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What nobody ever tells you – dieting and eating disorders

30 Nov

In my teens, I read a lot of books on eating disorders. Alternating between anorexia and bulimia, I was interested in the science behind it; the effect starvation and purging has on the body, the personal accounts. I didn’t want recovery – most of the books were bought by my mother in a futile attempt to shock me into eating ‘normally’ – but I did notice one glaring issue which never seemed to be mentioned.

How do you diet when you’ve had an eating disorder?

My answer is: with a lot of struggling and heartache.

There seems to be an assumption that if you have ever had an eating disorder (or are experiencing bulimia or binge-eating), you won’t ever feel the need to diet. This is wrong on so many levels, mostly because weight gain happens to the best of us. The difference is, when you’ve somewhat recovered, you no longer want to go down the route of starvation or calorie counting, and simply want to lose weight in a safe manner. It’s very difficult to do, and I’ve found it almost impossible.

Currently, I’m slightly overweight and would like to lose about a stone so my clothes fit properly again. I would also like to eat healthily to help my body deal with poor health. However, having eating disorders lurking in my past means that every time I start trying to lose weight with the best of intentions, those feeling of control and inadequacy inevitably come back and I find myself fighting a demon I thought had been destroyed. I’ve tried so many times to lose weight but without fail the old issues rear their heads.

I will be the first to admit that I am a weak person, especially when it comes to willpower. I enjoy a good binge, but not the feeling of total desolation afterwards. I enjoy having control over my body, but not the inevitable calorie-obsession it brings. For all intents and purposes, I am no longer anorexic and doubt I ever will be again, but my mind doesn’t know that. When I try to lose weight, it panics. It convinces me to restrict and remove as much ‘bad’ stuff from my body. I have litle control over this, and I can only assume it’s the same for others.

There is no greater expert on nutrition than somebody who has had an ED. We could be the best dieticians and nutritionists. We learned from the university of eating disorders.

However, all the knowlege in the world doesn’t help when it comes to struggling with the mindset left behind from anorexia and bulimia.

The ED mindset is a strange place and although I’ve experienced it myself (and, to some extent, am still experiencing it) I can’t begin to explain it in a way which makes sense. Written down, it seems ludicrous that such thoughts would ever seem rational, yet they do.

Why don’t ED books cover this subject? I can’t be the only person who would like to lose weight without submiting to the old thoughts and feelings, yet it is NEVER mentioned. Perhaps it’s seen as a trigger subject, almost taboo in a world where weight loss is everything. Yet it’s a real problem, and one which seems to have no easy solution. I’d hazard a guess that a lot of cases of recurring EDs are possibly due to attempts at dieting gone wrong.

And dieting is a massive industry. Just look in your local supermaket or phamacy. Pick up a newspaper or magazine. It’s everywhere, further confusing the mind of people who are trying their best to lose weight in a sensible way. Pills and shakes offer quick, easy weight loss. Diet tips galore. BMI charts in GPs surgeries and hospitals. We’re constantly being bombarded with images and suggestions of weight loss, and the importance society places on it.. Is it any wonder we get so messed up and confused?

It’s not just food, either. Try going to the gym to get fit when you’ve had an ED, and see if you can restrict your levels of exercise. I certainly couldn’t; when I was fitter and more mobile, I joined the local gym in an attempt to tone up after extreme weight-loss after eight months of sickness (an infected gallbladder). I started out with wonderful, sensible intentions but soon found myself going every single day, for hours on end. Two hours on the treadmill, an hour on the cross-trainer, an hour on the bike, followed by a swim and half an hour on the rowing machine. Every day. Yes, I became much fitter and did tone up, but I was simply finding another way to control my body. I panicked if I couldn’t do the right amount of exercise, became reliant on it. I buzzed off the feeling of achievement, even as my muscles started tearing from so much overuse.

Yet when you join a gym… they never ask if you’ve had an eating disorder or an addiction to exercise.

I appreciate that most people would simply lie when asked, but it still seems irresponsible. I suppose the owners of gyms don’t really care as long as they’re getting paid.

What this rant comes down to is that nobody is a superhero. With the best of intentions, we can still fall off the wagon. An eating disorder is a form of addiction, but unlike alcohol or drugs we can’t avoid food forever. We have to develop a relationship with it which is less damaging than it used to be. EDs don’t just disappear once you become a normal weight. They’re always lurking, waiting for when you’re feeling vulnerable.

