What are eating disorders?
Well the more I read, the less sure I am that anyone knows a great deal about these. Essentially, eating disorder is a loss of logical control over our intake of food in some way. The physical body or unconscious is in control. Our eating is beyond the control of our free will. The chemistry is in control. Short of locking myself away, I am going to eat when I get like that. I am one who is unable to not eat the marshmallow, unless I physically take myself away. Understand that. If there is food available I will eat it. That is an eating disorder, binge eating disorder likely. The desire to eat is in control.
How does one live life with this problem?
There are many who do not have this problem who are willing to tell me how to do it, but they and I am not the same animal. I am unable to control myself in the presence of food. That is the essential difference. The zucker rat, and the Labrador dog are likewise.
The solution is not clear. Any system that supposes a god is just wrong as there is no god. There is no physical evidence of a god, and no miracles. We are the result of evolution and other natural processes, some of which we understand, some not so much. There is no purpose in human life beyond reproduction, and after we get well founded comfortable conditions. These are all cultural. We are opportunistic organisms living on a big rock. Some of us develop irrational desires, like myself toward food, or like the gays toward other of there same gender. We have all the *files, alcoholics, drug addicted. Not rational, any of them. Some recover, some die with the issues.
We need to somehow get our desires under control. Somehow. Control of the body is all I could ever do so far, yet after reflection, it is the desire that must go. Now desires should be within our locus of control according to Epictetus, yet perhaps not chemically/physically driven desires. That is likely the difference; some are physically/chemically driven desires, some are psychological driven. We have control of the psychologically, but not the physical. Some, like eating are likely driven by both as eating is required by the body for survival. Some eating is required, some is not.
Those that claim supernatural knowledge and authority over others, aka religious leaders, are total nut cases. Eating disorders are, at the foundation our reactions to our situation, in the presence of food. Our situation includes (included) family, social/cultural collective social behaviors and expectations, even in "unreal" but real situations. I was raised in a irrational religious environment, which I ignored, and later became agnostic for most of my working life. Now that I have time, I have sorted out my thinking in this area of my life and have become completely atheist. The conditions I was raised under caused this food issue, of that I am certain. The family religion/philosophy "don't talk, don't tell" has become "those raving religious lunatics".
So does early learned behavior get encoded into the epigenetic behavior? The simple answer is yes. So how does one undo this? Well, nobody seems to be telling? Go see a psychologist specializing in eating disorders. So I looked around and found one locally- well thirty miles away. So I set up an appointment and went. She was bigger than I was at the time... not much evidence of her ability there. So my search too me to the neighboring providence, where I found a renown psychologist who had found a solution. So I started to make an appointment, but then I recognized the voice, but not the name. A cousin, who had never been bothered by the eating issue nor reality, she had always been batshit crazy and thin, but with a tremendous memory. So much for that line of help.