Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Reality sucks

We’ve all heard about anorexia and bulimia, but who knew that neither is the most common eating disorder. According to an article in LiveScience, 50 to 60 percent of patients don't meet all the requirements to be diagnosed with either disorder, and instead are diagnosed as having an “eating disorder not otherwise specified" (EDNOS). Treating them becomes more complicated. Added to this is that these patients often have misconceptions about their conditions, thinking they are not so serious.

It’s sort of like that binge drinker who can go a few days without drinking that thinks he or she is not an alcoholic. To clear this up, doctors and psychiatrists are proposing revisions to the 2013 version of the “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.”

What I found most interesting is that binge eating actually falls into the EDNOS category. And those of us who have been known to binge, if we are really honest with ourselves, know this is not the normal way most people eat. Unlike bulimics, who binge and purge, I never purged. So although I joked about having an eating disorder, I really did not think I did. Now I know I really do. That hurts. And just think about the millions of other people who have not been given the right diagnosis. Scary.

I haven’t binged in months, partly because of yoga – it really has calmed me down – and partly because of a few words my Weight Watchers’ leader, Karen, strung together that has gotten me out of a binge: stop, drop and stroll. Stop what you are doing; drop what you are about to eat; and stroll away. Better yet: Go take a long walk.

That little ditty, said over and over in my mind, is enough for me to break the cycle and regain my determination to eat healthy. That’s why I’m passing it on. It’s too good to keep a secret.

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