Bobby's mum has decided that she wants to lose weight by going on a diet. The diet guru gives her 1200 calories, because he says Bobby's mum is a woman, and the diet gurus training manual says thats what women need to lose weight. Bobby's mum respect authority and follows the diet, miraculously she loses 10 pounds in two weeks and is ecstatic about the weight loss. Bobby's mum doesn't realise that this weight loss is not just some fat, but valuable muscle (along with water etc). In fact, Bobby's mum isn't bothered what she's lost, as long as the scales read less than they did at the beginning. Bobby's mum was warned that something would have to give is she ran a deficit, and her body has countered the energy deficit by reducing her muscle mass, decreasing her body temperature and pulse, decreasing her desire to be active and making her more aware of food.
Bobby notices that his mum is struggling to stick to the low calorie amount, temptations everywhere. She says she's just addicted to food and needs to change her behaviour and stop being such a pig. Bobby has noticed that she is often quite short tempered and that the central heating in a lot higher than usual. However, harmony is eventually restored when Bobby's mum goes back to her old eating habits which makes her warmer and less cranky.
Bobby's mum lost a lot of lean body mass along with maybe a little body fat, her thymus disappeared and she gets sick a lot now. The less muscle Bobby's mum has the lower her metabolic rate goes. She used to need 2400 calories to maintain her health yet now she has retested as needing only 1600 at rest and 2160 calories to maintain her new metabolism. She returned to her old eating habits and gained back the old weight plus more while eating exactly like she used to. Her guru suggests either going lower calorie or trying 1200 calories and then training with him 3 times per week to burn calories that way.
Bobby's mum tries this method many times over the next few decades while Bobby grows up. Bobby's mum encourages him to eat well and to finish his dinner. She even rewards him with food and scolds him by denying it. Does Bobby grow up with a healthy attitude to food? Possibly, but more than likely not.
Your kids are watching you, they copy you and want to be like you. You can't hide your cycles of fasting and binging, they will learn from you and then break your heart when you watch them grow up with the very same disordered eating that you had/have.
Eat and prosper!