# Eating Disorders For Dummies (For Dummies (Health & by Susan Schulherr

By Susan Schulherr

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Becoming ritualistic As anorexia develops, your eating habits get a little more precise. Everything related to the food you eat (or don’t eat) comes under the strictest control, and you practice certain rituals related to eating. For example: ߜ Only certain foods are eaten. ߜ Foods are eaten only in certain combinations, in a certain order, or in certain bite sizes. ߜ You eat on a schedule others find strange, and you usually eat in private. ߜ You focus excessively on calories. Food accompaniments like condiments and spices get elevated to food group status because of their low caloric value.

You eat on a schedule others find strange, and you usually eat in private. ߜ You focus excessively on calories. Food accompaniments like condiments and spices get elevated to food group status because of their low caloric value. And, as quirky as it may seem, you are frequently the family chef. Your interest in food has become obsessive and may lead you to pore over recipes and to shop for and prepare gourmet meals for your family (excluding yourself, or course, except as a test of your willpower to abstain).

Part IV of this book, expanding on what I say here, is essentially a how-to section devoted to caregivers. Getting a Sense of the Problem People with eating disorders experience psychological issues and are compulsive in their eating habits. These play on each other over time, causing the eating disorder to become more entrenched. Some of the techniques used to try to drop a few pounds may lead to bad eating habits. However, if the concern about weight becomes obsessive, then the problem moves from simple dieting to an eating disorder.