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Eating Disorder Recovery Message Board

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hey girl! i don't really have anything to say, but i just like to write to you! (i think i need a little "weaning" also . . . but i love to go on these boards to distract myself from actually working! lol!)

so, i still REALLY don't think you're eating enough at all. not even close, kiddo! i tried to roughly estimate your calories for yesterday (hard, cuz i don't really know the portion sizes, but anyway . . .) and even though i rounded everything UP and OVERestimated, i came up with 1600. which means that i'm 99% sure you didn't even eat that much yesterday! AND you ran AND you did yoga for an hour and a half AND your six feet tall AND you're dangerously underweight AND you're supposed to be following a meal plan, aren't you?

i know i'm like a freakin' broken record here, but i'm really getting worried about you. you are eating almost NO fat on a regular basis and you're starving your body. i'm just scared for you. the way you've been eating can SERIOUSLY mess up your body, and it probably already has. you need MORE food, MORE fat, MORE nutrition (women cannot live on fruit and chicken and fat-free dairy alone!) all those vitamins you're taking, keep taking them. your body is so deprived of actual nutrition, it's seriously needs them. (i just take a calcium and a basic multi-vitamin, by the way. nothing too extensive, but you have to keep in mind that i eat about twice as much as you do, so my body gets MANY more vitamins and nutrients from actual food.)

if you don't mind me asking, what has your nutritionist prescribed for you? from your daily posts, i'm assuming she either hasn't told you to do anything or you just aren't following it at all. i'd really like to know what she said and maybe i can help you meet the goals. it's really important. like i said before, how will you EVER be able to recover if you can't learn to eat healthily and not feel guilty about it?

in terms of eating meals at the "correct" times, that's totally fine, but then you need to commit to it. you need to be awake and eating at breakfast time and you need to actually EAT lunch at lunch time (a real lunch too, not just an apple, 4 slices of fat-free cheese and 2 rice cakes. that isn't lunch.) what if you tried just eating 3 REAL meals a day and having two small snacks in between and then a dessert after dinner. just try it for one day. if you're nervous, make your snacks be fruit or something (cuz heaven knows, no one ever gained weight from eating apples!) it's MUCH healthier to eat more often (keeps your blood sugar stable) and you NEED to eat more. doesn't the fact that you're hungry at 4 pm or whenever say that to you? if you're body is begging you for food, you HAVE to feed it! also, you really need to get rid of all that fat-free crap. why do you eat it anyway??? and more importantly, why do your parents allow it in the house when they know you need to gain weight? eat FOOD that's not A) fruit, B) fat-free and C) substansial enough to be considered a meal.

i'm sorry i'm going on some sort of crazy rant again, but i'm really worried. it seems like you aren't following the advice of your therapist or nutritionist at all, you know? don't you want to get better? trust me, i know all the mental obstacles that stand in the way, but do you want to recover? cuz if you do, it doesn't really seem like you're going about it the right way . . . just a thought. keep me posted and please try the 3 meal, 2 snack thing. i guarantee you'll feel SO good just by doing that!
hey, don't feel bad hon. we are VERY concerned for you, but it comes from a sincere desire to see you recover. have you let me down? not in any way. anorexia is a DISEASE and it's got you REALLY tight in it's grasp right now. i'm not upset because you've let me down or disappointed me; i'm upset because i can see the workings of this horrible disorder and i fear you won't be able to escape it. i see SO many similarities to myself and it makes me scared because i know how i felt when i was at your stage and i know how convinced i was that i was able to exist "normally," so why did i need to recover, right? i don't know if i'm saying this right, but basically, when i was where you are, i felt similarly about the ED. "i can eat out, i can eat desserts and donuts and fried chicken, i never feel sick or tired. as long as i maintain CONTROL, i could do this for the rest of my life and be happy! plus, i'll look skinny and be fit and what's wrong with that?"

i worry cuz i NEVER would have wanted to recover at that point. i was comfortable, happy, in control, thin . . . what more could i want, right??? all i had to do was keep track of calories, exercise, and life would remain great! i think about the fact that my anorexia morphed into 9 months of terrible binge eating (remember? i've written about that before, but not for some time now). if i had never had those binging problems (which is what sent me over the edge and finally made me so frustrated and exhausted that i gave in to therapy). anyway, if i hadn't experienced that 9 months of binging hell, would i have EVER sought therapy? i worry that i wouldn't have, and THAT'S why i'm so worried about you.

