I like to think that my eating habits are a mix between emotional eating and extreme hunger but realistically I know it is because of my past restrictive eating habits. I find that when I’m stressed, tired or even bored I turn to food even when I am not the least bit hungry. This is because my body is out of balance but also because it wants the food that I didn’t allow it to have for so long.
Recently I stopped exercise cold turkey because of an injury, yet I find my extreme hunger has gotten even worse which mentally is hard to process BUT completely normal.
So what exactly is extreme hunger?
When you have put your body through the a restrictive phase of any sort and you start to re introduce foods along with an increase in calories you body you may experience moments where you feel out of control with the food you are putting in your body. These moments can happen anytime throughout the recovery process whether during the day, throughout the night, in the beginning of recovery or even once you’ve hit your goal weight.
Let’s be clear, that why these moments may seem like binges, they are not.
When I first started experiencing these crazy hunger “pains” I thought I was completely alone. Why? Because I was comparing myself to everyone else I saw that I assumed was in the same situation I was in. I would see people classifying their 400 calorie hunger strike as a binge, and here I would have thousands of calories and try and compare myself to them, when in fact I shouldn’t.
I couldn’t understand why I was eating 3000 calories a day and then still having this so called “binges” at night. I would see others eating these perfect little bowls of cereal as their night snack and start to feel bad about my own eating habits. This is why I have had to really focus on not comparing myself and my progress with others.
I think it’s normal as humans not to want to show the world our flaws so many go unnoticed because we hide them in order to come across as being “perfect” or at least striving to be a certain way. The fact of the matter is, is that Recovery isn’t beautiful, it’s not fun but it’s possible if you focus on you and allow yourself to trust your body.
Personally I’m never physically hungry when I experience extreme hunger which may sound odd but it’s the truth. I may not physically have the cues to tell me to eat, but mentally my body is hungry for the nutrients and lets you know with EH.
I also find that when I’m bored, anxious, or stressed and find myself turn to food without the ability to stop. I’ll eat until I’m painfully full which makes sleeping extremely hard. I’ve experienced night sweats, swollen hands and feet, and marks all over my body from water retention but this is the process… and whether I want to like it or not, it’s essential in order to get to the next step.
Some people don’t experience bloating or extreme hunger.
Some may gain on 1000 while others on 3000.
For me, I seemed to get it all. Lucky right?
Actually I believe so. These symptoms are a way of assurance for me, in the sense that I’m making progress and I’m continuously pushing forward instead of falling behind.
Its been almost two months now of fully committing to putting the effort in to recover from my restrictive habits and I can say the bloating has gone down ever so slightly, but is no where near where I would like it to be which makes me want to push that much harder.