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Eating Disorder Recovery Message Board

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hey girl! I don't really have much to say or know what to say, so i'm basically just checking in and saying hi. one thing i'm sensing is that i think you need more STRUCTURE in your recovery plan. i think it might help. you need rules on how often and how much you can exercise, rules on what and when to eat (and you need to follow them, by the way), rules on how often you can weigh yourself, etc. cuz i feel like you feel like (lol!) you're kind of swimming by the seat of your pants with no idea what to do, how to feel, how to act, etc. am i right? (feel free to let me know if i'm totally off my rocker!") anyway, i think more structure would REALLY help you IF you can commit to following the "rules." the whole meal plan thing ain't goin' so hot, is it? what are your thoughts on that? you have consistently broken it almost every single day, haven't you? i'm surprised that with all this exercise you're doing you're able to get along on that teensy amount of food, honestly. anyway, that's my "thought of the day," i suppose. i just feel like you're sort of "floundering" and i'm kind of surprised your therapist/nutritionist aren't helping you find more direction, you know?

anyway, i hope that helps a little. i need some help/support too right now, i think. i'm having a big problem i'm gonna call LONELINESS. i don't know if i'm just feeling really down cuz i'm about to get my period, but i think this is something that's been building up lately. i'm kind of stuck and i don't really know how to "fix it."

i'll try to explain as briefly as i can: normally (minus Ed), i am a VERY social person. i'm happiest when i'm around people, i've always had tons of friends, i talk a lot (can't you tell?!?) and basically, i just love being busy, with friends, etc. So unfortunately, since my binging problems began right after i moved to chicago and the constant binging made me not want to see or hang out with ANYONE ever, i really haven't made any friends in the city. i know it sounds freakish and sort of lame, but i honestly only have one or two friends that live here cuz i'd either lose contact with people i met immediately (cuz of binging) or i'd be too afraid to do social stuff that might involve food so we'd lose touch. i still talk on the phone to my college gals (love them!) all the time, but they're in wisconsin, so it's not the same. those girls are my BEST friends, but i miss having friends that i can go out to eat with, to the movies, hang out with, shop with, rent movies with, sit around and get drunk with, etc! i'm sure you know what i mean about how lonely and frustrating this is. anyway, it's really been getting me down lately.

also, because i have to eat SO much every day, i feel like i can never go out and have fun with people (cuz then i lose potential "feeding myself" time). i know it sounds weird, but honestly, i feel like my meal plan doesn't permit me to have "free," relaxing time where i can go out and hang out with people. when i do go out, i end up stressing about how i'm gonna "get it all in" without either A) looking like a freakish pig who never stops eating or B) having to eat 800 calories when i get home at night (which obviously makes hanging out past like 8 pm nearly impossible, which OBVIOUSLY sucks socially) i honestly feel more restricted with 3500 calories than i did with like 1200 -- then, i wouldn't let myself eat much so i THOUGHT about food a lot cuz i was starving myself. now, i feel like i think about food even MORE than before, cuz if i let my guard down for a moment, all of the sudden i'm awake until 11:30 at night because i have to eat all my crap. i'm bored with ALL foods even though i eat a wide variety, cuz i just eat all the friggin' time. so as a result, i think about food even MORE to try to come up with new and interesting things that'll make me actually WANT to eat (instead of feeling like i'm just force feeding myself all the time.) i'm baking and cooking more than before (for the reason i just said), so i'm dealing with food even MORE. it's like all this food has made food itself lose its appeal, you know? chocolate cake or celery, it all appeals to me the same amount (crazy-sounding, i KNOW!)

so what do i do? i'm feeling REALLY lost right now and i just feel like something's gotta change. instead of spending my time baking, i want to spend it watching movies with friends. but where am i gonna find those friends? and how am i still gonna be able to stick to my meal plan but hang out with people freely? anyway, this is sort of where i'm at. i'm thinking of starting to audition again (even though being in a show would make me VERY busy and probably put more stress on the "get the meal plan in" situation.) but at least it'd help me meet some people. i need friends! i'm also thinking of getting involved at the church i go to (it's a very liberal catholic church and it's known as the "young people's" church in chicago. they have a lot of things geared towards 20 and 30 year olds, so i might meet some people there, you know?) do you have any other ideas or advice? i'm just feeling stuck, like i said. anyway, have a good one and let me know what you think!
Ok - the first thing that I want to say is that you have reached a VERY important goal and you haven't even realized it. When you said "chocolate cake or celery- it's all the same" that is HUGE. Obviously, you don't mean that completely, but the fact that you are not obsessed with certain things anymore is a huge deal, ya know? Because a few months ago you would probably only allow yourself the celery and be obsessed with the chocolate cake, so when you ate it you'd eat a huge amount and then feel guilty - but now you can eat a normal amount and you are not afraid of it. That is so great!! I just had to acknowledge that.

