Blacks With Bulimia: A Secret in Plain Sight4/28/2011
When stress mounts for Stephanie Covington Armstrong, she catches herself before reaching for comfo...
When stress mounts for Stephanie Covington Armstrong, she catches herself before reaching for comfort food. Instead she chews over what's really bothering her. "Once I can identify that, then I'm quickly able to just shift," she told The Root. "I've gone through a lot of therapy, so I'm very aware if I'm on the road to practicing behavior that's unhealthy."
Armstrong's mindfulness is worlds away from the years during which she responded to anxiety by binge eating, followed by hunching over the toilet to vomit, abusing laxatives or taking three consecutive aerobics classes and then doing thousands of sit-ups. Like the estimated 4.2 percent of American women who suffer from bulimia nervosa at some point in their lifetime, Armstrong was gripped by an obsessive cycle of bingeing and purging.
As a black woman, she also reflects growing research that debunks the myth that bulimia is an affluent white girl's disease -- and shows that African Americans are actually more likely to suffer from the disorder.
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