Bringing it to Light: Eating Disorders

Hey POPsters!

For quite some time, I’ve been noticing a lot of questions regarding eating disorders (EDs) and some fans have speculated that I may have one myself. (I honestly didn’t know too much about EDs until I got on Tumblr and started seeing all these hashtags for #thinspo and #thinspiration.)

So I got very curious and started doing some research. I began to worry. I questioned whether or not my love for fitness was giving off the wrong message. As you know, I care about you guys a lot and I would never want to advise you with information that may later be used in a harmful manner.

Because the world of EDs is foreign to me, I decided to head straight to the experts. Today I bring to you two health professionals who will shed some light on this topic. The two ladies come from different backgrounds – one is a holistic health coach and recovered anorexic and the other is a registered dietician. I am putting their interviews side by side so that you can get a full 360 degree understanding of EDs from an emotional and experienced standpoint to a more medical perspective.

Please click page 2 below to begin the interview!

Pages: 1 2 3

Comments

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  6. Miranda,

    That’s awesome! Good for you. :]

  7. Miranda Miller says:

    Being 16 years old, having an eating disorder is definitely the hardest thing I’ve had to deal with in my life. I probably started when I was 13. I was diagnosed with Anorexia Nervosa purge-type. I dropped down to 80 pounds. Being a healthy 105 now, this website and these videos inspire my recovery. I have been purge free for 15 days now. I am trying to eat clean and exercise and you inspire me so much, Cassey. You gave me hope. Thank you :)

  8. Thanks for sharing, Sarah, and congrats on your transformation!

  9. Hey Ashley!

    Do you think you can be happy with your body the way that it is now, even without losing those last 10 pounds? That’s really what it comes down to. It’s totally cool if you’re looking to get in shape and become more physically active. We just want to make sure that you’re coming from a place of wanting to do your body well rather than disliking it and forcing yourself to change/lose weight.

    Love,
    Shannon

  10. Hey Dawn!

    Sorry for the late response! Hope you can still use it. :]

    I can guarantee you that a “quick fix diet” will not work. For starters, most dieters can the weight back within a year after coming off of the diet. And secondly, you’re going to want to focus on your relationship with food more so than what specifically you’re eating. I used to be in your position where I was eating 3,000 calories a day – of fruits and vegetables. Yes, it is possible.

    It would be most useful to you if you could look at WHY you are eating as much as you do (and I assure you it has nothing to do with your grandmother forcing you to eat 3x as much at meals). If you’re interested, I’d love to talk to you about it and help you move forward.

    Peace, Love & Joy
    Shannon

  11. Eating disorders and body dysmorphia are examples of mental disorders that stem from low self-image and a preoccupation with an imagined and exaggerated physical defect. While individuals suffering from BD may not necessarily have eating disorders too, it has been observed that all those with eating disorders are usually victims of BD. Also, if left untreated, body dysmorphic disorder could develop into an eating disorder as the obsession can transfer itself from a specific body part to the entire body image. There are a combination of therapies used to treat body dysmorphia that include psychotherapy (focussing on the underlying causes), group therapy (with family members) and medication comprising of anti-depressants. The prognosis is quite positive for people who follow treatment for BDD and further support from family and friends could enable a faster recovery. http://lovefitnesseducation.com/2012/09/25/eating-disorders-and-body-dysmorphia/ for an elaborate description of the disordera, their symptoms and treatment.

  12. Same here!! I have been recovering and Cassey has helped me a lot for the same reasons! You go girl!!

  13. Hi people! I used to be skinny, healthy and fit. Now I’m fat and unhappy. I used to have a b.m.i. of 21, now it’s 33. It’s all because of my binge disorder (opposite of anorexia basically). I stayed with my grandma in Australia month ago and she insisted I needed to gain weight and dished up my plate three times as full and she wouldn’t make me leave until I ate it all. I’m 19! Not a 4 year old who can’t pick what amount is right for them. Now I need to lose 50 pounds or so to feel good again. I used to work out 2 hours a day and now I’ve stopped because my grandma made me. That continued for 2 months. Now whenever I’m at home I have to eat everything even when I’m not hungry. I workout like 1 time a week for 20 min. I used to eat like 5,000 calories a day, now it’s down to 3,000ish, still far beyond what I need. I don’t know what to do! My sister’s wedding is in 3 weeks and I’m the maid of honor. I need to be able to fit into a size 2 dress again! I need help! Any quick fix diets?

  14. Hi! I’m glad I read this! A lot of people think I have a body image disorder. I’m 5’8″ and weigh 135lbs. I’m really trying hard to lose 10 lbs because I’m not happy with my body. Most people look at me like I’m nuts when I say that. But they don’t understand. I went from being 117lbs at my current height to 150lbs in a matter of a year. I lost 15lbs without noticing and can’t say how I did it except maybe eat better. Anyway, not many people understand how I feel. Gaining 33lbs in a year is a huge deal no matter if you started out thin and became “normal”. I just want to be in shape and active again. Even if I don’t physically lose the 10lbs I want to look like I did. Next time someone tells me I have a body image disorder I will show them this interview! Also thanks SO much for the videos! I used to be really in shape and these videos are kicking my butt!

  15. Hello Hannah,

    It’s amazing that you have chosen to be dedicated to a healthy lifestyle. Many people lack that dedication. My one concern is your missing menstrual cycle. It would be best to talk to your doctor about it. I would hate for there to be an underlying problem that goes unaddressed. If you feel like you may have a possible ed, find a counselor to talk to. It can be super helpful to have someone to vent to & listens without judgment. Hope this helps! Best wishes to you.

