Since her childhood, 24-year-old blogger Danica Marjanovic of Belfast struggled with body dysmorphia and never felt comfortable with the way she looked. At that stage of her life, Marjanovic had reached a point where dieting to lose weight became her sole focus. The blogger didn’t realize she was entering a dangerous territory, where she would eventually lose every bit of her self-esteem, making her feel miserable.
In an attempt to atone for the sin of gaining weight during her younger days, Marjanovic literally pushed herself on the verge of starvation. Her self-worth depended largely on how others perceived her appearance and her body, instead of how she felt about herself. Compliments became an important factor of her existence. In fact, she would never feel pretty until she received a compliment from someone. Yet, it was strange Marjanovic never thought she had a serious problem, instead she saw herself as a weight-loss blogger. In fact, she never felt skinny enough to seek help for an eating disorder.
However, today the blogger is a different person altogether. Even after gaining three dress sizes, she is a happier person than ever. She was unhappy when she was a size 10 during her teens, but she feels much happier now at size 16. According to her, her success lies in paying attention to what is positive, instead of dwelling in her insecurities. “I’ve always had a curvy body, so I think that’s also what played into my body dysmorphia. Even when I was so slim, I was probably about a size 10 on top, to me that still wasn’t good enough,” she said speaking about her obsession with losing weight.
The secret to her happiness was embracing reality by gaining weight and taking pride in showing her body to the world via her blog. Though Marjanovic hasn’t disclosed her weight, she is gearing up for the next phase of accepting her new appearance, participating in a plus-size modelling competition. She started her journey to recovery by using YouTube and Instagram as a journal to record every details of her diet, make-up, lifestyle and other day-to-day activities. In a recent Instagram post, Marjanovic expressed her anguish over society’s obsession with skinny bodies. According to her, just because her body didn’t conform to conventional standards of someone recovering from an eating disorder, that doesn’t mean she hasn’t overcome her problem.
In US too, eating disorders are common
The outcomes of eating disorders can be devastating, if unhealthy habits are not corrected at the right time. Research indicates eating disorders usually surface during adolescence, and may continue throughout adulthood. Such detrimental conditions can affect both men and women alike. According to the National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA), in the United States, 10 million men and 20 million women will suffer from a clinically significant eating disorder at any given point of time in their life. The common eating disorders are binge eating disorder, bulimia nervosa, anorexia nervosa and other specified feeding or eating disorder (OSFED).
Outbursts of emotional upheavals could actually push some individuals battling low self-esteem or mental health issues toward food, which may be viewed as a source of self-medication. Such instances of reaching out for comfort food could actually prove harmful for an individual’s overall well-being. While a proper balanced diet is the key to good health, regular binging on food, especially for emotional reasons, can be damaging as such life-wrecking habits have nothing to do with hunger or appetite.
Eating disorders are treatable
An eating disorder needs to be addressed with medical intervention. Eating disorders can affect anyone irrespective of ethnicity, gender, body type or social status. But the stigma surrounding the condition has stopped many victims from speaking out openly. Family members and friends of people grappling with eating disorders should keep a close watch on them for any observable manifestations of such disorders and encourage them to seek professional counselling from a specialist.
If you or your loved one is struggling with any kind of eating disorder, contact Sovereign Health of California for evidence-based treatments. Specialists at our world-class facilities are trained to identify the underlying causes and prescribe customized treatment for eating disorders in California as well as group psychotherapy based on a patient’s requirements. Call our 24/7 helpline or chat online with one of our counselors for more information about our eating disorder treatment centers in California.