One big problem that I, myself, and some of my closest and dearest friends have dealt with is how we view ourselves. We are living in a time where body image is held to such a high standard that people will do terrible things to themselves to look (as society calls it) "good." One of these horrible things is starvation. Starving oneself is not the most optimal solution to having a "good" body image, and can actually make things much worse.
I would like to share why I believe this, as well as the struggles that both my friends and myself have experienced from this. If you think that you do not look "good" or feel like you are not living up to society's standards and are thinking about using this method, I highly suggest viewing the list I have compiled!
1. Starvation = Pain!
This one is pretty obvious, but the severity is not. Many times when I have not eaten for two or three days, I will feel extreme pain. It has gotten to the point where it brings me to tears sometimes, and I have heard from others that this is common for them as well.
2. When you do end up eating again, you will feel worse about yourself than you did before.
When I have starved myself, I find I can generally last quite a while. But when I end up eating, it is usually because the pain gets so severe that I cave in. Another thing to note is that when I cave in and eat, I tend to eat an unnecessary amount. This causes me to feel even worse about my body. It will also make me feel just generally gross due to the amount that I eat.
I also have a friend who told me that she once did not eat anything for about four days. She then caved and had a cheeseburger, but the grease upset her stomach a lot and made her vomit. From this, I have gathered that not eating really for long periods of time just is not worth it because the emotional pain from it can be just as bad as the physical pain.
3. Sleeping will get harder.
If I starve myself for a few days at a time, I find that by the second or third night I experience a lot of issues falling asleep. This is an effect of the pain caused by starving. No position feels comfortable because my body is constantly just screaming at me to eat something. And sleep is one of the most important things in regards to physical and mental health.
4. Loss of energy.
Going along with loss of sleep comes the loss of energy. If I do manage to fall asleep, I feel even more exhausted when I wake up. An important key to physical health is exercise, and if you have no energy to exert then you cannot exercise. This means that you will not be burning any calories.
So if you cannot muster up the energy to take a walk and burn some calories, is starving yourself really even worth it? I have learned the hard way that the answer is a hard "no."
5. Starving does not always mean significant weight loss.
What?! You read that right! I have seen no significant loss of weight due to starving myself, nor has anyone else that I have talked to about it. The first day or two, most of the weight that you lose will probably be water weight, meaning that your body is using up water stored to keep you functioning. So if slimming your waistline is what you are going for, starvation does not really yield great results!
6. Fainting may occur.
This is one thing that I myself have not experienced, but I know someone who has. He did not eat for about a week, and ended up collapsing and going to the hospital. Thankfully, he did not suffer any major injuries.
Your body needs food to work!
7. Mood swings are not fun.
This is one particularly nasty effect of starvation. I tend to become quite moody if I starve myself. I will go from being extremely sad to very angry in an instant, usually with no true reason. This can be dangerous because you may snap at someone who is not intending to upset you, or worse, someone who is trying to reach out and help you.
8. Digestion problems may form.
Essentially, when you do not eat, your body can become very desperate for fuel. This causes your body to get fairly excited in a way when it gets food. This will cause your body to try to work more than it needs to, burning fuel faster.
This can cause you to feel hungry when you really are not, which will make you eat more. If you are going for a slimmer figure, eating more food more frequently probably is not what you want to do, and since starvation can cause this, it is best to avoid it!
9. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
The main reason that I and many others turn to starvation is because we want to feel "beautiful." This is because we have been led to believe that the word beautiful means a slim figure, defined muscles, tight clothing, etc. However, no matter who you are, there is someone out there who thinks that you are beautiful.
Calling something beautiful is really just stating an opinion. The best thing ever is not realizing that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but it is realizing that YOU are the beholder. You get to chose what you think is beautiful. Once you see that, you begin to see beauty in everything, just like someone sees beauty in you!
10. There are other ways to cut a few pounds.
Starvation is clearly not the only way to lose weight! The best alternative that I would suggest is simply eating less or eating healthier. Try to get three good meals a day, avoiding sugars if you can.
A great companion to eating less is exercise! So pull out your Pokemon Go app and get walking! You will be sure to lose some weight if you hatch some 10k eggs!
Starvation is not the only answer, and it definitely is not the best! It can cause temporary and even permanent damage (physically and mentally).
11. Food is GREAT!!!
Food is probably one of the best things ever, and missing food just to have a small waist is definitely not worth it. You are beautiful and deserve to indulge yourself! And sometimes, you just have to pig out, because food is just THAT great!
If you or someone who know has an issue with starving as a means to lose weight, please reach out to them! Do not try to argue with them, but tell them how much you care about them and their physical and mental wellbeing. And if you feel too scared, feel free to comment here and I would love to chat with you and offer any further help that I can :)
Have a great day, beautiful!