Okay, but what are we gonna say?
I'd never heard the expression "subclinical disordered eating" before. When you google it you see a bunch of sports medicine links. If you dig down they say "it's disordered eating that doesn't meat the clinical criteria for disordered eating" which pretty much "whatever we say." Okay, whatever. That's good and bad, bad because "subclinical" means "can't be billed to insurance" but good because "can't be used for liability purposes" because hey guess what? Nobody (NOBODY) wants to deal with eating disorders as anything but inpatient because the mortality ratio is about six, because comorbidity with other mood disorders is over 50% and aside from the suicide risks eating disorders will just straight up organically kill you.
So. You realize you're a man with anorexia. The first thing you're going to do is debase yourself trying to convince someone to listen. If you succeed you're going to have to walk it all back so they don't lock you up for 28-day inpatient "therapy." Oh, but if it's "subclinical?"
The first step, as said in the Medicine Today article: “Dismantle any biased thoughts they themselves may have that eating disorders are a ‘female’ problem.”
Okay, done! Great. You're being stupid about food. Trust me, everyone knows you're being stupid about food but you. All your fellow wrestlers know (and cheer you on). All your fellow divers know (and cheer you on). All your fellow runners know (and cheer you on). One of us, one of us, one of us.
Second, as discussed in the Sports Medicine article, is education. That can include everything from statistics to discussing the performance impacts associated with negative energy availability.
LOL you think nobody knows? That light-headedness is virtue. Fuck yeah you can run eight miles having not eaten in 48 hours at 7500 feet... that just proves how badass you are! And who are you racing, anyway? I did a 10k the day after donating a pint of blood. Yeah my performance sucked ass but not for someone who was a pint low!
Seeing a professional is almost always recommended in the standard of care for eating disorders.
Who will not believe you until he locks you up with 15 year old girls. Oh, right but you're "subclinical."
Short of that, talk to friends, family members, coaches or others.
"Hey, coach, I think I'm not eating enough." "Did you make weight?" "...yeah?" "Then you're fine."
Men with clinical eating disorders may also have higher rates of depression
One thing is for sure: this article won’t solve the problem. But being open about it can be a first step for some people.
If saying "hey, Eugene, I think I'm not eating enough" is possible for you, you don't have "disordered eating." I knew full well how fucking crazy I was. It was a control thing, fully ritualized and with its own cosmology.
And perhaps most importantly for runners that find themselves with these issues, it’s essential to remember one more thing: Food is fast.
And see this, of all things, makes the least sense to me. Scarf down some hummus and go run a few miles and tell me how fast it made you. Choke down a Snicker's and tell me what Mile 3 looks like.