Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Thinking about food too much…

I think I may have an eating disorder of some sort. I think about, read about, and obsess over food constantly. I get worked up over what is "best" whether it is traditional foods along the vein of Nourishing Traditions and Weston A Price, vegan eating because it is not cruel to animals, or even the other restrictive diets like gluten free. I read about them, study them, research them to the ends of the internet, and finally I get so frustrated and confused that I binge.


In high school, I fought with mild anorexia - I wouldn't eat but maybe 500-800 calories a day for weeks at a time, and then I would binge. I would carry around a huge bag of M&M's and eat on them all day. I would hide in the bathroom (still do) and eat so that people wouldn't see me. I never purged, so I don't think it was bulimia, but I thought I was a huge cow at 120 pounds (5'7").


Now, I am grossly overweight and still obsessed about food. I read and study things like the Weston A Price site that pushes bone broths, meats, raw dairy, etc. And then I vomit when I try to cook meat. I just cannot stand the appearance or smell of raw meat. Now, if I go through the Chick-fil-A drive thru, I can put back some chicken nuggets.

Then I start to thinking maybe I should just give up meat. I research vegetarianism and then read about vegans and think, "Gosh, being just vegetarian or just eating fish isn't even close to good enough! I should be a vegan!" And then I give that a go and get frustrated and binge again.

I know that most, if not all, eating disorders have most to do with control, so that's one reason I think I have an eating disorder.

Since I often hide and eat (or hit a drive thru and then hide the "evidence" of my excursion), I started looking and found this online:

Binge eating disorder (BED) - when a person can't control the desire to overeat and often keeps the extreme eating a secret. People with this eating disorder feel no control during the times they are eating to excess. During binge eating, a person may eat more quickly than normal, eat until feeling discomfort, eat large amounts of food when not hungry, and eat alone. Unlike bulimia and anorexia, a person doesn't try to rid the body of extra food by doing things like vomiting, fasting, or exercising to the extreme. Because of this, many people who have this illness are overweight. A person can feel , shame, and guilt during a binge, which can lead to bingeing again, causing a cycle of binge eating. Like with anorexia, people with BED can fear gaining weight, want to lose weight, and dislike the way their bodies look. BED most often starts in the late teenage years or early adult years. Some experts believe BED is the most common eating disorder. The illness often develops soon after extreme weight loss from a diet. BED can be hard to diagnose and can be mistaken for other causes of obesity (being overweight). People with BED are often overweight because they maintain a high calorie diet without exercising. Medical problems can happen, like those found with obesity, such as high cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, and diabetes. BED also increases a person's risk for gallbladder disease, heart disease, and some types of cancer. People with BED often suffer from depression.

I also found this information, which seems to relate to my complete obsession with figuring which school of thought is the "Healthiest" option.

Orthorexia Nervosa
Many of the most unbalanced people I have ever met are those who have devoted themselves to healthy eating. In fact, I believe some of them have actually contracted a novel eating disorder for which I have coined the name "orthorexia nervosa." The term uses "ortho," meaning straight, correct, and true, to modify "anorexia nervosa." Orthorexia nervosa refers to a pathological fixation on eating proper food.
Orthorexia begins, innocently enough, as a desire to overcome chronic illness or to improve general health. But because it requires considerable willpower to adopt a diet that differs radically from the food habits of childhood and the surrounding culture, few accomplish the change gracefully. Most must resort to an iron self-discipline bolstered by a hefty dose of superiority over those who eat junk food. Over time, what to eat, how much, and the consequences of dietary indiscretion come to occupy a greater and greater proportion of the orthorexic's day.
The act of eating pure food begins to carry pseudospiritual connotations. As orthorexia progresses, a day filled with sprouts, umeboshi plums, and amaranth biscuits comes to feel as holy as one spent serving the poor and homeless. When an orthorexic slips up (which may involve anything from devouring a single raisin to consuming a gallon of Haagen Dazs ice cream and a large pizza), he experiences a fall from grace and must perform numerous acts of penitence. These usually involve ever-stricter diets and fasts.
This "kitchen spirituality" eventually reaches a point where the sufferer spends most of his time planning, purchasing, and eating meals. The orthorexic's inner life becomes dominated by efforts to resist temptation, self-condemnation for lapses, self-praise for success at complying with the chosen regime, and feelings of superiority over others less pure in their dietary habits.

Maybe I am just a messed up mess…but maybe I need to go to meetings!   Sad smile   AAAAAHHHH!

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