    -Via

  16. I think i might have an ED, i love my body but i became obsessed with healthy lifestyle..healthy eating and exercising on regular basis… at first it was really great i stopped eating sweets and unhealthy foods and my body became really toned … i think i paying so much attention to this topic because i’m bored… i eat about 5 small meals a day and in between i always think when will be the next time and what i’ll eat. I’m glad that i’m aware of it but i don’t know how to stop constantly thinking about these things.. also my period had stopped.. i’m really trying to recover.. i eat more and my exercises are less intense.. how can i stop thinking about food all the time?? (btw i’m healthy, i’m a little bit underweight but so do everyone at my family, it’s genetic.. no matter what we eat we stay skinny..) CAN YOU PLEASE HELP ME ?
    thanks,
    Hannah

  17. Rebecca says:

    That was really interesting. Thank you!

    Personally, I don’t really binge eat. A binge for me would be eating out and having pudding, but I see it all over Tumblr, so as Cassey is trying to educate her Popsters, I thought it would be worth a mention.

    All of you guys are doing a great job checking in on this post! It’s fantastic!

    R xx

  18. BED (Binge Eating Disorder) is a great topic. Again, many people binge eat but don’t have BED. Still, they suffer. People with BED are more likely to be depressed. You might be interested in the blogs I wrote to address BED and its treatment.
    A Reading List for Yo-Yo Dieters and Emotional Eaters bit.ly/GAMTvq
    Are You An Intuitive Eater? Take the Test http://bit.ly/LSaOrT
    Tweet What You Intuitively Eat bit.ly/yWdhzV
    My Intuitive Eating “Aha” Moment bit.ly/z2aO3c
    How Diets Make You Fat bit.ly/yB6QIA
    ARE foods addictive? bit.ly/tq7Rwq

  19. I really like this post.

    Imho..for us females to start appreciatin ourselves, we need to watch what the media feeds us. I have stopped reading gossip mags or going to gossip websites.

    They are so full of messages that encourage us to feel bad about ourselves. Freedom of ED’s is really in the mind. Everyone gets snidey remarks, but you just need to find a way to let go. You probably make some of your own. Really free your mind and the rest will follow :p

    I am sending lots of love to my ana’s and bulimics and bed’s out there, it’s not a nice place to be, be critical of what you are feeding your minds..please..it can be addictive to be in a negative spiral. Just remember that the ed doesn’t love you. It hates you and it wants to kill you. Please don’t choose death.. :( choose life. you are a beautiful person and you can brighten up so many lifes. Sorry for my blabbering..goodnight

  20. Anonymous says:

    Cassey, as someone who has been struggling with a serious ED for the past few years I just want to say your videos have actually helped me! I’m finally at a point in the recovery process where I can exercise without going to extremes. I love that you have a very positive outlook on exercise, and constantly mention getting stronger as opposed to getting thinner. And I love the beginner options. Sometimes I’ll be tempted to go at the highest level to get it done with and burn the most calories etc, but you’ll mention another way to do it and having that option there helps me to remember to stay at the level I can handle

  21. Anonymous says:

    I have to disagree about what you said about Mary. As someone who has struggled with a very serious ED, I was agreeing with her answers more. The definitions she gave were for two specific eating disorders: Anorexia nervosa and Bulimia nervosa.
    There are many, MANY other EDs. but those are the two most common and talked about. The ED definitions need to be strict to ensure people end up getting the help they need for that specific disorder.

  22. No matter how thin you are, you have the bloated, lazy days a.k.a fat days. Also, this is a personable FITNESS blog, in which there are many new women joining the journey. Her life is centered around being healthy; she talks about the physical appearance, as well as health benefits, to motivate women. I think we need to back of people who are into fitness. Also, again, this is a fitness blog.

  23. Thanks a million for this post, Cassey!

    I’m a recovered anorexic who has spent years re-establishing my relationship with food and exercise and re-learning to love my body. It’s often really hard to explain what I went through (and in some instances, some of the things I’m still working through). I really appreciate that you went to the experts for answers (especially two experts coming from two particularly different areas of expertise) because not only have they helped me articulate some of the things I’ve always had a hard time expressing, they’ve also helped spread some light on things I’m still struggling with and with things I never completely understood about they way I felt in regards to what I went going through.

    There is SO much valuable information in these interviews and I’ll be sure to share it around. Thanks for making something so positive come from the critiques and criticism you’ve received! I’m interested to know if/how this information will impact what you do moving forward.

  24. I think this is an issue of semantics. “Eating Disorders,” including AN, bulimia, Binge-Eating Disorder (BED), and Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (EDNOS), have actual clinical definitions, but there are no universal terms to describe the aberrant eating patterns that are rampant in our culture. But, surely, they exist. Try taking The Eating Attitudes Test (EAT-26) featured in my blog today. It is the most widely used test to screen for concerns and symptoms of eating and exercise disorders.

