“I’m anorexic and in recovery. I’m not ashamed to say it out loud anymore,” Holliday, 35, wrote on Twitter over the weekend. “I’m the result of a culture that celebrates thinness and equates that to worth, but I get to write my own narrative now. I’m finally able to care for a body that I’ve punished my entire life and I am finally free.”
In an Instagram post on Saturday, the body-positivity activist revealed that she had been receiving well-meaning but triggering messages like, “You’re looking healthy lately.”
“Don’t. Comment. On. My. Weight. Or. Perceived. Health. Keep. It. To. Yourself. Thanks,” Holliday wrote. “Yes, I’ve lost weight — I’m healing from an eating disorder & feeding my body regularly for the first time in my entire life.”
“When you equate weight loss with ‘health’ & place value & worth on someone’s size, you are basically saying that we are more valuable now because we are smaller & perpetuating diet culture… & that’s corny as hell,” Holliday explained. “NOT here for it.”
“If you can’t tell someone they look nice without making it about their size, then baby, please don’t say nuthin at all,” she concluded.
Anorexia can affect anyone, according to Chelsea Kronengold, associate director of communications at the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA). People with anorexia generally restrict the number of calories and the types of food they eat, resulting in weight loss and sometimes a distorted body image.
Though it is important to note, a person does not need to be emaciated or underweight to be suffering from the disease, the NEDA stresses. Atypical anorexia nervosa is a form of anorexia in which the person experiences all the hallmarks of anorexia nervosa, but with weight that is at or above the normal range. An individual with atypical anorexia is at risk for the same medical complications as those with low body mass index (BMI), including cardiovascular and gastrointestinal issues
“Eating disorders don’t discriminate. Any type of eating disorder can affect any person at any size,” Kronengold told TODAY Health. “Many, many people struggle with atypical anorexia. It’s just as serious as anorexia.”
If you're struggling with an eating disorder and need help, information or resources, visit the NEDA website or call 1-800-931-2237.