I can completely relate to the isolation that ED creates and the lack of friends because of it. Luckily I am living back at home where I grew up and a lot of my best friends from HS and college are either here or in LA. But if I had to make new friends right now I'd probably be in the same predicament as you b/c I am so restricted socially by ED. I also consider myself a very happy, social person (of course another similarity), but since ED has come around I am reclusive, don't go out as much, get tense around meal times, etc. It's horrible! I want to be my old self again and not worry about "what if lunchtime comes around while I'm hanging out with so and so...?...I'll have to make some excuse to leave so I can go eat by myself." That is SO not normal.
Unfortunately, your situation is a little bit different than mine b/c you are worried about not eating ENOUGH. Is it really as stressful to you as it was when you were restricting? Because I feel like, if anything, people would LOVE to see you eating a ton and you would not look anything like a huge pig. Do you still feel obsessed with planning out your meals and food like when ED was in full force? Or are you at least more relaxed about it? I am honestly shocked every time I hear you talk about your meal plan and how exhausting it is to get in all those calories. I can't even imagine having to eat that much...and you are barely even gaining weight! You are still so underweight, Joni...I hope you remember that. Haven't you ever just felt so discouraged one day and wanted to eat half of what you are eating now? I am so proud of you if you haven't - that is so amazing. I am by no means saying you SHOULD feel that way, I'm just trying to incorporate a little bit of YOUR thinking into MY OWN head, you know?
Anyway, back to the friend problem - I think your idea of joining the church group is a GREAT one. I'm not quite sure you can handle the stress of auditions right now, though. I feel like there is a lot of mental stress, but also a lot of physical stress in the acting industry and I would hate for you to lose your bearings after you've come so far. Maybe you should wait? But I don't know - you know yourself better, I guess. Just make sure that you are going back for the right reasons. Because there are a LOT of ways you could meet people and it doesn't have to require you to go to auditions. What about any other "club" type of things. A book club? Something like that. I also think that you could meet a lot of neat people by doing some kind of volunteer work. Could you volunteer at a children's shelter or something like that? I don't know - I'm just trying to think of anything.
By the way, I really wish we could meet! I feel like we would get along SO well. And I'd LOVE to go to the movies, go to dinner, etc...I usually choose that over the bars! Haha. (Although there's something to be said for a marg at happy hour)....

So I think you're right about me needing more structure. Today was a big day - both of my parents came with me to my therapist. It was really good and basically what we decided was that I'm going to try this outpatient program that meets 3 days a week. I don't know how I feel about that (especially after how I ate today), but I guess it's worth a shot. THe other option my therapist mentioned was this place in St. Louis that is in-patient and there is NO way I could do siree. I think that is overkill.
I know you keep insisting that I am eating too little food and you even said in your last post that you can't imagine how I am doing that much exercise on such little food, but Joni, I feel like I'm eating so much! Or at least a normal amount! And I'm not exercising like crazy either. Just 30-40 minutes a day. In fact, today I only walked 2.5 miles (and did yoga) and I ate:
Bfst: large apple, 5 lifesavers (late morning)
Lunch: turkey sandwich on wheat with cranberry sauce, lettuce, tomato, 5 potato chips
snack: tall nf latte from Starbucks, 5 almonds, 2 pretzels
Dinner: piece of salmon, steamed asparagus and green beans, salad with tomato and FF dressing, few crackers with salsa
Dessert: Frozen yogurt with strawberries, small handful of chocolate covered soynuts

That is a lot! I believe that this is a weight gain plan for me.
Anyway, I hope I gave you some useful advice. Let me know what you think. I hate how lonely ED can make us feel, but soon you will be freeeeeeeeeeee! Keep on pushin', girl.
ls, thank you. i really needed that post from you. everything you said just made me feel better, even though it's just a little bit, i'm feeling more hopeful, so thank you. man, i wish we could meet too! i feel like we could really encourage each other in a "real life" way if we could actually hang out. it's frustrating that we can't, you know? anyway, i suppose it'd be an *expensive* flight anyway, lol!

i know that i have made a lot of progress and when you point it out like that, it makes me actually realize it. i DON'T obsess about certain foods as much as before, because i basically can and do eat everything i want to eat. sure, i get tired of certain foods (yes, even chocolate), but i think it's just sort of temporary since i'm eating SO much right now, you know? i still find myself planning meals and that sort of obsessiveness, but it's not as "crazy" and i do think it's sort of necessary, cuz if i don't plan in advance, no way would i actually be able to stick to the plan. so i guess i'm not as ideally "relaxed" about that part as i'd like to be, but i feel like it's more out of necessity (to make sure i get it all in) than out of disorderedness, do you know what i mean? and YES, it is exhausting! do i want to just eat like 1/2 of it or leave a couple things out on any given day? heck yeah, i want to do that like EVERY day! but for some reason, i just can't. i feel WAY too guilty about it or something (probably that "Miss Perfectionist" voice talking honestly). anyway though, it is hard and tiring, but i just stick to it no matter what. i don't know how to explain it other than that.