  25. Emma, I agree with you. Love is an important part of healing, but there’s a difference between doing therapy and delivering factual information on a clinical topic. I answered Cassey’s questions, as they were as asked, as a licensed clinician. You might answer questions about your work in a similar way. Registered dietitians are trained to care for all kinds of nutrition-related problems, no matter how complicated or difficult to solve. With that said, no one can make assumptions about a therapist’s personal experiences. Therapy is about love and support, but it is also about bringing crummy feelings to the surface. As Ben Franklin said, “those things that hurt instruct.” Best wishes for your continued recovery. ~Mary

  26. Thanks, Sunny. I posted a blog about that, “Helping Cassey Ho” – http://bit.ly/MzttL6 – on my website today.

  27. Beautifully said, Carina! “Not only skinny people have eating disorders.”
    Bulimics often tend to maintain their weight, as calories are absorbed within the first ten minutes of eating. Thus the purging is only denying them the nutrients from the food, instead of ridding them of the calories.
    DSM-IV serves a purpose, but it also makes it so that eating disorders are diagnosed later on, instead of being nipped in the bud. The physical criteria are only a part- a lot of it is the mental criteria, the obsession with food, exercise, and weight. I’m sorry you were turned away from the doctor early on because you didn’t meet the diagnosis! If we focused more on the behaviors and raised awareness in schools, among parents and tweens/teens, I think we’d have a great chance at preventing eating disorders and catching them early on.

  28. I think it’s great that you’ve done this post, it’s good to get the message out there but I also think it’s unfair that there’s no mention of EDNOS on here. Before I was diagnosed fully bulimic, I was diagnosed as EDNOS first due to the fact that, at the time, I had all the characteristics of an anorexic, I did not have the BMI. I struggled with my eating disorder alone for a long time before I got this diagnosis thinking that there was nothing wrong because I wasn’t thin and my friends and family thought the same thing. I think it is really important that people understand that you don’t have to be emaciated in order to be suffering from an eating disorder. I’ve never been a typically anorexic weight however I’ve had a severe eating disorder for so long now that it’s caused enough damage for me to be unable to (or at least highly unlikely to) have children. I just wanted to comment and explain my situation as it may help people understand that eating disorders can be just as serious in those of a normal or even higher weight.

    Also, I don’t think your videos are thinspo or triggering. Watching your videos as well as other online fitness gurus, has made me want to be healthy and get better because I know that being unhealthy means I’d never have a strong body like yours! :)

  29. Absolutely true. Eating disorders are first and foremost about control, and a neurotic but understandble need to experience some sort of autonomy and order in a world that may seem chaotic, in many cases in the vulnerable teenage years but also later on in life. I’ve been an anorexit for 7 years and I do remember when it all started for me. I probably weighed around 126 which is considered a healthy weight for a girl who is 5’10. My mom took me to our doctor because she had noticed my changing eating patterns and my overexcessive workouts and was very worried. My doctor sent us back home. I was fine, I was healthy which was evident; my weight was perfect. Not until a year later when I weighed 73 lbs was I considered an anorexic. I was then diagnosed with Anorexia Nervosa and at the same time I was dragged off to a hospital.
    So yes, I would also be very very careful to say that you have to weigh a certain percentage of your expected body weight to have an ED. Not only skinny people have eating disorders.

  30. I totally agree with Charlotte. I have BA in psychology, and the DSM-IV has specific sets of symptoms will classify a patient as having anorexia or bulimia. You can actually qualify for anorexia nervosa and be binging and purging, or qualify for bulimia nervosa and be starving yourself. The specific diagnoses are mostly semantics, but the important thing to remember is that they really are serious psychological disorders and not something to be taken lightly!

  31. ya i DEF dont think u have a ED! like many others said…its ur JOB to be fit n eat rite! if u didnt work out as much as u do or do ur classes n ate BK or McDs then u wouldnt have the awesome energy u have or ur amazing body! lol but reading about he image disorder or wut ever its calld…kinda scared me! :/ im soo like that! but i think a LOT of us females do have that unfortunately cuz we do see those skinny models who 99% in the mags are photoshoped! but we think thats pretty or beautiful so we look at their bodies n look at ours n compare.

  32. Erika Foster says:

    I’ve nerver had a healthy relationship with food, ever. For the first portion of my life I was a binge eater, then I became bulimic for like 4 years. And yes, stuff will trigger you anywhere and everywhere. But I truly think that you can’t expect the world to just become a bubble for you because you have an ED. You have to go to therapy and try to change your head, because the world is not going to change for you.
    For me, I follow a lot of blogs on tumblr and stuff, and a lot of it is really triggering. But the trigger part for me (and for a lot of people recovering from EDs) is the guilt trips, stuff like “You ate this and this, so you have to exercise” “you have to look this or that way if you want to wear a bikini” etc etc. I think it’s very ok to say that ‘thin’ is good. Because it is, but so is being ‘fat’ if you’re healthy.
    I try to not be bothered by guilt trips in fit blogs and etc. But I won’t follow or look up to people that encorage you to have unhealthy habits.
    I think that you, Cassey, are a very very good role model. You always encourage us to eat clean and exercise. And those are both good things, doesn’t matter if you want to lose weight or not. Eating clean and exercising is something you oughta strive for if you want to have a healthy relationship with your body. And, personally, I don’t find you triggering much, some things here and there trigger me (ie, guilt trips). But as I said, the trigger is not from the world, but from the people with ED and they are the ones that should learn how to cope with it.
    I think you are expressing yourself just fine, and you should keep what you’re doing =) I find you very motivating in a good way! I absolutely love your videos!
    <3

  33. of course! if i had a problem, i’d want it checked out so i put it out there. thanks for being a part of our community! <3 u!

