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Is This An Eating Disorder?

Question:

I am 5’2″ and about 230 lbs. I am very muscular and not very big for my weight. (about a size 18) I was turned down for a job because my BMI is over 40 (my body fat is in a healther catagory). I have been trying to loose the 35 lbs the company doc said I had to loose and am begining to fall into some really old bad habits that I had when I was in the army and was struggling to stay at 145lbs or less. I try to not eat as often as I can. I try to consume less than 1500 kcal a day. Then I get upset over something and end up eating twice that in one sitting. I have asked that sweets not be brought into the house and I try to only bring a few healthy things to eat at work. (total of less than 700kcal). I always feel, no matter how much or how little I have eaten that I shouldnt have eaten anything at all. I was running and walking alot while I was “dieting” but I got sick (cold) and was exausted afterwords. I have gone as far as to take laxitives to make my self go to the bathroom when I know I have eaten too much. I did that alot in the Army, and now Im finding myself wanting to do the same thing again. Im afraid to ask my doctor for help because he will only want to give me an antidepressant (im not depressed) and those make me gain weight. I thought I was doing fine until I got turned down for this job and now Im fighting the urge to eat and take laxitives and/or fast and sleep. Is this an eating disorder? I dont think that the way I feel is normal, but I dont think anyone will listen, my parents (im 29 by the way) keep hounding me about loosing weight, so they arent any help.

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Answer:

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p>The answer to your question is yes, you have an eating disorder. The reason the answer to your question is yes is that you are using self destructive means to control your weight. Also, your thinking process is characteristic of an eating disorder. For instance, the conviction that you should have eaten nothing during the day is not only self destructive but unrealistic. You attempt to control your weight by reducing the number of calories you take in. If you have experienced something upsetting you eat twice as much food as usual because you are trying to soothe your emotions through food.

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p>It is important for you to understand that the cycle of dieting, over eating and using laxatives is dangerous to your health. In addition, these strategies will not help you lose weight and will probably result in weight gain.

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p>One of the facts about dieting that has been discovered is that it results in weight gain. Dieting simply does not work as a way to control weight. The brain and digestive system are in constant communication with one another. When an inadequate number of calories are digested a signal is sent to the brain which then registers the information and tells the entire system that more food is needed. The result is to eat more. Then, when you do eat you take in more food than you previously intended. Therefore, diets and starvation as means of losing pounds do not work.

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p>In a similar way, the use of laxatives and/or purging does not succeed in controlling weight. Once the food is eaten it is rapidly digested. Even when you try to get rid of the calories through these dangerous methods, only a small percent is eliminated. In other words, purging, using laxatives and other means, are futile in the long run. Then, too, these artificial methods of attempting to eliminate what has been eaten can threaten the health of the entire digestive system resulting in your electrolytes becoming unbalanced, dehydration and, even, damage to your heart and, ultimately, death.

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p>There are some basic things you need to do to get your eating life under control.

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p>Eat three to five meals per day. If you are eating five meals, spread out over the day; limit the amount you eat at any one time. Do not go back for seconds. Actually, if you have eaten a balanced meal you should not need to have seconds.

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p>A balanced meal should include deeply colored vegetables like broccoli, corn, spinach, etc, whole grain foods and not processed foods, a protein such as fish or meet but no alcohol from wine or beer because they only add calories.

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p>Forget calories and concentrate on eating the kinds of things described above.

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p>Try to avoid caffeine.

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p>Stop the dieting and do not deprive yourself.

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p>If you feel like using laxatives or purging, leave the house, call up some friends and go out, read a book, jog in the park, see a movie, or do anything to distract your attention.

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p>Get plenty of exercise but concentrate on health. Therefore, running, swimming and bicycling are good activities to get the blood flowing, release endorphins and make you feel good. Exercise every day, if you can, for at least thirty minutes.

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p>Finally, if you cannot stop using laxatives and diets, you owe it to yourself to see an eating disorder therapist who can help you regain a normal and healthy life. Do not dismiss medication. There are medications that can help control some of the impulsiveness connected with eating too much and wanting to use laxatives. These medications are not anti depressants and will not add weight.

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