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afraid I have an eating disorder, this is a long post but please help.
Originally I began dieting again to lose the last 10 pounds. I have...but I want to lose more. I now weigh 105 pounds at 5ft tall. I am not underweight and I am certainly not over weight. There are long periods of time when I eat normally, indulge a bit, count calories and mainly eat healthy balanced meals. But then there are times like now. Friday night I spiraled out of control and ate anything i wanted to....it was all crap but I still stayed at 1600 calories or so which is fine....but it didnt feel fine to me because it was all such junky stuff. So I took a bunch of laxatives and diet pills trying to undo the damage ( I know it doesnt and I know what laxative abuse can do to you) I just wanted it all out of me. After spending the next day with horrible stomach problems I still felt like I'd screwed up because the scale said I was 3 pounds heavier. So I didnt eat for 3 days...my goal was 5.every month or so this happens. And tonight I felt light headed and out of it ofcourse. But in the morning I have an appointment with a therapist and I didnt want to seem like something was wrong ( i know thats the exact opposite of what I should be doing with a therapist), so I made myself eat. But even just that was difficult. I had a cup of string beans and an orange and a fig and I feel guilty because of it....although it was the first food I'd had since friday. I've been making so much progress in therapy but I havent had an appointment in months and I dont want her to think I've gone off the deep end. But I think I have and I don't even know what I'm trying to do anymore. The weight just comes off this way...so quickly and I know that I'm hurting my metabolism and thats what scares me about stopping. I dont want to gain the weight back but I dont know how to maintain anymore...only how to lose. I'm pretty active and I get about 40 minutes of cardio a day. Food is controlling my life, but I dont want to get better. I don't feel like I'm thin enough to ask for help. This entire post is so naive. I've had close family and friends suffer from anorexia and bulimia and I've helped them seek help and get better. but now that I see the symptoms in myself I can't stop. everyone keeps telling me how great I look and how thin I am..."so slender and beautiful" thats what my parents said when seeing me. I'm in therapy for a whole different set of problems...ones that are getting better each day, and this is one I've never discussed with my therapist, I'm too afraid she'll judge me even though shes only been helpful and very supportive with everything else. I dont want to stop and I dont want to hurt myself anymore. I need some advice, but please be kind because I'm feeling very vulnerable even writing this down. I know we are all struggling with food and weight in our own lives and it can be hard to relate, but thank you for reading this.
Tue. Mar 7, 12:23am
Hi There, I'm not a therapist, but I think you've already made the 1st step in recognizing some destructive behavior in yourself and seeking help from others.
I'm guessing that the anonymity of PT is why you've chosen to post here instead of talking to your therapist?
My suggestion-- if you've established a relationship of trust with your therapist, I think you should bring this up with her. She is there to help you, not to reject or belittle you....Since she knows that you are struggling with other issues, perhaps she can also help you through this bump in your road as well.
I don't think you are naive--as you stated, you've helped others, and realize that this behavior will be more harmful than helpful to you and your body in the long run. Although it is scary to actually "admit" that there is a problem, I think that if you talk to someone like your therapist, you may actually feel quite a bit of relief that the issue is out in the open and that you can move on towards a healthier state of mind and body....
In a way, I can understand your issues--years ago, I saw anorexic behavior in my sister, and found her a book called "it's not what you're eating, it's what's eating you" (or something like that) As I read through it before giving it to my sister, I started recognizing some symptoms of bulemia in myself-- I was by no means skinny--at that time I was slighly heavy, but not overly heavy-- I, too would sometimes use laxatives to purge-- until I started reading the book and realizing that it was just as bad to use laxatives to purge as it is to use vomiting or excessive exercise.... Luckily, I had not gotten to the point where I felt spiraling out of control... I never told anyone about it, and was kind of ashamed--I mean, most of the time people think of bulemics & anorexics as being "thin" and at the time, I was just "normal sized"....
Anyways, I think that if you take the brave step of talking to someone, such as your therapist, you will feel better and will be able to go down a healthier mental and physical path...
Good luck!!! let us know how you are doing!!
Tuesday, March 07, 2006, 1:13 AM
hi there, I agree with the above poster that it is great that you are recognizing behavior that isn't normal. When I was depressed a few years back I didn't eat much throughout the day, I felt gross after I ate like four pretzels. If it wasn't healthy I didn't eat it. I lost weight and felt in control. On the weekends I would drink with my girlfriends only to feel more fat and derpressed on Monday, making me eat less throughout the week. I was always sad and worried about everything. My derpression was caused by a back injury that kept me from being active, after about a year of this and a trainer at the gym I realized that my body wouldn't heal unless I gave it the correct amount of nutrients.
Now being three years from this time, I eat normally and feel pretty good about myself. I know I have come along way and I am still commited to exercise but not to stay skinny but to keep my back strong. Sometimes I have those out of control moments too, and I get really pissed at myself and angry afterward and I noticed that I treat others with an attitude. When I am in control of my eating habits I feel more in control of my life. I have done the laxative thing, not to an extreme but I remember once after thanksgiving and christmas I did it get all the bad foods out of me. It would be so uncomfortable and painful afterward, that I told myself I would never do it again.
