Thursday, May 10, 2012

What EDNOS means to me

NOTE: This is my comment in response to Nicole's of's blog post: I have homosexuality. Her well-researched and thought out blog post outlines why she does not believe in EDNOS. I've been wanting to write about what EDNOS means to me for a while, so I copied my comment into a post. 

Sometime in the early 90s, I was reading a book on a train ride home from Ottawa. I honestly don’t remember the name of the book or its author, but it was about compulsive eating. Something about making promises to oneself. With that I made my own promise: I will stop purging and just allow myself to put on weight. And with that promise, I stopped purging. (I thought that I can always diet to lose the weight later.)

But, nothing else changed. I still had the bulimic thoughts and mentality. I still binged, but I allowed myself to gain weight. When I became “too big” I went on a diet to compensate.

What was wrong with me? I knew that when I stopped purging that I had not fixed anything. I knew I was still f***ed up. Am I a recovered bulimic who is doomed to struggle every day for the rest of my life to not eat everything in sight?  Just because I stopped purging I was now normal?

I can tell you that in a blink of an eye, I was not fixed/recovered just because I stopped purging.  

Because it’s not about fixing the compensatory behavior, it’s about fixing the mentality. Some of us purge, some of us exercise, some of us stop restrict, some of us chew/spit and some of us gain weight and diet thereafter.

In my case, I replaced purging with dieting as a compensatory behavior. Sure, dieting isn’t as dramatic, but it is still a behavior compensating for the eating disorder mentality. (Unfortunately, dieting is common and viewed as a safe and effective way to control eating, when it is an eating trigger.)

I’ve been struggling with eating, weight and food for more than twenty years. I’ve been searching for answers and seeking help.  In 2010, I decided to see a cognitive behavior therapist and she provided me with an explanation for my constant struggle: an EDNOS diagnosis. More importantly, she helped me to change my negative eating behaviour.

I don’t use it as an excuse; EDNOS verified what I had suspected for years: that there was something wrong with my thinking and that what I was thinking was not normal. 

Upcoming posts (not necessarily in this order):

  • I'm fat: is there something unresolved in my life?
  • More on a food neutral household
  • With respect to food, I've been a four year old preschooler for most of my life
  • Blog anniversary - including my first giveaway!
  • Lunchtime logistics
  • Start a new healthy habit - seriously, it's coming


  1. I absolutely adore your posts.

  2. I'm looking forward to your series! I too, have been diagnosed with EDNOS and Binge Eating Disorder.

  3. Interesting. Thanks for the link back to N and G. A good post for sure.

    I wonder who decides what is normal. I know few normal people and am pretty sure it is overrated. I know few thin people who have food in proper perspective. Proper being that it does not rule some aspect of your life or mind. Even my hubby - who I consider the most healthy in relation to food gets a belly occasionally. His pants get tight, he stops overeating. He lacks my creative self delusion.

    Still I would prefer not to be so tangled in my relationship with food. That is what I am looking for. I hate the drama. Since I have been home the drama is back. Very dismaying since I was doing so well before and during my trip. But here I am. Not at square one, but if say - I was on square 20 before I am now on square 7. Sigh. I will be glad when summer is over and temptation to eat out of control is diminished.

    OK sorry for the blabbamania.

    Missed you Kara.

  4. Great post...for me, this says it all: "Because it’s not about fixing the compensatory behavior, it’s about fixing the mentality. " I guess this is why my ideal is: I don't have to control food and food doesn't control me. Because in my mind, having to "control" means that something's not "normal."


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