it was extremely comforting to hear what you said about the friend situation. honestly, i feel like a complete loser sometimes cuz i don't have ANY friends. who lives like that?!? but it's comforting to read that you think you could be in the same situation under these circumstances: it makes me feel less "loser-ish." i'm determined though. i am going to make friends! even if they aren't ultra-cool (like me, lol!), i just need SOME PEOPLE to hang out with, you know? volunteering is a perfect idea, i'm surprised at myself that i hadn't really considered that one. it'll keep me busier (but not too busy), i'll be doing "feel-good" things, AND i can meet people -- what's better than that??? and you might be right about the acting. i'm still on the fence about that one. i LOVE it and i know it makes me feel "creatively stimulated," which helps with lots of other stuff in my life, but the time constraint part is pretty tough. we'll see, i guess. i figure it'll take me awhile to get my monologues back in shape and there's only a certain number of auditions and there's no guarantee i'll get cast in anything anyway, you know? so maybe i'll just start out slowly and play it by feel. i think i'll KNOW if it's not feeling right, you know? but for the mean time, i'm focusing on volunteering and church stuff (i hope the people aren't religious-nerds, lol! i've never joined any church stuff so i have NO idea.) but at least it'll be SOMETHING that doesn't have to deal with food!

i am REALLY glad to hear about the outpatient program. i really think it'll be perfect for you. it'll provide that increased amount of structure and support without completely sucking you out of your life like an inpatient program would do, you know? how do you feel about it? i know that you think you're eating enough, but honey, just trust that you are WAY under eating. you don't eat breakfast often (fruit alone isn't breakfast), you eat a sandwich with nothing on the side and consider it lunch, you eat mini-snacks and consider them normal and you have a VERY hard time eating carbs at dinner so you're just eating lean meats and vegetables, which again is not enough.

what if i told you this is what i had for lunch today? a sandwich (w/o cheese), an apple, a serving of pretzels, a couple nuts and a glass of milk. what would you think of that? i'm assuming you'd tell me it was a very healthy, very low-fat lunch, right? do you realize that the "meal" is the equivalent of EVERYTHING you ate yesterday except dinner? and THEN if i told you that i ate no breakfast, that lunch, a piece of salmon and some veggies for dinner, and fat-free frozen yogurt for dessert? you'd tell me i wasn't eating enough, wouldn't you? you'd tell me i needed WAY more food to maintain my weight and that there was NO way i would ever gain weight eating like that, right? well that is basically what you ate yesterday. and that is why i think you need more structure and support to beat this thing. you've become so accustomed to eating teensy-tiny "diet" meals/snacks (cuz like i said, an apple isn't a meal) that you've lost touch with reality in terms of what a "meal" actually is. i hope explaining it this way makes it a little more clear. i totally understand where you're coming from in terms of feeling like you're eating enough, cuz i used to feel that way too. Ed has this nasty way of making us view our "diets" as completely normal, so anything else seems totally gluttonous, you know? that's why i think we need strong structure and support (especially in the beginning) as we learn to eat more. anyway, i hope laying it out this way helps a little. at least to me, it made it even MORE apparent that you're really starving yourself here. anyway, let me know your thoughts on the outpatient program. how does it work, when do you go, what do you do, etc. (i'm curious!) thanks again for your kind post and i'll talk to you soon!
ls, sorry i couldn't get on until today. i am honestly in some sort of shock as to what to say. i'm lost, don't really have any good advice, and am seriously just wishing i could move you to chicago and bring you to my therapist. i don't know what the he** is wrong with all these therapists and nutritionists. unless you aren't giving them the full story, i don't understand how they cannot see the OBVIOUS problem. i've got a little advice though, so here it goes:

first of all, in talking to the women, did you show her your food journal? like, the actual record of what you DO eat everyday? cuz if you didn't, i'm SURE she didn't get the right impression. yeah, you eat bread -- like one slice a week, seriously. and yeah, peanut butter, you haven't mentioned that one for months, honey. so saying you WILL eat those things is a LOT different than her seeing what you actually DO eat day to day. (which, as we've discussed, is a totally light, fruit-based, fat-free, carb-free diet with a light, yet somewhat normal dinner and fat-free dessert) so that's my first fear, i guess.

in terms of the program, you need to listen to your heart here, i think. "I would be horrified if I had to be this restrictive with my eating for the rest of my life in order to just be a normal weight." you said it, not me. if this program isn't gonna CHANGE the way you eat, then it ain't really worth your time honestly. if this program isn't going to FORCE you to eat normally and eat ENOUGH, then why go??? in that quote, you've FINALLY acknowledged that you DO NOT eat normally. that you DO restrict daily. that you do not want to eat this light diet and that you realize (deep down) that this is a "diet," not a weight-gaining or weight-maintaining meal plan. please don't try to back out on this one know, kid, i've gotcha! :)

anyway, i don't really see this helping you unless you have a VERY strict meal plan that lays out every single thing you eat for the rest of the day when you aren't at the clinic. would you be willing to get something like that from your nutritionist and actually FOLLOW it? if not, then i hate to say it, but i don't see how you'll ever get better and learn to eat HEALTHILY without inpatient treatment. i hate saying that, but lauren, you CANNOT even eat 2000 calories a day! you just can't do it, you can't follow meal plans, and i don't know how else you'll get better.