  34. Kathleen says:

    She said that was the diagnostic criteria for anorexia nervosa, not for all eating disorders. Even though people seem to talk the most about that specific eating disorder there are many other forms that disordered eating can take.

  35. Rebekah says:

    I completely agree! It’s a two way street; just as you wouldn’t tell a larger person to eat less, it’s equally as rude to tell a thinner person to eat more.

  36. Charlotte says:

    I think you may be unaware that this figure comes from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders (aka DSM-IV), which is what doctors use to actually give a diagnosis of these two disorders. It is based on scientific evidence and research and is compiled by the American Psychiatric Association. There is a new version coming out soon, which is promised to have updated figures for these and many more disorders, based on the latest evidence. Perhaps it will include eating disorders specifically for clinically obese people as you suggest should be included.

  37. I would be careful about saying that you have to weigh less than 85% of expected body weight to have an ED, because not everyone’s body will respond the same to it. Fat people can have eating disorders too.

  38. I agree with what Mary Hartley said in response to the last question. Cassey’s job is to be fit. She eats healthy food and exercises more than the average person, but that is literally her job and something she enjoys doing! It’s not my job to be fit. It’s my goal to be healthy, maybe, but no one cares if I fit into a size 8 or a size 2. So sometimes when I read how hard Cassey works out and how clean she eats, it does seem a bit extreme and not something I would want to do… But that doesn’t make her behaviour eating disordered.

  39. Corinne says:

    I’m happy that you talked about this topic i did have some experience with a eating disorder. anorexia and binge eating. i’m a lot better now and i just appreciate that you did talk about this because it is a issue

  40. I think it took courage for you to even put your posts up for professional scrutiny, which shows how much you truly care. I struggle with body image, but I love this website. It’s upbeat, happy, positive, and encouraging. I’ve never once felt like blogilates has tried to “change me,” pressure me to be someone I’m not, or even lose weight. I’ve felt that it has encouraged me to push myself to build muscle and burn a little excess fat, which is exactly what a site devoted to exercise and health SHOULD do! So thank you Cassey for taking the time to put this article together even though it was just a minority of people that were feeling angry or upset. Your dedication to this site shows through in more ways than you might know! Much love from the other side of the coast (Florida)!!! <3

  41. I’m more than happy to answer any questions about BED, as that has also been my experience. (Didn’t seem to have quite a healthy relationship with food, eh?) But I agree that it’s important to address binge eating disorders as well, as they can be equally devastating. They’re also not as commonly acknowledged or recognized as anorexia and bulimia, so raising awareness is key.

  42. Absolutely! We also didn’t talk too much about Binge Eating Disorders (BED) and Compulsive Eating, two other important topics to discuss.

  43. Didn’t expect to meet so many of us in here xD

  44. Excellent point. No one has a right to judge our bodies! A tool that I find helpful is to find a way that feels right to you to assert your boundaries. For instance, saying “I’m not comfortable with you making comments about my weight” and leaving it at that. What other people think of you is THEIR business and I’m sure they wouldn’t want you doing the same to them.

  45. April,

    I LOVE what you wrote about eating to get nutrition (I call it eating to “thrive”). That’s a great point and I think Cassey does an excellent job of reminding us that eating is about nourishing our bodies with healthy foods, not about calorie counting and restrictive diets.

  46. Emma,

    I feel you, girl! Finding my way into holistic treatment is really what got me soaring through recovery. I found myself being triggered a lot when the focus was on food and discovered that finding my emotional triggers and working with my whole self (through a loving approach, of course) was what helped me to change my thoughts and eating patterns.

    Much love to you and here’s to a thorough and successful recovery! <3

  47. As an individual who has experienced the grips of BID, Bulimia, Anorexia AND Binge Eating Disorder over the past 5 years my weight has fluctuated over the same 16lbs and cause a lot of insecurities but in all honesty Cassey, you help me to fight them. Definitely not encourage them! I found myself caught in the realms of tumblr amongst the ‘thinspo’ tags and have experienced pro-ana and pro-mia blogs first hand so have pretty clear standards for comparison, you in no way have ever suggested or idealised weightloss for your followers, you simply make the information about HEALTHY body transformations available to those looking for it.
    I respect and admire the fact that you personally took it upon yourself to research ED’s because you were worried about us, your POPster’s and that you obtained answers from two different perspectives but I feel that the regimented and, to my mind, what felt like scripted clinical advice given from the dietician may be factually correct but are not what somebody in the process of recovering from an ED need’s to hear, as I know for a fact that listing the attributes of an anorexic or bulimic in such a way as was done here would have, only a few months ago, caused me to relapse and spiral back into the abyss in fear that I wasn’t thin enough to have an ED, or wasn’t deserving of help yet, because it hadn’t gotten bad enough. When it your the mentality which causes an eating disorder, not the scale.
    That is of no use to anyone, so for me personally the loving approach of someone who I knew to understand my mentality such as the Holistic one above, would be more beneficial and Cassey your constant positivity and energy is enough to bring a smile and set me back on track if I do make a slip up so, from the bottom of my heart,

    Thank You!

  48. Hi Cassey,

    Personally I do not have an eating disorder, but to me your posts always come across as focussing on being healthy and happy with who you are. You inspire people to be fit, not necessarily thin. You also make it clear that we need to listen to our bodies and never put our health at risk. You always inspire me to be constructive instead of destructive. I’ve had friends with an eating disorder and I’ve realised that it’s rather the pressure of everyday life that gets them going and the misconception that they have to be perfect, so they try to take control in one certain area. Even well-meant compliments can be interpreted wrongly and until people with a disorder learn to change their thought-pattern there is really nothing much you can do to avoid them being triggered. We can only try and stay positive and focus on being healthy and I think you always manage to bring this positive message across.

