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Eating Disorder Recovery Message Board

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Hey guys,

I need some help trying to keep this stupid ED voice from taking over again. I have been doing so great the past several days. I went for like 5 or 6 days straight w/out even touching my scale, but I finally gave in tonight and weighed myself. That didn't bother me though b/c the number hasn't changed, I was just mad at myself for giving in to doing that when I had been doing so great at keeping away from it. I have just been really stressed again, and my ED is how I cope. I don't know why that is, but it just feels like such a safety net for me when I need an escape. Does that make any sense to anyone? I guess it sounds like I'm totally crazy, and maybe I am, but that's me right now. I have no idea how to fight this ED when I'm dealing with stressful situations. And my mind starts asking all these questions like "Now how many calories can I eat today and still be ok?" or "Oh man, Cindy, you must have had at least X amount of calories over the last few days, so you better REALLY watch it for the next several days b/c things are getting out of control FAST!" It helps me feel so much better when I take control and get strict with myself about whether or not I eat. Ok, now I know I'm crazy, this sounds like I definitely have split personalities!!! :eek:

Sorry guys, I don't mean to whine. I'm just feeling really weak right now. If I go back and read all my posts, I'm sure I'll find this is what I say just about every other time, so I guess these posts are getting kind of redundant. This whole recovery thing is just so full of ups and downs and they both come and go so quickly. Does anyone know when the ups become more frequent than the downs? I'm just so tired of this emotional roller coaster. It SUCKS!!! I called my nutritionist last week and told her how things were going, and she told me I should already be well on my way to reaching the 2500 cals a day she had wanted me to be eating. So she wanted me to come in earlier than I was supposed to, so I'm going this Thursday. Hopefully that will help me a little, but I'm not getting my hopes up like I did last time. I'm not sure if the nutritionist will be able to tell me anything to do about using this ED to cope with problems. I'm going back to my therapist on the 23rd--maybe that will help some, but any advice I could get from you guys would be great.

Oh, one more thing I just wanted to say about the posts regarding the need to be diagnosed with some kind of ED name. When I went to the therapist for the first time and she diagnosed me with anorexia, I thought I would die!! I was so embarrassed b/c I had always said I would never be so senseless as to allow myself to become one of "those people". Even though I had several people telling me they thought I was anorexic, I always denied it. So when the therapist said that, I was just in shock, and I even tried to argue with her. It embarrassed me so much b/c now I have to admit I AM one of "those people", and I always thought I was much more intelligent than that (hope that doesn't sound too conceited). Well anyway, my point is, why would anyone want to be diagnosed with that name (or any of the other names)? I had a hard time even saying the word, and sometimes still do. Most of the time I just try to ignore the fact that I fall into the "anorexic category", and I just keep trying to get back to eating normal again. The bottom line is, whether you're diagnosed with a specific name or not, you already know deep down whether or not you have a problem, and if you do, then you have to get help, regardless of whether or not you fit into any one category. If you think there's a possibility you need help, then YOU DO!!!

Ok, I'll get off that soap-box.
Hope you are all doing well and having an "Up" day!!
hey girls, i'm catching onto this one sort of late and the funny thing is, as i read each respective post, pretty much everything I would have said was posted by one of you in the next reply! i think it's actually pretty cool. we're very "on the same page" in terms of recovery, and maybe that's why we're all able to help each other so much. even though we can't always apply everything we know is right in our everyday lives, at least we're able to recognize where we need to focus our attentions, what our biggest struggles are, how we can recover, why we feel the way we do. baby steps, baby steps! this is gonna take a long time, but i feel that we're all really helping each other move forward in the same way.

so a couple quick things, since you two already said most of the stuff i was thinking as i read through! dawg, the scale. ah, the scale ... THIS is why it needs a good beating with the hammer followed by a trip to the dumpster. You have done GREAT at not weighing yourself over these last days; however, with the scale there, Ed will ALWAYS convince you at some point to get on it "just to check." seriously. this is why anorexics always HAVE to get rid of their scales. the temptation is just too strong. think of it as trying to quit smoking, knowing that there's a sexy shirtless man constantly sitting in the next room, holding a lit cigarette for you to smoke. could you quit? (I know i couldn't!) So that scale's gotta go, girl! Just turn off your brain for 5 minutes, smash it a little (or don't) and throw it out. then you can turn the brain back on and think about whether or not you wanted to do that. but you just gotta do it cuz i don't think you're ever gonna truly WANT to do it, you know?

