Eating Message Boards
If you discovered my “normal” eating blogs through an eating message board, then you know what a support they can be for recovery. If you have never been on one, you are missing out on a terrific tool for education and self-discovery. A message board is a cyber space where people can talk about their eating and weight concerns. You can read other people’s messages or post one yourself. You can remain anonymous or identify yourself. There is no pressure to “speak,” and you can say as much—or little—as you’d like. You can bring up a topic or follow a thread which someone else raised. One rule of thumb is to avoid hurting other people intentionally.
You can use message boards in various ways. You can ask questions about people’s experience with food, hunger, diets, nutritionists, or how they react to medications. You can post your own experiences with any of these things, sometimes encouraging people to try what you’ve done or warning them against it. You can share your problems and vulnerabilities. What you’ll find is that many people on the board feel as you do, which normalizes and universalizes whatever is going on with you. But you’ll also get lots of differences of opinion. You can solicit advice on a difficult issue or dilemma. Some people stick to food and weight topics and others share more about themselves. The wonder of these boards is that you can be totally, uniquely YOU and get whatever YOU need. They are especially useful if you’re isolated geographically, can’t join a face-to-face group because of physical limitations, or fear one due to social anxiety.
Here are some themes that have run through these boards: the pull of diets; how to set limits with other people, especially family members; the difficulty of experiencing feelings; finding a nutritionist; eating problems and medical conditions such as Celiac disease and food allergies; how to work the rules of “normal” eating; tips on coping with stress without food; how an abusive childhood impacts adult eating problems; what it feels like to be fat and feel hopeless; struggling to reach a healthy, comfortable weight. Check out non-diet message boards. They may be just what you need for your recovery.