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55 Comments

Posted by on November 30, 2011 in Every day life, The Past

 

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55 responses to “What nobody ever tells you – dieting and eating disorders

  1. nicole

    November 30, 2011 at 2:49 pm

    dieting just seem so stale to me. it’s yesterday’s fashion. it’s what the lame and late gamers are now experiencing. during the late years of bulimia, i felt terrible about that because although i hated dieting and the dieters, i felt like a failure because of my up and down and up and down scale appearances. but now, after bulimia, i just want to inform those who have the potential to go overboard, like we did. x

     
    • halfwaybetweenthegutter

      December 1, 2011 at 1:46 am

      I agree that dieting itself is fashion, which is why such a huge industry is built around it. Weight loss will always be a reality though, and one which never seems to be covered when it comes to eating disorders. In the UK, there is little or no support once you’re seen to have ‘recovered’ (i.e. reached an ideal weight), and there is certainly no help out there for those who are struggling with the ghosts of eating disorders. It’s simply never mentioned, and I don’t understand why, I suppose.

      After anorexia, I gained a lot of weight. A LOT. Far too much for my body to handle, and it was having a detrimental effect on my health and confidence. I was clinically obese, and as a former anorexic and (at the time) still bulimic, it was something I just couldn’t deal with. I couldn’t lose weight without swinging to extremes. Dieticians didn’t help because as far as they could see, I was simply eating too much and they paid no notice to my emotional state. I ended up back in the grip of bulimia… and I suspect that wouldn’t have happened if the support had been there, or even just somebody saying, “hey, I found that difficult too”.

       
      • nicole

        December 1, 2011 at 1:51 am

        this simply makes me want to cry! the true therapy begins, i think, when a person ends the disordered habits. in 2001, a psychoanalyst told me that i needed to see a nutritionist to lose weight (after 6 months of anorexia and 2.5 years of bulimia, so clearly i wasn’t receptive). i think that blogging is the best therapy that i could ever imagine in a perfect world. thank you for writing to me. x

         
        • halfwaybetweenthegutter

          December 1, 2011 at 1:57 am

          Exactly – it’s not always the action of bulimia or anorexia, but the thoughts as well. Thinking in a disordered way may not damage your body, but it certainly damages the mind.

          I’ve lived with EDs since my early teens, over half my life. I accept it’s not something which is going to go away overnight, but I wish the support and information was out there for people like me; not actively in the grip of disordered behaviour, but still haunted by it every day. x

           
  2. jeg700

    November 30, 2011 at 3:00 pm

    My most helpful attitude about food for me has been (and still is) regarding it strictly as nourishment, fuel for the body. I am not, nor have I ever been, anyone that would be described as a gourmand, finding joy in anything having to do with food. However, I do know that I must eat to survive, I must eat to feel my best and I must eat healthy foods that will not waste my time with empty calories. I do not eat for comfort, I do not eat for pleasure; I eat because I must, just like I sleep because I must. It is a natural, healthy function for a human. All feelings that we attach to these activities are self-inflicted and can never solve the underlying issue that put those misplaced feelings with those activities. To that end, I eat only fruit, vegetables, grains and a little meat, white meat predominately. I have been doing this for many years now and I will say in the beginning it took a deliberateness that I found reminiscent of any ED, but, it eventually became habit and when I forget to eat in a day, my body will actually crave the fruit. WIN WIN for me:) It’s not easy, especially when society puts a lot emphasis on happiness and food, eating with friends and family represents loving relationships, etc. etc. etc. you get my drift. Like you, I do not embrace the general public, nor the general “normal” standards regarding life and relationships and the holidays are just one big fantasy invented by money-grubbing companies…please, do people really need to fit in that much? To embrace these things like the good little sheep portrayed everywhere is insidious, causing discomfort with ourselves to nth degree! I say to hell with that!:)

     
    • halfwaybetweenthegutter

      December 1, 2011 at 1:54 am

      You and I are at opposite ends of the scale; I adore food, always have. You’re right though; society puts far too much emphasis on the social aspect of food. It’s incredibly difficult to develop a healthy relationship with it when so much socialising it done over eating.

       
  3. sweetopiagirl

    November 30, 2011 at 3:45 pm

    Reblogged this on inspiredweightloss.

     
  4. The Lady Amalthea

    November 30, 2011 at 5:21 pm

    I understand where you’re coming from. I’m a binge eater myself, and finding a balance with food and exercise is difficult. As soon as my mindset becomes “diet” and “restriction,” I go overboard and end up in some pretty dark places.