also, in terms of the "up" days outweighing and outnumbering the "down," just keep sticking it out. i promise that they will. i don't know when (i've been in therapy since last july and i still have times where i feel like the downs are outweighing the ups), but i know that they will. and those times when they do, you feel SO good, so just keep telling yourself that it WILL happen and have faith in that.

being classified as "anorexic?" yeah, it scared the he** out of me too. i still hate saying/thinking "i am an anorexic," cuz i get all these nasty connotations in my head. it really doesn't sit well with me (the word), even though i fully embrace that i have the disorder. but something about that name ... i guess i just don't want to be thought of that way. i am a WOMAN, not an "anorexic," you know? anyway, more reasons to beat it, i guess!

all that stuff about using ED to cope with stressors and taking comfort in the control and restrictions on food, i don't have much to add cuz what you girls said previously was 100% right. we have developed the "habit" of using ED to cope with stress, fear, anger, excitement, happiness, you name it. and we've done it for so long, that yes, it's VERY comforting. and it works, right? we can effectively seperate ourselves from our emotions and lives and focus on one thing only: FOOD. cuz if you're starving and looking at recipes and planning what you'll eat for a snack and trying to walk as much as possible for exercise and debating whether or not you can handle a restaurant and deciding whether you should follow your meal plan, there's not time for much else, is there?! it's an escape thing, maybe, but it's DEFINITELY a coping strategy.

anyway, i really think this is why therapy is SO necessary for recovering from an ED. we need to re-learn how to deal with life and just LIVE without food/weight/calories/exercise being the primary focus 100% of the time. we need to deal with our issues without using food as a way to back away from them. anyway, i think that's what our therapists are all gonna focus on eventually. it just seems like some of this "technical" stuff (ie: weight gain, being comfortable with all foods, not counting calories) needs to get done first, you know?

have a great "up" day, ya'll!
Okay Joni, you are definitely in need of some good advice. Well, I'm going to offer advice, I don't know how good it will be, but here goes.

First of all, with your weight and being so backed up, does your GP know what's going on? That sounds like alot more than just ED stuff, it sounds like something could physically be wrong. I don't understand why you're having such problems with constipation, but I know it's not good for your body. Have you tried simple things like getting alot more fiber either through foods or supplements? What about the old stand-by, prunes? (gross I know, but could work I guess). Or what about something like dulcolax (not sure if that's the right name)--anyway, just some kind of stool softner. That's what I had to take after having each of my 3 kids, and it really "worked wonders". I didn't take actual laxatives (never have), so I'm not sure if those would work for you, or if they would make things worse with the ED. I think you should definitely talk to your dr though. I'm sorry you're going through all of that, I can imagine how uncomfortable you must feel.

Posting your numbers doesn't bother me at all, so please feel free to do that. I think we can support you better when we know where you stand now and how close or far you are from your goal anyway. And you are SOOO close, YOU CAN DO THIS!!! I don't know how low your weight got down to, but just think about how far you've already come. The 130lbs does sound pretty low still for your height, but if that's what you and your therapist/nutritionist/dr have agreed is ok, then good for you b/c you're almost there. How long has it taken you to get up to the 125-127 that you are now? Apparently it's just going to take you a little bit longer to gain those few extra elusive pounds. But you'll get there, just don't drop down on your caloric intake before then. Your metabolism just must be super-super fast, but eventually the calories will catch up. I know you've been working hard and doing everything you're supposed to be doing--in fact, I think out of everyone on this board, you are following your plan better than any of the rest of us. I'm trying to follow your example, so please keep it up not just for yourself, but for the rest of us too!! Try not to worry too much about not being able to exercise right now. I know you're dying to do stuff and that it's good for your body, but you have to tell yourself that right now, it's NOT good for your body. You're doing the best thing for your body right now by letting it rest. Just try try try to sit back and enjoy relaxation. I know it probably feels like torture since you love to do stuff (I'm the same way, LOVE being outside playing football w/the kids, or softball, tennis, whatever), but you will be back to doing those things soon enough. If you did exercise now, you would keep your body from reaching your still very-low goal weight, and then you might end up too sick or weak to do the things you want to anyway, you know? Anyway, you ARE going to recover, it's just taking more time than you want. Maybe when we're all recovered, we'll all have learned a very good lesson in patience (NOT a strong suit for me at all!!!)

It does sound like you have a really great bf. I'm glad he's being so patient with you through all of this.