    So I just want you to remember that you are in inspiration to so many people, in a good way.

    cheers,
    Kelly

  49. I have to admit that I was a little worried about this when I saw the post you wrote proclaiming you were going to do some research on the subject since I have been anorectic for 2 years and anorexic for my entire life and I have seen so many articles that just further promote all of the misconceptions around EDs. This post covered them very accurately, though and I am very happy that it did. Thank you for getting the right information out there!
    You are not triggering anyone. Everything you say and do promotes a healthy lifestyle and never once have you told people they need to be thin. You’re promoting health, which is good. A lot of times the people that develop eating disorders start by trying to get healthy and they take it to the extreme, which is probably why some people have accused you of being triggering. They just don’t understand what it means to be healthy and what it means to be disordered.
    Thank you for being such a wonderful inspiration and writing this wonderful post.

  50. Cassey,
    I have suffered with an eating disorder my whole because my family is unhealthy. Now I’m doing very well, but what I wanted to say is you do not have an eating disorder! You eat to survive and to get nutrition. I have struggled with eating because of feelings and not eating because of feelings. You are healthy and helped me to be more healthy.

  51. Prefers to be anon says:

    I was confronted by a friend who said that she was worried I have an eating disorder. I eat about 2400 calories per day, but she said that she believes it is considered a disorder when it impacts your everyday life. She feels this way because I won’t go out to eat with friends when they are going to fast food places, I pack my lunch to school everyday to avoid eating cafeteria food, and I spend a lot of time in my day researching recipes, cooking & freezing future meals, etc. I started wondering if I did have an ED because I am very careful about what I eat (more because I am concerned about chemicals and standards of the food, and less about weight gain).
    Then I thought to myself, “When did being healthy become a disorder ”
    :(

    I feel it is very judgmental to look at a woman who is thin and strong and automatically label her to have an eating disorder. When someone comments on your photos saying “you need to eat more”, it is just like commenting on a larger woman’s photo and flat out saying “you need to eat less.” It is wrong to judge someone in that manner.

  52. You shed light on a very important caveat to the term “eating disorder.” As someone who is on a recovery journey from anorexia and FAT, it is important to note that a person does not have to fit the standard criteria for “anorexia,” “bulimia,” “FAT,” etc. to have disordered perceptions of one’s self. Thank you.

  53. Julianna says:

    Cassey! You do NOT have an eating disorder. All of the people who are saying this don’t follow you blog everyday and just base their thoughts on the very little they read about, or see you. In other words, they are judgmental. Probs cause they’re jealous. Please Cassey, don’t focus on the 3 mean comments you get, look at the 100 000 nice ones :) Some really negative people out there are just bored with their lives so they want to make others feel bad. The important thing is that YOU know that you don’t have any eating disorders. Don’t listen to others if they’re just going to bring you down. The best thing you could do with mean comments is block them out :)
    Love yaaaaaa!!!! – Julianna♥

  54. I grew up with an eating disorder. I didn’t get professional help because I didn’t fit the diagnoses 100%. I do have to say though, in my opinion, there is no such thing as a recovered anorexic. You will always have those tendencies, its all about your ability to reign them in and understand they are not healthy. Your blog has helped me a lot in my journey to have a healthy lifestyle. My need to look strong and healthy, outweighs my thoughts of losing weight. I still have times when I have to literally stop myself from skipping meals, for weight loss. This was a great learning experience for your a lot of your readers, but I would at the same time like to encourage every one to do their own research on eating disorders, because there is so much more than what is posted here to them.

  55. Jennifer Farmer says:

    Cassey, you are wonderful. I follow your workouts and for the first time I have an amazing body because of you. I do not believe for one minute you have an eating disorder. You look healthy. My husband saw your picture yesterday and said “wow that chick has a smokin hot body”. These “fans” making the comments to you are jealous. People are so mean and cruel in this world. Keep doing what you are doing. I love all your blogs and workouts and I am so glad to have found you.

  56. I agree with Lucy’s comments about Mary and Shannon. It felt like Mary was just repeating things she had read and not things she had experienced or learned from others. I especially disliked her strict definition on what constitutes an eating disorder. It’s that mentality that may make people believe that what they’re doing isn’t an ED, even if it is or could be. I do appreciate you posting these interviews because they were interesting. I would just hope that anyone with an unhealthy relationship with food and/or their body image would seek some professional counseling. Chance are that if you have an ED you know about it, and just because it doesn’t match someone else’s definition doesn’t mean it’s not an ED.

  57. Loved the article Cassey!
    Just a note about ‘thinspiration’… I’ve noticed on Pinterest, there are more ‘strong is the new skinny’ pins.
    Going through a divorce, I have noticed a change in my eating patterns as well as my exercise habits. I run more to relieve more stress. Seeing the positive message of ‘strong is the new skinny’ has truly helped ME to understand weight loss is healthy when done the right way. I don’t just want to be skinny, I want to be fit and toned.

