Fearing the wrong danger

September 25, 2017

Self-Paced Course: Non-Diet Academy


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A Certified Eating Disorders Registered Dietitian (CEDRD) with a master's degree in dietetics & nutrition. My passion is helping you find peace with food - and within yourself.

Meet Katy

50% of 3-6 year olds worry about being fat.*

>50% of females 18-26 would rather be run over by a truck than be fat.**


The fear of being fat permeates our culture.

And for good reason – we treat fat people terribly.  It is an awful experience to exist in our society as a person of larger size.

Luckily, we are making progress in this arena, thanks to warriors like Virgie Tovar, Jes BakerLinda Bacon, Andrew Walen, and Aaron Flores.

But we still have a long way to go.  A long, long way.

When I see clients in my office, a lot of our discussion is around their fears.  Specifically, their fears related to food.  Some common ones are the fear of bingeing, fear of too many calories, fear of fat, fear of carbs, fear of being unhealthy…and if we dig deep enough the fear usually boils down to a fear of weight gain and fatness.

What if they are fearing the wrong danger?

Is it possible that the real danger is the eating disorder?

The danger of the eating disorder is very real.  Eating disorders have the highest death rate of any psychological illness.

The eating disorder can exacerbate many other health conditions (e.g. diabetes, insulin resistance, PCOS, high blood pressure, arthritis/joint pain, digestive issues….the list goes on and  on).  And these conditions can exacerbate the eating disorder.

Then there’s the social effects of the eating disorder.  The isolation, the disconnection from others, the difficulty eating in social situations, the self-consciousness, the shame, the deep desire to have relationships but the sense that you are too flawed.

The real danger is the eating disorder and all that it takes away from you.  Yes, your weight might change in either direction, up or down, with recovery.  That just depends on your unique situation.  But going head-to-head with that fear of fatness for the sake of recovery is worth the risk of weight change.

Because the real danger isn’t being fat.  The real danger is the eating disorder.




*Hayes and Tantleff-Dunn, 2010

**Martin, 2007


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