I totally understand the "lack of sex" thing. It was me that had the issues with that, and I still do. We did have sex while in Cancun, but not since then. When we first got there, I was so afraid that I wouldn't be able to make myself, but I made sure I drank ALOT, which totally helped. I have no idea why there is no desire there. The only things I have been able to come up with are A)Lack of hormones from too little weight--do you have problems with your periods? I do, so I know my body is not producing estrogen like it's supposed to, and B)Body image issues--I have found that I don't feel the least bit sexy anymore, ever. So I am extremely self-conscious all the time about how I look. That's not good when you need to feel at least a little sexy to be in the mood, you know?

You are not alone with not wanting to be touched or to make out or anything. I feel the exact same way. I'm like you, I always LIKED it before, but things are completely screwed up now. This is something I really want to talk to my therapist about. Oh, and so you don't feel like it's just you; the last time my husband and I made love at home, I was completely turned off. For me, it was one of the worst times we've ever had "together". And, I hated myself for feeling that way. That's one reason I think I still try to avoid it now, I don't want to feel that way again. Anyway, I wish I had an answer for you with that one, but I'm as confused as you on that issue. It does help to know I'm not the only one who feels this way though, I hope that at least helps you a little too.

Okay, so I'll try to make this other thing quick. I hope you two don't hate me after I tell you this, but here goes: After I went to the nutritionist and got the meal plan from her, I really started trying to eat more food and cut down on my exercise. But I just couldn't handle the guilt, thinking my metabolism was probably soooo slow now, and the weight was just going to start piling on, plus I had to endure that full feeling and yucky poking out stomach. Well, I went to the store and strolled down the "diet" aisle, and I bought some diet pills that were supposed to speed up metabolism. I knew I shouldn't have gotten them, but I did. So I was taking them pretty often each day, and I guess I took too many yesterday b/c I kind of passed out. Well, my son and my best friend's son were here and saw me, and they ran next door to get his mom. She came over and after I got back to feeling ok again, she let me have it, really angry, and also took the bottle of pills (they were on my kitchen counter) with her and trashed them. So, I decided it was time I did something about this, so I got some info today on an intensive out-patient program, and I'm going to try to start going to that on Monday. So that's what's going on with me right now. I'm really sorry you guys, I feel horrible guilty b/c you've both done so much to try to help me, and I feel like I've completely let you down. I just had to get this off my chest.

Hope you're both still speaking to me after this. I do feel like you are both my two best internet buddies, and I would hate to lose you.

Thanks for listening and for everything you've done for me, I know my actions don't show it, but I really do appreciate it!!
hey girls, how were your weekends!?! Hope you all had a very merry St. Patrick's Day (one of my favorite holidays!) Chicago is a GREAT city to celebrate it in -- there's so many Irish here, and everyone who isn't just pretends! Anyway, i had a really nice weekend. Eric (my bf) and i went to this Mexican restaurant near our house (we live in an area with a pretty high Hispanic population) and it was SO good! Plus, it was my weekly assignment: "keeping ALL other aspects of the meal plan the same, have one go-out-to-dinner where you don't count calories." i did great, i think! i still ate ALL that other food in the day (oy, it sure is a lot!) and then i went and bravely ate the Mexican food. I was very satisfied with how it went and didn't feel bad if i ate "oops, 200 calories more" or something. i just kept telling myself, "regular people do this ALL the time and don't freak." so that's what i've been thinking about lately. don't you girls agree that ordinary people probably go significantly over their daily calories (average calories obviously, since they don't count) about once a week? you know, one out to dinner where they eat more, one luscious dessert, one night of HEAVY drinking, etc? anyway, that's what i'm thinking is "normal" and wondering what you all think about it.

dawg, how was the outpatient place? now that i think about it, you might not have even gone yet today, but be sure to tell us about it. i REALLY think this is the most positive step you can take towards your recovery right now and i'm so happy you're doing it.

ls, in response to a couple of your last posts, i know what you mean about the weight. we can weigh A LOT and not even be considered fat at all (sort of cool, actually!) i KNOW that i was thin at 140-145 and i always thought i looked pretty da** hot! i had a drinking-induced weight gain too - one semester that i seriously drank every single night and ate pizza, etc. at bar time probably 70% of the time (what was i thinking?) but even then i only got up to 155 and it all totally fell away in the summer without me even doing anything. and yeah, i felt a little pudgy around the edges and my pants were getting pretty tight, but i still looked GOOD. plus even though i was like, "jeez jo, we gotta do a little something about this!" i wasn't stressing out every single day about each pound and each morself of food, you know? it's nice to think we'll get back to that someday.

