Sunday, February 26th marks the start of National Eating Disorder Association Week in St. Louis! This annual event was designed to bring about awareness regarding all types of eating disorders. For more information, go to

Educate yourself on eating disorders! An eating disorder can be defined as an unhealthy or dysfunctional relationship with food, which means you obsess or are preoccupied with food and weight. This is also accompanied by a poor body image and abnormal eating habits. It is important to be aware of the different types of eating disorders. They include:

Anorexia: characterized by a severe restriction in food intake which results in significant weight loss. The individual fears food and the possibility of gaining weight.

Bulimia: an individual binges on food (which is sometimes a portion of food larger than most would eat in a day) and feels out of control while engaging in this behavior. Bingeing if then followed by some type of purging in order to compensate for having eaten, which can include vomiting, exercising or using laxatives or diuretics.

Binge Eating Disorder: an individual engaged in uncontrolled overeating.

If you experience 2 or more of the symptoms below, you may have disorder eating or an eating disorder and should seek help for this:

~you intentionally starve yourself or restrict food intake to a very small amount during the day

~you self-induce vomiting after eating

~you feel out of control when overeating and cannot stop yourself

~you over-exercise (for hours) in order to make up for eating

~you use laxative or diuretics in a way other than intended to make up for eating

~you are afraid to eat in front other others

~you have an intense fear of gaining weight

~you have a very poor body image

~you obsess about eating, food and weight for much of the day

If while reading this, you think that you  might need assistance with your disordered eating or an eating disorder please contact  me (Step By Step Counseling’s Graduate Counseling Intern) for help.

Looking forward to helping you!
– Vanessa

Vanessa Curran is a Graduate Counseling Student at Lindenwood University and a Graduate Counseling Intern with Step By Step Counseling.