so i guess those are my thoughts. please try to eat what you know you should today before the program starts, although i fear the restricting has already started. i'm worried about you, hon! let me know how it goes and i REALLY hope this can help you! i just want you to be happy (and move to chicago and live in my building and we can go to the same therapist. j/k!)
You have GOT to try to stop comparing yourself to the other girls there. I really wish I could get you to believe that everyone else with an ed thinks the exact same thing about themselves that you are thinking about yourself. The girl that you said is "stick thin" has more than likely thought she's not "skinny enough" to be in that program. In fact, she probably thinks YOU are thinner than she is. You should really try to open up about those feelings in one of your groups. It will help you so much to do that and then hear that the other girls are having the same feelings. That's how I found out that I wasn't the only one feeling that way and it really made me feel alot better.

And about eating all of your food, I did that same thing when I was in treatment, and I felt horribly self-conscious about it too b/c like you said, the other girls were leaving as much as they could get away with on their plates and making sure that everything they got to eat was the lowest caloric choice on the menu (and some girls even sat and cried b/c they freaked out over having to eat), and there I was just getting whatever I could to fulfil my meal plan (not even worrying about how many calories I was taking in) and I was finishing everything on my plate and never acted emotional about it or anything. That made me really think I didn't need to be there.

I promise you that when you walk in on your 2nd day, they are NOT going to be thinking "here comes that normal girl who thinks she has an ed". That is very obviously ed talking, and you need to recognize that. You DO have an ed, you ARE too thin, and you DO need to be in that treatment program. Those people are experts at what they do. Do you honestly think they would have accepted you into the program if they didn't think you really needed it? I'm sure the space they have is somewhat limited, so they aren't going to waste it on someone who doesn't really need it. Please just try to realize that all these doubts you're having are totally normal, and that ed is the one putting those doubts in your head.

As for me, I seem to be stuck right now. I feel like I'm in the middle of a game of "tug-a-war" with my ed voice on one side and my own voice on the other. I want so bad to follow my meal plan, but I just can't seem to let myself give in to the weight gain that will happen when I do. I don't have a scale, so I can't see if I'm actually losing, gaining, or just staying the same. That's been very hard for me. I do know that I should have stayed in program longer b/c you're totally right, I'm not ready to do this on my own. But when our insurance saw that I had gained 2 lbs while in the program, I guess they figured that was good enough, so they sent me packing. Anyway, somehow I've got to pick myself back up and get back on track with my meal plan. I'm going to my dr tomorrow (and I'm really dreading it cuz I'm sure she's going to "rake me over the coals" for not going to any outside group meetings since I've left the program. I haven't had time b/c of all the stuff going on with my kids' ball games, practices, etc, etc., but she won't accept those things as excuses. Anyway, hopefully she'll be able to help me get back to what I'm supposed to be doing. My therapist actually thinks that if I just find at least a part-time job that the eating disorder will take a back seat; she thinks I feel like I don't have a purpose in life right now, and I guess she's kind of right, so a job would help with that. I guess we'll see. I've applied for a few, but no luck so far. Actually it doesn't do much for your self-esteem when you can't even get someone to hire you for a friggin part-time meaningless job, so this may end up back-firing on me. Wow, that all sounded pretty depressing, sorry about that!! I'm not a pessimistic person, guess I'm just having a "down" day, I'll be more cheery tomorrow. :)

Hope your day goes well in IOP today!!!
Hi guys!
I have SO much to say right now, so I'll start with what is on my mind at this very moment: snack time at IOP today. Mondays and Thursdays we have dinner there and Wednesdays we just have a snack. So today 3:30 rolled around (and I was still stuffed from my lunch, mind you, so I was VERY bitter about having to eat the snack) and they served up granola bars and apple juice. Not too scary, right? Yeah, except if you're full already. But I ate the bar, nonetheless, and I drank the juice, nonetheless. Welllll, rememeber Ms.2/3 of her wrap who is in my group? I saw her SNEAK the bar under the table and toss it in her bag to get rid of it! I totally saw her! You don't even understand how horrible that made me feel, not just about myself, but for her. I felt like a cow that I was able to eat this snack without a problem (and she'd probably skipped lunch and breakfast, both of which I ate) and here she is not even eating the measely little SNACK! What is that about!?!? And why should she be able to make ME feel bad? Because I'm not as "bad" as she is - then GOOD! It's just stupid that I should feel even a tinge of jealousy, but I do. She is definitely a lot more "impaired" than I am, but that is why she is there! So EAT the dam* bar, girl! Gosh, it just makes me LIVID!!!!

But Joni, you are right - I think this dietitian really knows what she's doing. The ironic part?....she was an intern under the dietitian I have NOW outside of IOP! So basically they use the same techniques, but I think she is just more forceful b/c she works in an inpatient program as well and is used to just sort of cutting to the chase, you know? I honestly don't know how I will ever reach the meal plan she set up for me (for example, THIRTEEN grains!?!?!? that is the equivalent of 13 slices of bread, 7 cups of rice, 6 is that even possible!??!?!), but it's made me take more risks, which is great.

