I'm going to attempt to be careful and do my best not to offend anyone as I write this post, but I can't guarantee some won't be upset by the content.
Recently, I found myself in a sticky situation after agreeing to work on a project about eating disorders with someone. As I mentioned in a recent post, I'm doing more speaking events. It turns out that the two of us don't see eye-to-eye on a few issues, though we do share a lot of beliefs about recovery. This isn't the first time I have had something like this happen, but it's the first time I have felt uncomfortable saying anything about it directly to the person involved. Unfortunately, in this case, this person said some things that just aren't true, and I'm not sure how to address the situation because I'm 100 percent sure that, on some level, he believes what he said is true, even though there is zero scientific evidence of his claim. It's the illness talking.
Many of us who have eating disorders have gone down a path of justifying strange behaviors by telling people it's related to a physical ailment or something other than the eating disorder. We rationalize or excuse the unhealthy act and pretend that what we are doing is OK because we are afraid or don't really want to let go of the behavior. If anyone challenges these false beliefs, those who can't be honest with themselves or others, or are lacking self-awareness will often get defensive. I'm convinced there's a part of them that knows the truth, but these are the types who will double down on their position so they can keep engaging in their disordered or unhealthy habits.
There are also many who are aware yet still engage in compulsive behaviors. These types rarely suggest others do the same and almost never bombard others about it on social media.
Unfortunately, you see all kinds of people, especially on Instagram, inflicting their unfounded beliefs on others. You also see people flaunting their illness. They often claim how healthy they are, how far they have come, and how much they have learned, all while showing the world how little things have changed. These situations are bad enough, but it becomes even more problematic when someone tries to scare others into following the plan they have set in place for themselves by using pseudo-science to back their claims or simply ignoring science altogether.
There was a virtual round of applause on one woman's Facebook page recently when she posted the findings of the "Sugar Addiction" study, listed below, which found that there is no such thing. Further, there is no such thing as an allergy to sugar, something people often claim affects them. An allergy is an immune response to a substance. As far as anyone knows, this has never occurred to any human being in response to sugar. I believe people can react strongly to certain substances, but addictions and allergies are not the same as having an emotional or even a physiological response. Obviously, sugar will cause glucose levels in the blood to increase and cause an increase in the production of insulin, but these responses don't have anything to do with an allergic response or addiction. How powerful our minds can be.
Obviously, I'm not suggesting anyone go out and suck up a pile of sugar through a straw. I'm merely saying that most healthy bodies can handle an occasional dose of sweets without much damage. Mostly, stop teling me and others that we need to cut sugar out of our diets. Go ahead. Live dangerously. Have a Snickers.