Adeline Hocine shares her experience living with an eating disorder during Ramadan
Living with an eating disorder is an incredibly complex task, often filled with counting calories and intensely scheduling anything food related to keep their disordered eating behavior a secret. For young women, this is complicated even more with social pressures, responsibilities at work, and stress from family.
Now, imagine dealing with all of that while also celebrating an important religious holiday that includes day-long fasting and a large, community-based meal at the end of the day.
This is what many young Muslim women with eating disorders face every year, as they attempt to navigate staying true to their religious beliefs while facing their own demons of anorexia or bulimia.
Adeline Hocine describes the experience as “something closer to war.” While Ramadan offered the ability to hide her own eating disorder – as everyone around her also abstains from food during the day – the internal pressures of her eating disorder meant she couldn’t even enjoy the end of the day feast. Instead, as she writes for Teen Vogue, she often purged immediately after this meal.
As Adeline notes, she is far from the only Muslim woman who has struggled with balancing her religion and living with her eating disorder. To mark this year’s Ramadan and offer support to others living through similar experiences, Hocine shared her story on Teen Vogue.