    I am very grateful for my Blogilates community and for Cassey who encourage me to be healthy and strong.
    :)

  58. I’ve never commented here before, but I wanted to say that I think it says a lot about you, Cassey, that you are listening to readers when they say they might be getting triggered and you took it upon yourself to learn more about EDs and talk to professionals. I think that was such a caring and responsible response. And as for posts being triggering, I know of other blogs that use content notes to inform readers about potential triggers. For example, a post might start off with something like “content note: discussions about dieting”, that way readers know what to expect and can opt out of reading. Maybe something similar would be helpful? Also, one last thing, neither of the professionals mentioned this but your readership is so big that I think it’s important: EDs are very linked to prior sexual trauma, so if that’s the case for any readers, just know that it’s common and you’re not alone. Rainn.org is a really good resource for survivors.

  59. Tatyana says:

    I think this is a good one. Most I like the set-up with another with personal experience with eating disorder and another who hasn’t been there… it really shows in their responses. That’s not a bad thing. It just shows what’s the difference between experiencing it and reading about it and how different kind of professionals these learning styles create.

    And what comes to you triggering someone, well if that’s the case they are seeking something to trigger them to act in certain way. I’m hard trying to get well from 14 year long ed and learn to enjoy life without these black and white extremes. Right now I don’t have any professional guidance and your blog is really a message towards the right and healthier path. You’re inspiring in a good way and you’re not provoking my demons in anyway rather helping me to get rid of them. But if someone WANTS to find an inspiration to unhealthy behavior, it’s so sure that they WILL and at that point it really doesn’t matter what’s the real meaning and message behind since they will remember, notice and see only those parts that are convenient for them. So don’t you worry, there’s nothing what you can do about people who want (what ever reason) to read wrong. Just do your thing and keep inspiring people, you’re doing the right thing!

  60. Hillary says:

    Pilates makes me feel GOOD about my body, not bad. It makes me LOVE my body, as I see it transform after hard work.Cassey you are an example of a healthy body and a dedicated mind. You are giving people motivation and inspiration toward a healthy and happy body.

    From Hillary in New Zealand

  61. I definitely dont think you have an issue with ed. Im not small, and i could easily say you have an ed, but i dont because i see that you have a relationship with food in a good way. As well as with exercising, you make it fun for yourself and for others. I actually enjoy your workouts, i might not do them all the time, but when i do, i thoroughly enjoy them! And most blogs that are similar to yours, tend to gear towards you need to lose weight, this is how much you should weigh. Never once have i felt that from you, if i did, i would have stopped subscribing to your blog.

    But i truly believe you promote a healthy lifestyle, and the way you go about it is definitely different, but none of it is extreme and a lot of it doesn’t require any fancy equipments (for food or exercising), or appears to be gimmicky.

    Sure you’re doing the vegan challenge now, but so many people live that lifestyle, and you’re merely trying it out to see how it works, and sometimes doing it as a group challenge is more motivating than trying it on your own. Most people probably have been curious to see if they could do it, and this just opens a door to them.

    I see it as you’re just opening people’s eyes to new things without having to resort to crazy, obsessive habits.

    Thank you cassey!

  62. I agree with everybody, it’s silly to even connect you to terms like anorexic. Yes, after the bikini competition you were the leanest we’ve ever seen you, but not in a million years would I think of putting you in the same group as people with ED’s. On the contrary, you look like a person who enjoys eating her food. The only difference is that your food is healthy! :D

    lots of love,
    Dilek

  63. Valeria says:

    I haven’t been following you for that long, but the reason I started following you is that you do not concentrate on the aspect of weight loss, but on increasing the fitness level of your followers. And I think that is amazing! That is what women need! I am not interested in being skinny, I am interested in being a healthy, fit, dynamic, strong young woman , and make the most of my body and my character, and you help me get to my goal. Thank you!

  64. Natasha says:

    Cassey–I can’t tell you how important it is that for one of your contributors you chose a dietitian. My husband is a clinical dietitian and sees people occasionally who have ED and BID, and he’s been trained to do these consultations. Not all nutritionists are trained and haven’t gone to school for it. RDs have, have done an internship and taken a test. They are also required to take classes throughout their career to stay up-to-date on information. Thank you for posting this information for your readers.

  65. I’m glad you did a post on this topic! Given your recent physical transformation, I can completely understand where the whispers have come from. It may be hard for people to understand (or remember!) that you’ve been through some intense training and dieting for your bikini comp. Any time someone who regularly exercises and eats healthy ALSO loses a lot of body fat or weight, the eating disorder bells start ringing. Your body has changed a lot, will it stay this way? Who knows?! The good thing is, you’re pretty honest about it, you’re happy with the way you look, and you’re trying to find a workout plan/diet that will allow you to achieve that. Those who care about you will just hope that you in no way push yourself too hard to maintain this new standard.

    I found myself wondering if you feel pressure to keep your bikini comp body, especially as you become more popular and more of a public figure. I can also see how it puts pressure on your students/blog followers to feel that they should ALSO reach that standard. As you become more popular, people will find you harder to relate to…so they want to find flaws to bring you back down. But as long as you continue to be honest with the amount of work you’re putting in, and the type of diet you follow, then you shouldn’t feel responsible for other peoples insecurities or fitness expectations.