    I’ve learned to shift my focus to become healthy. It’s then not about counting calories in and calories out all the time, but making healthier choices: eating a tuna sandwich for lunch instead of a slice of pizza or walking to the store rather than driving.

    I hope you will find a balance that works for you. I know that it can be difficult. Keep trying!

     
    • halfwaybetweenthegutter

      December 1, 2011 at 1:49 am

      Thanks very much for the advice. I’m a binge eater too now, and have been for most of my life really. It’s become a huge issue over the past decade.

      I try making healthier choices, but inevitably it all goes wrong. I can do it for a little while, but the first weight-loss compliment or a smaller size on my belt instantly kick-starts the ED mindset. I’m a vegetarian so it’s a little easier being healthy than it was, but I still get the fear every time I eat a salad. The fear that I’m eating too much. It’s strange, because I know that’s a road I never, ever wish to go down again.

       
  5. The Bipolar Project

    November 30, 2011 at 9:19 pm

    Thank you for writing about this – it has been very enlightening for me. Like others said before, shifting the focus from dieting to becoming healthy could be good?

    Keep us informed about how you go about this, I’m very interested!

     
    • halfwaybetweenthegutter

      December 1, 2011 at 1:40 am

      Thank you, and I’m glad I could shed a little light. Unfortunately, with my best intentions I’m still unable to maintain a healthy way of eating without going back to old habits. If I eat a healthy dinner, I start wondering if I could cut half of it out. If I make myself eat a healthy breakfast, I decide to skip it the next day. Logically it makes no sense, and I can see just how silly that way of thinking is… but it has a mind of its own.

       
  6. Joakim Appell

    November 30, 2011 at 11:16 pm

    I enjoyed that! I like how you write.

     
  7. gypsy116

    December 1, 2011 at 12:19 am

    Ive had to deal with this a lot. After my stint with anxorexia, I ended up in a binge/starve cycle, until it just ended up with binging and I ended up gaining a lot of weight. Since then my weight has gone up and down, whenever Im doing better emotionally I manage to eat healthily and workout and usually stay at a pretty healthy weight, but when ever I become really depressed, I return to binging and gaining weight, its a vicious cycle. Thats not the point Im trying to get at here though, during the time when Im emotionally doing better, and Im eating healthily and working out, from the outside it appears that I am just engaging in healthy behaviors, but the obsession and control issues always come back. I know in my head that the thought processes driving my behavior isnt healthy even if the outcome is, Im not sure if that makes sense, and there have been several times where I have ended up too thin (without realizing it), or started resorting to unhealthy things like diet pills or whatever. I dont think it ever goes away, the only thing we can do is try to find some kind of balance. When Im eating healthily and working out, even though I know Im having unhealthy thoughts and urges, I guess I just figure it beats just outright engaging in the unhealthy ED behaviors. I just try to keep myself from spiraling too far the best that I can. Im not sure how much sense this had made, or if it was helpful at all, but just wanted to let you know that Im with you, its definitely not just you, its hard

     
    • halfwaybetweenthegutter

      December 1, 2011 at 1:38 am

      You make perfect sense, and thank you for adding this. I get what you mean about being healthy on the outside but still being messed up on the inside; for me, there’s simply no way I can maintain a healthy way of eating without resorting to either cutting calories dramatically or simply thinking in a very disordered way. I find myself torn between continuing being outwardly healthy (which is good for my body) but in turmoil emotionally, or just binning the whole thing off so I’m at least a little bit sane. It feels like I don’t have a choice.

       
  8. butimnotperfect

    December 1, 2011 at 3:44 am

    Holy wow, you hit it. It’s confusing to regain control over body image after an eating disorder because you don’t want to fall back into that void. It’s tough to know what your true shape is, what foods are the “right” foods, what habits are right for normal healthy individuals but completely wrong for a recovered anorexic. After three years of anorexia I swung over to binge eating and am now working on sorting that out. It’s frustrating, for sure. For a regular girl surfing the web for ways to boost metabolism, she can see “drink lots of water” and give it a try. Imagine the same advice in the hands of an ED individual. Things tend to spiral.

    Anyway, excellent writing and stellar pondering! I greatly enjoy both your content and your style.

