My eating disorder is like a scam call: Unsolicited. The good news is- you can decline the call.
A scammer’s agenda is to trick you into lies; eating disorders work the same way.
Here are 6 of the ploys I have identified and “blocked” during my previous recovery from binge eating.
1 “This is an urgent message. You ate too much and will gain _____ lbs immediately”
My first instinct was to call 911. What ran through my head was “I should ONLY eat food that is low in calorie and fat and high in protein and exercise a lot NOW”.
Jumping the gun was precisely what eating disorder the scammer wanted me to do. The truth is, I won’t suddenly gain any weight. Exercising won’t suddenly “undo” the food I just ate, either. Your body is surprisingly more resilient and complex than you think.
2. “There won’t be enough food later. So, you should eat more now”
You get so busy that you miss a meal sometimes. I tended to binge on those days. I falsely thought I could control how much hungry I get in the future.
Meal plan – for example, packing an emergency snack beforehand is wise. Creating a meal plan spontaneously, however, is not. Take time to meal plan.
3. “You can save money by replacing a meal with an energy bar”
I prioritized personal finance over health. I believed that I could significantly save money by choosing a convenient snack over a wholesome meal.
Not only did I have to practice treating myself to a meal but also learn how to properly do a cost analysis. Not meeting daily recommended nutrients value could result in expensive hospital fees in the long run.
4. “Your body craves for stress-relieving food.”
To me, “stress-relieving food” is high-caloric or sugary. What my body actually craves is a balanced meal.
Debunk the myth that ONLY ice cream, chocolate, or french fries can cure the craving. Notice how your craving decreases when you have a nutritious meal.
5. “You are an addict”
The word “addict” was a wake-up call. I felt more desperate to do something about it.
The word “addict” is too general and extreme to describe any case of an eating disorder. It is easier to conquer an eating disorder when you can associate it with known root causes like neurochemistry, emotion, and personal triggers.
6. “You are a victim”
Of course, you will get tired of rejecting scam calls and feel like a victim. The scammer’s intent is to make you acknowledge that you are “powerless” and that the best you could do is to try to ignore the scam calls.
Eating disorder scammer won’t quit calling no matter how long you decide to ignore it.