Is this site just for anorexics?


While the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Illness distinguishes between anorexia and bulimia and then lumps the rest of whatever into a catch-all category called eating disorder not otherwise specificed (EDNOS) the biological underpinnings of restrictive eating span: anorexia, cycles of restriction and reactive eating, bulimia, orthorexia, and anorexia athletica.

Most commonly those who undergo cycles of restriction/reactive eating and or restriction/reactive eating and purging (bulimia) assume that because they are average or above average weight that the guidelines for recovery found on this site do not apply to them.

Unfortunately the reason that bulimics suffer lower remission rates than those with anorexia is two-fold: firstly there is usually a latent (hidden) period of restriction that may or may not have been identified by either the patient or her loved ones at the time, and secondly the health care communities have become as focused on the 'evils' of bingeing as their patients such that all focus on recovery is exclusive to the efforts to cease bingeing and eat in a structured and patterned way (usually at an energy deficit level using non-scientific calorie intake guidelines for healthy adults).

62% of those who have anorexia develop bulimia within 8 years of the onset of the restrictive eating disorder if a full remisison eludes them in that time.

In cases where a patient has had a latent and long onset of a restrictive eating disorder: "Oh she was just a very athletic girl, but I didn't see her restrict food at all." (anorexia athletica onset), "Well, I became concerned with eating very healthy in my teens and cut out sugars and junk food, but I wasn't really dieting at all." (sub-clinical levels of restriction/orthorexia), the body is dealing with a cumulative deficit of energy perhaps for years before it gets to a point of desperation.

The onset of "bingeing" is actually the onset of reactive eating in all these cases. The body starts to push a lot harder to try to get you to eat sufficient amounts of food to try to rectify the damage and energy deficits rife throughout your body. However, having practiced years of restrictive behaviours, that drive to eat enough triggers massive panic. At first the patient attempts to get back on her restrictive path after a reactive eating event. From there, when the reactive eating appears to be unstoppable and happens no matter what every few days, the patient will likely then resort to further anxiety modulation: laxative and diuretic abuse and purging in all its forms.

The enemy is restriction, not reactive eating. Eating to the MinnieMaud minimum guidelines provides clinically-confirmed food intakes that are needed to support total energy expenditure in healthy people (age/height and sex matched variations are included in the guidelines). Just because you may be "weight restored", your body is still dealing with energy deficits and damage associated with those deficits as much when you cycle through restriction/reactive eating, as when you burn the energy away with exessive exercise, or when remove so many food groups from your diet that you are in both total energy and nutritional deficit.