From Dieting to Disordered Eating: How Losing Weight Can Turn Into an Obsession

Updated on November 14, 2016

She Started with the Best of Intentions

Sarah had always been overweight but it had never really bothered her. She never felt self conscious about her appearance and always felt attractive even though she was carrying a few extra pounds. She was bigger than her friends, but it didn't stop her having just as many boyfriends in her youth and a marrying a wonderful, handsome, caring man.

As the years went by Sarah slowly became aware that the extra few pounds were turning into many. Her clothes size keep going up every couple of years. Eventually she realized the time had come to go on a diet and lose some weight.

Sarah's weight loss success was effortless and rapid. By eating less than her normal portions, eating only healthy food and exercising daily, she quickly dropped 50 pounds and was suddenly the smallest she had ever been in her life. Surprisingly, instead of being thrilled at her success, she was confronted with a whole new set of problems.

She Never Realised What Could Happen

She was frightened that she would regain all her lost weight so she restricted her diet even more and exercised to exhaustion. When she couldn't endure the hunger and fatigue a moment longer she invariably binged. Then she would need to cut back to compensate for her overindulgence and the cycle would begin all over again.

She started avoiding social situations where food was served, she missed nights out with her friends because she needed to get up for the gym early the following morning, and she barely stopped thinking about food. Her life was hell.

She realised that she had started out innocently wanting to drop a few pounds and had ended up in the dark and dangerous world of disordered eating.

It Could Happen to You

Unfortunately, Sarah's story is not unusual or unique. It is something that is rarely spoken of -- especially as it normally happens to bright, successful, grown women who appear to have their lives in control. Few women understand that the journey from successful weight loss to a binge eating disorder is almost inevitable unless you take these precautions.

(1) Ensure that your weight loss program permits all kinds of food and doesn't label food 'good' or 'bad.' Restricting the types of food you eat will make you crave what you can't have all the more. Portion control and moderation are better than eliminating whole food groups.

(2) Focus on the quality of your food OR the quantity -- not both. You can eat the same things you eat now, in smaller amounts and lose weight. You can make healthier choices and continue eating the same amount of food and you will lose weight. Don't end up eating 2 rice cakes and an apple for lunch for long periods of time.

(3) Don't go it alone. Choose a safe weight loss plan that has personalised support (like Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers, or an online system run by real people) so that you can get objective feedback about your nutrition, training and progress. If you make up your own rules as you go along, you might end up doing yourself more harm than good.

(4) Don't believe that more is always better in the gym. If exercising is the most important part of your day because you are terrified you will gain weight if you stop, then you have gone too far. Get a fitness professional to write you a program and follow it. Don't do hours of cardio, or two workouts a day, especially if you are sick and sore most of the time.

(5) Get some help if you feel overwhelmed. You can choose to eat well and train hard and achieve healthy weight loss, but if you feel like you are trapped by the rules and regulations you have set for yourself then talk to someone. Tell your best friend, talk to your partner, call an anonymous help line, or see your doctor. Try to figure out what is going on as soon as you start to feel uneasy about your new lifestyle. Don't pretend everything is fine, when it might not be.

Take Care of Yourself

The desire to be in strong, fit and in great shape is wonderfully healthy and the road to success is not easy for anyone. But follow a weight loss diet with care because some dieting behaviors can lead directly to eating disorders. Always balance moderation with hard work and dedication and you will achieve the body you've always hoped for. And that new body will bring joy to your life instead of increasing your pain.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Hendrika profile image

      Hendrika 

      6 years ago from Pretoria, South Africa

      It is so easy to get caught up in binge eating. I am 60 and I still battle with it even though it started a child already. So, please do not even go there.

    • pedrog profile image

      pedrog 

      8 years ago

      Great hub, congrats Katie.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, caloriebee.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://caloriebee.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)