Black women suffer from eating disorders too. There’s a stereotype that claims that eating disorders are for White teenaged women. However, when I had to Google, “Am I addicted to food?” one night as I finished off two large bags of Honey BBQ Cheese Doodles and was working on my third row of Chips Ahoy Soft Batch cookies, knowing full-well I was about to meet my best friend for dinner.
You see, I knew I wasn’t even hungry after the first bag of cheese doodles, but I just had to eat. I wanted it, so I consumed it. As I brought my cheesy fingers to my mouth while reading these Google results stung each time I read a new sign because it had me written all over it.
- Am I ashamed about my eating habits? Do I hide food and eat it behind closed doors?
- Do I feel guilty after I eat?
- Do I eat when I’m simply upset about something but not hungry?
- Do I eat differently in public than I do in private?
- When I eat, do I feel pleasure and comfort that I can’t really seem to achieve through other means?
I knew that I loved food and thought as long as I labeled myself a “foodie” that it was ok for me to consume food the way an entire football team would. I also thought that hiding said food and consuming it in private wasn’t an issue, but it was. And even though it embarrasses me to admit, most of my day, if not all of it, is consumed by when and what I will get to eat that day. I’m thinking about what I’ll eat for lunch, right now. It’s a constant war in my head that will never go away, no matter how much I feed the hungry monster inside of me. There will never be enough food to fill the void I feel in the pit of my gut.
Ever since I learned about eating disorders in 6th grade, I thought there was no way it was affecting girls like me. It seemed like it was something that was only ailing the White girls in my class, who were often chatting amongst themselves about how fat they were, when they were literally half my size. Never mind the fact that in that very class, there were two snack-size Snicker bars in my bag that I couldn’t wait to sneak a bite of. I wasn’t the one with the problem.
Now I know, that’s just not true. White girls aren’t the only women who suffer from eating disorders. Erika Nicole Kendall from EBONY broke it down for those of us whose views on eating disorders start and stop at said stereotype.