Saturday, November 19, 2011

Eating Disorders and How I Overcame Them

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There was a time that I experienced three of the worst possible combinations when it came to unhealthy dieting. I guess it was a blessing in disguise that I decided to shift majors and got my degree in Psychology. Also, I guess part of the blessing then was that I loved and still love Abnormal Psychology, Clinical Psychology and Mental Health and Hygiene during my college years.

Here is the list of the battles that I went through when I was in college and even a little after.

Anorexia Nervosa and I got all these symptoms then:

> Rapid weight loss
> Fear of being or getting fat
> I had an abnormal view of my weight and body
> Loss of regular menstrual cycles

It was a good thing that I noticed these unhealthy views of myself and body before it was too late. In order to maintain at least the weight that I thought then was normal I noticed that I had the attitude of a non-purging type of bulimic who used fasting, those unknown diet pills and excessive exercise to lose the presumed extra weight.

I was ashamed of my anorexic view of my body that I resorted to binge eating, hiding food or eating when no one was looking, as well as over eating to the point that my stomach started to hurt.

Then I said to myself, binge eating and the fear of being overweight can be fought off by exercise. I then became a person who was obsessed with exercising - Compulsive Exercise. I enrolled in a gym and I made sure that I always hit the gym after classes, sometimes once before going to school then again after school. I went to aerobics classes twice a day at one hour each per session and worked out, lifted weights for another hour, make that twice a day and I was working out for four hours daily! This compulsive exercise behavior or anorexia athletica ruled my life for three straight months. After my gym membership expired, I resorted to exercising at home.

I wouldn't say that I got panic attacks when I didn't exercise, but definitely, I was anxious and nervous if I wasn't able to exercise every.single.day. In order to get rid of the guilt feelings after over-indulging, I would exercise for about 4 hours every single day or sometimes I would keep exercising even if I felt tired, dizzy or faint. 

Those were some of my lowest points when it came to my health. Overcoming these problems took me so much effort and unfortunately resulted in weight gain. 

Today though this journey to wellness does NOT include any of the three disorders mentioned above. I have recognized the symptoms sometime ago and I am now more aware of my body.

The plan - eat healthier, make healthier food choices and exercise daily with routines that have a 90minute cap.

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It's hard to admit that I had some eating disorders when I was younger, but if I don't admit it, then I just might fall back into its grips again - to that I say, NO MORE.

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If you're worried about anyone that you suspect has an eating disorder, please look for the following danger signs:

Anorexia Nervosa

> A person with anorexia may be underweight or exhibits a fear of maintaining a normal body weight. The fear of getting or being fat.
> The loss of interest in social activities
> An anorexic may have dry skin, thin bones, experience weakness, constipation 
> Obvious rapid weight loss
> Excessive exercising

Bulimia Nervosa

> Excessive eating within a short time span
> Purging, vomiting, use of laxatives, diet pills (without prescription or an actual need for them)
> Body signs that point to purging like puffy cheeks, calloused knuckles because of use to induce vomiting, 

Compulsive Exercise Danger Signs

> Feeling anxious when one skips a day of exercising or when one CAN'T take a day off from working out because it rules your everyday life and routine
> Putting unnecessary strain on the body by working out HALF the day or between four (4) and five (5) hours a day
> When you DON'T listen to the signals your body is sending to your brain

For more information regarding eating disorders, you can go HERE



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