in terms of my meal plan, yes it's pretty varied. the biggest obstacle for me though is that i have to pack my lunch everyday and bring it to work. so that sort of limits me monday through friday and lunch is usually a sandwich of some sort with pretzels or animal crackers or something and carrots. i try to vary the sandwiches (meat and cheese, tuna salad, pb and j, liverwurst (i love it!), a wrap, on a pita, etc.), but basically my "work lunches" are all pretty much the same just cuz it's WAY easier to pack a sandwich than pretty much anything else. on the weekends i switch it up more though. breakfast is varied, but only among foods that i A) like and B) can bring to work (again). oatmeal, cereal, english muffin, bagel, hard-boiled egg, yogurt and that sort of stuff. but i don't have oatmeal every single day, you know? i go back and forth and some weeks might have it four times (i love it) and other weeks only once. again, on weekends i have different stuff (usually crappier actually like donuts or poptarts or waffles or make eggs, etc.). dinner in our house is TOTALLY varied. eric and i are both VERY non-picky eaters and we've gotten into cooking and trying new stuff so we basically eat all sorts of different things, mixed in with easier dinners like frozen pizza, hot pockets, burgers, etc.

so basically, i consider my diet varied but with structure, you know? i think that's the ideal place for me (and you) to be right now. one idea might be making a few little lists of potential breakfasts, lunches, snacks (and dinners if you want, but it seems like you're pretty varied there already). this could really help you switch it up a little. then try to eat a different one each day or every two days. you'll grow comfortable with more foods and you won't end up having 3 kinds of berries and a latte for breakfast and cottage cheese on rice cakes for lunch EVERY DAY. still incorporate those foods you like (i think i'm addicted to yogurt like you're addicted to cottage cheese ... i eat it every day!), but match them up with DIFFERENT food combos. i really think writing it down on a little list will help you brainstorm some ideas. Ed has this way into locking us into thinking we only like "x, y and z" foods and everything else is just "okay tasting." well, see what else there is out there, you know?

and how do i stick to my meal plan regardless of ANYTHING else? i don't really know honestly. i just DO, you know? i'm very "obidient" and hate breaking the rules in general, so maybe that comes into it (the voice of Ms. Perfectionist, remember???) but basically, i just stick to it no matter what. it's really as simple as that. i LIKE food and i WANT to recover and i figure sticking to my meal plan is something very concrete and EASY that i can do to help myself. other things are harder and more abstract -- not counting calories, not hating my appearance, etc. but just eating what and when i'm supposed to? that seems easy to me, cuz i just do it. i feel bad and fat and icky, sure, but i just keep sticking to the plan. i don't know. that part of recovery is so easy for me, i'm not sure i can fully understand why people don't do it, you know?

anyway, that's my two (or really, like two hundred it's so long!) cents for now. i hope you both have a great, happy monday!
dawg, thanks. it DID feel good to feel "normal" and assume "maybe i ate more, maybe not, but I DON'T CARE!" (even though i did care, or rather, Ed did care. but fake it till you make it, i guess!) i just figure the more you do it, the easier it becomes, you know? i happen to have this absolute FEAR of restaurants, but i figure the more i eat at them, the easier it'll get.

in terms of sticking to your meal plan, i have no other advice except DO IT. there really isn't any abstract science behind it, you know? and there's no way to have a holistic, "feel good" approach. you just do it. you plan your day so you eat "x" at 9am and "y" at 11:30am and "z" at 12:30pm, etc. and then you just barge ahead and do it. you probably WILL feel like sh** and be totally anxious and crabby, but i am living proof that those feeling pass. every single time we'd increase my meal plan, i'd be a nervous anxious wreck for about three days, but i'd just do it, and then lo and behold! i wouldn't even be thinking about it by day four. sure i'd still feel fat and all that but the new "habit" would be formed and i'd no longer second guess it. so my advice (and it really IS as simple as this): Turn off your emotions, turn off your mental nervousness voice and listen to ONE voice: the one that says pick up that fork and put that into your mouth. i didn't say that as clearly as i meant, but i hope you get it. you MUST force yourself to commit the physical act of eating at the appointed times regardless of what ALL those feelings and voices inside you say. that's really all it is. you just do it!

okay, so now for the important stuff. i'm VERY glad you called the clinic and have an appointment this thursday. now you've got a big challenge ahead of you and i can tell that Ed is already shakin' in his boots and trying to yank you away from your commitment to recovery. you may have to fight Ed more in these next four days than you've ever fought him before, but i KNOW you can win this battle. you know who wants you to wear heavy clothing? Ed. you know who's DESPERATE to gain as much as possible in the next four days? Ed. Why? cuz Ed doesn't want you to recover and leave him.

