Your eating disorder is a coping mechanism. There I said it and I bet that you may have heard that before. Either in therapy or some other blog you read. It’s a good thing to understand as a person suffering from an eating disorder that this is the case for you. But also for people who are trying to help you (dietitian and general practitioners).
Maybe it’s a good thing to define the word coping first, because we all use it so easy. So in the Cambridge dictionary coping is defined as ‘to deal successfully with a difficult situation‘. There is something damn funny about this definition. Because most people who have healthy coping habits, can successfully deal with difficult situations. But if you choose your self destructing habits, you can often fool yourself that this is the right thing to do.
EVERYONE HAS SELF-DESTRUCTING HABITS!
the thing is, they come in different sizes. But you can choose to use them or to let them be. You do not always need to do what your thoughts tell you to do. For thousands of years eating disorders have been around. Princes Sissi and the Swedish princes Victoria had them and there’s is nothing to be ashamed about. You should however be active in teaching yourself better coping mechanisms. Here’s a list with bad types of coping. The assignment for you is to see which one or ones you use and be creative with replacing them with new coping ways.
For example: I always smoke when I am nervous > coping is smoking > If I am nervous I will do a little sprint of 30 seconds to relive the tension.
Bad coping mechanism:
- drinking alcohol
- drinking fizzy drinks
- chewing gum
- too much exercise
- cutting yourself
- not eating or little eating
- eating way too much
- eating lollipops or having toothpicks in your mouth non-stop.
Not everyone with these coping mechanisms have eating disorders. But it all comes down to one thing: FACE WHAT YOU FEEL.
Hope this helps,
‘12.000 calories cheatday’, ‘ 15.000 cheatday ‘, ‘I ate a dozen donuts from Dunkin’ or ‘I ate everything I craved for a day’. For people who do this as a job on YouTube, well okey they make their bucks with this. If it’s a healthy relationship with food….Well it depends how they deal with it the days after and before the cheat-days. How much calories do they eat to compensate this and how much exercise do they do to compensate it. And maybe most important; do they enjoy what they do and can they keep it up or are they crumbling behind the scenes. Eating until your stomach feels painful is not the way to go in my opinion. Keeping track of your calories the days after, because you want them to be as low as possible to stay the same weight is not the way to go in my opinion.
Eating EVERYTHING you want for a day in high quantities is not the way to go in my opinion. Why? Because you are going too extremes and we do not live in a time that extremes are necessary. We don’t live with a shortage of food (at least I am guessing the persons who reads this, if not, my apologies). We don’t need to eat everything we got and as much as possible, because you do not know when your next meal will be.
Often the titles I have written here above and the behavior that comes with are from RESTRICTION. Nobody want’s to hear ‘no you can’t have that’ and it’s even more difficult if it comes from yourself. At some point you will maybe say ‘I just can have a bite’ or ‘ I have been good for the whole week, so Friday is my cheatday’.
There are some people who can handle cheatdays and have a cheatmeal or the same amount of calories they normally have over the day, but choose not so healthy products. But a lot of people have black or white thoughts, making them go crazy when the product that they want so bad is finally there to eat.
After thousands of calories and not having any structure anymore in your eating (happens often). A lot of people deal with an after-blow for 2 days or so after. So maybe it’s not a week, but it definitely makes an impact
So why do you get a cheatweek or some cheatdays?
- Restriction. Not eating when you want, how you want and how much you want.
- Black and white thoughts. An apple is healthy, but eating a donut that taste like apples is a ‘shitty choice’, but my taste buds still want it (you feel torn in two thoughts).
How can you fix it?
- By eating what you want, how much you want and how you want it.
- Skip the black and white thoughts. It’s hard, but using less/no restriction can help that process. Food is not only fuel, it also has a mental aspect and taste aspect. You should try to feed that as well in healthy portions. For example take one donut a day as a snack, because it taste good and it reminds you of your youth. Not 12 on one day.
*One thing these cheatday binges are often not necessary for the body of healthy people. If you are underweight, have a low bodyfat or have an eating disorder these ‘binges’ might be very useful and your body is trying to tell you something. Go to your GP for help.
Hope this helps,