Why is Your Eating Disorder SO COMPETITIVE? | Kati Morton | Kati Morton
Articles Blog

Why is Your Eating Disorder SO COMPETITIVE? | Kati Morton | Kati Morton

August 24, 2019


Hey everybody, happy thursday! Now today’s question comes from Twitter. You know Twitter! Hopefully you’re following me on there but I asked you for all of your eating disorder based questions and one of the questions that I selected was ”Hey Kati, what’s the reason that our eating disorder speak to our competitive nature?” Very good question and in parenthesis she asks (you know, when we see someone skinnier and want to compete.) I thought this was a really good question because eating disorders are competitive and why does that happen? Now, eating disorders can be competitive for a lot of different reasons because it really depends on why you have your eating disorder, what purpose it serves for you, and why it started in the first place because as we know eating disorders are coping skills for something larger meaning we’re using overeating, undereating, over-exercising any of our eating disorder behaviors binging, purging, you name it… as a way to numb out, express, or something all of the other things that we’re feeling or other things that have been going on and so that is honestly why it gets competitive because for many my clients their eating disorders are the only thing that they feel that they owned themselves like it’s all theirs, no one could take it from them it’s what makes them unique a lot of people feel that way and so because our eating disorders tells us those lies, that this the only thing that you’re good at this is the only thing that only yours this is the only need to control this is what makes you special and unique whatever it is when we encounter someone else with an eating disorder we automatically think ”Well I do it better than you” ”This is MY thing” ”What are you doing in my world?” ”This is the thing that I do, don’t you know that?” and immediately we’re like combative, obviously we’re not actually saying any of this it’s all going on up here but we automatic compare our body we automatically compare what we’re eating and truthfully that’s honestly why I think treatment centers when you eat in groups is really helpful and healing because we have to get out of that we’re forced to eat the same we’re forced to sitdown and do activities with each other and we’re almost forced out of that competitive nature ’cause it’s constantly challenging it therapeutically I’ve also heard from a lot of my clients and viewers that another reason it’s kind of competitive is because we use our eating disorder as a way to scream for help meaning, we’re feeling terrible bad things are happening, we don’t like where we’re at and we’re using the eating disorder as a way to to express all that is we’re feeling therefore, our eating disorder is our way to ”prove” that we’re having a hard time and ”prove” that we struggle if we encounter someone else who has an eating disorder we’re like, wait I’m sicker than you I deserveto get help, I’m the one who screaming to be heard and so that’s another reason why our eating disorder can really be competitive. And lastly, I just want to acknowledge how nasty eating disorders are and how no matter how sick we actually get our eating disorder will always say that we’re not sick enough, we’re not thin enough we’re not doing it enough we’re not ill enough we’re struggling enough or feel shitty enough there’s never enough that we can do to make our eating disorder happy I did a video with Nikki Phillippi last week and if you recall, she mentioned how when she was struggling with her eating disorder she knew that it would never be enough like the ideal body that she was hoping to achieve would never be there because it wasn’t a real tangible thing that she could accomplish the eating disorder keeps moving the finish line and therefore if we come into contact with someone else who’s struggling with an eating disorder or we suspect are struggling with an eating disorder our eating disorder is going to be like we’ll look at them they’re worse off, look at that, look how sick they are you, you’re not even that sick and it starts this negative cycle up again therefore, then we end up thinking Well I need to be worse and we’re competing with them even though like I said before whenever never actually having these conversations, it’s just going on in our head and it’s essentially our healthy voice with our eating disorder voice, kind of going at it. but know that this is a very normal part of having an eating disorder and a normal part of recovery and if you are out there, and you are struggling with and eating disorder, you find yourself competing with other people, checking in with other people noticing their body, how much they’re eating all the time please reach out for help there are tons professionals that are available tons of treatment centers available to you so you can get the help that you need and deserve and I didn’t have a free eating disorder workbook I’ll link it in the description is on my website you can download it for free you can get started because know that recovery is possible and you can and will get better Keep working with me! Keep checking back as we work towards a healthy mind and a healthy body and if you’re new to my channel, click here to subscribe and make sure you turn on notifications that little bell *ding* hit it so the you know when I put up a new video and you don’t miss it and i’ll see you next time, bye!

