Booze or Food?
When I was binge drinking, I would often choose booze over food.
If I would meet friends out for dinner, I would order food.
I would mostly drink and take a few bites of whatever I ordered.
I’d either eat it late at night trying to soak up the alcohol or eat it the next day when my hunger returned.
For me, alcohol was an appetite suppressant.
While I drank, I didn’t have an appetite.
For me, dining out mostly consisted of drinking, until I became sober.
I wasn’t big on the food.
I actually started to begin not liking going out to eat for that reason, I was tempted to drink.
It was difficult for me to have one drink, it always ended up being a few.
I would barely eat.
I lived in Chicago for about ten years.
Every social event centered around eating also consisted of people drinking.
It was normal.
There’s another reason not to eat while you are drinking
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Alcohol over Food
Alcohol has a lot of calories.
An average drink contains approximately 100 calories.
Back when I was binge drinking on weekends, meaning I’d average about 12 drinks per weekend, I was consuming almost 2,000 calories from alcohol.
I remember going to my doctor because I had gained a bunch of weight and I wasn’t happy about it.
She asked me about my diet.
I told her that I was eating cheeseburgers and fries on the regular.
She gave me the advice to maybe just eat the cheeseburger and not the fries.
I failed to mention that I was also drinking about 12 drinks on the weekend.
I didn’t even relate drinking with that high of a caloric intake at that time.
I didn’t want to see that I had a problem.
It was easy to think I didn’t have a problem because everyone around me was doing the same thing.
You can always easily build a social group around drinking.
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Alcohol and Eating Disorders
There is a lot of danger in falling into a trap with alcohol and an eating disorder. Rehab is here to help you climb out of that trap. Take the help. It can help with alcohol and eating disorders. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration lists programs for both that you can find People who suffer from eating disorders are at high risk to fall under the spell of alcohol.
One thing rehab helped me learn was that I drank because I didn’t feel good about myself. If you are experiencing low self esteem for any reason, you are at risk to drink. People who have an eating disorder suffer from a lot of the same issues as alcoholics. Drinking gave me false confidence; it was a way to forget about all the problems I was experiencing. It had the appearance of taking away any sort of judgement and making things ok.
I had no idea until recently that there is such a thing as Alcohol Anorexia. This is also known as “Drunkorexia”.
Drunkorexia is a combination of the eating disorder Anorexia and Alcoholism. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, “People diagnosed with Anorexia nervosa see themselves as overweight even when they are dangerously underweight. Some of the signs of Anorexia Nervosa is weighting themselves repeatedly, severely restrict the amount of food they eat, often exercise excessively and or may force themselves to vomit or use laxatives to lose weight. Anorexia has the highest mortality rate of any mental disorder. People die from complications and suicide.”
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These two disorders make the perfect storm of using alcohol as a way to monitor or lose weight. The definition of Drunkorexia is replacing alcohol with food. The demographic that does it most are young women. Women are extremely susceptible to eating disorders. Society puts a harsh standard on how women should look and act. It’s no surprise that there is a cohort of people that use alcohol to diminish their appetites and as a way to cope with social anxiety amongst other issues.
For me drinking alcohol not only was an appetite suppressant, it worked to energize me as well. Alcohol had the fake appearance of making a moment feel special. I don’t know how to scientifically explain that. Alcohol made me less intelligent and at the same time it made boredom go away. I did feel low self-esteem about how I looked as well. And I have nothing wrong with me. Drinking made me have a false sense of confidence and beauty. Although, being sober I do not consider drunks beautiful.
The Dangers of Relying on Drinking for Self Esteem
I had a lot of friends who would spend hours getting ready to go the bars in hopes of catching some guy’s attention. The same friends who sometimes I would never see eat in general. Those friends would get drunk and out of control quickly. They were always at more of a risk for something bad to happen, whether it be tripping or falling in the streets or falling prey to someone who was hitting on them or wanting to take them home.
Their judgement skewed they would end up making mistakes that they would feel horrible about the next day, not helping the already low self-esteem. That’s the weird thing about drinking, although it can make you feel a false sense of confidence in the moment, it typically leads to things that you will regret, thus making your self-esteem low overall. An eating disorder like Anorexia Nervosa is a huge challenge to overcome.
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Drinking is the last thing that will help it.
Going to a good rehab program and getting on track will help your self-esteem.
Replacing your daily nutrition with calories from alcohol can have devastating health consequences.
In conclusion, seek help if you are suffering from either drinking too much or an eating disorder.
You don’t need to put on a false image to the world, you are beautiful just the way you are.