I guess what I have learned from all this, is that life is going to change and things will happen to you, emotionally and physically that you cannot control. What you can control is your peace of mind, in times of trouble try to relax and tap into what is really going on. Do you really want to eat the whole box of cookies or are you feeling vulnerable in the kitchen? if you are vulnerable leave the kitchen and get on peer trainer, talk to your mom, go to the mall and buy clothes. This may be hard but sometimes when I am in this situation I think to myself "how will I feel about this tomorrow?" Sometimes when I indulge a little or a lot now, I realize well if I couldn't control that situation my body is telling me it needs some fat and sugar, I am not going to eat like this tomorrow so it's okay.
I hope these thoughts of mine are helpful I know they are my thoughts, but you must realize that many women go through these battles and it's important that you know that people aren't judging you based on your last meal or how much you weigh.
Let us know how you are doing, we are here to help ya!
Tuesday, March 07, 2006, 8:06 AM
You had a lot of courage to admit all of that, even if this is anon. I can see it's really hard for you since you're getting reinforcement from your family and others telling you you look great. Please do try to talk to your therapist about this, or if not, try getting another one. There are also on-line communities that can help support you through this process. Just don't fall into one that promotes this kind of thing.
Please keep posting and let us know how you're doing.
Tuesday, March 07, 2006, 8:48 AM
I know this is very difficult for you. I am not in the same position as you, but I am also trying to learn to "maintain" my weight after learning to lose successfully. It is a very difficult balance, I'm finding, and I've already gained a pound or two back, which is making me very upset. My plan is to talk to a nutritionist and get my RMR tested - resting metabolic rate, or something like that. I want to *know* how many calories I can take in without gaining, but also without losing. I think I can eat about 1300 calories a day and maintain; if I knew that for sure, I think I could control my eating to average 1300 calories a day. If I went over by 300 one day, I could cut back by 100 for the next 3 days.
I'm not saying to do this instead of talking to a therapist. I agree with the other posters that talking through your issues would be very beneficial. I'm just suggesting maybe an additional step. If you know the "facts" about your body and what it can handle, it may alleviate some of your fears about gaining back the weight that you've worked so hard to lose.
Tuesday, March 07, 2006, 10:34 AM
Please, please, please don't be afraid and talk to your therapist. It is so easy for this type of behavior to spiral out of control. Reading your story sounds almost like my story, except that I didn't get help..i just kept hiding it and trying to act like nothing was wrong so no one would worry. What ended up happening was a full blown eating disorder (anorexia). At the beginning there were binges and then periods of fasting to undo the guilt and shame I felt. Then I just kept cutting down on my food with the intention of just not gaining any weight (not necessarily losing). I lost years of my life this way, obsessing over food and ultimately almost dying from being at such a low weight. It spirals out of control and the longer you get into it the harder it is to get out. Please, trust me. You are worth so much more than the obsession that is starting. You are so much more than your body. Please continue to have the courage to be honest. What you may find is that this dieting/binging is a coping mechanism for you to help deal with other issues that are going on. I hope this didn't come across as too lecture-ish. I can just really relate and would never want anyone to have to go through the struggle that I ended up having to experience. Take good care of yourself.
Tuesday, March 07, 2006, 11:01 AM
former anorexic then bulimic then binger...
I really understand all of how you feel and after battling with all of the above I STILL have those unrealistic expectations, size anxiety, food anxiety, and body image issues. My family always says how much better I can look.... I know how hard it is. But I can't stress enough the fact that its not about food its about YOU. You need to explore your triggers, emotionally and deal with those. Mine were at the route of my mother's expectations, perfectionism, and old sexual abuse problems.
Tuesday, March 07, 2006, 11:22 AM
Note to the OP.
How are things today? Did you talk to your Therapist?
Wednesday, March 08, 2006, 9:55 PM
hi there, i know exactly how you feel. im worried i have an eating disorder too. i am almost 6foot and went down to 7stone12 just before last christmas it was a horible time, but then i found myself gainning weight but unlike most anorixa it wasnt frm feeling better about my body i was bindging uncontrolably evryday until mystomach stretched and you could see the outline of my stomach and my sides hurt so bad that i was crippled with pain and even then id try to cram more food down me. After that i was still botherd about my weight but my eating habits got better skiping the ocasional dinner and lunch and sometimes after an overindulgement or bidnge not eating or 3 -5days, but now ive found that i have started to perge after a bindge not often but once a month although i find it hard to do. I also exercise alot!!!! my weight keeps going up and i feel out of control. I now eat about normaly for 5 days max nd then bindged and do nothing about it, sometiems during the week i ill perge if i feel i have eaten to much but like i say this is rare. But i eat so much i feel so much pain my stomch is easily swollan for at least 2 days eating a whole weeks meals plan lunch breakfast and dinner in just one evening. I am still in my average weight but am worried that im going to get fat. I feel fat now i am bigger than ive evr been. Im scard and i dont think i have a real eating disorder cause its nothing like others i dont follow one symptom and i eat alot. I really do need some advie i feel hlepless and ashame. The reason i wrote this to your repose is although i understand it doesnt solve your problem i find knowing that others are going through the same thing makes you feel alot beter. and helps you to eat a normal diet. I would just like someone to tell me if they think i have an eating disorder cause im confused and dont want to sound stupid for thinking i may posibly have one when im not even underweight.
Friday, September 21, 2007, 6:38 PM
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