     
    • halfwaybetweenthegutter

      December 1, 2011 at 4:00 am

      Exactly! I’m glad you get it; I was worried it was just me.

      In truth, I have no idea what my shape is. I know I’m overweight, but I’m probably not what society would call ‘fat’ – I could be totally wrong about that though as it’s so long since I was able to look at more than one part of myself in the mirror without falling apart. It seems that binge-eating after anorexia is quite common, so maybe that’s also something which needs to be taken into account when treating eating disorders.

      You’re also right when you say that advice for normal healthy people isn’t always the best advice for those recovering or recovered from EDs. Sometimes it can be downright dangerous.

      Thank you very much for commenting and your insight!

       
      • butimnotperfect

        December 1, 2011 at 1:44 pm

        Before I was anorexic, a large part of my identity was living this natural, simple life. I rejected a lot of my upbringing (television, packaged food for every meal, driving a car) in favor of this “naturalist” lifestyle that made me happy. Unfortunately, when anorexia crept up on me it latched onto my well-intentioned simple eating patterns… I think some call this orthorexia?

        Now that I can proudly say I’m recovered from anorexia, I’ve rebelled against that side of myself to an extreme and have lost touch with the aspects of natural living that I really love. Digging out the things you’ve forgotten takes just as much strength as the initial whispered words, “I think I need some help.”

        You’re right that it’s common to binge eat for awhile after anorexia and I don’t think this is necessarily ignored by ED specialists… I think it’s more likely that someone who used to suffer from anorexia would reject further treatment once they feel they are beyond starving themselves and refuse to admit that they have the “bad” eating disorder now. Cause seriously, why have an eating disorder if you can even be thin? Makes you feel like you don’t deserve any more help, you’re on your own now.

        Perhaps your “comfortable” shape is the weight you are now but it’s probably not if you still feel that your relationship with food is stressful. I’m by no means an expert on anything but my advice would be to work out what’s going on with food, try as hard as you can to build satisfying/non-obsessive/comfortable eating habits and see if your true shape wakes back up.

        Thanks for the reply!

         
  9. Petrifish

    December 1, 2011 at 3:57 am

    Great post, it really is a topic that needs addressing. I had bulimia a few years ago, spurred on by a desire to loose 10kg. it lasted for about 8 months before I started getting help. And it came back again and again as I thought I was cured and tried to return to ‘me’ via dieting or exercise.
    The best advice I can give is to genuinely enjoy exercising and eating well. When going for a jog gives you a rush of endorphins, or playing soccer means you get to be competiive and see your friends, you start to not think about exercising to lose weight – it has completely different purposes. Dieting is a bit trickier and I can’t try to restrict the amount of food I eat but I do now get a great deal of satisfaction from preparing meals that I know make my body happy that are also delicious. I hope this helps!

     
    • halfwaybetweenthegutter

      December 1, 2011 at 4:03 am

      Good advice, thank you! Unfortunately, the exercise point is a bit moot for me at the moment, as I suffer from chronic pain and am unable to do any real exercise. However, your words would be very helpful for people recovering and who are able to exercise – especially the social aspect.

      I also adore cooking, I love preparing meals for others and get so much happiness from somebody enjoying something I’ve made. In a way I thank anorexia and bulimia for that; it taught me how to cook! It’s funny what you pick up when you’re obsessed with food.

       
  10. lexiconlover

    December 1, 2011 at 5:42 am

    I have heard many times the comparison, “With alcoholism or chemical dependence you slay the dragon, with and eating disorder you have to take it out for a walk three times a day.”

    Any biologcially based addictions, that is addictions that involve biological processes that are closely linked with everyday activities like eating, sex, love, are much more difficult to treat; there is a higher recivdivism/ relapse rate.

    Harder, not impossible. There is always hope.

     
  11. korahomes

    December 1, 2011 at 5:47 am

    I would suggest reading the book Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson.

     
  12. B.B.Darlington

    December 1, 2011 at 8:19 am

    I suffered for 7-8 years with bulimia. Along with it came addiction to exercise and crippling depression. I am now a healthy weight and have recently stopped taking anti-depressants (it took several attempts over 3 years to do it). It has taken me an age to understand my addiction, control issues and patterns of self abuse. The hardest thing has been letting myself know that I deserve to be healthy and happy! Making my happiness my priority is paramount for my ongoing well being. It may sound selfish but I don’t care. I’ll do whatever it takes to keep a smile on my face and therefore, my fingers out of my throat.

