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  • #16
    Originally posted by billp View Post
    Yep, I'm sure of it. I think that is because normally that is the right response to starvation. This is what I wrote about starvation:
    Please help, I need advice - Page 23 | Mark's Daily Apple Health and Fitness Forum page 23
    Yes, that makes sense. I'm not sure about starvation making people brutal, but I think it makes them obsess about food to an amazing extent that cannot be imagined by the healthy. This is where calorie-counting comes from. Healthy, non-starved people do not count calories - the sheer amount of effort required to weigh and log every single thing you eat is just too much. But once someone goes on a calorie-restriction diet, it becomes the most natural thing in the world to obsess about how much you're eating, to count every single calorie, and to lie awake at night wondering if that apple you ate was 50 calories or 60.

    Starvation apparently also causes depression (Minnesota Starvation Experiment - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) and aggression towards oneself (note that one of the experimental subjects amputated three of his fingers with an axe).

    Unfortunately, I got to see a starvation response in person when my mother went on an extremely restrictive vegan diet that almost landed her in the hospital. She didn't get aggressive, but she really obsessed about food - is this healthy, is this okay to eat, does this have too much fat/carb/sugar in it - all at a time when she was 30 lbs. underweight and almost at the hospitalization stage. I spent a few months forcing her to eat and she gained back the weight she needed - and as she got back to normal, the obsessions went away.

    This, btw, is why I am extremely vigilant about the 80/20 aspect of the Primal Blueprint, and about never starving myself. I think a lot of Americans have a low-grade starvation response going on - hence their obsessiveness over calorie-counting and "good" and "bad" foods. I don't want to have that happen to me.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by meepster View Post
      I think that all types of anorexia are basically a reaction to starvation - once you start starving yourself, for whatever reason, you get a bit weird/obsessive about food and about whatever else it is that you're focusing on (religion, body image, whatever), and then it becomes a self-perpetuating cycle of illness. It may be some sort of vitamin/mineral deficiency, maybe. I vaguely remember reading about zinc deficiency causing part of the symptoms.

      Generally, I think that any sort of food deprivation - whether orthorexia, anorexia, or whatever - is going to set off weird obsessive symptoms in some people, even when it's "healthy" for you physically. Something that we all need to be aware of. This is the reason for Mark's recommendation of 80/20, I'm sure.
      I totally disagree, the starvation is merely a symtom of the disease and comes last. I am recovering from an anorexic relapse at the moment. I am not underweight this time, I am not starving, but the disease is the worse it has ever been in 23 years. For me, it is an illness of control. As young women many of us have so little control over our lives and often our bodies (abuse of all kinds) and for me it was a very real way to hold onto what I could, I could control my weight and what I ate and nobody could do a thing about it. Also, it gets a reaction, and this furthers the illusion of control (I say illusion because there is no control at all, the illness takes over long before the scales start ringing alarm bells). Also, as an adult and a mother I realise that anorexia has been working for me as a distraction from a stressful life with some hugely stressful outside issues appearing in my life. So still a form of control, but also a way of not coping with the world. It was easier to count calories and obsess about how and where and what I was going to eat rather than deal with life on life's terms.

      As to Orthorexia, I have suffered with this too without even realising at te time that I was in relapse. I have had chronic digestive issues for years, including IBS and candida. A naturopath worked with me for months and months to clear the candida and suggested the anti-candida diet. I jumped in feet first quite unconsciously noticing that this was a legitimate and healthy excuse to restrict my caloric intake and my foods. There was great control involved in being on such a strict diet and I lost a lot of weight very quickly. Fortunately I ended up pregnant a couple of months into the diet and had to stop because of severe pregnancy sickness (where I ate nothing but 'beige' food for about 5 months). I have to be very careful with Primal eating because it could be a magnificent pathway back into orthorexia.

      I my experience Anorexia is about control, and about a women's (or has been said a man's) response to her body and the pressures to conform and the resulting objectification and loss of self which comes with it. Abuse is also a huge component and many Anorexics come from backgrounds of trauma and varying types and degrees of abuse. There is also a strong link with substance abuse and other dangerous addictions and behaviours such as self-harm and promiscuity. It is not really about starvation. It is about not being able to cope and using the body as a weapon.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by Dexy View Post
        I totally disagree, the starvation is merely a symtom of the disease and comes last. I am recovering from an anorexic relapse at the moment. I am not underweight this time, I am not starving, but the disease is the worse it has ever been in 23 years. For me, it is an illness of control. As young women many of us have so little control over our lives and often our bodies (abuse of all kinds) and for me it was a very real way to hold onto what I could, I could control my weight and what I ate and nobody could do a thing about it. Also, it gets a reaction, and this furthers the illusion of control (I say illusion because there is no control at all, the illness takes over long before the scales start ringing alarm bells). Also, as an adult and a mother I realise that anorexia has been working for me as a distraction from a stressful life with some hugely stressful outside issues appearing in my life. So still a form of control, but also a way of not coping with the world. It was easier to count calories and obsess about how and where and what I was going to eat rather than deal with life on life's terms.

        As to Orthorexia, I have suffered with this too without even realising at te time that I was in relapse. I have had chronic digestive issues for years, including IBS and candida. A naturopath worked with me for months and months to clear the candida and suggested the anti-candida diet. I jumped in feet first quite unconsciously noticing that this was a legitimate and healthy excuse to restrict my caloric intake and my foods. There was great control involved in being on such a strict diet and I lost a lot of weight very quickly. Fortunately I ended up pregnant a couple of months into the diet and had to stop because of severe pregnancy sickness (where I ate nothing but 'beige' food for about 5 months). I have to be very careful with Primal eating because it could be a magnificent pathway back into orthorexia.