when you feel that you're existing normally and healthily and you can do all these things and be okay, you don't see why you need therapy. now that i'm in it though, i can tell you that it is the single best decision i ever made in my life. honestly. i thought i could live with my ED (cuz it wasn't "that bad" before the binging . . . just a little calorie control and exercise, right?) before therapy. and i probably could have. but now that i know i'm gonna kick this thing out of my life, i can't imagine ever even WANTING to live with it. i didn't realize how much it was restricting my life until i realized what life would be without it.

i'm not sure if i'm making sense, and i don't know how much this'll help, but i understand how you feel about not being able to commit to the idea of recovery because you are comfortable and you're getting by doing what you've been doing. i wish there was a way i could make you convinced that you will have a MUCH better life if you commit to recovery, but i know that's something only you can realize for yourself. and you have to commit to it or it'll never work (which i think you realize from what's been going on these past few weeks). it's gonna be EXTREMELY scary and feel risky and that "comfortable" feeling you have now is gonna get all shaken up. i guarantee that. recovery is scary as hell because you break all your control issues, and that's why i think you have to REALLY want it or it can't work.

i don't want to make you feel more guilty or bad about yourself. you are NOT a bad person, you're just a sick person with this disease that clouds the mind so much that you can't tell left from right anymore, you know? i hate the tricks that anorexia plays with my mind and my moods and everything in my life. until you can start to SEE what it's doing to you (even though you're still comfortable), maybe you won't be able to commit to recovery. but i urge you to start looking for the ways this disease affects you. and when you find them, i want you to get angry. REALLY angry. BLAME f***ing anorexia for ruining your life and your opinion of yourself and your peace and wellbeing. Get pissed off at this disorder to the point where you hate it and you want it out of your life even though you know you still depend on it. then maybe you'll be ready to commit. but just keep trying and PLEASE keep posting. i don't care what you say, you'll never make me so angry/upset that i won't want to talk to you anymore, okay? we've built a great relationship of trust (shout out to girlygirl here too!!) and i think the strength in our friendship is helping both of us, regardless of how fast we're getting better.

one more quick thing and then i'll end this novel. :)
in terms of finding the ways anorexia affects your life, look deep into stuff, because it's not all gonna be out in the open. you exist comfortably within the disorder (as do i), so you gotta look beyond the surface to find where it's REALLY killing you. for example, your mom comes home with a starbucks mochja for you. do you get nervous or throw it out or plan to eat less food later to make up the calories? or, your friend calls at 4 pm (after you eaten two meals) to tell you there's an impromtu party involving dinner, dessert and drinks. do you freak out? do you not eat certain things if you do go? do you consider not going? do you focus more on the food, etc. than you do on having fun with your friends? basically, look for areas where you've learned to adapt and live with the disorder and then QUESTION them hard. do you want to live with this anxiety anymore? do you HATE anorexia for making you feel this way instead of just living and loving as the wonderful person you are? just something to think about . . .
hey, great job! i think it's so fantastic that you challenged yourself and pushed past your usual boundaries. sometimes we just gotta prove it to ourselves by sucking it up and DOING it. then we can see that we won't die or gain 40 lbs. or something extreme, you know?!? lol! anyway, you know that your day was light (VERY) and news flash: your dinner and dessert combo was still VERY light! BUT, the important thing is that you were able to challenge your ED and force it to stop restricting you. and that's great! just keep it up and it'll get easier and easier! isn't it bizarre how anorexia makes every day seem like a challenge that we need to overcome/succeed at? sometimes i feel like i'm just fighting this battle against myself and then i gotta take a step back and laugh: it's just food! anyway, you did really good by pushing those boundaries a little. just keep pushing a little more each day (or at least don't push less than the previous day) and i know you'll start feeling much better about everything. it's awesome that you didn't feel guilty or anything either. you did NOTHING bad/wrong and you DIDN'T eat too much at all, so it's good that the ED voice didn't chime in and make you feel guilty.

