This is a topic that many people struggle with; to binge, or not to binge.
We all have those days where we just want to stay in bed and eat tons of ice cream and chocolate and completely over-indulge. Is there anything wrong with that? Of course not!
Not only is food fuel for us to survive, but it’s also one of the simplest ways to cheer yourself up. Food (especially chocolate) releases endorphins which makes you feel happy and energized.
If you ignore these binge-cravings, you could possibly find yourself feeling frustrated and miserable (I know I do), and the binge ends up becoming bigger than it would have been originally.
Here’s an example; Yesterday, I went for food with my friends. Once I got home, I was still craving chocolate and crisps and just junk food in general. By the end of the night, I had eaten a whopping 3000 calories. I was worried that I would have put a ton of weight on. But, when I stepped on the weighing scales this morning, I had only gained half a pound (which is neither here nor there). As I was eating all of this food last night, I felt rather sick, and I wanted to stop, but I really just couldn’t, as I had deprived myself from these foods for such a long time.
So, if you really need to binge, go for it. Even I ate 3000 calories, and only gained half a pound. We all deserve a break sometimes. We all deserve to be happy, and to enjoy ourselves in life, and if food is something that makes you happy, why cut it from your life?
So in about two weeks, I have a friend staying with me for a few days. Although it’s only a few days, it’s pretty difficult trying to pretend that you really don’t care about your diet when it’s the only thing on your mind. So because of that, I’ve decided to give her a little ‘heads up’.
It’s your choice about whether or not you want to tell other people about your eating disorder, as it is a very personal thing to talk about. My original plan was to keep quiet, as I have done for almost two years. Reason being, I’ve always feared that if I was to mention it to my friends, they might feel uncomfortable, or begin to see me in a different light.
On the other hand, it could be helpful to mention it to your close friends. It may feel like lifting the weight of your big secret from your shoulders. It also might bring you closer as friends; they might open up to you about their own problems! For all you know, they could also be struggling with an eating disorder (or something similar).
So, you may be wondering how to go about mentioning it. Well, don’t force it. If it doesn’t feel right to mention it, save it for a later time when it does feel right. Perhaps invite your friend out for a coffee and a chat? Wherever you feel comfortable.
When you bring it up, there’s no need to go into detail. An idea of what to say would be:
"For the past few months, I’ve been struggling with an eating disorder."
From there on, it’s up to you what you’d like to add to that. Though, you need to remember that this person may not know much about eating disorders, and it can be extremely complex for someone else to understand. What I’d suggest is that you give the brief overview of your eating disorder. Afterwards, you can ask if they have anything they’d like to ask, or you could move on from the topic, depending on how comfortable you both feel.
It is believed by many that the way to lose weight is to cut out all kinds of things from your diet, for instance; carbs. But, do these people really understand why we need this nutrition?
Although there are many people out there cutting carbs from their diet, we need carbs because they are the main source of energy in our diet. We need this energy in order to grow, for our metabolism, and other body functions. Carbs are also used for the central nervous system, the brain, kidneys, and muscles to function. I’ve come across some claiming that they don’t need these carbs, as they don’t exercise, but you burn so much energy every single day, simply by living. (To find out how much you burn, click here).
Diets that are low in carbs (which are therefore often low in fiber) increase problems such as constipation, hemorrhoids, and colon cancer. It’s also a risk because you’re cutting out essential vitamins like B vitamins, zinc, and iron. On the other hand, diets that are high in carbs (high in fiber) have been shown to decrease risks of heart disease, obesity, and help lower cholesterol.
According to the Government’s healthy eating advice, a third of your diet should be starchy foods. These starchy foods should preferably be fruits, vegetables, and wholegrain varieties.
Now, don’t ever believe that carbs make you fat. They don’t. Pretty much any food will cause weight gain if you eat huge amounts of it. Women should eat at least 2000 calories a day, and men should eat 2500 calories a day. This consists of 230g of carbs for women, and 300g of carbs for men. If you follow this, you should be just fine.
For more information on Carbohydrates, click here.
Nuclear bombs. Poverty. War. Diseases. Just a few examples of the errors of this planet. So, how big is the issue of food compared to these examples?
Now, don’t get the wrong end of the stick here. I’m not saying that your mental health and relationship with food isn’t important; of course it’s important, I’ve dedicated to the whole blog towards it. What I mean is, have you ever looked outside of your own little bubble before? Have you ever looked around at everything that’s going on outside of your food-crazed world?