        I my experience Anorexia is about control, and about a women's (or has been said a man's) response to her body and the pressures to conform and the resulting objectification and loss of self which comes with it. Abuse is also a huge component and many Anorexics come from backgrounds of trauma and varying types and degrees of abuse. There is also a strong link with substance abuse and other dangerous addictions and behaviours such as self-harm and promiscuity. It is not really about starvation. It is about not being able to cope and using the body as a weapon.
        I agree with you, as do most authorities on anorexia, that it is about control. However, it is not limited to women, many men struggle with anorexia, as pointed out earlier. Anorexia can also be tied to a type of "elation" and "clear-thinking" that comes with fasting, as was pointed out earlier, by examples with monks and other "holy" men and women. The high of fasting has been well-documented: it can induce light-headedness and hallucinations/visions, similar to drugs. The transcendence becomes addictive. Many religious rituals involve fasting for long periods, for a reason.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Rasputina View Post
          I agree with you, as do most authorities on anorexia, that it is about control. However, it is not limited to women, many men struggle with anorexia, as pointed out earlier. Anorexia can also be tied to a type of "elation" and "clear-thinking" that comes with fasting, as was pointed out earlier, by examples with monks and other "holy" men and women. The high of fasting has been well-documented: it can induce light-headedness and hallucinations/visions, similar to drugs. The transcendence becomes addictive. Many religious rituals involve fasting for long periods, for a reason.
          I also have mentioned the occurence of the illness amongst men, of course it transcends gender but it is still predomintantly amongst younger women. And I do understand the feeling of surviving on so little, it feels good. But I still think that that is largely about control.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by Dexy View Post
            But I still think that that is largely about control.
            That's what I mean about it being on the autistic spectrum.

            Originally posted by billp View Post
            The more I think about this, the more I suspect that anyone who loses weight by calorie counting is taking immense risks with their health and life. If gradual starvation follows counting calories anyway due to breaking the natural human up-down dietary rhythm, that is the very worst time to be systematically counting something to do with your diet, as it risks setting off an autistic-type response and getting wedged in your brain. It is so easy to get obsessed by something at the best of times, but doing something with arbitrary numbers while in a starved state! Terribly risky. No wonder Anorexia rates has been climbing ever since calorie controlled diets became popular.
            Originally posted by billp View Post
            Because of course the extreme autistic focus is very useful in famine, as it really motivates the famine victim to find food - and famine was the rule for humanity until very recently. But create that famine yourself and there is a reasonable chance that you will get autistically obsessed with doing the thing that is starving you, rather than getting something to eat. And add some numbers into the mix and - whoosh, an autistic whirlwind that stands every chance of taking you down with with it, to death.

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            • #21
              This episode of anorexia is the only time I have ever counted calories. I have been seriously underweight before and never had a clue about calories. I deliberately avoided them to avoid the obsession with them (which I got recently). I just didn't eat much and skipped as many meals as I could. This timethe calorie counting was one of the worst parts of it. The obsession ( I hesitate with autism...not quite right for me) was consuming and as with autism i suppose the outcome/reward (to normal people?) didn't match the effort put in. But for me it felt like the most impotant thing in my day.

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              • #22
                According to the National Eating Disorders Association, "nearly 10 million females and 1 million males in the U.S. are battling eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia, while millions more suffer from binge eating disorder. The peak onset of eating disorders occurs during puberty and the late teen/early adult years, but symptoms can occur as young as kindergarten. More than one in three normal dieters progresses to pathological dieting."

                Kindergarten.
                F, 44 years old, 111.8 lbs, 4 feet 11.5 inches (yes, that half inch matters!)

                **1st place sparring, AAU TKD regional qualifier, 2/15/15 - It's damn good to hit like a girl!**

                **First-ever 5K race 11/28/13: 37 minutes, 18+ seconds, no stopping**

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                • #23
                  Years ago I worked with a guy who had schizophrenia. He would tell me about staring into the mirror and the strange things he would see. It was like when he looked into the mirror, it was not himself starting back, as there really was no self anymore, just shattered images. He'd sometimes see evil looking back or disgust. He never saw a person. He did not believe he was a person. He did not feel whole. So when he looked at himself he did not see anything resembling reality. His sister was in the hospital for anorexia and it worried him. She was probably going to die. I somehow saw these two diseases as having a link of some sort. When anorexics look in the mirror they don't see the truth looking back, either. I'm not a doctor or anything so I can't say, but there is some sort of link. Anorexia is a true mental illness.
                  Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by sbhikes View Post
                    Anorexia is a true mental illness.
                    It is. All eating disorders are. Anorexia is the most deadly of all mental illnesses. (That's as per the National Eating Disorders Association.)
                    F, 44 years old, 111.8 lbs, 4 feet 11.5 inches (yes, that half inch matters!)

                    **1st place sparring, AAU TKD regional qualifier, 2/15/15 - It's damn good to hit like a girl!**

                    **First-ever 5K race 11/28/13: 37 minutes, 18+ seconds, no stopping**

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by JackieKessler View Post
                      It is. All eating disorders are. Anorexia is the most deadly of all mental illnesses. (That's as per the National Eating Disorders Association.)
                      It is it is it is. Food is jsut the vehichle and medium of the disease's manifestation. It isn't about food. Food is the tool.

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Dexy View Post
                        It is it is it is. Food is jsut the vehichle and medium of the disease's manifestation. It isn't about food. Food is the tool.
                        +1

                        Exactly! This is one of the best ways I've ever heard EDs described.
                        F, 44 years old, 111.8 lbs, 4 feet 11.5 inches (yes, that half inch matters!)

                        **1st place sparring, AAU TKD regional qualifier, 2/15/15 - It's damn good to hit like a girl!**

                        **First-ever 5K race 11/28/13: 37 minutes, 18+ seconds, no stopping**

                        Comment

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