so, i've got a weird thing going on sort of. i need a little guidance/advice/reassurance or something. basically, on everyone's birthday in my office, the fat lady (really, she's fat) goes out and spends her OWN money to buy the person a big old birthday cake. i think it's weird cuz these cakes are extravagant (more than i ever get on birthdays at home!), plus it makes me ultra nervous. every other place i've worked it's like, "hey, it's my birthday, i brought in some cookies/cake/whatever." and then people have some if they want, etc. no big deal. but in this office, fatty goes around being like, "cake, everyone!" and then everyone piles into the breakroom and eats the cake in there (ie: people don't just take some if they want or go back to their desks to eat it) if fatty sees that you don't have any, she'll be like, "ooo, you didn't get any cake!" and then you either have to refuse it and have everyone STARE at you or get this gigantic slice of cake shoved in front of your face (obviously, i'm biased).

anyway, so basically, this situation makes me VERY nervous. i've been working here since last May and i have avoided having the cake EVERY time (and there's been a lot of times). i leave early sometimes, i slip out of the breakroom, i refuse it and have everyone stare at me with this "well of course you wouldn't eat it cuz you're skinny and you NEVER eat" look (despite the fact that i eat ALL day and donuts on Fridays and candy and cookies and whatever.) i still can tell what they're thinking though, you know?

so anyway, it's basically a VERY uncomfortable situation for me. my therapist is very big on saying "you should not feel forced to eat ANYTHING you don't want to. if the cake makes you uncomfortable, just say no and if they want to judge you, then it's their issue. you don't have to eat it!" unfortunately, that's more easily said than done, you know? it's HARD to not feel incredibly self-conscious and abnormal in those da** cake situations. okay, so now to the point: yesterday, i knew in advance that there was gonna be cake, so (since my stinking diet is 3400ish calories right now and i TOTALLY have calories to spare) i decided i'd FORCE myself to have the cake (alloting 400 calories for a piece). i figured i would feel empowered/better after it and a lot of the nervousness would go away since i'd avoided it for SO long it had just become this big THING, you know? it's like i made it WAY too important, so now having it for the first time was just WAY too nerve-wracking. i thought once i did it once, the other times i'd feel more free to have it/not have it as i please, right?

So . . . fatty pulls out this absolutely insanely large chocolate cake (seriously, it was like a foot tall and probably cost at least 40 bucks.) i got REALLY nervous cuz she's slabbing out huge pieces of this four-layer monster and i REALLY didn't want it. but then my friend was like, "does anyone want to split one?" i totally jumped at that one and we cut a piece in half. so then it felt a little more manageable, you know? but then the weirdest thing happened. it was like i couldn't physically make myself eat it. i took like two bites and felt HORRIBLE. guilty, angry, pressured, unhappy - i don't really know how to describe it. i forced myself to eat 1/2 of my 1/2 piece (which i'm SURE didn't amount to the 400 calories i counted it as) and i honestly couldn't put the fork up to my mouth for any more. i didn't enjoy it AT ALL and it was a suprisingly miserable experience.

so, i really don't get it. why did it upset me so much? i eat cake A LOT (birthdays, graduations, etc.) and i've never had this reaction. i get a little nervous, but i just estimate the calories and enjoy! the cakes are never as HUGE as this one, but still, i only had a 1/2 piece (it still was big, but jeez.) i felt pressured and unhappy and i wanted more than anything to not have that stupid cake in front of me. i'm so confused. i felt upset/angry at fatty AND myself for the rest of the afternoon. why was it such a terrible experience??? it's just cake!

any insight you have would REALLY help. i can't figure this one out. maybe it's something to do with what my therapist said about not ever feeling like i HAVE to eat something i don't want? cuz honestly, i didn't want the huge chocolate monster at 4 in the afternoon. when i have cake at birthdays, etc., it's always at a time that i actually WANT it. and i honestly can just enjoy it. but this sucked. too much pressure? should i have not given in just cuz all the f***ing people in my office would look at me funny? ugh! then like 1/2 hour later i went to get an apple and cake-lady gave me this weird "why are you eating that?" look. i just wanted to scream at her, "because i'm not fat and i prefer not to snack on two huge pieces of cake in the afternoon! sorry!" it makes me SO mad!! i DO eat (a lot!) and i eat LOTS of desserts and i feel like i shouldn't have to PROVE it to the idiots i work with by gorging on cake at 4 in the afternoon! just cuz i prefer to eat dessert at night and not a couple hours before dinner, why do i have to feel this pressure!?!?!

really, i need a little help or something. as you can see, i'm still upset by this and i don't fully understand it. ugh!! ;)

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