Beauty & Body Image, Celebrity Quotes

‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ Actress Stephanie Beatriz: “I used disordered eating to try to keep myself small”

Stephanie-Beatriz-31st-Annual-Imagen-Awards-03-662x993 - 'Brooklyn Nine-Nine' Actress Stephanie Beatriz: "I used disordered eating to try to keep myself small"

On her disordered eating:

I have an eating disorder. But like a lot of us, mine is a bit hard to define. I don’t purge, so I’m not a bulimic. I do eat, so I’m not anorexic. I’m what I like to call “a disordered eater.”

Disordered eating is an umbrella label because eating disorders can be hard to categorize—hell, they can be hard to recognize. Maybe you think restrictive eating just “works” for you because it fits within your budget or it keeps you at a certain size—I did.

I used disordered eating to try to keep myself small. I used my job as an actor under constant scrutiny as an excuse, a reason to hurt myself with food. I often used food to self-medicate, if you will, with a cycle of bingeing and restricting. I used the size of my ass and flatness of my stomach as the answer to everything that was wrong with my life and why I couldn’t seem to feel really, truly happy.

Food was both the remedy and the punishment. I thought by controlling what I ate I was controlling my fate, when it was ultimately controlling me.

Disordered eater, I know you. The only way you feel you can keep a grip on your life is to make sure you have three diet cokes before four, one chocolate chip cookie, and a small salad. You only eat certain foods that you’ve deemed “healthy,” and the list of what is okay shrinks every time you read a new book or article on the subject. You eat whatever you want and then spend hours at the gym as a way to counteract it. You eat three meals and two snacks but would rather die than put anything in your mouth that isn’t organic. Maybe today you had green juices and a vegan burrito so now you “deserve” a large pizza and chicken bites. But, f—, that means you screwed up so tomorrow it’s only juice all day long.

Does any of that sound familiar? It does to me. It sounds like the voice that speaks to me over and over in my head. The voice that sounds JUST LIKE ME but DAMN she is mean as hell. She tells me I don’t belong, that I’m not thin enough, that everyone can see how bloated I look after that last meal… And even if I lose the weight, she’s not satisfied…

I’ve started to figure out that this voice, so focused on weight and body image, is actually desperate to express her creativity, her fears, her desires, and her dreams. But she simply doesn’t have the language. It’s become the biggest job of my life to teach her how to start dreaming and thinking bigger than her body size. I’m encouraging her to worry and feel, to delve into the deepest parts of herself…

You want in on this? Take some time and talk to your own little voice. What do you think she’s trying to say when she talks about food or your body? What’s underneath all her control and fear? I bet it’s your best self, just waiting to come out. Bring her to tea; ask her what’s up. It might be damn hard to hear her real thoughts under all that nonsense, but I promise you, it’s easier that letting her, and your disordered eating, run your life.

… says the 36 year-old ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ actress.

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13 Comments on "‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ Actress Stephanie Beatriz: “I used disordered eating to try to keep myself small”"

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heather
Guest
heather
This is honesty. Other celebrities say similar things but never in such plain, straight-forward language that probably a LOT more women than we think are able to identify with. I’m sure many ‘healthy eating plans’ are actually, let’s face it, forms of restrictive eating. We tell ourselves that we are sensitive to gluten or wheat or sugar, so we cut out those things. Only low-sugar fruits are ok. White potatoes are bad. Food combining – all in a disordered pursuit of the holy grail – flat tummy, big butt, not too thin, able to feel like we are in control.… Read more »
isa
Guest

all that stuff can be pretty inflammatory for a lot of ppl and show up in skin issues, joint pain, etc…so it sucks when it’s for real and ppl think you are just on some health trend…

isa
Guest

for aesthetic reasons, not health reasons

Rita_7
Guest
Rita_7

I Thought it was kourtney kardashian at first glance (Her picture with the white dress and purple shoes)

CarrieD
Guest
CarrieD
I feel like she should credit me here, I’ve been saying for years that I don’t have an eating disorder but I have disordered eating (just kidding, it’s not a hard thing to come up with and I bet it’s been around for years). It’s nice to see a public figure speaking like this. But it’s also weird because while it makes one feel less alone it also makes us wonder how many of us are there who can relate (nearly all would be my guess). I think I’m pretty (my face), and funny, and smart, and interesting. But it’s… Read more »
Kia
Guest

Welcome to society’s brainwash.
Starts when you look at ads as a kid.
You have to select which brainwash you want in life.

scarlet
Guest
scarlet

She completely nailed this! This is an epidemic in America, and it affects women of all sizes. Sadly, very few therapist or eating disorder centers know how to help with this issue. All of them focus on Anorexia or Bulimia, but if you have a non-specific eating disorder, they rarely know how to help. I know this because I have sought out help from many of these therapists, and they just sort of stare at me dumbfounded… like “you are a normal person.. why are you here, again?”….

Kia
Guest

They have no clue how to help anorexia and bulimia as well don’t worry. They just created the names.

Kia
Guest

Ok, but is there a thing such as “non restrictive” eating? That’s an ed as well!
Every normal eating is restricted, although in a flexible way.
Please stop using “restriction” as a weird thing as it is perfectly normal and a healthy choice.

Member
Medusa

I actually agree with you. If we all are whatever we wanted all the time, that would likely be a problem too. Completely unrestrained food consumption is the greater problem in the Western world than people under-eating.

That being said, I have struggled with a fairly severe ed in the past and it is difficult sometimes to strike a balance between making healthy food & portion choices and restricting or obsessing to an unhealthy level.

anna
Guest
anna

non restrictive eating is eating when you are hungry and stopping when you feel satiated. it requires listening to physical signals from your body, which is very easy when you know how, unfortunately too many people have forgotten

C B
Guest

Anorexic people don’t just *not* eat at all. Let’s dispel that myth, shall we?

May
Guest

jesus join the club sister… everyones got an eating disorder now.

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