Get familiar with your disordered eating cycle

Our lives are affected by various cycles. The seasons, the school year, and our menstrual cycles are common cycles that have some predictable characteristics and affect us differently depending on where exactly we are in the cycle.
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This is a presidential election year, if you hadn’t heard. It comes every four years. At the beginning of this cycle, I was bereft, scared, and confused. Now that we are at the end of this cycle, I feel anxious with the occasional glimmer of hope.
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The same could be said for our disordered eating cycles. Take the common binge-restrict cycle:
– Restrict forbidden foods
– Feel physical hunger and psychological deprivation
– Reach a breaking point
– Binge on the foods you were trying to avoid
– Feel full and uncomfortable, guilt and shame
– Commit to restrict
– Repeat
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Even if you have been caught in this familiar cycle, there are likely idiosyncrasies that make your experience unique.
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However you experience it, there is a way out.
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It requires you to slow things down and be willing to look at yourself and your habitual thoughts and actions. When you do this, you will find ways of interrupting the momentum of habitual cycles, finding the trap doors that always existed that provide an exit, a new way of relating. If, for example, after the most recent binge, you reflected and saw how you keep repeating the same steps over and over again, you might develop the resolve to NOT restrict in response – to do something different.
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When you can see yourself, you have choices available to you that you don’t have when you can’t see yourself.
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If you are willing to become familiar with your disordered eating cycles – their triggers, their causes and effects – you might realize you have more choices than you thought. This time and attention paid to yourself is an act of self reverence.