My binges and purging (usually through laxatives and exercise as I’m rarely able to be sick) are always a result of my restrictive anorexia. Before having a restrictive eating disorder I never ate out of control, ate quickly or had the urge to eat loads. Until today, I never told anybody LITERALLY what happens. I found myself saying that “I ate loads in one go, had to rid of it and then sat in a panicked state, unable to physically move when I was unable to do so. No money for laxatves, unable to be sick and not feeling like I could ever do enough exercise…”
I have never been so open about what goes on in the short binge phases I experience, and I feel so relieved. I have admitted that I DO have a problem in that respect, and while it isn’t its own entity- more a biological and psychological response to deprivation- I do need to address it in order to reach the ultimate “middle” of eating well and being mentally ok.
I am not yet in a place to contemplate not losing more weight, and so I am going to accept that, but create a calorie range, so there is a bottom to my restriction. That way I will still lose weight, but be “allowed” a certain amount… this will be new to me, as throughout my problem with food, lowering the calories has been a constant focus. What I have learned is that 100-300 calories less a day barely speeds up the weight loss at all anyway!
5 THINGS I WILL DO IF I FEEL LIKE I AM GOING TO BINGE:
-Think about how I will feel if I do
-Do my favourite breathing exercise
-Listen to music
-Remind myself that I don’t need to “stock up” food, because I have induced the deprivation and I know I am going to get x calories tomorrow anyway. Know that my body is programmed to survive, but the instinct to eat large amounts in unnecessary in society where food is readily available
-Call someone and talk about anything! This is good because it proves food doesn’t have to control my llife
I feel like I have just had a massive revelation! Never using clear language has stopped me from fully admitting to anybody the truth of this side of my illness. So I will say it again and see it in black and white:
My anorexic brain wishes me to be perfect. When biology eventually cuts in, my instinct makes me eat and eat. The eating disorder makes me guilty, get rid of the food, and perpetuate the cycle. When the phase ends, I am back to restricting all the time and so pretend I have never binged. Like most people. I HAVE BINGED. I am not proud of it, and have hidden it by wrapping the statement in cotton wool when speaking to others. Now this is a fact, I can break that cycle. Then I only have the one (starvation) cycle left to break.
I can totally relate. Right now I’m working on breaking a binge-restrict cycle that has been particularly bad. I realized when I was talking to my dietitian this week that one of the driving forces behind my binges is not only restricting, but once I start binging I feel like if I don’t eat everything in front of me I will never be able to eat any of those things again. I think it’s really good that you will remind yourself that you don’t need to “stock up” because you can eat just one thing and then eat other things later when you are actually hungry. I think its great that you are trying to break the cycle but you have to remember that you must stop the restriction before you can stop the binging. I still don’t want to accept that reality myself, but its the truth.
Admitting being eating disordered, acknowledging its being there and being open about it are an ed’s enemies! Very few people manage to be so open about it – at least they stay silent for too long. The way you analyse yourself and your eating disorder and identify thinking pattern shows what a remarkable person you are! Well done ❤ Take all the time you need to recover but always remember who's the bad guy (anorexia) and who's the good one (recovery)…
I love your coping mechanisms! 🙂 What breathing exercise do you do? I'm looking for a good one to calm myself down in general when I get anxious or am about to have a panic attack.
xxx Have a good day! 🙂
Thank you, I don’t always feel composed or logical though… who does!!
As for the breathing, I like to breathe in as I tense a body part (e.g. shoulders,hands, stomach etc) and then relax that tension as I breathe out. Doing this a few times forces you to focus on what you are doing rather than what is panicking you! xx
Thank you, it’s very helpful indeed!! 🙂
I agree! I’ve found that I can’t go below about 600/day for more than a day or so, otherwise I’ll end up binging at some point, or at least very tempted to binge. When I stay upwards of 800 (I aim for 800-1000, sometimes 1200 for special occasions), I don’t or rarely get the urge to binge. I guess everyone has to find his or her number, though. Proud of you for figuring this out! And to add to your list of things to do when you want to binge–text your partner in crime! Lol! 🙂
Everybody’s body is different I guess, gotta figure out where feels safe for me..Hopefully the day will come when a normal amount of calories feels safe 😀 x
True!! I hope so too. 🙂