Anorexia Addiction Works. Here’s What It Looked Like for Me.

Eating disorders, religion, and polarization in small town America

Dana Leigh Lyons
6 min readOct 15, 2022
Image of author, age 47, by Brian Limoyo

If you’re new to my writings, you might want to start here, for slightly more context. This post is a continuation of a chapter in progress.

And so, for as much as I loved Jeff Number 2, his God came between us. Not at first, when newly in love and avoiding the issue. But later, when he got an after-school job at a Fundamentalist ice cream shop, founded a Christian athlete group, and talk turned to marriage.

Also not helpful: He began taking cues from a beloved coach who, in a soft, disarmingly kind cadence, assured us all gays were damned for eternity.

Looking back, that’s when future planning went from dreamy and light to full of grownup fights and realities. It’s also when my inheritance — received and created — caught up with me. When anorexia and addiction to running emerged as my most dependable dealer.

Yet, as teens in love, we were optimistic. We assumed somehow, someway, we’d work it out. One of us would change. The other would get over this God thing and come around.

In a generous if self-important gesture, I attended his Christian athlete group in solidarity. Two meetings in, that soft-spoken…