Only registered users can comment.

  1. Great Video as always Kati! Thank you so much for all of your hard work you do and building this community full of awareness and love. I am sending you love! xx ❤️

  2. Hi Kati! Great content as always 💗 wondering if depression and eating disorders can be intertwined? I feel like my depression is holding my eating disorder back (I have atypical depression so increased appetite and severely low motivation) if I take anti depressants like my therapist wants me to will my eating disorder get worse? Is it bad that I want that to happen?! Thank you in advance for any responses 💗

  3. In the description it says "Anorexia, Bulimia or another eating disorder". That's a little disingenuous. How much of this advice applies to binge eating or obesity? How often does advice about eating disorders ever include "fat people"? It feels like society pities people with Anorexia and Bulimia as falling victim to the pressure to be thin, but binge eaters or overweight people are just lazy or lack will power. That might not be true in EVERY case and I know that is not Kati's intent, but its how the whole discussion comes off to "fat" people. So from my perspective the real "competition" is between the eating disorders that society pities, that have greater access to treatment, and have the majority of the mental health support; VS the eating disorders that are treated like personal failings, that rarely get funding, and that are a "burden" to a society that seems to hate "fat" people. But that's just my 2 cents.

  4. Today was the day that something clicked in my mind and I realised that I really want to recover from my anorexia. I know it will be a long process but it's a process not perfection. I know all the work will be worth it one day but for know I want to say thank you to Kati and the Kinions. If it weren't for you I probably wouldn't even realise that I had a problem let alone get help. I am slowly building my treatment team and I am getting a meal plan (and I am happy about it) I can't thank you enough for the help and support that your channel has given me. I know that this is just the beginning but it is the begining of the end and I am ready to kick my eating disorder in the ass! Xx

  5. When I had sort of bulimia/anorexia I always comparede my weight and the amount of food which I ate to others, so pathetic it might sound, it made me feel either better or worse. Since I´m eating disorder "clean" I self harm more often and I also tend to compare it to others.

    Thank you Kati for this video.

  6. I've seen this happen with self harm too. When I was in an adolescent psych unit other people used to copy the ways in which I harmed myself to get more attention or whatever

  7. Thank you for this video. I despise how competitive Eating Disorders are, I have atypical anorexia but since I am very overweight, people who are anorexic and thin or only see anorexia as extreme thinness, people want to tell me that I am absolutely 100% not anorexic. I seriously do not enjoy eating and have no appetite whatsoever, and although I have gained weight thanks to my medications I was scared the entire time. My mindset is anorexic and that is why I have the diagnosis, but because of the competitive nature of Eating Disorders, I am invalidated so ridiculously and it hurts. I do not claim anorexia as being mine my only real "thing", it comes from my severely obese stepmother shaming me about my body and childhood… so when people invalidate me I don't care about the label but rather the fact that they are denying the pain from my childhood. And because you shared this video, I now know how to articulate that and I'm planning on it when I make my next video blog. <3

  8. Do Obese people go into treatment? My therapist wants me to go inpatient. I'll eat and binge, but right now I'm in the excessive working out and I'm noticing I'm ready to do a water fast with one health shake a day (like shakeology). I'm not seeing any difference in working out so I want to start starving to lose weight. My sister has a wedding April 7th and I want to be thinner. I would love to be XX lbs thinner. I dunno what to do.

  9. Do you think the same thing could apply to people who self-harm? That you can use it as a way to validate your struggles (as if the cuts make them more valid) and feel jealousy when you see someone whose cuts are deeper or worse than yours?

  10. It's kind of the nature of the beast. For me part of it was for acceptance due to me being bullied. So naturally I always used other's as a baseline for what I should be and thus I needed to always have another goal. People were goals more than anything else.

