Are You Going to the Extreme?
By Pamela Shenk, CHt
Have you ever looked at a movie star and thought…wow, what a body! And if she/he can look like that, so can I! What you may not realize is that for you to look like your favorite movie star, it may be impossible without potentially having to resort to unhealthy measures such as working out obsessively, taking steroids, using laxatives and/or become anorexic or bulimic.
You may be wondering why I’m writing about this in a publication for bariatric patients. Well, in my practice I have had many clients needing assistance in getting back on track to eat what their doctor ordered. Believe it or not, many patients after reaching their goal keep going. They are so afraid of going back to where they were that they become anorexic or bulimic.
The American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic & Statistical Manual states that Anorexia Nervosa is an eating disorder marked by extreme dieting and starvation. The person suffering from Anorexia Nervosa:
- Is underweight by 20% and refuses to reach appropriate body weight for height and age
- Has intense fear (phobic) of gaining weight, even though underweight
- Denies seriousness of underweight problem
- And self evaluation is affected tremendously by weight and shape
- Females may have missed menstrual cycles
They list Bulimia Nervosa as an eating disorder marked by:
- Binge eating and practices to get rid of the consumed food
- Recurring episodes of eating larger than normal amounts of food
- And feels lack of control while binge eating
- And excessive exercise
- Influenced tremendously by body shape and weight
- Recurring compensatory behaviors such as self-induced vomiting, misuse of laxatives, diuretics, enemas, and other medications, fasting
If you or someone you know seems to be anorexic or bulimic after having bariatric surgery, please get them back to their doctor. He or she can help them tremendously to get back on track and feel happy at their suggested BMI. I know that many of the practices either have on staff or work closely with psychologists and/or hypnotists.
Remember, your bariatric program wants to provide support and guidance to postoperative patients struggling with many issues, to include anorexia and/or bulimia. If they are not experts in this area, they will have several suggestions of who may be able to provide guidance.