My Eating Disorder caused me to GAIN  18kg and nearly killed me… -The Reality of Normal Weight Eating Disorder Sufferers-

My Eating Disorder Caused Me to GAIN 18kg and Nearly Killed Me…
With #edaw in full swing, I’m sure your screens have been bombarded with posts that aim to raise awareness as to the deadly consequences of illnesses such as Anorexia Nervosa.

 For the most part these status’ and blog posts are filled to the brim with phrases like “I nearly died”, “I was a walking skeleton” or “I had to be fed through a tube to save my life”…

 Between the media, Internet and social platforms, we’ve basically got the whole “Anorexic Olympics” thing covered so let’s cut out the competition and get down to it!


 The truth (Yep, the raw and unspoken truth) is that eating disorders actually have NOTHING to do with food! …Yep, you heard me right…

You see all those pictures of pretty, shy, skinny teenage girls shyly refusing a cupcake??  Not the reality.

Did you know that only 10-15% of diagnosed eating disorders are made up of diagnosis’ of Anorexia Nervosa? 

Did you know that the majority of Eating Disorder sufferers are NOT underweight? In fact most sufferers are a healthy weight or even overweight?

Yet still when I search the words “Eating Disorder Sufferer” into Google Images, THIS is the first image I’m met with:

So if this isn’t the reality, then what is?

What do I have in common in all three pictures?

(Left 2013, Middle 2015, Right- Now).


I’m glad to say that in the most recent picture (right) I am on my way to recovery.
The girl on the left? She was epitome of the media’s stereotype, she was met with worried looks and furrowed brows.

But what about the picture in the middle?
A happy, healthy teenage girl? Think again. This girl had tormented her body. She had starved it, punished it and scarred it.
The girl in the middle had only just recovered from a torturous spiral of depressive episodes, she was trying to find herself after spending months dictated to by an invisible narrator in her head.

It told her to binge. To stuff her face until she could barely move, not because she wanted to, not because she enjoyed it, but simply as a method of painful self punishment.

After the shameful episodes of binging she’d spend hours with her head in the toilet bowl. Her gums would bleed, her oesophagus was torn and damaged, her potassium dropped to levels that could have killed her…

But she doesn’t LOOK like she has an eating disorder though?

Yes. Yes she does. The raw reality is that an eating disorder does not “look” like anything. Eating disorders such as Anorexia, Bulimia and EDNOS are secretive and manipulative, they take over your head and force the smile onto your face.

They speak for you. They say the words “I already ate” or “I’m not feeling well” with a well rehearsed smile, whilst the victim is left buried inside silently screaming “HELP ME!”.

So I urge you, if someone tells you that they have been suffering- stop. Think. And remember this blog post.

 Tell them you love them. Tell them you’ll help them. Ask them how they are. But never utter the words “You don’t look like you have an eating disorder”!

Thank you for reading-
Lauren A Houston
(To contact me, please feel free to email me at )


13 thoughts on “My Eating Disorder caused me to GAIN  18kg and nearly killed me… -The Reality of Normal Weight Eating Disorder Sufferers-

    1. By far this has to be the most intelligently written article I’ve read.
      I also have an eating disorder. You are incredible. You’ve spoken from the heart.
      I wish you a happy healthy future x


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