  11. Kati you're awesome and your videos calm me down and help me so much! You're so sweet and you have a very welcoming and calming voice. Thank you for making videos!

  12. i dont really feel the same about the group kinda forced eating… but that's probably mainly because they forced extra meals into me more than the others due to my weight and the second I've reached the goal they've set they told me I'd have to leave in a week. I had 2 or 3 times therapy within 8 weeks of being inpatient (in germany curcius klinik) and it only made me worse.. at the end I left early in about the middle of week 8 because them making me worse has led to a relapse in substance and repeated self harm. the eating part could be good if it's joined with serious help and not like "oh you're at the goal we set you on. now youre fine and can go home!" I'm going inpatient again in a few weeks and I'm more than terrified.. mainly because it never was about my ed… it was about the illnesses and disorders that were causing it.. and I'm scared they'll put me in the ed "zone" again

  13. Iv tried multiple times to download the ED workbook but I'm not getting the email. Can someone help? I have no options for treatment where I live.

  14. Hello Kati! You were recommended to me by one of my Periscope followers. I am a LMFT and she thought it would be great for me to reach out and meet you. So just saying hello! She also mentioned collaboration. My email is [email protected] Good to meet you. Great Youtube. I will subscribe!

  15. I eat a lot at night and during the night because I'm so anxious about my PTSD nightmares. My psychiatrist calls this "binge eating." But that doesn't have anything to do with an eating disorder, does it?

  16. Thank you Kati! I have never found anything or been able to explain it as concisely as you have! Hallelujah!

  17. Such a short video. So directly addressed exactly what's going on. This should be shown to people as an explanation. 🙃

  18. Thanks kati. I know you have spoken a bit about this before, but could you go into more depth about why we miss our ED? I've been in recovery for years and generally dont engage in ED behaviours, but still miss my ED. I'm confused that after so many years of recovery I still miss it. Much love

  19. hi kati the link that's been provided shows up saying error I'm unsure if it's a error on my side but could you let me know . as always a great video

  20. I was just wondering , I struggle to eat at school or when I go out/leave the house to try and control my fear of sick would you say this is an eating disorder or anxiety?? I hope that made sense! thanks Lucy ❤️❤️

  21. …I guess I am asking – is there a subjective or objective way of testing my level of consciousness? It seems stupid, but how do I know if I am unhappy (if I have been this way for as long as I can remember)?

    I don't have ED (though my appetite only comes in if I makes myself really hungry). But I recognise a lot of the mentality of being competitive – like what John Hurt says as a warning in Hellboy 2 about the hole in the human heart that can never be filled. I'm in a situation where I am having to do a lot of self-care – quality help is expensive, and the only help I can get is from people rushed of their feet. But I am willing to do that self-care but I need to know what I am aiming for? – I'm not looking for a mentor, but it would really help if their was someone conscious I could speak to… …I have some big decisions I need to make in my life regarding my health and medication but the health services available to me are highly stressed (such that I feel sorry for the people who are supposed to be treating me). I could just be miserable as a life style – it wouldn't be out of place – but then would I be doing a dis-service as a citizen? Do I even want to free my mind (I feel as though I haven't been any different awake to when I have been sleeping)… …I guess I am asking – is there a subjective or objective way of testing my level of consciousness? ….Help me Obi Kati Morton Wan Kenobi – you're my only help (sorry – seriously… I feel like a hologram).

  22. Kati I really need your advice. Me and one of my best friends both have an ed. At first we had no idea of each other's eating disorder, but we were both competing with each other. One night we got really close and admitted to having an ed and then the competition between us got even worse. (Of course all the competition was going on in our head) Then one day we finally made a promise to not compete with each other.but we still do )))): I really don't know what to do about this. It is really putting a strain to our relationship and it makes me very sad ): idk if I should distance myself from her or have a deep conversation with her I just don't know man.