     
    • nicole

      December 1, 2011 at 8:22 am

      this is such a strong comment! i so relate to everything but the medication! do you have a blog? x

       
      • B.B.Darlington

        December 1, 2011 at 12:17 pm

        I do :)

         
        • nicole

          December 1, 2011 at 11:43 pm

          please, share the address with me! i’ve tried to link to it through your avatar, and i’ve been utterly unsuccessful! x

           
    • B.B.Darlington

      December 1, 2011 at 8:23 am

      I should have started with this but, thank you for writing this blog.. You are filling a desperate need x

       
    • Justine Duppong @ Life With Cheeseburgers

      December 2, 2011 at 3:25 am

      Beautifully said. You can’t do anything for anyone else if you’re not happy and taking care of yourself first. Before I did good things for myself, I was a bitter, unhappy person–not someone others wanted to be around. Now, I treat myself very well and I often have a smile on my face for other people. I want to do my best to be a ray of light in people’s lives, and I could never do that if I was unhappy inside.

       
  13. effortlesslyperfect

    December 1, 2011 at 11:57 am

    Reblogged this on effortlessly perfect.

     
  14. Justine Duppong @ Life With Cheeseburgers

    December 2, 2011 at 3:22 am

    This is a tough one. For me it will always come down to focusing inward, listening to my body, and responding to what my body needs (not that I’m always successful!). I don’t do well with the idea of cutting back in any sense (I LOVE food). So I think the only thing that would work for me would be to maintain that focus of trying to make healthier food choices, adjusting the way that I eat slightly but continually reminding myself that I am GAINING good nutrition rather than LOSING something.

     
  15. MoJo DeVille

    December 3, 2011 at 5:06 am

    Thank you for this. More of us should share our headspaces.

     
  16. MissPistachio

    December 3, 2011 at 2:33 pm

    Your insights echo my experiences in a scary way. (That sounds bad, but its a good thing, I assure you ^_^). I also ADORE food and have had my fair share of obsessive calorie-counting, weight loss, and bingeing (luckily, very little purging…once was enough to learn my lesson). I’ve also had some pretty awful depression, mostly a winter thing. I absolutely love and live for going on long walks around my neighborhood, but cannot stand, more than anything on this planet, being cold. So when winter hits I become this crazy shut-in and won’t go outside. No amount of bundling up makes me comfortable or warm while I’m outside. I shiver so hard that my muscles go into painful spasms. I just can’t stand it. So I get depressed because of that fun lack of Vitamin D which I get tons of while walking during the summer (I even got a tan for the first time in years!!). My biggest joy during the winter is watching the sun rise, which I get up early for every morning.

    When you find a solution to your question, please please let us all know what you find! I don’t currently have this issue, but I may at some point, and am also very curious. Good luck! I hope you don’t mind if I follow you! ^_^

     
  17. Byghan

    December 5, 2011 at 11:50 pm

    Hey,
    I have never suffered from an ED but I have to say dieting scares me for, I think, related reasons. I am frightened of the obsessional thought patterns particularly around control over my body, partly as a means of perfecting it/myself and punishing myself and partly for the sheer need for control. I also find the idea of doing it right or wrong sets of alarm bells in my head. Years of self-harm and years of controlling thoughts about self-harm and flirtations with emotional addictions means I come to the idea of restricting myself and correcting myself with some hefty baggage.

    On the other hand I do need to lose weight and hoping that I will magically get thinner spontaneously hasn’t worked so far. I am trying to deal with this in two ways, firstly by focusing on the positive things about treating myself healthily and secondly by trying to use mindfulness about my eating. By which I mean noticing what I am doing, being curious about what makes a difference to it and being non-judgemental whilst still trying to change things. I’m not sure I’m particularly successful about any of the goals but ..

     
  18. Merrilee Caspary

    December 25, 2011 at 8:28 am

    Wow! This can be one particular of the most beneficial blogs We’ve ever arrive across about this subject. Actually Excellent. I am also a specialist in this topic therefore I can understand your hard work.

     
  19. Peaceful Controversy

    January 22, 2012 at 5:08 am

    Boy, this is post #2 that I have read of yours and I am again floored with the way I identify with what you are saying. I have this problem to a tee. I can’t seem to get it right. It’s either too much or too little. Where is the middle of the road and how do I get there? Sometimes I say to myself maybe I am in the middle of the road but I don’t realize that its OK to be there – because everyone else is so busy trying to get to the other side.