Dawg - I'm glad you felt the same way going into outpatient b/c I seriously feel like it's just me. Each day I go in I feel like an impostor or something.
I'm really worried about you, though. I really don't want you to start regressing and I think that you REALLY need to talk about this with your therapist. Yeah, I do think a part time job would help, but just make sure it's in a field you LIKE. The last thing you'd want is more stress and a job you hate.
Do you think that you will be able to maybe go back into outpatient? My program is 12 weeks, no less (usually) and I can't imagine how you got let out of yours so early. 2 lbs is NOTHING to have gained. In fact, when you start eating more your weight fluctuates so much that that was probably water weight anyhow!
I just feel like you were such an inspiration to me to get help and to go to the IOP and I don't want you to give up now b/c you CAN do it. Please let me know how everything goes and have a HAPPY, SMILEY, WONDERFUL thursday - we are ALL going to get through this - and maybe we'll have a reunion! (Or a "union" since we've never even met the first time - haha!)

Lots of hope and support,
oh hon, it's so hard and i'm here, thinking of you and sending out happy thoughts! but you know what i couldn't stop thinking as i read your post? you're FINALLY being challenged. up until this point you've kinda been coasting along and now, BAM! you are REALLY being challenged head on with what is NECESSARY for recovery. i DO have a lot of empathy cuz basically, this part sucks, but i'm also REALLY glad it's happening and that you're struggling as hard as you are. cuz that is what is NECESSARY to get better.

i know that i eat A LOT of food now, but i didn't always, remember? so jumping from like 1600 to 2000 calories a day was JUST as hard for me at the time. i remember HATING my f***ing meal plan and thinking how stupid it all was and how FAT i was gonna get and how much i just HATED this stupid recovery. and i'm not urging you to automatically try to shut down those feelings and just feel happy and peaceful. cuz i think you gotta hate it. i think you gotta feel REALLY sh***y and want to give up and basically just HATE recovery. and THEN you learn to work through those feelings WITHOUT resorting to Ed (ie: without just restricting or moving backwards). and THAT is where the progress comes. without having those incredibly difficult struggles, you will NEVER learn to work through it and fight Ed down. you will never develop "Lauren Super Woman Strength" on which you can call when things go wrong (instead of calling on Ed). i don't know if i'm making sense, but i really feel that these "hardest times" are the most crucial "make or break you" times in recovery. i don't really know if i'm making sense (thinking as i write ... never good! that's when the posts get LONG!!!) and i definitely didn't feel this way as i went through similar struggles, but thinking about it now and remembering the feelings you're describing, i think that this time and these struggles are really GOOD for you (although feel free to absolutely HATE them, like i said).

now a little less *thinking* and a little more technical stuff. are you actually accomplishing the parts of the meal plan you're supposed to be following? i don't want an answer like "mostly but it's hard," i want an answer like "all except 2 grains, 2 fats, etc. yesterday." can you hold yourself accountable to me and actually report on what you're eating vs. what you're supposed to be eating everyday? i'd like that cuz i think it'd help, you know? also, what about my suggestions in terms of setting up more "concrete" meals/snacks to help you stick to it. i REALLY don't think it'll work unless you do that. like instead of "13 grains" a day, you think "3 at breakfast, 4 at lunch, 4 at dinner and 3 between my snacks and dessert (do cookies count, lol???)" that is the only way it'll really work, you know? and then you have your mental list of "easy" meals -- like for 3 breakfast grains it could be cereal and 2 pieces of toast, a bagel and cereal, an english muffin and oatmeal, etc. that'll give you variety AND make it easier to "stick to the plan" you know? anyway, let me know what you think about that. **also, if you're having trouble "getting it all in," then it is your responsibility to yourself to march on over to that dietician and say, "i need help. i don't know how/where to get this all in and i need you to help me figure out some feasible ways to do this." that is her job and you NEED to use her for that. refusal to do that is just Lauren allowing Ed to call the shots, do you see that? try to think about that way, k?