  23. I am currently struggling with a eating disorder and just came out of treatment and immediately relapsed but my mom just told me she wants me to complete 8th grade and chooses school over mental health but a couple days ago screamed at me and threatened me to go back to treatment and I'm really confused any suggestions?

  24. This is so validating thank you. I always felt like I was a terrible person for the way i feel and it makes me feel so good to know what i experience is actually normal for EDs and not my fault.

  25. I've been struggling with competing with thinner girls my entire life. My friends who had NO IDEA that they were even a part of my competition. Thank you so much for talking about this! I still havent stopped comparing myself and my body to others but I'm really working on it. Recovery is hard and your videos help so so so so much 😭 I can't stop watching you and commenting everywhere ilysm

  26. Hi Kati! I recently started group therapy for those with eating disorders and body image issues. I've been doing it for about 2 months now and I really can't tell if it's helping, and if anything I feel like it makes me jump more into my unhealthy habits. I go every week and contribute to the discussions but I don't really feel like I'm getting much out of it. How can I feel more comfortable talking about these issues in group and implementing the suggestions/solutions into my life?

  27. Hey Kati! Can you make a video talking about using/abusing drugs to further along your eating disorder? ( hunger curb, or abusing drugs when you're hungry) thanks! Love your videos, they've literally saved my life so many times !

  28. i supper from depression and anxiety with possible ptsd and diagnosed Asperger's Syndrome. I don't have an eating disorder but engaged in restrictive eating and purging. I justed my body and wanted to change it. eventually just replaced it with self harm. I'm confused as i still struggle with food eating food and the right type of food its much better now but when I get stressor u tend to fall back into these patterns of behaviour. the longest it lasted continuously was 6 months

  29. My teacher is concerned about how much I was eating on the school PE trip I went on but I actually ate more on that trip than I usually do, because we had to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner and snacks and stuff but she thought I wasn't eating enough and for a couple of days she would say stuff to me about it which I didn't like.

    Also my psychiatrist might refer me to another counseling service if my eating habits get worse, he's asked me to go to the doctors to get tests done and stuff but I don't want to go. I look like I'm a 'healthy' weight but I don't mentally and physically feel well but I'm terrified of the counseling service that he might refer me to because last time I was there I didn't trust anyone and didn't feel like it was a safe place. However if my blood test results and other stuff come back fine then I can start working with
    a new counselor and continue at the counseling service I am currently at so I hope they are fine because otherwise I won't be able to be honest about things.

    Thank you for this video Kati, I found it helpful 🙂 <3

  30. ‪Hey Kati, I feel like I have to go inpatient to recover. I've tried recovering outpatient, and I did reach a healthy weight but I have been in a relapse mostly because I feel that going inpatient is the only way I can get better, since outpatient didn't work. Could you offer some advice?‬

  31. But for me it was enough. I was happy with my body. I know I had many health issues such as muscles fatigue, back pain and my period had disappeared and yes my mind was consumed with thoughts of food 24/7 and it was tired of counting calories. But I was happy with how thin I was. And that's what I keep thinking now that it has only been a month of recovery and I have gained so much weight. 🙁

  32. it feels almost impossible to stop listening to that voice and continue in getting help. Eating disorders are shit and confusing!

  33. My depression and panic disorder started on a downward spiral when I graduated college in 2013. I recently realized the root cause. Identifying my trigger has helped me tremendously get on with my life. I'd like to start therapy, but I'm afraid that any therapist wouldn't agree that finishing college should be a regret. Especially if the therapist is older- they tend to believe a degree is a golden calf. Also Kati, this might be a stretch but could you be my therapist on skype? I think that since you have Pepperdine student loans, you'd get it.

  34. This video is so reassuring! I've been having such a hard accepting that I actually have an eating disorder even tho I've been in ed treatment programs since November because I don't believe that I'm sick enough cause I'm not underweight and they're people who are skinnier than me in treatment! It's so greedy and I wanna get worse so I can get more of the attention from staff (I also have a shit ton of dependency problems so that doesn't help either) but it feels like if I get to X weight then I've earned the diagnosis and I'll allow myself to recover but rn I'm not there and I don't feel like I have an eating disorder so what am I recovering from?

