Thursday, May 20, 2010

Manorexia

I didn't realize this term existed until I saw a video posted in FB. And NO, manorexia does NOT mean depriving yourself of men. Read on...

Anorexia nervosa means refusing to eat, an eating disorder that is fueled by a distorted body image of thinking that one is fat, no matter how thin, frail and emaciated one gets.

Bulimia nervosa is an eating disorder with recurrent binge eating, followed by compensatory behaviors. The most common form is defensive vomiting (sometimes called purging), fasting, the use of laxatives, enemas, diuretics, and over exercising are also common.

Manorexia simply means anorexia that is suffered by men, and was initially thought to be affecting almost exclusively women. In fact, a Harvard study shows that men account for 25 percent of anorexics and bulimics.

This is video I saw in FB:



Another video featuring the same person.



An episode of The Early Show on CBS on Manorexia.



My own experience and thoughts

I suffered a milder form of eating disorder more than 5 years ago. I was fat and decided to get thinner. While it was great that I finally decided to make a change, a lot of what I did was wrong. When I started out, I only at 2 very small meals a day, but luckily had the common sense to include a lot of fruits daily. As the weight began to go, I was able to take up exercise but my 'diet' was still meager. I wasn't aware that I had picked up on an eating disorder. The more I motivated I was, the more drastically I dieted. Coupled with more exercise, it began to take a toll on me. My body was reaching a point where it gave me constant cravings for foods, since I had deprived myself so much and would give in to the caloric demands of my body. I was basically under-feeding and over-exercising.

Then, I learned about 'cheat days', which would psychologically help me to stay on track and keep my sanity in check. Cheat days was basically planned days (usually once a week) when I could eat anything I wanted and this would serve to give me a metabolic boost since I had been on low calories the whole week. Depending on the source of advice you receive, a cheat meal could last a whole day or only one meal on that day.

However, I took this overboard and cheat days became a day when I gave in to all my cravings. Instead of eating whatever I wanted to sensibly, it became a binge day. I stuffed my face with everything I could get my hands on. My stomach told me I was filled to the brim, but my mouth couldn't stop eating. It was scary sometimes because I felt that I was losing control of myself. I would become either so bloated or sick by the end of the day. And this cycle would repeat itself week after week. It was not only abusive to my body, but put my progress to a halt. At some points, I was even going backwards.

Gradually, I began to realize that I was stuck in the vicious cycle of severe dieting and binging and this was the root of my problem. I made a change in my mindset and re-educated myself on how to change and live a fit and healthy lifestyle. I realized the importance of healthy eating and moderation, instead of relying dieting and deprivation. Although I make a conscious habit out of choosing the right foods 80% of the time, I do reward myself. I no longer subscribe to cheat days/meals, but instead get right back on track after indulging myself instead, which I find much easier to do.

Food fuels not only our bodies, but our souls as well. Some of the fondest memories we have usually revolve around food, either having your favorite foods for the first time, eating with loved ones or in favorite places, eating during special occasions/celebrations etc. If we place TOO much emphasis on what we eat until it becomes so stressful, we risk developing an eating disorder and becoming paranoid about food. While it is good to practice HEALTHY eating habits, it is imperative that we remain vigilant so that we do not to cross the line.

Having the perfect body not only affects women but men as well. As much as women desire the lean and toned body of every female celebrity or model, the same goes for men who want a muscular, lean and ripped body. The media plays a HUGE role by displaying a lot of models/celebs with perfect physiques in magazines, ads, internet etc. While it is admirable that they have achieved such an amazing physical condition and should be a role model, it can be a double-edged sword. It could cause an individual to develop a false perception of the ideal body image and think that they are inadequate and deeply flawed physically. This can have an negative impact on one's self-esteem and create an unhealthy obsession to make themselves perfect.

Don't get me wrong, having a drive and determination to improve your health and physical state is ALWAYS a good thing. In fact, that is what I constantly strive for. But, it becomes a problem when dedication evolves into an obsession, which is separated by a thin line. AND, this could also be a matter of perception. A dedicated person can be seen by others as obsessed. An obsessed person might see himself as extremely dedicated and not caring what others think.

So where do we draw the line? From my experience, it is best to stop on your tracks every now and then to evaluate what you're doing and how you're feeling. If you're constantly dieting, exercising too hard, feeling like crap all the time OR experiencing all three, then it's time to take a step back and listen to your body. Eat more, exercise less, get more rest and give your body a break. You won't get any results if you're constantly depriving your body of food and beating it to a pulp during every workout. Give yourself a break psychologically by treating yourself to your favorite foods too.

A healthy body is one that is sound in all aspects: physically, emotionally and mentally.

You don't get fit to get healthy, but you get healthy to get fit. Health ALWAYS comes first, then everything else will fall into place =)

PS: This is not based on any studies, but from my own experience and what I've observed.

2 comments:

William said...

Markorexia! How come no mention of fish oil?

Ultraman Jino said...

need a great planning of diet if you want to diet. exercise is the cheapest and best way to reduce weight and get in shape. haha but you look good now...




[Jino] - A man's not a man unless he knows how to shoot