     
    • halfwaybetweenthegutter

      January 22, 2012 at 9:57 am

      You’re right; if I could just find a middle-ground and stay there, I know it’d be ideal for both my health and sanity. I’m always pushing to eat too little, and instead I eat too much *sigh*; where on earth is that perfect balance? It’s hard, and sometimes I wonder if I’ll ever find it.

       
  20. chemilyx

    March 8, 2012 at 12:00 am

    You are a truly wonderful writer, it is a pleasure to read your posts. You make such a good point with this and it’s something I have always wondered about myself. I know several people who’ve had EDs in the past and are now overweight and I always wonder what’s going to happen when they decide that they want to slim down slightly – will they fall back into their old routines and will the demons come back? It’s something that should be spoken about SO much more and I honestly think the focus on dieting in the media/ society for the sake of a “perfect” body is disgusting. Yes, fine, if it’s for a healthy weight then it’s absolutely required, but society’s perception of a perfect body and the constant need to be dieting is so warped. l have a very obsessive personality and I’ve never had an ED but when I diet I diet to the extreme or binge. Very prone to dangerous thoughts and currently overweight, I’ve wondered for months how on earth I’m meant to diet safely and effectively. Thank you for writing this, it’s comforting to know that I’m not alone. Much love to you x

     
  21. secretstrenght

    April 5, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    You are a brilliant writer and a few things stood out to me. Having suffered from anorexia in the past, I am a bit overweight now too. I went on a diet at the start of the year to try and loose 7lbs, but instead it turned into a relapse.
    Thanks for writing, some very interesting points.
    Love
    -Kath

     
    • halfwaybetweenthegutter

      April 5, 2012 at 4:44 pm

      Relapses can be so difficult to deal with. Sadly, I don’t know the magic answer; I think there’s always going to be a part of me which fears anything to do with calories or weight. I just wish there was more information out there on how to deal with eating disorders and the need to lose weight.

      Thanks for reading, Kath :)

       
  22. Author

    May 14, 2012 at 12:48 pm

    Kath,
    from what i’ve read you have a doppleganger in Canada, but she doesnt have a computer, and her manner of speach i so radically not the way you speak, so i know you arent the same person but Wow, you even have the same name! Anyways…. Dieting…
    I for health reasons, have been on a LowStarch diet, this is not low CARB but low STARCH. there is a huge difference. Carbs can be found in fruit and veg. Starch is not. So i stay away from grains, and refined sugar opting for honey or a syrup made from the same stuff Tequila is made of, i cant think of what it is right now..
    Anyways its also known as Specific Carbohydrate diet. Its not at all about calorie counting or portion size. I eat as much as i want. Veg, Fruits, Meat, Eggs fish and some dairy, cheese mostly. I try not to have any bread or wheat products, but if I am I will try to keep it to just one. This is because of health issues, but recently from being on this “diet” and taking to alot of soup, (mostly home made chicken or turkey broth with a bit of Shallots (onions act like starch to me and hurt my eyes if i eat them) garlic, a couple carrots chopped and a couple stalks of celery chopped. boiled just enough to soften the veg a little bit.
    I ate soup once a day and ate celery as a snack. since January i’ve lost about 25 lbs (i had gotten to overweight for me) and its wonderful to fit into clothes i havent been able to squeeze into in a few years. I thought it was impossible for me to loose weight because of Fibromyalgia but this healthy diet really helped. I also dont have mood spikes like i would when i was a starch monster.
    My mom is a starch monster Weight watchers nazi (for lack of a better word) who things the T-Zone is the best thing for anyone (the thought of shaking makes me hurt but she just spent a few thousand dollars on this machine so i cant say anything) She recently came for a visit (i live 400 km away.) when she arrived she was starving. I gave her a plate of pasta, with fetta and chicken. 45 min later we were going for a drive she asked if we could get a coffee to go (Tim Hortons) when we went through drive through she got a bagel! (she just ate!!) 2 hrs later we got home and she was STARVING!!!! so i made her another plate of pasta, twice as big as the one before. I had just had a salad with avocado before she arrived, and had something similar when she had the last plate of pasta. I never got starving that whole time.

    The thing with the starch free diet, is if anyone says boo about it, its for health reasons, not weight loss reasons . and its true. it can help with inflamation (especially if you can stay away from potatoes) and that will help with Fibro Pain. :-)
    Best wishes to you on your journeys.

