Monday, July 6, 2009

Eating Disorders

Eating disorders. Did you know that compulsive overeating is considered part of the spectrum of eating disorders? You think of Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa as eating disorders but compulsive overeating, sometimes followed by dieting, is part of the whole binge/purge syndrome. Did you know that the average girl now starts dieting at age 8? Did you know that those who very rigidly follow the healthiest diet they can find, eliminating all fat and chemicals and whatever else they are convinced is unhealthy end up with life-threatening symptoms from not getting enough nutrition? That this newly recognized disorder has been given its own name--Orthorexia? I've seen a lot of that in some of the OA meetings I've attended. Here is a website if you want more information:

Here's part of their advice for preventing eating disorders:
Listen to your body.
Eat what you want, when you are truly hungry. Stop when you're full. And eat exactly what appeals to you. Do this instead of any diet, and you are unlikely to ever have a weight problem, let alone an eating disorder. Eat when you are truly hungry. Stop when you are full.

I remember thinking I should be thinner as a teenager. It was easy to lose the weight. I was still able to eat a lot because I was very active. I still ate what I liked, which wasn't neccessarily good for me, I just ate less of it. I ate enough good stuff to still be very healthy. I got married at 19 and started gaining, but not much. Then I finished college while pregnant and each succeeding pregnancy brought bigger babies and more weight. Each time I dieted afterward. This was the start. And it just ballooned. Gain, lose, gain even more.

Now my goal weight is a weight that I once thought was fat.

How much of my eating disorder got started because of wanting to be pefect, physically? How much was genetic predisposition? How much was emotional issues related to living with undiagnosed, unrecognized ADHD? How much was co-dependancy issues from negating self and doing for everyone else? How much was a spiritual issue of not allowing myself to be fully loved by God?

Don't know. Doesn't matter. I have an eating disorder. I am a compulsive over-eater. I am a food addict.

I need to work on the physical side of the addiction hence the lap band surgery, following the food protocol and let's not forget to mention excercise.

The psychological issues are things that I've been working on for a long time, learning to love myself the way I am including my ADHD for which I'd been shamed and shamed myself, and which always made me feel like a square peg in a round hole. And then there's my co-dependancy issues (think care-taking without taking care of self) which most Christian girls are well-trained in, and which having been married to an alcoholic were especially brought out in me.

There are the social issues that impact body image--I held off on this surgery to make sure I wasn't doing it to look good (though there's nothing wrong with that), but because I genuinely craved better health.

And there are the spiritual issues. I think contentment, mindfulness, gratitude, acceptance, and serenity are big spiritual issues. I have to learn to be content whether in want (need) or in plenty. No matter what the circumstance. And I can only be content in all circumstances through Christ who strengthens me. This blog is getting long. I'm not done exploring these topics, not by a long shot. But now I need to take care of myself and go to bed.

Great website

Great website to explore for bandsters or those thinking about getting banded.