On the surface of things, anorexia and diets look very much the same. The behaviors are the same. The words that follow such thinking are the same. The goals look the same. The differences are subtle, and lurking beneath the surface; it requires a trained a eye to spot the variances. Deep beneath the surface, however, the thoughts are vastly different... While a dieter may believe that it would be healthier to lose a little weight, it'd be great to fit back into some smaller jeans, or maybe he/she wants to look amazing at an upcoming event, the anorexic tends to focus more on being a better person by losing weight. And the goals are completely different. While the dieter generally has a numerical goal, the anorexic typically wants to weigh "less". The trouble with aiming for less? It's an unreachable goal... Ever shifting, and dangerously so...

***To read the rest, please see my blog. :)***


Happy New Year! ♥


Thank you Jen..as always, your 'voice' is inspiring..♥

Very very true Jen..

true jen---both EDs and deits are awful and they both mess up your body! they both suck.....either way you end up hurting yourself!



jen, it's great that you are pointing out the differences.

not every diet ends in anorexia/ED.
it really depends on what one tried to achieve with losing that bit of weight. if one is trying to fill a deep inner void, numb any feelings or control whatever else is going on in life it may certainly be more than just a simple diet...



You’re right. :slight_smile: Not every diet ends in anorexia. But the vast majority of people with anorexia, or any other ED, began by dieting. In writing this piece, I was thinking about how confused I was when I first joined this site; I wondered if my “dieting” practices were “normal”, or if I did indeed have an eating disorder. It took me a lot of time and work and talking to friends here before I could see the difference between the two, and accept my own situation and need for help. :heart: My own recovery has been a long and arduous journey, and anything I can do to help others begin to help themselves and/or a loved one that may be suffering, I will do with gratefulness. :slight_smile:



but maedi, i think it is important to point out that, deits as well as anoreixia , starvation and or bulimia can both have detrimnetal effects on the body such as a slowed metabolism, thyroid disease, malnutrition, and many other health problems ... they are actually more similiar than different( anorexia and diets) they both have the same awful motto of 'eat less, excercise more" they both leave you hungry and unhappy and they both have you burn wayyy more than you consume. in both cases you end up starving yourself( with anoreixa you really starve). while true diets are not exactly ED they are the leading CAUSE OF EDs as well as obesity.

they both destroy your metabolism, leading you to a higher set point weight( like me now). and once your metabolism is screwed there is not much you can do...other than hope it heals itself...

both diets and ana and EDs are very similiar but different; yet the similarites outweight the differences.

anyway, lol, just my two cents


Yes, not all people who suffer from an eating disorder became sick from dieting, but it is common.
The facts are that diets don't work, and the risks involved, from many perspectives, are not worth taking.
Dieting IS the number one risk factor for developing an eating disorder, and research data continues to prove that people who diet, especially one diet after another, end up at a higher weight in the end than when they began. Dieting/weight loss also leads to a greater risk of the psychological issues that accompany an eating disoder: higher body dissatisfaction, food/weight obsessions, decreased metabolism (which results in weight gain over time, and a higher set point), and increased psychological problems.
If diets worked, people would not be trying to lose weight for years and years. It they worked, the dieting industry would not need to continue to come up with new approaches, most of which are more and more dangerous, and the dieting industry wouldn't be taking over 60 billion dollars of American money each year (not counting other countries).
There is never a good reason to diet. Yes, diabetics often need to follow a special eating plan to control their blood sugar, but that is not a 'diet', as we all know them. Being at a low weight has a higher mortality risk than obesity. YES, it's true.
The messages that we all see/hear in society and the media daily tells us the opposite of this, but of course they would not sell their products or their magazines if they did. It's no wonder that we all think it's OK to try to change our bodies. But every BODY is different. Our weight is genetically determined, just as our height and eye color. When we try to manipulate that, it can cause all types of problems, some very long term, and some fatal.
Be honest....is there a weight where any of us would always feel 'OK', or 'acceptable' or thin enough? NO! Because every day our emotions will be different, and if we equate how we FEEL with a need to make our bodies look a certain way, it will never work.
Sorry for the 'soapbox', but this is the exact topic that I present in the middle and high schools about. "The Dangers of Dieting and Why They Don't Work"
It's also become very obvious to me just how superficial the effort becomes after a time.
Take care...Jan ♥

Thank you, Jan! :heart: You are always a source of inspiration, wisdom, and knowledge. :slight_smile:

I’m curious… I suppose it’s possible to develop anorexia without passing through a diet… Perhaps if one begins following accidental weight loss, in the case of an illness or injury… What other causes are there? :slight_smile:

With many other eating disorders, the causes would naturally be more varied… Interesting to me. :slight_smile:

And GREAT point about dieting… There never IS a good reason to diet. :slight_smile:

I’d love to hear that talk! :heart:


Thanks for this one Jen.

