Binge: I was diagnosed with anorexia... - Anorexia Bulimia ...

Anorexia Bulimia Care
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I was diagnosed with anorexia over a year ago. It took me over 5 months to gain back the weight but the only reason I was able to was because I gave up. Not quite sure but the thing that caused much stress to me years prior turned into what I reached for in times of stress-food. It got out of control and I was binging and purging daily. I knew this was terrible for me and I each time I did, I would tell myself this would be the last time. That was this past fall and things have gotten a lot but every once in awhile I’ll have a binge and I feel awful about myself after but don’t have the heart or energy to binge. Does anybody have advise?

2 Replies

Hi, I am really sorry things are difficult for you. You asked for some advice, so I will try to provide some that has been helpful for me in recovery--I'm warning you now it will be wordy ;)

There is a reason many of us travel along the ED spectrum-dieting-->anorexia-->bulimia and back again. Despite what your ED (and the broader society) tells you humans cannot successfully control their food or bodies long term, and it you are, you are likely using disordered behaviors. It is actually not something we can do by sheer forced of will.

Your weight is similar to your height--something predetermined and part of your physical blueprint. Sure, you can push it around temporarily but at some point biology takes over and you start having binges. This convinces you that you cannot "control" yourself around food, so you compensate somehow--over exercising, restricting harder, purging, etc. Unfortunately, the compensating behaviors just set you up for another binge further down the road. You must realize that binges don't lead to restriction, restriction leads to binging. So the violence of your binges depends on how much you are restricting and controlling things. The binges happen in reaction to the restriction, which is why I think it helpful to think of binging as reactionary eating.

Your body is reacting to starving, and this sounds scary but it's actually pretty smart. Your body interprets periods of restriction as famine, so when the opportunity arises it tries to get in all the food it can to protect it from the next bout of famine. I never understood this, and no one ever explained it to be, so I reacted by engaging in disordered behaviors to compensate because I thought I should be able to control things. So, how do you break this cycle? By not compensating for the binge--you eat your next meal, don't over exercise, avoid purging.

I am not pretending that any of this is super easy at all. I was sick with EDs across the spectrum for most of my life. However, once I started eating at regular intervals without restriction, the urges to binge and therefore purge or compensate by other methods really calmed down. It takes time, but once you body trusts that you won't starve it you will be shocked at how different you feel and how much your relationship to food changes. I hope this helps somewhat. Sorry for the long length.

A high % of those recovering from anorexia develop binge eating / bulimia

I honestly think though that on the whole you are doing very well especially if you compare yourself to others who can't escape from anorexia there are more and more middle aged women with anorexia

LBlu offers an interesting explanation

I don't think you should feel awful about the occasional binge - you should accept it as part of your recovery - you are doing very well but if you start being hard on yourself and feeling awful it could lead back to anorexia

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