Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Health Week: Dieting vs. Eating Disorders

In my post below I mentioned the grey line between “pageant competition mode” and an eating disorder. Though I defined eating disorders and gave you symptoms to look for, the line remains grey and blurry…

Huge thanks to Elizabeth, a reader with experience in pageants and dance, for sharing THIS WEBSITE. It features great information, including these differences between dieting and anorexia:

Dieting: Weight loss is viewed as a way to improve health and appearance.
Anorexia: Weight loss is viewed as a way to achieve happiness.

D: Self-esteem is based on more than just weight and body image.
A: Self-esteem is based entirely on how much you weigh and how thin you are.

D: Is an attempt to control weight

Is an attempt to control your life and emotions

D: The goal is to lose weight in a healthy way.
A: Becoming thin is all that matters; health is not a concern.

Abby's interpretation:

Pageant dieting: Eliminating sweets and fast food.
Eating Disorder: Restricting yourself to dangerously few calories per day. (I’ve read that 2,000 is average for women and less than 1,200 slows your metabolism. Ideal caloric intake varies based on your height and age; click here and/or here to calculate yours. WebMD also has a chart of averages.)

PD: Eliminating soda, pop or soda pop (depending where you live!) and paying attention to sodium levels.
ED: Constantly comparing your weight, height, dress size and body type to other pageant contestants and titleholders.

Focusing on toning a specific problem body part (IE: tummy or buns) by eating right and working out.
ED: Believing that you have to wear a specific dress size or be a certain weight in order to win the crown.

I would love for you, the readers, to continue this list of what you think is acceptable competition mode vs. an eating disorder by leaving a comment!


  1. http://www.usatoday.com/life/people/2006-06-21-mcphee-bulimia_x.htm?loc=interstitialskip

    This is an article about American Idol contestant Katharine McPhee and her battle with buliama. I thought you might find it interesting!

  2. Great article, thanks for the link Alicia! I didn't know you had a blog; may I link it in my sidebar?



  3. Oh yeah!
    No problem! If I can find anything else, Ill let you know! (=


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