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Eating Disorder Recovery Message Board

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ls, sorry it took me so long to get to this post, but i'm almost glad it did. my advice to you at first would've been much different than what i'm about to write now that all these other people have posted to you and you've responded, etc. first of all, reread EVERYTHING that was posted to you on these threads (especially from Natalie). there is some da** good advice and coping strategies and blunt facts of reality in those posts and i think you need to reread each of them AT LEAST once. nothing that anyone said was "untrue" and i think it was all very applicable to your situation.

my opinion? A) you aren't eating enough, B) you're exercising too much, and C) this potential "weight gain" is really shaking you up. (i'm not judging that last one at all by the way, as i KNOW how unsettling it can be and it's okay to feel anxious. What is NOT okay is to regress back into ED because of the anxiety, which is what i see you doing.) i'm gonna try to be relatively brief and to the point with this post, because i really think that everyone else has said what i would say anyway. (that being said, i've got A LOT to say, so we'll see how "short" i can make it, lol!)

you DESPERATELY need a very concrete and strict meal plan and i hope the nutritionist today gives you one. (if she doesn't, you need to DEMAND one. you can't do this part on your own). you are not eating ANYWHERE NEAR enough calories and you haven't done so for even ONE day in the past month or more. you may "think" you're eating more, but really, it's all mental. you're eating nearly the exact same "diet" you were two weeks ago. your perception of meals is TOTALLY skewed, which is contributing to the problem. for example, 4 kinds of fruit does not = a breakfast. rice cakes are a meal component in ANY form. they are a "diet snack" and nothing more. what you're doing is EXTREMELY dangerous because you THINK you're eating more than before (even though you actually aren't), so you're feeling all the anxiety that comes with eating more than ED wants you to eat. see the problem? how are you going to actually START eating an appropriate amount when you're having all this anxiety over what you're eating right now (which is WAY too little)? this is a BIG deal and you need to insist on a VERY structured meal plan (probably one where you have very little choice at first) to break this undereating cycle. i hope you are completely honest with the nutritionist today so she can see this very obvious problem. also, make sure you tell her that you consider this "a lot of food." she needs to know you think this is "normal" and that you don't realize how much you are undereating. it'll help her structure your meal plan.

exercise, exercise, exercise ... WAY WAY WAY too much!!! planning on 5-6 miles walks?!?! and you're trying to tell us in other posts that you aren't exercising? come on, ls! that's crap and you know it. you need a STRICT, STRUCTURED set of rules for that too. tell your therapist and nutritionist how much you've been walking and ask for rules on how much you are allowed to walk each day. (and stop going to the gym!) and then, along with your meal plan, YOU HAVE TO FOLLOW THOSE RULES. i'm sorry, but that's the only way any of this can actually help you recover in any way.

finally, your metabolism and potential weight gain and the speed of it and all that. you asked how i was at first when i started recovery so i'll try to post it for you. here's the KEY FACT, however, that DOES make our situations very, very different: i'd been binging for about 9 months. i was 15 pounds heavier than i am now when i started recovery because i was eating absolutely out of control right up to starting therapy. my binges were regularly well over 4000 calories in one sitting and they happened often, so my weight and metabolism at that time were NOT anything that can be compared to yours, okay? i know we compare ourselves left and right, but this is one where i don't think it's applicable, you know?

but since you asked, i'll tell you, as i think there's ONE part that might be comparable. my binging slowed and then basically stopped shortly after i started therapy. i started out at 1200 calories a day and we increased me about 300 calories every week or two depending on lots of things: whether i'd been binging, losing weight, maintaining my weight, feeling hungry, etc. basically, because of the binging and because i was starting out at a higher weight, my situation is WAY different from yours. so yeah, i lost weight at first, because i wasn't eating enough once the binging was gone, you know? HOWEVER, and i think this is applicable, i did NOT lose weight quickly at that time, even though i was only eating around like 1500-1800 calories with NO binging, because my metabolism was SLOWED DOWN from not eating enough. then as i increased my calories, my weight would sometimes go up a little, but then my metabolism would pick up and it would go back down. so basically, THAT'S why i am where i am right now and i have NO idea whether this is normal or not.

i think it could apply to you however, in that you may gain pound or two or FIVE at first, because your metabolism is VERY slow trying to keep you alive. and you may gain these pounds eating less than 2000 calories a day (even though that's NOT enough for you to maintain a healthy weight because of your height). this is NORMAL for recovering anorexics. you have to be ready for it to happen and willing to accept it if it does. however, your metabolism WILL normalize and pick up speed and then you're gonna have to eat even MORE to keep your weight up. but in the beginning, yes, you may gain weight quickly on a relatively low-calorie diet. i just can't compare directly because i was coming from the world of binge-eating-induced weight gain, you know? i really hope all of this makes sense as i think it's probably what's happening.

anyway, reread all those posts and get some VERY strict guidelines on food and exercise from your nutritionist and therapist. and then FOLLOW it regardless of ANYTHING else. this is really the only way out and i KNOW you can do it. also, what you said about not even knowing left from right in terms of which is your "real" voice talking and which is your "ed" voice (ie: in terms of "should i have that or not?"), i just want to say that i can empathize completely. that's a really tough one for me too, BUT i think the structure of my therapy has helped me with it. at first it was, just keep following the plan (cuz i really COULDN'T distinguish whether i was hungry/not hungry, wanted cake because i did or because i felt that i should/shouldn't, lazy/ed-motivated to exercise). but now, after a few months, i AM able to distinguish between those voices at most times. i know whether i'm choosing to do/not do something because my ed voice says it or because my real voice says it. it doesn't mean i always make the *right* choice, but i CAN distinguish between the two now. and i really think that comes from the structure of my plans at first. basically, i didn't HAVE to think at first, all my decisions were made for me so i just had to deal with the emotions, you know?

anyway, i think i'm done and i hope this helps. ("short," just like i said it'd be, isn't it???)

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