The restriction/bad body image cycle

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?



  1. couldn’t have said it better myself, anorexia temporarily covers-up all those bad feelings and numbs you, but the end result is so harmful and destructive. I’m glad you’ve been able to pull yourself out of that slump. I have fallen in to the downward spiral too many times, and its just not worth it. Stay strong. ❤

  2. I completely agree. I don’t remember feeling bad about myself too much at all before recovering and once I started it felt absolutely horrible about myself.
    I’m glad you were able to pull yourself out of that slump. It’s just not good.

  3. Oh I definitely find this to be true. Since my slip a couple of weeks ago, I’ve found myself holding back on snacks here and there and feeling powerful from my pangs of hunger. Then after a while it just gets annoying and I start to feel restless and irritable. But for that moment I remembered what it was like to starve again and I got some sick kind of high from it. Oh how I do not miss those days. Gimme food. PLEASE!!

  4. Like everyone above, I completely agree. Starvation is like a drug. You feel fantastic for a short while, but then you feel worse than before. Then you do something to make you/ED happy again and your “high” of sorts comes back. Then, once again, you crash. Yes, this was exactly what happened with me too. For me, the best thing was to just do something. Anything. Distractions were what helped me forget about appearance, my body, my stomach, and food. When I didn’t have time to obsess, the obsessions and negative thoughts stopped.

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