NO MATTER WHAT, do not A) wear heavy clothes for the weigh in or B) stuff yourself for the next four days so hopefully you're carrying enough water weight to get outpatient treatment. how on earth is any of that gonna help YOU get better??? please examine this deeply, as i'm worried you may miss your chance for recovery if you give in to Ed again. I KNOW that you have major obstacles to inpatient, but honey, if they recommend that, how can you refuse? you know what it means? it means that your body is SO close to giving up and not being able to LIVE anymore, that they NEED to get you in a hospital asap to make sure they can keep you living and healthy for your children to grow up. PLEASE try to see it this way. i know inpatient is gonna majorly shake up your life, but if doctors are telling you to do it, it means that NOT doing it is a serious risk to your health.

here's what i want you to do: for the next four days, stick to your meal plan as best you can. try not to skimp on it, but don't stress if you do. on the other side of that, DO NOT go hog wild on food for the next four days, k? when you go to the appointment, wear NORMAL clothes. this will be REALLY hard to do, but maybe have your husband or one of your kids pick out your outfit for that day. if you don't want to tell them why, say its "just for fun." they'll pick something weather-appropriate and "normal" and then all you gotta do is put it on. you don't even have to think about it. otherwise, FORCE yourself (just like i do everyday with my meal plan) to wear a normal outfit. if Ed is too loud and you still can't pick something, then re-wear what you wore on Wednesday. (i guarantee they won't care if it's dirty!) so two down, one to go, right? IF they tell you that you need inpatient, explain to them all the reasons that you feel you cannot go inpatient. then LISTEN to their reply, really listen. if they convince you, then just DO IT! i know you can. otherwise, try to find a compromise with them (maybe just one week inpatient, you could do that, right?), but DO NOT leave without some form of treatment set up, okay?

stay on here a lot this week. i am fully commited to helping you get better and i'll "chat" with you anytime to give you support if you need it. you've helped me so much and i will do anything i can to help you. relax today and have some fun. i'll talk to you soon.
Dawg- 1000000000% you should still go to the appointment tomorrow. Just becuase you can sit down and eat a turkey sandwich doesn't mean you are fine to do this on your own. The fact that you are even THINKING about eating the sandwich in the first place is the sign of your disorder! I know you already know all of this, but I think you need some reassurance. Remember what I said before about consistency? That is seriously what it all comes down to. I had a huge turkey sandwich two days ago, a large burrito a few days ago for dinner, a brownie the other night, a BBQ chicken salad today - don't I sound normal? Yes! And that is why this is so hard - because when I look at all that stuff I think "ok, and I'm claiming I can't eat and am too thin - who do I think I am!" But the thing is, I didn't do those things without thinking insanely about each and every one of them (and probably feeling tremendous guilt, too). Now, THAT is not normal. You want to get to a healthy place (which will take time and effort) where food is not scary and you can eat without having to think so hard about what it is you're eating, how much of it you are eating, how many calories it is, etc etc. You are EXTREMELY underweight and just because you have been able to follow your plan for two days (good job by the way!!!), you are NOT recovered and you cannot do it by yourself. I guarantee you that!

About my food - A lot of the time I skimp on breakfast b/c I know I'm going out to lunch with a friend or I wake up late or I go to the gym and don't want to eat a lot - but I do see what you are saying about eating some sort of carb/protein - it's just not always that easy to get it in. And the rest of the day I feel like I eat a lot anyway, so I figure it makes up for it. What did you think of my day yesterday? Today I woke up late and didn't eat breakfast b/c I was going out to lunch an hour later. At lunch I had a salad with lettuce, tomato, carrots, corn, peas, green onions, chicken, and egg whites with BBQ sauce and when I got home I had a small piece of a brownie (I feel like I just need to throw those friggin things out already). I REALLY want to go to the gym and do cardio, but a) I don't have time b) I'm trying to convince myself I don't NEED to and c) I don't have time - haha. So I'm just going to do a yoga class instead.