now, ms. poopy-face-skinny-pants-i'm-stupid-and-want-to-be-the-best-anorexic-i-can-be-and-like-to-pretend-to-get-better-but-am-stupid-and-really-have-no-intention-of-doing-so. i don't like her one bit, i'll tell you that! (and all those hyphens took a long time to type so ENJOY them, lol!) first of all, i think you gotta talk to somebody about how she's impacting you. are you still seeing your other therapist? if so, talk to her and come up with some coping strategies for dealing with this idiot. if not, talk to some therapists/dieticians/whatever at the program. i'm sure this happens A LOT in IOP so i'm sure they've got some good ways of helping you deal with it. i can think of a few little ones, but i'm sure they'll have better suggestions. number one: does she have bad skin/hair/is she ugly/etc.? (i'm serious here) find one unappealing physical trait about her that doesn't have to do with her weight and start thinking of her as "ms. knappy hair" instead of "ms. skinny pants." i think that'll help you focus a little less on her offensively low weight. number two (tee-hee, #2!): physically distance yourself from her as much as possible as often as possible. get yourself at the other end of the table from her but on the same side so you have to really WORK to see how much she's eating/not eating. and then, ls, just DON'T LOOK. talk to others, laugh, stare at the ceiling, whatever, but don't look at her or her plate. i know it sounds so simple and like it won't work, but that's the only way, i think. it reminds me of when i kept looking at my body in the mirror (mainly my thighs) and i'd get all depressed because i could "see" how much fatter they were getting. it'd REALLY get me down. and my therapist's advice? "just don't look in the mirror." i was like "yeah, right, like that's really gonna work. i'm gonna wanna look, then i'll look, then i'll feel like sh** again. or i might just look 'by accident'" but you know what? i took a mental commitment to myself NOT to look and honestly, i felt like 400 million times better almost instantly. just by not looking! yeah, i'd feel fat (like you would probably "feel" how much she left on her plate vs. how much you ate), BUT because i didn't CONFIRM that feeling by looking in the mirror (ie: her plate) i was able to MUCH more easily "let go" of the negative feelings. anyway, just some suggestions.

i like all the stuff you guys get to do ... i kind of wish i could go! just for the holistic feelings, you know? it's cool that you think it's helping and all. i really have a good feeling about this being your "turning point" and i'm excited (and nervous!) for you! have a good day. and yes, it's STILL raining here. i think it stopped for like 5 minutes total (if that) yesterday. it's gonna be a nasty weekend, but i've planned on sewing this one purse for MONTHS and i'm thinking this is the weekend to actually start doing it, lol! anyway, i'll probably be all cooped up and bored (i hate rain and cold!) so i'll be around if you want to chat!

dawg, where you at, lady?! and natalie, i don't know why they won't re-approve you, but i want you to know that i miss you and hope you're still checking in every once in awhile.
thanks, every post here really helps..

my history is this (ill make it short):
back in 8th grade i thought i was fat (i wasnt!!)so i lost a ton of weight. hair was fallin getting worried..took me to a specialist. when i got there they like examined me and everything and asked me all these question. but w/ the questions, i knew what they were looking for (a disorder) so everything they asked me like "do you think any part of your body is TOO fat" i just completley lied about. I figure skate and dance so they just figured, an active teen who's not eating enough..shes eating..but not enough and shes fine with herself so she doesnt have a disorder. i never purged before in my life and i definetly dont plan to and i cant remember a day in my life eating under 1100 calories. so ya know nothing to the EXTREME. and everytime i go, i walk in with this fun-spirited attitude and they think im so happy. i always walk out so confident but time tends to dwindle the feeling down to nothing.

The first time i went they took extensive blood tests and when the results came back it shouwed i had a malnourished liver. They told me i needed to fix eat my adding more fats (and i definetly have been!) but that day in the office, mom mom broke down and was crying. she said "i cant believe it, i go food shopping 2-3 times a week b/c my biggest fear is not being able to feed my children and your malnourished." i felt so guilty like, wow your mother works so hard to pay for food to keep you healthy and there you go throwing away half that sandwhich. but i just couldnt help it! like ed was telling me, its no big deal that your mother is so worried.

well back to that whole 8th grade thing when i thought i was i look at pictures from 8th grade and im like "wow whats wrong with me, i looked gorgous there was nothing wrong w/ me there. y did i think i was fat??" And i honestly want to get back to that so badly but its just so hard. i dont know why it doesnt make any sense. Why am i struggling to get back to someting i want when its totally possible. all i have to do is eat sufficently..but i cant..but i wanna get back to 8th grade weight..and i can but im struggling and so on and so forth.
hey girlies! i've missed so much, lol! i just read through everything with a big ol' smile on my face ... it's so GREAT to read when ya'll are doing well or at least recognizing the signs of Ed, our evil pal along for the ride ... anyway, i don't have a ton of time, plus you girls already said all the good stuff to each other, so i (for once, lol) don't really have anything to add.

pinstriped, i'm SO glad you've joined in on this thread (it's the best one here ... j/k!) really though, it makes me really happy (how many times can she say "really" in one sentence???) that you jumped right in here and are helping and asking for help. really, it's awesome. your story sounds somewhat like mine. i too was NEVER fat (if only we could go back and erase those "i'm fat" thoughts pre-Ed, you know?) and my restriction in calories was never severe like many girls' is. i feel like that made me prolong getting help until it was REALLY too late (i had some MAJOR binging problems that i can tell you about at another time). i just didn't think i was "really" anorexic, you know? i feel like you're in sort of the same place, but it does sound like you're recognizing the problem more than i allowed myself to. that's really awesome cuz i think it'll help you get help and get better sooner. one thing my therapist said to me when i first started seeing her was that life with an ed was like living in a prison -- you're totally restricted and feel totally alone and miserable and you can't make your own choices, etc. i'm repeating it to your cuz i feel like it really applies to your situation. it IS like a prison, isn't it? and yeah, it REALLY sucks. anyway, i strongly URGE you to tell your mom what's going on. it will be the single best decision you make in your life, i promise you that. i know how scary it seems (he**, i binged almost daily for 9 months straight before i worked up the courage to call my mom and confess that i needed help, that i was dealing with something i could NOT stop on my own) that first conversation is REALLY hard, but (like many of the hard decisions in life) it's REALLY worth it. it sounds like she cares about you and loves you a lot, and i have a feeling that she will do anything she can to help you be free and happy and healthy once again. so please tell her. i don't believe that it's possible to recover from anorexia without therapy and telling your mom is the first step to getting a therapist. and i want you to be happy! so, just think about it, you know?

