Male Eating Disorders


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Recent reports in the entertainment world are saying that popular ex one direction singer, Zayn Malik, suffered from an eating disorder when he was with the boy band.

Malik revealed that he would often go two or three days without eating anything at all and it got to a point where it was very serious and he couldn’t even recognize himself.

I know some of you may be thinking why on earth we’re talking about Zayn Malik on this platform. While he may be a celebrity, he’s still human and this latest news of him having an eating disorder is something that really caught my attention because the reality is, we don’t hear much about males having eating disorders.

The National Eating Disorders foundation says that in the past, eating disorders have been painted to be “women’s problems” – not only is that sexist, but the matter of the fact is that due to that way of thinking in past generations, men have been stigmatized when coming forward.

Males can develop anorexia nervosa, where one refuses to maintain a normal body weight, bulimia nervosa where one binge eats and vomits or uses other purging methods and binge eating where one has multiple episodes of overeating.

Alex*, a 24-year-old male who suffered from anorexia nervosa for five years of his life was willing to speak to me and provide a few details to you guys about his experience.

“I was always a husky kid and I would get teased a lot by my brother and cousins. I didn’t take that to heart though because that’s what we do in our family. I knew I had a bit too much meat but I didn’t allow it to get to me until I started high school,” said Alex.

When trying out for his high schools football team during his first year, Alex was taunted and teased by other students for his weight.

“Your confidence is shot down. You lose motivation and I couldn’t even look at myself in the mirror. I wanted to melt the fat off. I ate one very small meal a day and kept myself hydrated with water. I don’t want to get into gritty details because I don’t want to influence anyone but I will say that within a short amount of time, I ended up in the hospital and was told that my body was shutting down because of what I was doing.”

Despite his visit to the hospital and being struck with alarming news, Alex relapsed a few times until realizing his purpose.

“I think I went back four or five times. It’s not going to stop overnight but I got to the point where I could see my bones. It came down to ‘do I want to live or do I want to die because of the fact a few jerks couldn’t keep their commentary to themselves?’ At the end of the day, I chose to live because I didn’t want a small negative experience to keep controlling my life”.

Interviewee’s name was changed to respect their privacy.

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