It’s a familiar feeling. That bloated moment after a large, delicious meal when you turn to your friends or family and say, “I’m so full, I’ll never eat again.” Inevitably though, you do eat again, usually within a few short hours of making such an outlandish statement. But for some, that notion that they’ve had too much and they should just stop eating becomes an ongoing fixation, a long-term goal that can take them to the literal edge of death.
Kara Tsosie was overweight in elementary school. Many of us go through an awkward, adolescent stage, but the other kids in school with her would not let her forget it. They teased and picked on her and, of course, to cope she only ate more. Binging made her feel better. Binging numbed the pain. She didn’t know it yet, but she was already struggling with disordered eating. It wasn’t the kind of disorder that gets you noticed or makes it into Afterschool Specials, but it was real. And it is common. Around 3% of the American population struggle with some type of binge-eating disorder. That’s 9 million Americans.