ls, lady, you're doing great!!! i'm so happy to hear how GOOD and FREE you're feeling after only that one week. seriously, i wish i could be there to celebrate with you. and i love, love, love the goal-setting that you do at the treatment place. that's such a good, concrete way to keep you striving to move forward, you know? i'm so happy that you're getting instant positive results too (from friends, having tons of fun, etc.) i think that's what is necessary to reinforce "non-ed" behavior. we need to tangibly SEE that we feel better, have more fun, don't gain 40 pounds overnight, etc, you know? i'm realizing that with my "out to dinners" every week. i've been a total rockstar (not to pat my own back, lol) lately at not even worrying about calories when i eat and i'm realizing how much more FUN eating is when you aren't trying to count calories the whole time. anyway, i just love it and i'm SO happy that you're feeling so good.

as for me, i've also been feeling very happy lately AND i've been really feeling good about my body. i'm not just like "yeah, i could learn to deal with this weight" (even though i know i still need to gain more) i'm really feeling like, "i LIKE my body this way and my body likes me!" (they should base a sesame street episode around that quote, lol) anyway, it's a really awesome feeling cuz i expected to absolutely HATE my body as i gained weight. instead it's just like "eh, whatever. it's just a BODY and i am MUCH more than that." anyway, i REALLY gotta go now (pinstriped, no need to ever apologize for long, disjointed, random posts ... i wrote about Shaq once! Like ls said, that's basically how it is on this thread ... once we start typin', we just can't stop!!) anyway, ya'll (i think i'm channeling dawg, who by the way should COME BACK!) have a WONDERFUL weekend and i'll talk to you soon.

ps - ls, it's like 50 degrees, cold and damp here. what is that all about?!? it's may!!! (i don't know why i get such a kick out of telling you about my crappy weather situations. guess it just proves what a dork i am!)
LS, I just want to let you know that, no matter what, I still see you as a strong person. Most people with ED's have irrational thoughts & off-days during their recovery. I still think you have a lot of motivation to recover. But based on what Joni & dawgfan have said about your height/weight statistics, you definitely are underweight. It doesn't seem to me like you overate at all; actually, from my perspective the amount of food you ate seems minimal, especially if you're supposed to be gaining weight!

Dawgfan, I don't think I "know" you yet lol, but want you to know that I'm glad you shared what your kids told saddened me! I love kids so much, can't wait to have my own. Sometimes their innocence & honesty is such a wake-up call for me. I remember feeling saddened when the boy I baby-sit offered me some sort of dessert, I turned him down, and he said "oh yeah, you're on a diet. I forgot!" For some reason that made me really I can imagine when your own kids notice you're losing weight or whatever, it must be a wake-up call to what's REALLY going on, and how it effects even the smallest around you.

I really hope you guys have a great day! I'm sorry I don't have any helpful advice for you all most of the time, I do feel bad about that. It's hard b/c I'm still in such a dilemma about whether I want to lose more weight or maintain. I don't really have the recovery mindset--well, I do want to see myself as "recovered," I just want to do it MY way, kwim? Maybe soon I'll get to the point where you all are at, and will be more helpful.

As I've said before, I do want to stop the b/p'ing no matter what, so tomorrow I see the ED therapist. I'll tell you how that goes. It will be hard for me to open up, because I don't trust this lady yet. Oh and yes, Joni, I've read all you've said about gaining weight, found it very wise & true, but I just can't see that it applies to me. I think, since I'm not having any health effects from my current weight, that it's working fine for me. Also, I'm not talking about drastic weight loss at this point, just toning up really. I'm starting to exercise (something I've never been motivated to do) and just continue watch what I eat. No one can convince me I'm too thin, because only I can look in the mirror and see the truth...the numbers on the scale lie.
"No one can convince me I'm too thin, because only I can look in the mirror and see the truth...the numbers on the scale lie." How can you possibly justify that, Sunshine!?!? If anything, the exact OPPOSITE of that is true. The numbers on the scale are concrete evidence of where your weight is and what you see in the mirror is just an interpretation of yourself. You do not see what other people see - that is what I am trying to understand, too. When I look in the mirror I see a normal-sized girl...but apparently, I am underweight. "But I don't LOOK too thin" I think, but THAT IS PART OF THE DISORDER. IT IS A DISORDER!! You do not see yourself correctly - you need to get that through your head. If you did, you'd know you were underweight!