Dieting can definitely lead to anorexia. Originally I did not become anorexic through diieting, but I relapsed after going on a diet about a year ago when I saw a photo of myself that I did not like. As the weight dropped off, the anorexic voice came back. Being anorexic again bought back so many memories that I tried to shut away all those years ago, and I have realised that I was never truely recovered. I have so many underlying issues that I need to deal with in order to be fully recovered. For now, I take each day as it comes, and deal with each thought / feeling / situation as it occurs, that's the only way that I can make it through the days.

When friends tell me they are going on a diet, I fear for them. This time of year there is so much talk of dieting for new years resolutons. I wish people knew the dangers of diieting before they start out on their "diets".


I hear you! ♥ I, too, worry when friends and loved ones talk of dieting. I rarely say anything about it, but it is difficult for me to hear. I generally try to excuse myself from triggering conversations, but sometimes feel myself responsibility-bound to speak...

Today in my EDA meeting, I identified myself as a recovered person, for the first time. ♥ I did not do so with reckless abandon, and I will not become complacent about that label... I know the dangers still exist. Relapse can occur; it often does. But today I feel stronger and better prepared to fight off any urges than I have in my entire life. I know what my eating disorder cost me; I know it would cost me more to relapse. I also know the LIFE that comes only with recovery. I'm beginning to live it. ♥

A fellow supporter this morning stated that she would never call herself recovered, because her journey would never be over. Interesting take on things... I agree that my journey will never be over, because that's part of life... Life IS a continuous journey... But because I see life in that way, I no longer believe that I have to be "perfectly" recovered inorder to identify myself as recovered.

Fact: I no longer obsess hourly about my weight, size, exercise, eating, sleeping, avoiding hunger, etc. Fact: I still have the "fat" thoughts, but I can talk back to them with more rational thoughts. Fact: I am no longer delaying my life because of an all-consuming eating disorder. Today I am facing some of my deeply rooted fears and trying for the life I have always wanted. ♥

Off on a tangeant... ;0) Thank you for making me think, as always. :)



Jen…it’s such a great thing to read your words about this, and to know that you are giving yourself the credit you deserve for the amazing progress you have made!
Treatment is temporary, but recovery is forever, as is life, and life is full of challenges, ups and downs, love, etc. etc. Life is a continuous journey for sure, but you do NOT have to continue to ‘work’ your recovery…you live it and your life evolves. It’s impossible to even imagine that while you are in the midst of the ED or even ‘in recovery’, because you can’t see the light at the end…but it gives me giant goose bumps to read your words!!
As far as other things that can lead to an eating disorder…well, anything that causes an unusual amount of weight loss can set someone into that state where the increased obsession about weight comes into play, and it all gets distorted due to the compromised state of starvation…even bulmics are in a state of starvation!
I’ve known women who developed an eating disorder aftet surgery, mononucleosis, or other illnesses which caused weight loss. Weight loss due to illness is also a trigger for relapse, so if you are in recovery, take care to be sure to restore any weight that is lost during an illness!
Depression can be a predictor for weight loss, grief can also…or trauma which is more of psychological issue, but still, a very real factor for many people who have developed an eating disorder.
Jen…I wish you could be here to help me with one of my presentations too!! :heart:

this is such a great thread --thanks jan , jen and lace...


WOW, inspiring :) I can relate to and agree with so many of these ideas!
Congratulations Jen! That must feel so wonderful and freeing to declare! I don't even know you yet but I feel so proud of you!

Also, though I've never met any of you fabulous ladies, I can tell, even just from this thread, that each of you have such LOVELY and BEAUTIFUL hearts, and that means your whole beings are lovely and beautiful and all things good :)


Awww… Thanks! :slight_smile: And welcome to Support Groups! I joined this site a year and a half ago, and it was life-changing for me. :heart: Welcome to you!!

BTW: I LOVE your name! ;0)



just to let you all know. it was not my intention to encourage diets, not at all. i was simply trying to point out that people who know they have emotional baggage will not solve them by going on a diet. and the ones who don't know (like me at the time) can easily slip into taking the diet to the extreme.

just to clarify, i never once would tell people to diet, i always advocate (especially in my job) healthy eating habity and lifestyle.

maedi, no no no we werent saying you wee encouraging deits, we were just point out the similairites between the two(diets and ED) and the dangers of the them . dont worry …

**** diets, and media and 'ideals' is all i can say!!! hate them, hate them!

was looking onto this website earlier (got the link form a post on here) and i think it might be worthwhile mentioning it again, especially the fat-fight topic!!


check it out!!

love y'all


I missed your original post, so I’m glad you reposted! :slight_smile: What an incredible site! A real positive movement. :heart:

I put a link up on my blog, and I’m definitely going to participate. :slight_smile:



i second maedi's : **** DIETS AND MEDIA'S IDEAL! I DESISE THEM ALL! INCLUDING EDS! heck, what men perfer is acutally the opposite of media's ideal--healthy and curvy--hehehe. but it isnt what men want either, it is about what we need and what is good for us.

and i love operation beautiful.