People with eating disorders tend to be highly sensitive and very intuitive. This is a gift, but they've been experiencing it as a shortcoming. They turn down the volume on their intuition with food – whether it be stuffing it down or withholding it. Along the way they squelch their inner wisdom of their true self.
People with ED's pick up on very subtle things at a high intensity. If someone around them is upset they're going to recognize it, and it will make them very uncomfortable. They become fixers or run-awayers, a fight-or-flight of sorts, attempting to avoid the discomfort. Much of the time the discomfort wasn't originally their own, it was someone else's discomfort (real or perceived) that made them uncomfortable. Because the discomfort seems so intolerable their only option is to do away with it.
This also plays into the perfectionism we see so often in people with ED's. They are extremely sensitive to criticism, and any feedback perceived as negative feels like total and complete failure. It is devastating to them. The trap, however, is that if perfection is the standard you are always going to end up feeling like a failure because perfection isn't possible. Yet they experience purpose in life by endlessly pursuing thinness in hopes that the perfect body will equate to the perfect life.
Part of the healing process from an ED is learning to embrace one's gifts. Simon Sinek explains how one's difficulties or shortcomings in childhood become their strengths as adults because they had to learn to manage them. For example, he had a hard time understanding the classroom concepts at school so he learned to ask lots of questions and that has become his strength as an adult. He isn't afraid to ask questions, get help and seek out answers. It would have been easy for him to label himself as stupid and give up. But he turned his curse into a blessing.
During recovery sensitivity and intuition becomes a strength, one's superpower. As they start to embrace these gifts they start to trust their true self and listen to their soul when it speaks. Discomfort no longer is something to fix or flee but rather is a valuable message to be attuned to. You see, it's all about perspective. We can walk through life thinking, "Woe is me," or we can accept the power that inherently lies within ourselves and embrace it.