(Let's talk strictly anorexia and bulimia for a moment.)
To those of you who are here seeking diet tips: Many members on this site have an eating disorder. We didn't sit down and decide that we'd like to lose weight. None of us will recommend to you doing the things that we've done. We understand what it's like to be stuck at a higher weight, hating yourself, but we also want you to understand, you're not going to love yourself or your body any more once you lose weight this way.
It is your body and there's nothing we can do to really stop you from doing any of this--from reading the forums, from taking tips--and we're not going to try. If you are going to do this, we'd like you to do it as safely as possible, and we can help you with that. We just want you to understand the risks of what you're doing, and to consider the fact that you will be harming your body, and that this could kill you.
Also, please think about this: diets are not all about losing weight quickly. It's about losing it and keeping it off. You should lose weight the healthy way and it is possible, period. There are no excuses, like, "oh, I've tried everything, nothing works!"--if you eat right and exercise, you WILL see results, end of story. We can't do that. If I could choose to start all over at 160 and lose weight the right way, I would in an instant. I've lost 35lbs since relapse and I still hate my body. I will always hate it, because I am sick. You could die doing this. We want you to understand the risks.
This community is, however, accepting of all of its members. You will not be treated any differently if you have an ED than if you don't have an ED. You will become part of the family here, no matter what. We will encourage you to seek help and we will support you through whatever mess you're in, but we do not encourage people to starve themselves. You will receive information on weight loss and nutrition from the experts, but you will not be told to starve yourself.
To the long-standing members: This site is all-inclusive. We should be accepting of everyone who comes here, even those looking for a "quick way to lose weight". We need to be supportive-- people come here for support, and to feel less alone. By telling someone without an ED who comes here to find diet tips to "leave" and that they are "stupid" or "not welcome here", you're doing far more harm than good.
We should explain these things to them. We've all become very knowledgeable about weight loss, calories, exercise, and things of this nature; they know this. If they ask us for tips, they're obviously desperate for some sort of help, so talk to them. We need to tell them what works and what will keep them healthy. Some of us know these things better than our doctors know them.
I don't want these dieters to develop develop an eating disorder any more than you do-- so show them how horrible this is for them. Warn them of the dangers. If they still want to proceed, there are obviously some deeper issues. You can encourage them to get help all you want, but ultimately, it's up to them what they do with their bodies.
I would not wish this disorder on my worst enemy. This is hell on earth.
You cannot choose to have an eating disorder, but you may develop one here. It is very triggering. You will become fascinated by food and overjoyed at your weight loss.
You may lose weight quickly through starving yourself, but that progress will be gone the moment you begin eating properly again.
This is not a diet. This is not a lifestyle. Should you choose to make this mental illness your diet or your lifestyle, you will be forever ruining your body, hurting those around you, and ultimately, killing yourself.
Once you start counting calories, you will never stop.
None of us want this for you. We want you to be happy, healthy, and able to love yourselves.
Please, be safe.