Anyway, thanks girls for your support. I really needed that kick in the a**. I'm glad you were in a bad mood, Joni, because you really cut to the chase and gave it to me straight. Thank you. I want to agree with you and say "You're right - I'm definitely underweight." But I know that's not going to happen, so I just need to trust that fact and continue with my recovery. I can't tell you how tempted I am to just not go to IOP today, but I know that would be pointless.

To answer your question, Dawg, YES, I had SUCH a great time last night. And I was full after dinner, but not STUFFED. The food was all DELICIOUS (I cooked it all!) and the M&Ms were the only thing that really bothered me that I ate.
So I'm supposed to just jump right back on the bandwagon this morning and eat a huge breakfast that's on my meal plan? That seems SO hard. It feels wrong! And moreover, it feels unnecessary.
I know that it would not be the end of the world if I gained 2lbs - I mean, that is my goal, right? But it is still such a scary thought.

I am in LA right now visiting a bunch of college friends and staying at their apartment. I got here yesterday and so far it has been SO great seeing them. The only thing is, I feel HUGE. Whenever I am out of control of what I am eating and having fun, I get this feeling that I am fat. It's so frustrating!
Last night for dinner I had a chicken breast and a cup or 2 of broccoli and corn for dinner. Then maybe a nibble of a cookie that was left out and some wine. Then we went out and I had a couple vodka sodas (big deal) and that was it. This morning I had some coffee (long story but I got 2 hours of sleep, slept on one of my guy friends' couch, and left at 6am) so we stopped and got starbucks on the way home, then I went to sleep again until 12 and now we are going to go out to lunch. Obviously I have not overeaten, but I FEEL like I have. And drinking last night doesn't make me feel any more in control. I wasn't even very drunk but I just feel like since I let loose and had a good time SOMETHING must be wrong, you know?

All I want to do is restrict. I feel like I do not need to gain weight and it really bothers me that I have to go to IOP on monday and eat dinner wtih them after this "excessive" weekend.

Last night my friend said she was hungry after the bar so we got these tacos from a little vendor near the bar. I got 2 and she got 2 and I PRETENDED to eat them. That is not normal!! I spit a bit out into a napkin b/c I wanted her to think I was eating them, too. I just shouldn't have even gotten them b/c I wasn't even hungry but I wanted to make her think I was. What am I doing?!?!
oooo, that scale at the doctor thing, ugh! i totally understand about knowing you should just say "i don't want to see the number," but then secretly wanting to see it AND not wanting to have to say that cuz then the nurse will "know" you have an ed, you know? if it makes you feel any better, i've never been brave enough to ask not to see the number either. mine has always been the same/under my scale at home though, so it hasn't been such an issue (at least yet).

here's the REALLY IMPORTANT thing to remember, okay? scales -- ALL of them, even the doctor ones -- are basically crap. they don't match up to each other from the doctor, to the gyno, to the one at the gym, to yours at home, etc. you've gotta keep telling yourself that, okay? i'm sure that's all it is. you're EXACTLY the same weight you were a couple days ago, it's just that the NUMBER on one scale is different from the number on another, you know? so don't let that get you down, it means NOTHING unless you've been regularly weighing yourself on that specific scale, you know?

you're doing good, hon, but i'm still worried. "DO NOT let your guard down" is the best advice i can give you right now. Ed is right there under the surface with you right now and all he needs is a teensy bit of mindspace to get in and he'll be pushing back to get control. so just keep fighting REALLY hard. you've had a lot of slip-ups and undereating problems, so EXPECT that that is the area where Ed will try to regain control. EXPECT that you aren't going to want to stick to your meal plan, cuz i can guarantee you that you ARE NOT going to want to. (or rather, ED isn't going to want you to). and then give that voice a big "f*** you!" and eat whatever it is you're supposed to eat. this is a very testy time for you right now and i think you're doing REALLY great so far. it's hard and anxiety-ridden and frustrating as he**, but it WILL get better if you just stick to it and keep fighting, okay? (i know you can!)

i've been having a sort of rough/sort of good time lately too. i'm up to 128 (wahoo! ... sort of ... i'm sure you know what i mean, lol!), but i am feeling WORLD CLASS FAT FAT FAT! But, on the other hand, i'm fighting it pretty good, i think. i've been feeling like a regular porker lately and my legs have been getting REALLY swollen up and fatty at night (this started when i was binging and the only reason i can think that it still happens at night is cuz i eat near-binge levels (in terms of calories) of food, you know?) i just hate having the buddha belly/constipated belly EVERY DAY from eating so much food, you know? but i've been trying REALLY hard to LIKE what i see and to say to myself, "you'll get to lose the buddha belly and swollen legs soon, sweetie, cuz you KNOW both of those are just a result of overeating. so as soon as you gain 2 more little pounds, you get to eat LESS and not stuff yourself every single night!" and i AM liking my body as it "fills out" a bit (minus the full tummy, lol), so that's really good. i like not looking so "scary" and "risky" skinny, you know? anyway, jsut some thoughts. have a good day!

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