P.S. Here's another observation: extreme discomfort with compliments over time in people with eating disorders. Eventually, it just doesn't feel good to get those addictive compliments any more. Maybe this is a sign of improvement?
I think a recognition that this whole game is dangerous and shallow might precede this phenomenon. At the beginning of a drug addiction, people might think that it is all fun and games. Eventually, they can reach a point of developing an aversion, after all of the consequences come to fruition. I think it is the same for eating disorders.
The drug is achieving incremental goals of deprivation and social approval. In cases I've seen, it appears that the aversion to social approval piece comes first, followed by a disregard for monitoring food intake - but only in people who have truly recovered.