  35. Hi I am wondering if you have information about Aspergers/ASD and BPD. Could I have BPD but this be misdiagnosed as Aspergers, or can I be both?

  36. The way it worked for me, and, I think, for a lot of other schizophrenics, is that the med's lowered my metabolism a little, and increased my appetite a little, and the combination was deadly. Now I'm about seventy pounds overweight. It's hard to muster the self discipline needed to lose weight.

  37. Kati could you make a video about the history of the dsm? About when the first editions came out, what was written there, what you think about that, how people started to research mental illness and maybe also a comparison to the history of the icd. I would find that really interesting!
    Thank you so much for your videos, I´ve learned a lot about mental health through them and i find this topic to be very interesting. I might try to become a therapist when I am older

  38. Sometimes, this can be reinforced by health care professionals. Some inpatient treatment centers won't admit patients if they're above a certain BMI, for example. While I understand the need to take care of physical health, these criteria can invalidate patients who are already predisposed to thinking they don't need help. The barometers for being "sick enough" for treatment can be deceiving.

  39. I am so grateful for this upload Kati. I feel this way with my mental illnesses and connected experiences and how they relate with my friends' and others struggles. I find myself using my being in therapy, young age I was diagnosed with my illnesses, current prescription, and first symptoms against others. I don't like that I do it, because I know it isn't fair, but it has been going on for so long, I don't know how to stop it. If you have anymore information to share, could you please do another video on this topic? I love your top by the way

  40. This video is so accurate on every level. So glad that this is a normal part of these conditions and that it can go away xxx

  41. hey, Kati! do you know and can you tell us something about geraschobia (fear of getting old)? because i can't really find anything, that actually tells what that is, except for wikipedia, and i'd really like to know. and phobias are related to mental health, right? thank you! 🙂

  42. Hi Kati, there is this dilemma I am having with my own overating problem.

    At times, I justify it by attributing it to the problems I had growing up, I say that it is a coping mechanism to shove the negative emotions down. However, there comes these moments that I am ready to change, that I somewhat have managed to mute the negativity, and in theory I should be able to tackle down this habit easily since I am not getting actually triggered or threatened, and yet again, if I am slightly bored and don't know what else to do, I can't stop wanting to eat. That is why I question my disorder, that's when I can't decide whether food is simply an addiction or a legit exit from my problems.

    I keep thinking about that experiment where they give buttons to mice that stimulate their reward center in their brain and they keep pushing that button until they die, never leaving its side. Am I simply no different than the mouse, who doesn't even have the emotional capacity to fall victim to psychological disorders yet chooses to abuse its brain's reward center?

  43. @Kati Morton #katifaq Hi, Kati! Can you talk about a rupture with your therapist from the client and therapist prospective? How they should be handled and how to move on? Thx!

  44. Hi Katie, i was wondering what your thoughts were on how society mainly focuses on anorexia and how sufferers are almost like victims but on the other hand bulimics are well, stigmatized because people see them as having control of their eating disorder, whereas they don't see anorexics as having control.
    because what i've noticed when in treatment or in facilities, is that people focus mainly on anorexia and how it is life threatening, and serious but when it comes to bulimics they're looked down upon because people are like, oh gross you make yourself vomit, and oh you're wasting so much food, what about those in other countries where kids are starving, so it's almost like it's oh you poor thing you're suffering from anorexia, but that's not the case for bulimics, which isn't right because people can also die from bulimia, and also have just as serious symptoms as other with eating disorders and ya i've noticed how it seems to be some kind of competition, like why, i just don't get it.

