Writer Speaks Up About Dangerous and Often Forgotten Eating Disorder Side Effect
Some symptoms and side effects of eating disorders are obvious. Extreme changes in weight, hair loss, fatigue, and immune system problems are all hallmark signs of eating disorders, but often the other symptoms related to these conditions are forgotten. There are many more subtle symptoms of eating disorders that are not visible from the outside but significantly disrupt the lives of those who experience them.
One dangerous side effect in particular has gone remarkably unexplored, until now. Writer and mentor Katie Dalebout is telling the story of her struggle with anorexia and trying to raise awareness of one of the most dangerous effects of anorexia – anorexia nostalgia.
As individuals return to a healthy weight during recovery from an eating disorder such as anorexia, it is common for them to miss the body they had despite knowing it was unhealthy.
Katie writes “There was nothing natural about centering my entire life around food and exercise. I may have been proud of my body, but I was also hypercritical and lame, choosing to stay in and drink swamp water over going out and living. Back then, I was always terrified of being caught and rejected. Now, I understand that true self-acceptance can never be taken away from me.”
While Dalebout was diagnosed with anorexia, her story and behaviors are shockingly similar to another eating disorder that has only recently gained attention – orthorexia. Katie explains that her eating disorder was the culmination of an obsession with “healthy eating”.
Whether Katie was living with anorexia or orthorexia, she found one of the most difficult struggles was learning to accept her healthy body and who she is inside.
Learn more about Katie’s story and how anorexia nostalgia impacted her efforts to recovery from her eating disorder in her story on Refinery29. You can also learn more about her on her blog The Wellness Wonderland.