story are teen!Romano and Spain. I wanted to write this story for those who are struggling with an eating disorder or .
Watch video · Personal stories.
In this section of the site you find a catalogue of stories from men who are recovering or recovered from eating disorders. The stories are diverse and represent men of all ages, backgrounds and sexualities. These stories may contain details in which some people may find distressing or difficult to read.
Unfortunately, I found little to no information on BED, even though it is the most common eating disorder, affecting % of women, 2% of men, and up to % of adolescents in the United States. Personal Stories My Journey Through an Eating Disorder.
For as long as I can remember I have felt as if I don’t belong, like I just don’t fit in this world. I think that these feelings haunting me every day are something that seriously contributed to the development of my depression. Recovery from an eating disorder requires a lot of courage; and for best results, to maintain recovery, it requires openness and acceptance in a village of people who understand and who care.
We hear a lot of stories about people who are suffering, anorexia in particular. Liza beth: Her Personal Story. My eating disorder followed me through many phases, many sizes, and many shame filled years. In hindsight I know that I’ve been either battling or hiding behind my disorder for decades, but because my behaviors included a love of food and eating, I had no idea that I had an ED.