  45. Hi Kati,
    I had a weird dream last night and was hoping you could help me find the meaning. I dreamt i was in class and collapsed because i hadn't eaten and kept purging. My friends found thinspo pictures in my bag and labelled me as bulimic. After that incident they didn't leave to make sure i don't purge anymore and that I eat. Suddenly the scenery changed from the classroom to a gigantic pool. I kept going under water to dry and drown myself, but somehow i could breathe under water. my friends kept pulling me up again. at some point i managed to escape them and overly exercise…. and then i woke up. i feel scared and confused

  46. Hi, Kati. I need an advice. I am struggling with bulimia and i have shared this only with one person. This friend of mine has been really helpful in past situations when i needed someone to talk to and i was fighting an addiction. However when i told her about my eating disorder she didnt say anything. I chose to tell her because she was always the one who would come up with a way to help or try to comfort me and tell me it is going to be ok. I am not seeing a therapist but i am talking to her about these kind of things. Every time i feel horrible r just want to talk about it i am contacting her. I am a bit worried because i feel like my needs might be overwhelming for her and i dont know what to do and where i stand for her. Is it normal to have a friend with who you discuss constantly your eating disorder and other problems instead of a therapist? And can this become overwhelming for her and annoying? I am worried because even though she is a person who is always ready to help and has done a lot for me she has her problems as well and she might find me too much to handle.

  47. I'm about to binge on the ED videos. 🙂

    My ED is totally about SH (plus my scratching) but I'm also totally about understanding the nuts and bolts of the coping mechanisms I employ. I'm actually thankful there's so much overlap.

  48. Kati, would you please make a video about anhedonia (feeling emotionally numb and feeling like your not really "awake")

  49. thank you for this awesomely ha bisky vid and i have problems with competitiveness as is and so happy out of all of my fucked up life i never used not eating as a coping skill it only happened when i was sick and my body was refusing food

    its also the only time my mom paid attention to me was when i would go weeks without eating and then later in life (pretty much now) she has become okay with that behavior and its also why i never get to sick i just end up eating everything in the fridge when i can accept food again

    my mom used to give me popsicle so i would at least have something in my body and i wouldnt get dehydrated since i dont drink water and never did and fruit juice felt like i was eating fruit so popsicles was the only thing my body would except

  50. I haven't seen your videos in awhile… you used to help me so much and then I was dealing with my last year of college and yay after taking a semester off I got my bachelors a year ago. You're very helpful. I always get triggered every time someone I know goes on a diet or goes to the gym. I always get into an argument with them and I'm not sure what to do anymore.

  51. I thought I was the only one who would see it as a competition sometimes…. I thought I was terrible, but it helps knowing I'm not the only one.

  52. I aaaaaalways for years thought I'm not sick/extreme/strong enough to get help/deserve help, but now looking back at myself earlier in recovery….thank god I was not even more sick when i got help. Yes, I could have waited longer, true. Yes, I could have gotten way sicker, true. YesI could have gotten way skinnier, true. Yes, I could have wasted and lost alot more of my precious life, also very true. Yes I could have made my recovery even more unbearable and dreadful than it ended up being already, true. I could have damaged my one and only body I am planning to and forced to live in for another 70 years or so, maybe even to a point where that number could have decreasd drastically, true. I could have destroyed the relationship I have in my life completely, instead of just straining them deeply like I had this way. I could have become completely isolated for good, instead of just for a few months. I could have made my father roll around in bed, worried, for many more nights than I already have. I could have completely lost my dream, instead of just taking a bit of a step back for a while.
    It could have been alot worse.
    But I am slowly starting to realize how grateful, how lucky, how blessed I am that it didn't.
    It got more than bad enough. It got way worse than it ever should have and took away way too much time of my life. I waited way too long for it to get worse and worse. But I am glad I could have gotten alot worse, but didn't. I'm very blessed.

  53. I would add that those with eating disorders become competitive with themselves (weighing less than the day before, eating less than the day before). In other words, it is not just others we compete with – we compete with ourselves. . . and will never win.

  54. My ed started because I wanted more time and eating got in the way, so I slowly kept eating less. After awhile I looked in the mirror and realized I hated everyone including my weight. I was doing well Senior year of HS and the summer before I began college. But I’m struggling with it again, but it’s way worse this time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *