It’s 9pm and here’s a typical conversation with a friend on a typical ‘Dena’ day:
Friend: Hi Dena, how’s your day going
Me: Awesome, it’s been great
Friend: hmmm… Nice, so what have you eaten today??
Me: (thinking) Errr….. Damn! Not again, (covers face?) I haven’t eaten any thing!
I have sinned so many food Sins but the most recurrent of them all is my habit of not eating until hunger pangs set in or until I am reminded. Lucky me, I’ve never had to visit a doctor as a result of this, the only evidence is my skinny self never gaining more than say 5kg in the last 6years.
It’s possible you never knew you had eating disorders, of which I think every individual has that to contend with. Out of curiosity, I went on a discovery escapade to find out about these disorders and it was quite eye opening. Some of them include:
- Anorexia which is evident following low body weight and intense fear of gaining weight. Individuals with anorexia extremely try to control their weight and shape, significantly interfering with their health and life activities. Excessive exercise, using laxatives or diet aids, or vomiting after eating are habits of anorexic people.
- Bulimia comprises episodes of bingeing and purging that involve feeling a lack of control over your eating, typically eating a large amount of food in a short time, and then try to get rid of the extra calories in an unhealthy way. Because of guilt, shame and an intense fear of weight gain from overeating, you may force vomiting (purging bulimia), exercise too much, or use other methods, such as laxatives, to get rid of the calories (non purging bulimia).
- Binge eating disorder happens when you regularly eat too much food (binge) and feel a lack of control over your eating. You may eat quickly or eat more food than intended, even when you’re not hungry, and you may continue eating even long after you’re uncomfortably full.
- In Pica, the individual is persistently eating nonfood items, such as soap, cloth, talcum powder or dirt, over a period of at least one month. It results in medical complications such as poisoning, intestinal problems or infections and occurs mostly in children.
- Rumination disorder is repeatedly and persistently regurgitating food after eating. Food is brought back up into the mouth without nausea or gagging and sometimes regurgitated food is rechewed and reswallowed or spit out. The disorder may result in malnutrition if the food is spit out or if the person eats significantly less to prevent the behavior.
- Avoidance or Restrictive Food Intake Disorder is characterized by failing to meet your minimum daily nutrition requirements because you don’t have an interest in eating; you avoid food with certain sensory characteristics, such as color, texture, smell or taste. Food is not avoided because of fear of gaining weight.
Some red flags that may indicate an eating disorder include:
- Skipping meals or making excuses for not eating
- Adopting an overly restrictive vegetarian diet
- Excessive focus on healthy eating
- Making own meals rather than eating what the family eats
- Withdrawing from normal social activities
- Persistent worry or complaining about being fat and talk of losing weight
- Frequent checking in the mirror for perceived flaws
- Repeatedly eating large amounts of sweets or high-fat foods
- Use of dietary supplements, laxatives or herbal products for weight loss
- Excessive exercise
- Calluses on the knuckles from inducing vomiting
- Problems with loss of tooth enamel that may be a sign of repeated
- Leaving during meals to use the toilet
- Eating much more food in a meal or by snack than is considered normal
- Expressing depression, disgust, shame or guilt about eating habits
- Eating in secret
In the end, as much as eating healthy is important, obsessing over it is a sin against your body and the general idea of Healthy eating. Don’t stress it so much, relax and watch your body shape itself! At the end of the day:
And here’s to the mommas out there: