I came to a very interesting realization after a few days of semi-restriction. I say semi because although I wasn’t limiting my calorie intake to just a few hundred calories like I used to, I was still subconsciously cutting back on certain foods and food groups. Sometimes it was “unintentional” I did it simply because I wasn’t at all hungry, I still ate – a bit of course, but significantly less then I should have. And that nagging feeling of hunger made me feel secure, it made me feel powerful – at least for the moment.
Now that I’ve pulled myself out of the slump I was in the first thing I notice is that my body image has significantly worsened. Even on days I was “restricting” I would look in the mirror and pick out my flaws. This could have been related to my negative attitude as a whole – although I would dare say it was more then just that, When I take care of my body – by fueling it properly, being active and mindful (meditating, doing yoga etc.) – I feel good about myself. I feel confident, attractive and healthy. It’s a hard feeling to describe really – I guess the best way to put it would be general well being. On the flip side of the coin when I restrict, overexercise, allow myself to become overworked and overstressed that’s when I start feeling unattractive, uncomfortable and fat.
Of course this makes perfect sense to me now, and it explains how eating disorders become such a destructive downward spiral. No matter how much you restrict, how many hours a day you exercise and how hard you work towards trying to numb those negative emotions – you just feel worse and worse. You might feel better for the moment, but as soon as the “buzz” wears off you find yourself needing your “fix” again. And the longer it goes on, the more intense these negative feelings grow – and subsequently the harder it is to fight them off.
If you’ve ever struggled with an eating disorder – have you found this to be true?
What are your thought on the matter?