July 6th, 2008


in which a. posts about the realities of starvation

Food. It's a wonderful thing, but it can scare the living daylights out of us if we let it. We're afraid of food - or so we think. In truth, the rising anxiety you feel after eating larger amounts of food is because of complicated biochemical processes that activate when your body has been starved but is now getting more food than it had - but the trick is that this only happens when you're not eating enough.

The truth about 'moderate dieting' - that is, comparatively mild calorie restriction for weight loss - is that it is never without emotional side-effects, and the most common ones include anxiety, depression, lethargy, sudden moodswings, irritability and irrational fears, including ones surrounding the loss of control. Sound familiar? Yep, these are the symptoms you get when you 'eat too much' - without eating enough for your body to properly function.

I would venture to say that many more people than we think happen to have the potential for becoming addicted to starvation; they just don't
because it either doesn't occur to them, or they don't reach that threshold of starvation at a constant enough rate to develop an eating disorder. You're, uh, special (haha) in that you went that far long enough to develop an eating disorder that may have lasted years by now. And as we know, the longer you have your eating disorder, the harder it is to loosen its hold over you.

That same phenomena exists also for 'normal' eating - defined here as eating enough for your body to run all its processes, including making you feel good. If you do it long enough, you get used to it, and it becomes harder and harder to go back to the self-destructive cycles of eating disorders. It can hurt to start, but it'll hurt a lot more to stop - knowing that you could have grasped that particular opportunity for salvation.

So next time you feel like you're not strong enough - next time you feel like you don't really want to eat - eat something right away. It doesn't have to be anything in particular - a banana, a slice of watermelon, a peach, even some nuts or a salad - what is important is that you eat. It is all too easy to just sit and wait and see what happens, and by the time comes where you realize your mistake, it's too late - the eating disorder's got you again, and you'll have to climb out all over again.

Next time. You don't feel strong enough? Eat. Or call someone and have them make you promise you won't get off until a half hour after you eat. Have a friend who knows about your eating disorder come over, or just make a promise to yourself that you are not going to give up - you're going to fight this thing.

Go have something to eat.

It may just save your life.

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I just want to say thanks. I want to recover. I've had enough, and I want out...

I've also discovered that finding something you are passionate about which OBLIGES you to eat healthily (I used to swim competitively, for example, and to start back I need to eat properly or I won't be strong enough) is helpful.

I'm 22, and have been in HELL for 8 years. I've had enough.

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