     
  23. trish

    May 28, 2012 at 5:42 am

    i completely understand. im still trying to find the answer. im a recovering anorexic and things were going well than i had my son. its perfectly normal to lose the excess weight you gain from a pregnancy however i try and all i want to do and know is just not to eat and exercise 5 hours a day i dont know how to maintain a balance and keep the thoughts at bay. good luck in your struggle im right there with you. im showing the signs of mental exaustion just fighting my thoughts every day

     
  24. rachelmiller1511

    June 5, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    I can really relate to this post. I restricted my eating a lot as a teenager. I was never anorexic or bulimic, but I was incredibly fussy about what I put in my mouth and would weigh myself numerous times a day. I would aim to feel hungry a lot.

    Since being diagnosed with Bipolar, I’ve put on stones through binge-eating. I would very much like to lose these, but each time I try I just keep thinking how much I deprived myself when I was a teenager and how this was a miserable time. I was obsessed with exercising off any food I’d eaten which was “bad” eg, a chocolate bar. I don’t want to be back at this level of obsession again. I want to lose weight by eating healthily, not being hungry, not exercising obsessively and by being happy throughout this.

    Interesting post. Thanks.

    Rachel

     
    • halfwaybetweenthegutter

      June 5, 2012 at 12:58 pm

      I can certainly relate to binge-eating; sometimes it feels like I spend my whole life eating. It’s incredibly encouraging that you’ve identified those feelings and decided not to go back down that path; it’s a big part of the battle. I don’t think eating disorders are half as simple as some make out; I do think there’s a sort of pre-anorexia.

      Good luck on being happy :)

       
      • rachelmiller1511

        June 5, 2012 at 5:18 pm

        I agree, I think eating disorders are incredibly complex and I think they affect your whole life, those thought patterns and body image issues never seem to leave 100%. Thanks!!

        Rachel

         
  25. lorraineblack90

    June 7, 2012 at 11:25 pm

    I totally get where you’re coming from. I’ve had a “semblance” of an ED (EDNOS) that was not diagnosed because no one noticed. I noticed several years later, when I analysed my behaviour and my state of mind.

    I, like you and many others, gained a lot of weight when I started recovering. Basically, I didn’t weigh myself for a year and a half, while I was learning to love my body without numbers dictating my worth, so to speak. It’s difficult to put into words.

    When I weighed myself, I was about 158 pounds, which I never thought I’d be, considering I’m quite short. I started changing a bit of my eating habits, and even though I haven’t lost that much, slowly but surely it’s coming off, although I’ve maintained a steady weight of 150 for a year now, which is still overweight, but with no health problems related to weight, I’m taking it easy.

    With this post you’ve inspired me to make a post about this journey. Hopefully, it can help you, and others, if not to make massive changes, to at least inspire you or something. I don’t know, anything I can do to help, any little ray of something that doesn’t make people feel like shit, or make them revert to an ED, will be good enough.

     
  26. Amanda

    July 19, 2013 at 9:45 pm

    I’m so glad I found this post. I recovered from anorexia six years ago now, and have tried several different attempts at dieting. Two voices immediately start yelling in my head. The first loudly encouraging me to skip meals, exercise all the time, and reach unhealthily low weights, even when I begin dieting with the intention to end up with a moderate, healthy weight. The other is the voice that developed when I decided to overcome my anorexia and gain weight back, and it is loudly telling me to binge eat in response to the anorexic thoughts (this is how I got over the anorexia in the first place). I know that I have some weight to lose, and if I were to do it, my weight would be in a healthy range. It’s incredibly hard. My anorexia has an huge toolkit to draw from. I know all of the excuses, I am excellent at estimating calorie content and calorie expenditure. I was a very sneaky and successful anorexic for two years. But when the anorexia starts to take over the anorexia-recovery kicks in. So, my diets usually last for two days. I haven’t figured it out, but the one thing that has worked best for me is to find exercise activities that I truly enjoy, and to not weigh myself anymore. I know that I have lost weight in the past in this way, plus I’ve gained muscle and I’m healthier – without the anorexic thoughts. I rock climb, hike and bike on a regular basis. Still interested in loosing a few pounds, but who knows if my crazy mind will let me.

     
  27. Christina

    October 11, 2013 at 9:13 pm

    In the ‘do you have/have you had any of the following’ question at my gym anorexia/bulimia was an option to check off.

     

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