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Eating Disorders: The Men’s Issue No One Talks About and Why That Has to Change

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Eating Disorders: The Men’s Issue No One Talks About and Why That Has to Change

brian_cuban.ashxMy 27-year journey struggling with anorexia and bulimia started when I was 18 years old and a freshman at Penn State University. At 45,  recovery finally began. I know now that I was lucky to survive, but sadly that’s not true for many. Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any psychological disorder — a fact that doesn’t surprise me after nearly taking my own life at age 44. I could no longer take looking in the mirror and seeing the image of a “fat, stupid child” born of fat shaming at home and weight teasing and bullying in school. So much has changed since then.

Read the rest of my Op-ed on Greatist.com

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Keynote For 3rd Annual Media And Mental Health Awards

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Keynote For 3rd Annual Media And Mental Health Awards

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Clint Eastwood Doesn’t Have Fat Days!

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Clint Eastwood Doesn’t Have Fat Days!

brian_cuban.ashxA fat morning.  The diet has been terrible.  Pant’s seem to get a little tighter each time I wake up.  Wearing sweats all day is better.  Less stressful.  Need more sweats.  Off to Walmart later.  But today I have to face it.  Real clothes are required.  Blood pressure rising.  I just got out of the shower but I am perspiring like I am deep in the Amazon jungle.   It’s the “fear of the pants”.  The stress of even one millimeter less room between the stomach and the denim waistline.  I can feel it like like my senses are  laser calibrated.  

Six pair of jeans lay in front of me.  Which pair will relieve the tension and allow me to go on with my day?  Maybe the  unwashed ones from last week. They are stretched out.  Good for a fat day.  This is so silly!  I am a guy!  Guys don’t have fat days!  Clint Eastwood never had a fat day!  The shame of the stigma and stereotypes that engulf males  when it comes to body image raises my body temperature even further. 

Now I am soaked in sweat.  Have to take another shower and check every inch of my stomach and waistline. The obsessive-compulsive body checking routine that I though I had put behind me,  sneaks back into my morning routine now and then.  Recovery is a process of ups and down.  The key for me is keeping the ups more consistent than the occasional down.  Medication helps.  Twenty  Mgs of Lexapro daily help lessen the compulsive urges.  Not today though.  The only way to relieve the pressure of the fat morning is to try on every pair of  jeans I own.  Each pair confirming my worst fears.  I have gained weight. 

The next thoughts in my mind make the difference. I can allow the fat thoughts now confirmed to drag me back into the abyss of Body Dysmorphic Disorder, bulimia and drug addiction,  or I can draw on years of recovery and therapy and thought re-training to realize the obvious, I am still me.   I am loved.  People don’t care about my  fat day.  They have their own fat days, fears and insecurities.   They want to love and be loved likeI do, whther fat thin or in-between.  A deep breath. A smile.  Off to Starbucks to write about my fat day.  It’s all good.  

Be sure to check out my Amazon Best Selling book, “Shattered Image: My Triumph Over Body Dysmorphic Disorder” Available on Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble.com available in paperback and on Kindle!

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Why I Speak Out On Male Eating Disorders And Body Image

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Why I Speak Out On Male Eating Disorders And Body Image

Brian-Cuban-8193-1As a backdrop, I was anorexic, then bulimic for twenty-seven years.  I am the author of Shattered Image: My Triumph Over Body Dysmorphic Disorder.  Below are a few of the reasons I have chosen to “out myself’ and speak out on eating disorder awareness.

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Sadly, this is just a small sampling of the neanderthal attitudes on male eating disorders. It becomes a Catch-22 when these stereotypes and this type of stigma are the main reason so few men seek treatment and even fewer out themselves publicly. On the flip-side, I owe each of these individuals a debt of gratitude for  providing the platform to illustrate the issue.   The hard fact are that over 800k men have suffered from bulimia at some point in their lives. Over 10 million males will suffer from a clinically significant eating disorder at some point in their lives. We need more men to come forward. There is incredible acceptance from both men and women despite those stuck in the stone age.  Awareness happens one person at a time. Join me.

Brian Cuban

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