    Your body pre-competition was fabulous as well, you were the ‘every girl’ and now you’re the ‘fitness guru’. Both are great! Just do what makes you healthy and happy :)

  66. Lauren P says:

    Thank you SO much for posting this.
    I know you probably get told all the time that you are “obsessive” about diets, but people need to understand it’s YOUR JOB! If it wasn’t your JOB, you wouldn’t be talking about it all the time. It’s great that you like your job and help people and promote HEALTH. More people are dying from obesity-related illnesses than are dying of cigarettes, so in my mind, you are saving lives. You are the healthiest person i know! And you have inspired me so much.
    I’ve made my own blog on healthy eating and exercise and i CONSTANTLY send people here. I’ve been eating much cleaner, which you inspired me to do, and i have gotten so lean, it’s crazy awesome!! I see so many poor girls on tumblr with ED that come to me and are “suprised that i can be so thin and be eating”. I posted some of this on my blog and maybe that will reach a few people. Of course, i’m sending them all to your blog. And your workouts are incredible and i do a few of them a week!!
    Thanks so much Cassey! KEEP IT UP!!!

  67. Cassey,
    I applaud you for again tackling this challenging issue. And way to go on getting two different perspectives on the subject as well as opening yourself up to potential criticism from both of them by asking honest questions about your blog and videos. I think that truly shows how interested you are in promoting health not an unattainable ideal. I always find it strange when people call you out for encouraging everyone to be strong and healthy. Especially when there are things like juice diets, cotton ball diets and other really dangerous things out there.
    I think my favorite thing about your approach is your attitude of “Hey this works for me and it might work for you.” Your bikini competition is the best example. So many times during those posts you talked about YOUR journey. There was never pressure that anyone else should be doing it. When it was over you even discussed the things you really didn’t like about it, i.e. lack of a well rounded diet including fruit and carbs.
    It is true that sometimes I look at the photographs of you and get jealous (who wouldn’t), but then I remind myself, hey this is Cassey’s job! I don’t think I’d want to take fitness advice or a group class from someone who wasn’t in amazing shape. It is the same approach I have to celebrities. Often I will joke with my friends, imagine what we could look like if someone paid us to work out!
    OK enough rambling. Bottom line, keep doing what you’re doing! You are an amazing inspiration and resource for many, many people.

  68. Michaela says:

    I have never felt that your work promoted anything other than a positive attitude to a healthy lifestyle. I admit that I was concerned when you went in for the bikini competition but only because of my preconceptions about being judged on appearances alone and I failed to understand at the time that this was a short term challenge for you.

    I have been lazy lately but have found if I set myself a goal and post it on blogilates fb then I get the motivation to see it through. For me, you are providing a support network of like-minded people as well as an up-beat pick-and-mix exercise program.

    Mxx

  69. Corinna says:

    Thank you Cassey for this interesting post.
    I have problems with my body image for years. Your blog is an inspiration for me to gain weight on a healthy way. I´m underweight and i have to gain weight but I´m also scared about it.
    But i try my best. :)

  70. Rebecca says:

    Personally I find all of your articles well-thought out, if not insightful. It seems as if you strive to be ultra P.C. and not offend your readers. While I have never found anything offensive, or misleading in your material, there will never be 100% satisfaction among the masses. As one of your experts said, if you have a problem, avoid material that may bother you. If I was an alcoholic, I wouldn’t read a wine magazine and then tell them they had “triggered” my alcoholism.
    Thank you for being a happy, healthy enthusiast, who inspires so many.

  71. Carina Cristina says:

    Me three!

  72. Haha, I’m Danish too :D

  73. Carina Cristina says:

    As a recovered anorexic, I just want to say that to me this is a safe environment.
    This community promotes health as well as physical and mental strength and stability. I feel inspired! Not tempted to fall back into bad habits :) In fact I feel better about myself now than I have for years. Great job, Cassey! You’re doing something really amazing.

  74. Thank you for this Cassey, it was really interesting to read~ Having two different viewpoints is really important. I really enjoy your blog. I’ve had problems with my body image for years and finding blogs like your which promote health over image and strength over skinny have been so inspirational. I love my body, saddle bags, muffin top, bingo wings and all! You give women (and men) something to work towards. Fitness goals, healthier eating – even just looking and feeling better whilst you workout (loved the t-shirt DIY!) my overall goal is to be healthy and strong but within that I have smaller ones: to do full plank for 30secs (right now I’m at 20), to do a bridge (I can get my shoulders off the ground but not my head as yet) and do a handstand – strengthing my core and trusting my body more.
    EDs are a serious matter and the fact you have created this post shows how much you care about your readers and your own health. Thank you for everything~~

  75. Such an important topic! I’ve shared a text written by another blogger sharing her story of recovering from an eating disorder on my blog here if you’d want to take a look: http://www.afternoonapparel.com/2011/03/feminine-bravery-6th-edition.html

    Have a beautiful Sunday!

  76. I feel like its important to note anorexia and bulimia are not the only forms of ED. I suffered for years from FAT (female athlete triade syndrome) after I convinced myself for years I was just being a devoted athlete… I *love* your workouts and generally I love the inspiration you provide everyone but I often think- having been there myself- a lot of what you say/do looks an awful lot like what I used to do/think. Eating clean is excellent and being passionate about what you do is crucial but EDs are centered around obsession over physical appearance which you obviously have a problem with. If it was simply about being healthy you would leave it at the results of health and leave out all the other stuff. Just using phrases like “I feel like I’m having a fat day” or anything along those lines shows its not about health but actually quite the opposite. Keep up the great work… but tread carefully.

  77. This really shows how much you care about your followers. I think this is a great way to assure people that you only want to promote health not eating disorders and unhealty view on yourself. Keep up the good work.