When I’m feeling low about my weight…etc, I have different solutions for making myself feel better. I listen to music, I paint, I go talk to a friend, I watch a film…etc. But sometimes, all I really need to do is to ask myself “Is it really a big deal?” I get so caught up with my calorie counting and weight loss, that it seems like the only thing that really matters in this world. Sometimes, all we need is a friendly reminder to open our eyes and look at what’s going on around us.
When you think about all of these errors of the world, do you think people are really all that concerned about whether you look fat?
You only have one life. This isn’t a trial run. This is it. Do you really want to use it this way? Do you really want your whole life to be about food? Do you think you’ll be worrying about whether or not you ate that chocolate bar earlier when you’re lying in your grave? Morbid, I know, but that’s really how little it means, compared to everything else in your life.
I’m certain that you’re an amazing person with your own individual skills and talents. Focus on them. Develop them. Use your energy on them. Don’t give in to your eating disorder so easily.
Once you start your calorie restriction, you may notice that weight won’t be the only thing you’re losing with nutrition.
One of the first things I noticed was hair loss. After washing my hair in the shower, I’d be stood in a large puddle of water. Why? Because my loose hair had clogged the drain. So, what causes this? Mainly insufficient protein intake. Not only that, but according to “Super Nutrition for Women”, lack of essential fatty acids, such as omega-3 and omega-6 can also cause hair loss.
Another ‘symptom’ would be Anemia. This one tends to be common among people suffering with an eating disorder. This happens when the body doesn’t have enough iron, which prevents production of red blood cells. This in particular has had quite an impact on my personal health. It’s left me feeling drained, weak, and struggling to do simple tasks such as walking, climbing the stairs, or even standing. Not only that, but it becomes apparent in my appearance that I’m lethargic. Of course, I take pills for this now.
Another would be missed periods. I’m sorry if this is a little ‘tmi’, but for me personally, it’s been 4 months since my last period. This happens a lot. You’ll go months without a period until you boost your nutritional intake again. Your body doesn’t have enough energy, which means that your ovaries won’t function correctly. This could also cause problems getting pregnant in the future, or even miscarriages.
There are honestly so many horrible effects on your body due to lacking in nutrition. More examples would be low blood pressure, osteoporosis, kidney stones, constipation…etc.
I’m not trying to scare you with these facts. I’m sure that you’ve heard it all before. But you need to realise what you’re really doing.
You’re not just losing weight. You’re losing the ability to function. You’re losing the ability to live.
Although, there was a time when I’d be pleased to see these changes. I know. It’s vile. I was happy to see that my hair had clogged the drain. I was happy to see that I didn’t get a period, and devastated when it came back. Why? Because I knew that I was losing weight.
If you’re thinking this way, you need to stop focusing on the weight for a second, and think about your future. Do you want to live? I mean really live. I mean explore, meet new people, start a family…etc. How are you going to do that if you’re half dead?
These effects aren’t signs that your weight loss progress is working. They’re your body’s way of crying for help.
Take care of your body. Give it what it deserves. You’ll thank yourself in the future.
Living with an eating disorder is no easy life at all, and there are solutions to help deal with it. But, the toughest part about getting rid of an eating disorder isn’t always the process of dealing with it. For some, it’s actually getting into your head that you want to recover.
If someone was to offer you a pill, and said “take this, and your eating disorder will be gone forever”, would you take it? In my case, there’s reasons for and against this.
Of course, I’m desperate to get rid of my eating disorder. It’s constant pain and agitation. But at the same time, I sometimes feel that I don’t want to recover.
People tend to push this aside. They jump from full on eating disorder to “time for recovery!” It’s great that you’re enthusiastic about recovery, but it’s a hell of a leap to take. It isn’t something that you can just decide on over night. When you do this, you tend to push those negative thoughts to the back of your mind, which is fine for a little while, but they’ll eventually catch up with you again.
The first step to recovery is to accept it and want it.
For me personally, I was afraid of recovery because I knew that I’d put on weight again.
For months, I told myself and everyone else that I was recovering an eating disorder, and that I was sorting everything out, but I wasn’t. Why? Because I was still restricting myself to a 1200 calorie diet. Yes, it’s more calories than I was eating before, but it was still far too little.
When you’re in the process of recovering from an eating disorder, you can’t restrict yourself. Recovering from an eating disorder and dieting at the same time is like sailing a boat with a great big hole in the bottom. The two don’t go together. You’ll eventually just be dragged back down.
