My name is Cayanne Marcus. I’m an eating disorder survivor. I counsel others through eating disorder recovery every day via blog, e-mail, Instagram, and text. I have never been diagnosed with an eating disorder.
You didn’t see that one coming, did you?
It’s true. Even when I dropped 10 pounds below what is considered the lowest end of the “healthy weight” spectrum for my height and age, I was never diagnosed with an eating disorder. Even when my bones stuck out so much that I couldn’t fall asleep comfortably. Even when I used to plug 5 calorie vitamins into my tracking app and cry when I went over. Even when being told to put full fat ranch on my salad sent me into a panic attack. So….was it all in my head? No. And if you’re someone who’s dealt with the painful effects of an eating disorder, but has ever felt “unjustified” in seeking support because you were never officially diagnosed, you’re not alone.
Breakfast: approx. 1/3c cooked quinoa, splash of vanilla almond milk,
1 mashed banana, drizzle of maple syrup, cinnamon, & peanut butter
There are many reasons an eating disorder may go undiagnosed
- victim blaming: someone struggling with an ED might feel ashamed to seek help because of the stigma surrounding mental health or for fear of being seen as attention seeking
- financial instability: someone is unlikely to seek treatment or medical attention if he or she knows very well that his or her family cannot afford it
- denial: one of the most common reasons EDs go undiagnosed is because to the public eye, the victim may just seem health conscious or even fit and that external validation can keep the victim in denial about his or her state
- weight: many men and women who struggle with EDs may believe they are not “underweight enough” or “skinny enough” to have an eating disorder and so they don’t seek proper medical attention
Snacked on a rocky road macaroon (and then 4 more throughout the day LOL) + a few bites of a peanut butter Perfect bar before
heading to the gym for a chest + abs workout
Post workout snack was a blood orange, Fage Greek yogurt
There’s Inpatient, Outpatient, And Then There’s Me
For anybody who isn’t familiar with the terminology,
inpatient treatment is when someone with an eating disorder is admitted to a facility and actually lives in that facility where he or she will attend group therapy, receive nutritional counseling, individual therapy, and sometimes pharmaceutical therapy. Durations vary, but inpatient treatment definitely has the reputation for being the most drastic, even notorious, within the community of ED survivors and those still struggling.
outpatient treatment is different in the sense that the individual does not have to live on site, but rather just comes to the treatment facility to attend counseling.
So which did I do? Well if you’ve read my recovery story, you know I was neither inpatient nor outpatient. That being said, I think it’s important to note here that I’m not advocating going undiagnosed or rejecting the concept of inpatient or outpatient treatment, but rather acknowledging that there are many people, like myself, who go undiagnosed, but are equally entitled to the full range of support of other eating disorder survivors.
Lunch was from a Chopped Kale salad pack with poppyseed dressing,
cranberries, and pumpkin seeds + some tuna salad I added
The “Who’s Got it Worse” Mentality
Have you ever been talking with a friend and you mention how stressed you’ve been feeling about X in your life lately? But instead of responding to your feelings or consoling them, this friend “one ups” your pain by telling you how stressed she is not only with X, but with Y and Z also. Sound familiar?
Well that’s kind of what happens in the eating disorder community. I see it all the time on Instagram. Someone posts a photo of her meal at home, looking for support. Someone else comments about how she wishes that were her meal, but the inpatient meals are so much more, so much more food, more calories, so much more difficult to endure. This kind of “who’s got it worse” mentality is unproductive and frankly, unacceptable. Pain cannot be measured on a chart and just because someone else is struggling and claims to be doing so worse than you, does not make your feelings invalid. Just because you’re not inpatient, in therapy, in an official treatment program does not mean you are not trying as hard as anybody else.
Ever have one of those really really snack-y days? Yeah me too xD
Enter popcorn aaand lime plantain chips which are bomb af
Things to Remember if Your Eating Disorder was Never Diagnosed
- What you went through was real
- You are just as strong and should feel just as proud as anybody who finished inpatient or outpatient treatment
- Just because you were not diagnosed does not mean you did not suffer just as badly, if not worse, than someone who was
- You’re allowed to feel pain at moments of relapse and joy at recovery wins; all of your feelings are valid
- You deserve just as much support within the ED community as anybody else
- You are not alone
Dinner from Joi Cafe (Vegan + GF) was zucchini noodles in an avo pesto sauce which
honestly, I thought I’d enjoy more. But the grape Kombucha was A-mazing
Dessert was DEFINITELY a winner. I took this photo from Yelp, because I ate my
cookie on the car ride home, but oh my good gosh I have no idea how the cream between the cookie
halves could be so rich and well, creamy without any dairy. Loved every, rich bite.
I want to hear from you guys,
Have you ever been in a situation where you felt like you weren’t entitled to be sad or hurt because someone else “has it worse”? How did it make you feel?
Do you think labels are becoming too important, to the detriment of improving mental health?
How do you think that social media communities impact those in recovery from an eating disorder?
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