Starving, Binging and Purging: The Vicious Cycle

In eating disorders, we starve and restrict our food intake because it makes us feel ‘in control’ however, denying ourselves the foods we love makes us crave it even more, which can lead to binge eating.

A binge could be in one sitting, or even the whole day where you will continually eat and eat and eat throughout the hours. Then, you will feel absolutely disgusted with yourself and realise how you ‘ruined’ all your hard work that you put into starving. You sit there in excruciation and feel incredibly suicidal. You feel you cannot keep the food in any longer, so you purge – either you throw it all up, take laxatives, diuretics and diet pills or exercise heavily to feel empty again. To feel better and less guilty about the fact that you just ate food. A great amount of food. You then promise yourself it will be the last time you do it, but unfortunately, this counts as an addiction. It is a horrible, horrible cycle. You do not want to do it, but the guilt drives you to it.

In order to not binge, is to not starve in the first place, therefore you will not feel like you need to purge when you do eat. The reason why we feel like binging is because our body is so malnourished. It is so starved and it is craving food. Your body needs it. It is actually a sign telling you that you are unwell and that you need food.

But, how do you make yourself not want to starve? When you are in the grips of an eating disorder, your mind is so distorted and you feel ‘in control’ when you do starve but you are actually far from in control because the eating disorder is controlling you instead. Your mind is no longer the mind you once had. You can only get that logical mind back with intense treatment. You need to be re-educated about food and nutrition and learn how your body works.

You will need to get into a constructive eating plan, with the right amount of calories and eating at a set time. It may be hard at first but if you really want to get better and put effort into your meal plan then your body will get used to it. This destructive cycle is so hard to overcome and the more you do it, the worse you get and the harder it is to stop. Obviously, trying to stop is easier said than done, but I have seen many people who have conquered this and that in itself is inspiring.

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