Tuesday, December 15, 2009

What is an eating disorder?

According to the National Eating Disorders Association (click on the name to go to the site) an eating disorder is when you have one or more of these issues...Anorexia Nervosa, Binge Eating or Bulimia Nervosa.

Why am I blogging about this on my weight loss blog? Well, this morning I watched Good Morning America. They featured a woman who was pregnant who compulsively exercised and was obsessive about how much weight she gained not only when she was pregnant but at other times in her life as well.

As the segment finished up I found myself really MAD! They classified this woman as having an eating disorder and I wondered why it was that people felt badly for her and were, what I believe is, abnormally concerned for her!

Here's my issue... Why is it that they won't just tell a person who is thin and has issues with eating/not-eating that they should just go eat a freaking sandwich!!! I mean what do they tell overweight people??!!!! To STOP eating a freaking sandwich!!! No one ever tells an overweight person that there is something in their brain that makes them that way!

About 5 years ago I called my insurance company at the time to see if they would cover gastric bypass surgery. I was told they would not. As I thought about it I decided to call back with another question. "Will you cover treatment for anorexia?" I was put on hold while the person checked my plan and was eventually told that if I was seeking treatment for the problem as an outpatient than the treatment would be covered. I was LIVID. I launched into a tirade, to someone who really couldn't do anything, about how unfair it was and that they were discriminating against fat people!

I'm no expert but I would venture to say that overweight people have MORE health related issues than a person who vomits on purpose or who doesn't eat enough!

Why is it that people fall over themselves trying to "help" a person who refuses to eat but we look at a person who overeats as merely being out of control? Is a thin person who REFUSES to eat, or throws up NOT out of control????

I say...GET A GRIP! If you're not going to treat overweight people with the same commitment that you will an anorexic person YOU ARE DISCRIMINATING!


  1. Amen, Sistah! I was out of control angry with my insurance company the other day because they won't cover a colonoscopy (when I have a family history of it) until age 50. I will post about this some time when I won't get so angry thinking about it. It is considered a preventive procedure, which has a payout cap of $250 per year, which I have already capped. . . with one visit to my Primary care physician. I found out about the cap when insurance didn't pay for my mammogram and bone density test after they had been done. At that time, the lady from the SAME insurance company told me the colonscopy would be covered because there is a family history. I was told by my dad's oncologist to have one every 5 years, starting between 29-31. I have had three that insurance has covered. I am 1 1/2 years overdue for one now and was sooo frustrated I said, "well, I hope you feel bad when I die before EVER reaching the age of 50! Thanks for nothing!!" and hung up.

    That is a little different than your topic here, but what insurance covers just doesn't make sense to me. When obesity is one of the leading causes of medical issues in this country, wouldn't you think that they would do what they could to help a person become healthy and, ultimately, in the long run, be less of a risk for an insurance company? I don't get it. I do believe I, as a shrinking obese person (if that makes sense. I am working on my own to become healthy) that I am as much at risk as a person with a "qualified" eating disorder.

    Sorry, I just had to get that off my chest! I could go on, but I need to run. . . but not literally. . .I just need to go

    I am feeling all worked up again about my conversation with the insurance company from almost a week ago. I just need to breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth a few times then I'll be okay!

  2. btw--you're welcome for the recipe. They certainly aren't going to help in your fight against obesity. Dang it!

  3. Can't hold back. First of all that is AWFUL that they won't cover the colonoscopy. My brother died because the insurance company wouldn't approve it - had to go through committee and he waited years for other ideas people had for why he was sick because he couldn't afford to go paying for tests that no one could tell him he for sure needed. That insurance company now covers them! Not just because of my brother but I figured time makes people learn. The ensuing costs for his cancer treatments far outweighed a colonoscopy!

    As for the fairness issue I agree. I think we are still years away from enough research being done to truly diagnose the multi-faceted reasons for obesity. In high school the anorexia issue became so huge and I really felt the sting of the slighted view that no one recognizes there are deeper issues than just STOP EATING for those who are obese. I think we are on the fringe of a culture change because I have read books that take both issues and tie them into one neat package and say there is no difference between someone who is obese and someone who is bulemic or anorexic. There are people out there trying to bring this to light and I hope I see it in my lifetime. But for now we endure the stigma that ours is a lazy choice and others simply have a medically treatable disorder.

    Because childhood obesity is on the rise for reasons of busy lifestyles and fast food (and more as I don't want to generalize too much) I think it skews the view from a bigger picture to see that this is really a very complex issue WELL beyond laziness and lack of caring!

    OK thanks for your vent. Although for me personally bypass is not the option because it won't change my brain, I know it works for many people. I think the solutions for obesity are as far and wide (no pun intended) as the causes that got us there.

    Hope that all made sense.

  4. Well this blog definitely intrigued me as I was reading simply due to the fact that I can relate on a totally different viewpoint. I did have an eating disorder from the time I was 17 years old, until I was into my 30's. I can honestly say that it was not just about eating, just like obesity is not just about eating. Yes, anorexia and bulemia is all about control. I always felt as if my life was totally out of control and food was the one thing that I could control. I used food as a means of power, revenge, self-loathing and ultimately just because I felt as if everything around me was out of control.
    I also know about obesity because I have a sister that works in a bariatric clinic and I have several friends and family members that battle with obesity. I have never believed that obesity is about being lazy or just not wanting to make the effort. Alot of women have medical issues such as thyroidism that can cause excessive weight gain or weight loss. Having babies...hello??? How hard is it to lose the weight after a baby?? Reaching the age of 30 and noticing that everything that enters my mouth goes straight to my butt and stomach!! I don't have the metabolism that I did back in my younger years. And just like with eating disorders, obesity can have many underlying issues as well. I have learned, through many years of counseling and talking with friends I trust and share that everybody is going through things, and it's not always easy to talk about those things. Not everything can be controlled, if it could be then where is my Gracious Heavenly Father in that picture. My Heavenly Father saved me from a very dark tunnel and for that I will always be grateful.

    As far as your insurance company, I am an insurance agent and I know a few things about this!! Call up your insurance company again, and tell them you are looking into gastric-bypass surgery. That you are under the care of a physician and if you are not seeing your doctor about this issue, then do that. Talk to your doctor about getting prepared for surgery. Most insurance companies WILL approve the surgery ONLY if your doctor makes a referral as well as you have participated in a weight loss program for a certain period of time. It can be different with different insurance companies, but I have known of people that were on State health insurance such as Medicaid that underwent gastric-bypass surgery. Yes, you heard me correctly!! A state paid for insurance paid for this surgery!! If you have independently paid for insurance then they are full of c**p if they are telling you they won't cover it!! I hope this helps!!