I can't even imagine how busy you must be with your kids, Dawg. It is so important that you focus on recovery right now not only for yourself, but for them. Would you ever want your daughter to put herself through this kind of hardship? Absolutely not. You need to get strong so you can be a good role model to her. I know you can do it. This appointment tomorrow will be a turning point - you should be excited and proud. I am!
hey ls! wow, you WERE on a rampage! ed's can really piss us off, can't they? (i get that way all the time, lol) anyway, you really REALLY shouldn't feel angry/disappointed with yourself for getting frustrated and pissy because you were hungry. that is COMPLETELY normal and it's what happens to everyone when they're hungry because your blood sugar drops really low. how to avoid it then? you got it: don't let yourself get hungry, ever!

what happened yesterday was pretty bad, hon, and it was bad on a couple levels. i'm sorry i keep coming on you and harping on this same old crap over and over, but i just want you to see WHY it's a problem and i want you to see that it's something that happens every day with your diet. so, on that note, here goes (i'll try not to get too wordy with it :) )

eating lunch at 1:30 and planning on eating dinner AFTER a meeting that begins at 6:30??? why? did you honestly THINK that that was a good idea? why didn't you plan on eating before? or at least bringing some VERY substansile snacks to make it through until dinner? i understand that you may not have known the length of the meeting exactly, but come on! you're an intelligent woman and you're letting Ed convince you to follow his moronic ideas! do you know ANYONE who can make it that long without food? it's very unhealthy and i'm not surprised you were starving and irritable when the meeting was over. you NEED to be eating something (even if its just something little) every 2 hours-ish. that's the healthy and normal way of nourishing your body. and since you're supposed to be gaining weight (which is NEVER gonna happen if you keep eating like this, by the way), you REALLY need to incorporate snacks every single day. and they can't just be 5 sugar-free gummy bears, you know? a couple of posts ago, you questioned whether you might not be registering your "hunger signals," remember? i wanted to let you know that that is most likely happening. in addition, you've trained your body to exist on very little food, so that's what it's used to right now. that's why you eat WAY too few calories everyday and "feel full." it's simply not acceptable. slowly, you need to be increasing your calories so your body gets used to consuming normal amounts of food and so it gets used to and WANTS the amount of food it needs to sustain itself and run properly. when i started out in therapy i was eating 1200 a day (probably very similar to what you're doing now) and i was "eating when i was hungry" and "full" at the end of the day. but that's cuz i had deprived my body for so long, that's what it was used to. anyway, NOW, i can't imagine feeling "full" and "eating when i'm hungry" on anything less than 2100 calories a day, in reality probably more like 2400. if i tried to eat 1200 again, i'd be STARVING all day. but that doesn't happen without forcing yourself to eat more over time, so your body remembers how to work. i don't know, i'm sick of writing this over and over, but THIS is why i feel like you need some friggin' guidance from that nutritionist. it's not easy to eat more when you're "not hungry," and that's the structure that a meal plan provides. anyway ...

one more thing about yesterday and i'll drop it. a lean cuisine for dinner??? and you're trying to tell me you think you eat "a lot" and "not diety" foods?? bullsh** and i'm sorry. you cannot eat that crap for a meal, ESPECIALLY dinner! those things are all under 300 calories and oh boy, you had some cottage cheese, so maybe your dinner was almost 400 calories tops. you honestly think this is gonna help you in ANY way? if you want lean cuisines, eat them for lunch, WITH other food, but for dinner they're absolutely unacceptable. if you need something quick, figure something else out, but if you want to recover, you need to stop allowing Ed to tell you that stuff is okay.

okay, now i'm done being "mean Joni." i'm sorry, i feel like i'm always being bi*chy to you, but i'm worried cuz nothing seems to be changing, you know? although i should talk. i still get all freaked out about food and stuff and i think my weight may've slipped this week (even though i haven't changed anything!) my "digestion" issues have subsided, i'm finally "going" normally once again, i don't feel sick and bloated all the time ... but that comfort and normalcy comes at the price of the weight i had gained? oh man, i am FRUSTRATED. this whole "i will gain weight" thing is just seeming more and more futile, you know?

anyway, in response to your question, no i don't really have any reservations about types of food as long as it's relatively easy to count the calories, you know? cuz that's what it's always been all about for me. so basically, if i can count it, i'll eat it. obviously certain foods (fried chicken, cheesecake) are more restricted (in the history of my ed, i mean) because they're higher calories and harder to fit into my daily "plan," but i've always been open to mostly all foods. in terms of lots of different ethnicities of foods, i haven't had a ton of different types, but i'm always open to trying stuff (unless it's too spicy or just weird looking/smelling!) my budget and Ed make going out to eat harder, but i do enjoy it, you know? i am a definite "meat & potatoes" girl though (good Irish/German family) so i'd often rather eat pork chops and mashed potatoes (even in a restaurant) than some exotic cuisine. i guess what i'm saying is, I'm rather dull! i'll have to look for some persian food in the city maybe -- what's it like? i need to start expanding myself past bar restaurants (i LOVE sandwiches/burgers), pizza, sushi and my meat/potatoes joints, you know?

