Stuck In A Starve-Binge-Purge Cycle

By August 25, 2012

I have been obsessed with my weight and food for almost 5 years now. Everyday I have an “eating plan” – usually no more then 300 calories. If I eat anything other then what I “planned” then I get discouraged and binge the rest of the day and most of the time use laxatives, exercise or throw up to get rid of the food I ate. I can lose up to 10-12 pounds in a week and I can also gain 5 lbs in a weekend. Some weeks I barely eat anything and over-exercise. Lately I have been bingeing everyday and I don’t think I have ever eaten a normal sized meal in 4 years. The portion of food is either way too big or way too small. I have been going to counseling for a while and that’s not much help at all. This eating problem is too big of an issue to give up. I don’t know what to do. Do you have any comments? Thanks. – CC

Dear C.C.,

When we don’t plan to give our bodies enough food, our bodies automatically rebel. This is what is called deprivation sensitivity. This is a survival mechanism, so it is a VERY STRONG IMPULSE.

300 calories a day is obviously not enough for a healthy young woman. We need to work with our bodies, not against them. If you choose to stop the cycle of eating too little, your hunger will not be forced to its limits. You then are less likely to binge and then you don’t have to resort to the compensatory behaviors like over exercising. It’s time to think in new ways about fueling our bodies. If the old ways aren’t working, please consider new concepts like eating when you are hungry and stopping when you are full and exercising in moderation. Please try a new approach.