It’s distancing yourself from diets and restrictions that’s so tough, especially if you’ve been on these diets for several months (maybe even years!) but it’s the first step to recovery.
Before you even jump to the jazz of eating disorder recovery, you first of all need to accept that you’re leaving your eating disorder behind.
You need to want to recover. You need to want to put on weight. Just think of all of that pain and agony that you’ve been put through, just over a few pounds of fat.
Don’t find comfort in your eating disorder. It’s not your friend.
This is a mistake that is so commonly made but really frustrates me and many others. Though, I’m being a little hypocritical saying that, as I too used to commonly make this mistake (before I had educated myself a little more on the topic).
People have the tendency to immediately associate the phrase ‘eating disorder’ with being underweight/overweight. You can understand why. But, what’s really frustrating is when someone sees someone incredibly thin (a complete stranger!) and immediately think “anorexia.” Or, on the other side of the coin, when someone disagrees with someone else about having an eating disorder, simply because they don’t look ‘skinny’ enough to be considered ill.
Being under/overweight is not the definition of an eating disorder. Being under/overweight is one of the consequences of an eating disorder that’s gone too far. So, what is an eating disorder? “any of a range of psychological disorders characterized by abnormal or disturbed eating habits (such as anorexia nervosa).” Though, even that explanation doesn’t do it justice.
An eating disorder is constantly having food on your mind. And eating disorder is calculating the amount of calories that you’ll be eating tomorrow night. An eating disorder is worrying that you won’t be able to fit in your daily workout routine. An eating disorder is dreading a family event because you know you’ll eat too much. An eating disorder is the constant anxiety, the feeling of being on the edge of your seat. An eating disorder is the feeling of desperation to eat every single thing in your fridge (whether you like the taste or not). An eating disorder is revolving your whole life around your workout and diet - even if that means interfering with a friendship. And eating disorder is crying over one small piece of cake, because you’d been “so good today”. An eating disorder is exercising excessively after a heavy meal, even though you know it won’t help. An eating disorder is shoving your fingers down your throat, because you’re so desperate to reverse everything that you’ve binged on. And eating disorder is promising yourself that you won’t eat a single thing tomorrow, but you know that you’ll end up eating everything again anyway. And eating disorder is hating yourself for feeling full at the end of the day. And eating disorder is loving that feeling of emptiness in you stomach, and the grumbling sound it makes. An eating disorder is when food becomes not only your enemy, but your bestfriend.
There is so much more to define what an eating disorder really is. There’s so much more depth to it, and being under/overweight is simply the aftermath of it.
Yep, another fish dish. I promise that this is unintentional - I don’t even eat fish that often! I actually went to Pizza Express earlier, and my original plan was to take a picture of the pizza and dessert and post it as this week’s Monday Munch, but guess what? I completely forgot and ate everything within minutes (that’s not the first time that’s happened). Luckily, I had taken this picture from last week’s meal.
You will need:
I’ve posted about exercise before, though today, I want to go into the depth of the guilt that can be felt if going a day without exercise.
The reason why I’ve specifically chosen to post about this today is because I don’t feel like running today. Why? No reason in particular. I’m not motivated, and I’m tired. Simple? Not quite. I can’t help but debate with myself, and add up the reasons for going out running, which are:
Although I have far more reasons for going running than against going running, I still don’t want to go.
It can be a struggle when feeling this way about exercise. It’s as though your heart is telling you to stay at home and recover, though that little conscience inside is judging you for doing so.
When feeling like this, remind yourself; Is anyone forcing you to exercise? Do you think that the people you love and care about are now thinking “I hope they’ve gotten their workout done today!”? Of course not! I’m almost certain that half of the time that I exercise, no one even notices that I’ve gone!
You are in charge of your own actions.
You choose if you want to exercise.
You choose if you want to rest.
If you really don’t want to exercise today (like I really don’t want to run), take it as a hint! It could be your brain’s way of telling you “Cool down. Recover.”
When I listen to my brain, and take a day’s rest, I always feel so much more motivated to run the next day, and I enjoy it far more! If you exercise when you don’t feel like it, you’ll be miserable, and won’t do the best you can. And afterwards, you’ll be too tired to go the next day!
Don’t force yourself to do something that you don’t want to do. The only one working against your decision is yourself.
During the summer, on those hot sweltering days, there’s nothing that I love more than a salad - a fish salad, to be specific, and this is the perfect dish for that craving.
What you will need:
It’s pretty much the ultimate lazy-summer-day dish.