anyway, have a good day and i'm sorry again for attacking you like that. i mean what i said, but i just hate that i'm ALWAYS saying it like some annoying broken record!

dawg lady, thinking of you today and can't wait to hear how it went!
Hi LS,

I totally get what you're saying about the big dinner and then not being hungry for breakfast. But, remember what Joni was saying about your body being used to getting by on so few calories? Your body is going to feel full with barely any calories until you get used to eating more food. You're just not used to it yet. I think it's just a matter of forcing yourself to eat more so your body has a chance to adjust. And I totally know what you mean about the cereal, I'm the same way. I had not eaten cereal for almost a year until I went to the nutritionist. That was one of the things she wanted me to include in my breakfast. My problem is, like you I feel like I could finish off half the box in one sitting. Anyway, it bothered me that the cereal I'm eating is high-cal too, but I thought about two things: a)The serving size for some of the lower calorie cereals can be much lower than mine--mine is 1 cup (actually my nutritionist wanted me to have as much as 1.5 cups) as opposed to the lower calorie cereals where the serving size is usually 1/2 to 3/4 cups, and b) When I think of the few calories I'm actually eating throughout the rest of the day, those from the cereal don't add up to much. Besides that, just think of what a normal person might eat for breakfast like eggs, toast, waffles or pancakes, sausage, ham, etc.--now how many calories do you think that kind of stuff adds up to? So really, we worry over 1 or 2 bowls of cereal?

Okay, so actually you did GREAT eating that breakfast, and you might not be hungry for lunch, but make yourself eat it anyway. You don't have to have a huge lunch, just something substantial (try something from your mealplan). You won't feel as guilty if you know you're eating exactly what you're supposed to, you know? Just try really hard not to skip lunch or dinner just b/c you feel like you already had enough for the day. And also, ask yourself this: Why are you worried about too many calories? Is it b/c you're afraid you're going to gain weight? I know that's my problem, but then I have to tell Ed to shutup b/c weight gain IS MY GOAL!! That's supposed to be the goal for all of us, right? So we've got to try to overcome that fear and stop worrying about too many calories.

That worry is looming really large for me right now b/c it just hit me for the first time this morning--when I go to this outpatient clinic, they are going to make me eat (and therefore gain weight)!! UGH! I almost didn't make the call to get set up to go next week, but I did it. I'm supposed to start on Wednesday. And Joni, I know you said I should be excited, and in some small way, I guess I am at the thought of maybe finally beginning the process of feeling normal again, but at the same time, I am absolutely terrified of being forced to eat and gain weight. I know that is supposed to be the point in recovery, which is what I pointed out to LS, but I guess it just feels different knowing I'M not going to be the one in control anymore. That is a very scary feeling. I've really been kind of depressed thinking about it today. I've been trying to stay busy, but it's not really working. I also feel like this is kind of "the end" for me (I don't mean in the "death sense"), it just feels like things are never going to be the same, you know? I can't really explain it, so I'm sure it's not making any sense, but it's just not a good feeling.

Anyway, sorry to be such a downer. LS, I want you to be PROUD of yourself for how you did today, do NOT feel bad for doing what you were supposed to do, k? Let me know how the rest of your day is going.

Joni, I really hope you are having a wonderful day. Hope things are going well for you at work--don't work too hard. I'm sending "weight gain thoughts" your way, hope it works!! :) If you guys have any good news to tell, I'd love to hear it. Need something to lift my spirits.

Talk to you both soon.
Yes, that's definitely the way to go as far as initally starting your recovery. It'll be tough sometimes, because you think you want to eat by hunger, but you can't because right now your signals are all messed up. You clearly are NOT eating enough and you claim you are 'going by hunger' something has to be done! If you can't do set times, at least ensure you get 3 square meals per day, of normal, proper size every single day. If, for example, you wake up just in time for your lunch date with a friend, thus missing bfast, then your lunch should try to combine the two meals or you should ensure you have a snack btwn lunch and dinner (and after dinner as well). Otherwise, you'll fall very short on the day...regardless of hunger..

