Eating Disorders and Osama bin Laden

Eating Disorders and Osama bin Laden 



How can one possibly equate an eating disorder with an infamous terrorist?


You might have an eating disorder if…


You think some foods are evil? Really? 


My friend is a health freak. She doesn’t eat anything that could be considered bad for you, ANYTHING. The donut, in her view, is basically her Osama bin Laden. I knew her obsession crossed the line into a serious problem when I was sitting with her at a café:

I pick up a donut as she looks at me in utter disgust like she just might vomit. I say to her, “Hey, one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter,” as I then took a bite.

It was almost like a bad “you might be a redneck” joke: If you see a donut as a weapon of mass destruction, you might have an eating disorder!  (cue the laugh tracks)

I honestly believe that her in mind, the only thing that could be worse than Osama bin Laden, is that if you took Osama, wrapped him in dough, fried him, covered him in powdered sugar, dusted him with red, white, and blue sprinkles, and then had some with a glass of whole non-organic milk… that would be her nine-eleven.

The wild thing is that for someone with an eating disorder, nothing is worse than eating a forbidden food, it is their ultimate hell. Like alcoholism, it makes you do things and turns you into a different person. You might miss a loved one’s wedding in order to avoid the anxiety of eating or thinking about eating the cake, for example.

She has often said to me, “at least I’m not addicted to smoking,” and while I wouldn’t like that, being a non-smoker, I would prefer it because at least there is nicotine gum, or the patch, or other ways to come off it. With an eating disorder, there is no donut gum, although if there was, that would be awesome, wouldn’t it? (hmm, new idea for Shark Tank)

No, for a real eating disorder, the only medicine is a rehab program and an ongoing support system. It may take months to get to the point of taking a bite of a donut. I mean, how can one learn to accept there could be goodness to Osama? While most Americans would roll their eyes at that question, strangely the analogy is not entirely ridiculous. To the person with a disorder, the donut is just as evil, unthinkable, and unforgivable.

Leadership Tip: As a leader, know the line between “quirky habits” and those habits that may lead to a low quality of life. Even Dr. Oz has said that eating junk food here and there is not bad for you-the trick is knowing how to keep it all in balance.

Do you have or know someone with an eating disorder?  Send me a tweet or make a comment to this article…


Twitter: @brombizzle 

-Michael Bromberg


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