Between avoiding the freshman 15 and conserving every dollar possible, “drunkorexia” is a problem on college campuses that not too many people are talking about– even though we should be.
Let’s face it, many young women are watching their weight. Whether it’s focusing on physical fitness or slimming down, it’s an obsession many women struggle with. But when college is supposed to be the best four years of your life, where do we draw the line between having fun and staying healthy?
What exactly is “Drunkorexia”?
To be put simply, “less eating, more drinking.”
It’s the intersection of eating disorders and binge drinking, accompanied by massive waves of guilt. It often starts when someone views caloric consumption or weight loss as a priority but refuses to give up alcohol. It can also be triggered by wanting a cheaper way to drink. It’s the idea that if you skip dinner, only three shots will do the trick instead of six.
Whether it’s a habit or an obsession, drunkorexia can escalate quickly and lead to various disorders and health issues.
What does it look like?
- Actively counting/tracking calories and how it affects alcohol consumption
- Avoiding beer because it has more calories
- Eating less to get drunk faster
- Purging yourself to get rid of calories consumed from drinking
- Skipping meals to splurge on sugary alcoholic drinks
Like anything, balancing good health and a social life takes practice. It is 100% unique to each individual. If you’re struggling with it, ask for help.
This is something that a surprising amount of people struggle with, even myself.
It wasn’t until I heard the term that I realized I had fallen victim to drunkorexia. The college culture ingrained the “eat less, drink more” mindset into my head and before I knew it, my skin was terrible, I had gained weight, and my confidence was at an all-time low. Getting hammered every weekend took precedence over aspects of my life I used to prioritize. It took a while, but I’ve finally realized it’s okay to enjoy alcohol as long as I’m aware of the effects it has on my body.
I stopped letting myself feel guilty for the choices I made. If I want to get up early Saturday morning and workout, I don’t drink Friday night. But if it’s been a long week and I need a night out, then I allow myself to enjoy it.
We can’t expect ourselves to make perfect decisions. We have to accept our choices, learn from the not-so-good ones, take care of our bodies, and enjoy being young.