And the full I meant is a very uncomfortable fullness. I remember in recovery it was tough because half the time i felt as though i was forcing myself to eat just for the sake of eating to get the numbers up (ie/ i was full to begin with). That's why recovery is hard and you can't do it alone...your singals aren't good enough to go by right now, they are still too controlled by your disorder..
thanks, girly. i think you really hit on something and got through to me (i was having the "no one understands me!" fit before, lol) you're probably right that it IS all Ed. i don't need to add lots of little things to my diet - trail mix here, Boost here, 1-1/2 cups juice here. i really could just eat a fudge brownie sundae every night just to "switch things up" a bit. i really do feel like i do that already though. (trust me, pop-tarts are NOT on my meal plan, i just eat them cuz they're an easy, tasty 400 calories!)

it's still hard though, because my "meal plan" is supposed to be broken up that way. at times i wish it was just really unhealthy and high calorie foods all the time, but my therapist doesn't want that. she keeps making me add these 200-400 calorie items that are "healthier" - that's why the boost, trail mix, etc. are in my diet. she really doesn't get very jazzed up when i eat two boston kreme donuts, etc. for breakfast and oatmeal creme pies as a snack. it doesn't stop me from eating stuff like that daily to get the calories in more easily, but i kind of feel like she "disapproves" a little, you know? she's obviously okay with it and doesn't want to restrict me since i'm not very "picky"/limited on my food choices as it is. but she always says she wants me to go for maximum flexibility and maximum nutrition in what i choose to eat. i agree with her, but seriously, if she wants me eating 3500 calories a day, then it's gonna have to be with a lot of junk, you know?

i don't know, i see what you're saying and i can see "Ed" restricting me and talking for me (God, he's annoying!), so i'm feeling a little lost. i guess just baby steps and keep doing what i'm doing. hopefully i've *really* gained weight this week so i can start eating a little less. i have a feeling once i'm not as physically FULL and sick feeling and i'm able to get to bed earlier (cuz i don't have to stay up late to EAT), i'm gonna feel a lot happier. we'll see!
Everything is going to be ok!!! I know it seems like there is no light at the end of the tunnel, but there is!! You have been doing so well following your meal plan and being dedicated to your recovery and I would just hate to see you give up at this point. I can imagine how tiring it must be to have to count calories every single second of the day and worry about getting enough in, but this is temporary and recovery is going to be tedious and difficult no matter what. I feel tired of it and I don't even have to get up to 3500 calories - I just feel tired of pushing myself and trying, you know? But I'm going to keep on doing it simply b/c I know that after I do this for a certain amount of time I will be able to be FREE and not think about it anymore. But if we DON'T recover, then we will have to obsess about calories for the rest of our lives anyway with ED. I know I don't have to convince you that recovery is worth it, but I just don't want you (my biggest inspiration!) to start to feel discouraged.

If it makes you feel any better, I've gained a little weight and I don't even have to/ get to eat 3500 calories. It sort of sucks b/c I'm still exercising, eating healthy (not even eating big desserts and fattening foods) and I gained weight. So, if anything, consider yourself lucky. Because I don't really feel like I'm learning to eat normally since I can't even eat those high calorie foods! Whereas you are learning that you can go to a restaurant and order whatever you want and get a wonderful dessert and not even worry about it.

The advice that girlygirl gave you is right on. You don't have to eat poptarts, trail mix, etc.. like that - you can have that cookie at work and then skip the trail mix if you want or something like that. The whole point of learning to eat normally is to not have it planned out like that (although I know right now we all need plans to help us recover). What you really need to try and do is not let Ed's voice overpower yours. If you have the SLIGHTEST feeling that what you are thinking might be irrational, then it probably is. Like with the cookie - just eat it if you want it! I know that's so much easier said than done, but thinking about it in the first place is only ED. I promise you that. Most people eat on a more unconscious level and we are more consicious about it - which can be good SOMETIMES, but it can be terrible for us most of the time. And don't be afraid that once you start gaining weight you won't be able to eat whatever you want. Sometimes I get scared of that...when my nutritionist or people say "right now, you can have chocolate cake if you want!" the first thing I think is "right now"...hmmm...that means that then I'll gain weight from it and then I can never have chocolate cake again. But that is not the case. Just ignore that thought and trust that everything will fall into place. That's the only way to get through recovery I think - trust the future even though it is completely unknown. It's so hard.
Gosh, look at me go!

Dawg, I'm so happy that you are starting the program monday - yay!!!! I think that eating at the clinic and having to sit there with it will be SO wonderful for you b/c you will be able to realize that being full is OK and if you feel anxious or upset you will have a support team right there to talk about it with you. I know it will be so hard at first, but I have complete confidence that you can do it. Our Health is our most important asset and we need to realize that....why would we want to hurt that!??!

Girlygirl, your advice to all of us is so great. I asked you before, but I'm not sure if you saw it - where are you in your recovery? Do you feel pretty confident that you are almost fully recovered or do you still struggle a lot of the time. I'm just looking for inspiration and reassurance.

Hope you all have a wonderful saturday!!

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