  78. I cant believe that some people Think that you May have an eating disorder. In my eyes you have nothing to do with that. For me you are an inspiration of the healty life. If these people knew People with eating disorder, they Would easely tell that on the outside, with what you share with us, isn’t at All like an person with this disorder, West put things and se things. . I just Want you to know that. Unfortunately i know ( Too many) with that horrible disease, and im glad that you are speaking about the subjekt in here, so that Every body Can know what it means to have somrthing serious like that is.

    By the Way- i Love your pilates videos, you make me Feel happy after Every workout :) not only on the outside But on the inside. I Think you are Great, and that There should be more friendly, fesh and outgoing People like you in this World :)!
    And As we say in Denmark – du er så sej! (kind of transleted – you go Girl ;) )

  79. Rebecca says:

    Another thing Cassey – go on tumblr and look up the following hash tags:

    #fitspo
    #fitspiration
    #fitblr

    Then look up yourself:

    #Cassey Ho
    #Blogilates
    #Pop Pilates
    #Pop Cardio

    You will see you are only ever mentioned as a healthy inspiration.

    Much love, R Xxx

  80. Cassey, you’re an inspiration. You promote self love in the form of taking care of your body. It’s great. But, I don’t really like the article. I feel like Shannon was spot on with what she was saying, having experienced an ED first hand. But Mary seemed a bit uneducated on the subject. You could tell Shannon really understood, and the way she spoke about recovery was right. I would have liked it if the focus of the article wasn’t so much on the ‘thin’ eating disorders, and more info on other eating disorders which many people often do not understand at all or don’t even know about. Shannon mentioned them a few times, however Mary seemed very focused on Anorexia and Bulimia. I’m glad you’ve taken the initiative to delve deeper on the subject and I would love it if you would a REALLY in depth article in the near future, showing people they don’t need to be thin to have an eating disorder, and busting some myths about eating disorders as well.
    Much love and happy vibes xx

  81. Christina says:

    Yeah, I wouldn’t consider you anorexic or border line anorexic at all! Those two experts have made that clear as well. If people see it that way then they have an unhealthy relationship with their body. Just because you’re exercising, showing people how to eat clean and work out their bodies does NOT in any shape or form make you someone who has an eating disorder. It’s all inspiration not this “thinspiration” which shows just skin and bones and to skip meals and eat one celery stick then entire day!
    I feel for you because since I started to work out at a young age, my whole family thought and sometimes still thinks that I have the exercise anorexia disorder. Which wasn’t fair! I would work out 1 hour four-five days a week and eat good food and they thought I was overdoing it. It sucks when you have family and/or friends who don’t understand that you want to do good for your body so that it is good to you or to see if you can somehow get to a point in exercise where you can do something that looks incredibly challenging and concur it.
    To be honest with you, I think they are just jealous. A lot of people don’t like admitting this. But they probably are. A girl who is growing as successful as you who is helping people for FREE and now is in the spotlight (magazines, that competition, your blog, etc), that causes many women and/or men to feel jealous…which they shouldn’t because you are HELPING them become HEALTHY. NOT helping them to become ultra skinny or bring out their inner anorexic….
    Goodness sorry for the rant. Probably didn’t make any sense. Anyways, GREAT blog and keep it up. I like how you research things in order for people to know the real deal. Keep your head up!

  82. Anonymous says:

    Great post Cassey. Fab to have someone out in the spotlight promoting ED awareness and recovery. I was however a little disappointed with the lack of treatment of Binge Eating Disorder- Shannon touched on it a little, Mary hardly at all. As a young woman recovering from BED with occasional purging tendencies, I often feel a little “left out” from the ED help community and often looked upon as someone who just needs to have a “bit more self control”. The lack of recognition of the many people out there suffering from this disorder can often result in increased feelings of worthlessness, shame and self-hate. I don’t want to trivialise the suffering of people with anorexia or bulimia, but as the most common ED (to my knowledge), and with often equally distressing effects to one’s life, I think BED needs a bit more thorough a treatment by the health/fitness community.

    Great post otherwise, Cassey!

  83. Katherine says:

    Cassey, just wanted to say this is a brilliant and very responsible way to approach eating disorders. What Mary said about triggers is true – you can’t be expected not to write about some aspect of health or fitness because it may be a trigger, because life is full of triggers and people with eating disorders (and any other form of mental health problem) need to learn how to respond to those triggers.

    Been a (mostly silent) fan for a while now. Coming from a healthcare professional’s standpoint though, I wanted to say how impressed I am that you tackled this head on. Not many people would be that brave.

  84. Rebecca says:

    Cassey, you should ask them to discuss B.E.D as well, as it’s probably more prevalent than bulimia and anorexia.

    You aren’t triggering Cassey, because you always discuss having “your own personal best body” a healthy way.

    Don’t worry, you are fantastic and give a lot of girls hope and confidence.

Trackbacks

  1. […] And to finish it off with love, the most useful tool in the recovery process, an interview from Blogilates: […]

  2. […] this to light because we had such a positive response when I wrote about anorexia and bulemia in an older post. People’s knowledge of binge eating as an ED is not as prevalent as with the two I formerly […]

  3. […] She interviews experts on ED and body image disorder […]

  4. […] had many more questions, and you can read my answers at Bringing it to Light: Eating Disorders on Bloglates.com. I thank Cassey for trusting my professional advice, and I wish her smooth sailing […]

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