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Eating Disorder Recovery Message Board

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oh, i'm here, i'm here! and don't worry, girls (although i totally appreciate the concern and it makes me love ya'll all the more!), i've been totally okay and doing good! i've just been SUPER busy lately (as i think we all have) and, if i must confess, sort of lazy-pants in terms of writing anything back. i've been reading, but not taking the time to post. i'm sorry! but i've been doing well and feeling pretty good/the same and i'm really excited to be writing again. also, i've been looking for a job (which is motivating, but frustrating at the same time), so a LOT of my spare computer time has been devoted to that.

so, where do i begin?!? well, first, let's talk about me (lol!) i've been doing pretty good, like i said. nothing really new, just a lot of the same. i'm ONE friggin' pound away from the "goal" and going pretty dam* near INSANE about it!!! i'm like, "Ugh! Can't i just gain that stinkin' measely little pound so i can stop stuffing myself everyday and actually eat in response to something that resembles hunger/fullness and work on NOT counting calories and REALLY progressing?!?!" But slow and steady wins the race, i suppose. So i'm still eating the "diet" of a 300 pound man, and it's harder with the summer heat, but you know me, i just keep stuffing it in, lol.

my latest struggle has been that i don't *feel* too thin anymore (don't we all...) But i REALLY don't. Before, when i was less weight, i would still have all the "fat" feelings and all that, but deep down, i KNEW that i was too skinny. i could see in the mirror that, despite the fact that i LIKED how thin and "toned" i looked, i WAS too thin. now, i really don't feel that way. i KNOW i'm not fat by any means; that's not what i'm saying. i'm just saying that i honestly 100% believe that i look "average" and "healthy" right now. i look trim and good, but average by anyone's standards; DEFINITELY not too skinny. people don't give me that pitty-ing look anymore, nobody comments on my "naturally thin build" anymore, and this doesn't make me feel bad about myself, but i honestly believe that it's because i DO look healthy and normal and average, NOT "too thin."

so what's to do with this feeling/conviction? because i REALLY believe it. I LOOK NORMAL. and normal people don't have to stuff 3500 calories down their throats everyday regardless of hunger or being stuffed full to gain one STUPID pound so the scale reads a "perfect" number. i just can't help but feel that this is WRONG. it feels wrong, it looks wrong, i can't "logically" justify it, you know? i LOOK NORMAL, not uber, sickly skinny, so why in the heck do i have to gorge on a daily basis to achieve one idiotic pound that OBVIOUSLY doesn't want to come on to my body?!?! i'm frustrated, ladies! basically, i'm wondering how to deal with this "i'm now "normal/average/healthy" looking feeling." cuz that's really how i appear now -- a little flabby in the arms, full in the butt/thighs -- just AVERAGE. so why do i have to eat all this and add MORE flab??? any kind words would REALLY be appreciated, cuz i'm struggling with this internally. i haven't had one of those "yeah, i AM too skinny" moments in FOREVER, and i truly believe it's because i'm NOT too skinny anymore! so how do i feel okay about still trying to gain weight!?!?!

okay, that turned into sort of a rant, but that IS the toughest thing i've been dealing with lately, that feeling. other than that, i've been doing good. went to eric's family's cottage for a long weekend this past weekend and actually did REALLY well and was able to feel surprisingly relaxed with 3 days of "scary" food. it felt great! usually i can "get through" those situations, but this time, i was actually able to relax a little more than usual, which made it even more fun. :) now, a few words for you all and a sincere promise that i WILL write here more often (i feel like i have WAY too much to say!)

[B]pinstriped[/B] - you've been doing REALLY great, kiddo, and happy birthday!!! i wouldn't beat yourself up about looking up the food calories beforehand. obviously, try not to do that in the next similar situation, but hey, it was your birthday, a stressful situation to a pretty high degree, and if that made it a little easier, then so be it for now. plus, it already happened, so no use fretting about it now, you know? plus, GREAT job with the cake! i'm with ls, what flavor? i always get chocolate with chocolate frosting (big surprise, eh?). it's my fav!

[B]girly[/B] - i really liked your last reply to ls and i think i can take a lot from it too. i TOTALLY have that feeling of being the "special exception to the rule of recovering from eating disorders," so it's comforting to know i'm not alone in it. i just feel like i *need* to have an ED and count calories, cuz if i didn't, i'd just lose weight. therefore, it makes me feel like i'm NEVER going to be able to stop counting calories. or even if i can, i'll have to stuff myself full of junk 24/7 just to maintain. i hate it. i never used to be like this, and i don't understand why my body is being so stupid about the weight thing.

anyway, what i really wanted to ask you was something you said in your post -- how your meal plan/snacks were more in terms of calories rather than food groups and how, although that was good at the time for flexibility, it made it more difficult in the end when you tried to stop counting calories. did i get that all right? i'm the same way, my meal plan is 100% about the number of calories and i TOTALLY view food in terms of "calorie numbers." so how on earth did you stop counting calories???? i feel like i'm NEVER going to be able to do it and that's a really disheartening feeling. how, when you were hungry did you choose between the apple (under 100 calories) or the energy bar (250 calories). i feel like i just choose based on how many calories i "need" for that particular snack. but in a no-counting world, i wouldn't be making my choices that way, you know? anyway, any insights into how you did this, how hard it was, etc. would be REALLY helpful. i'm not allowed to stop yet (stupid 3500 is impossible without counting), but i'm afraid that i'm never gonna be able to stop when i want to, you know? anyway, any advice you've got!

[B]ls[/B] - first of all, i am SO proud of you. you seem to finally be taking this more seriously. you still have a LOT of hard work to go (are you actually following the meal plan daily now? if not, do it!), but at least you're getting closer. and you SOUND like you're feeling happier and more confident which helps everything! :) like the others said, NO! that meal plan is NOT a lot of food. it's all SUPER healthy (if i were you, i'd ask for some treats in there!) and it just simply isn't a lot (definitely not "too much") food. so come up with a few options for each meal/snack and go for it! you SHOULD be able to confidently switch between cereal/cottage cheese or tortilla with eggs cuz they BOTH work on your plan. don't lock yourself into only safe foods and eating the same thing every single day. cuz then change/flexibility will be harder in the future. come up with multiple options that fit the plan NOW and then switch between them daily. you don't want to get locked into a "food rut," you know? i've always had multiple "options" like that and i really think it's helpful in the end. although i still count calories, there are NO foods that i fear and i can feel confident with any of my many breakfast options, you know? so yes, expect anxiety at first when you try "new" things, but just trust that it'll go away, cuz i KNOW it will!

ah, the stupid pants scenario. pants suck! there is a good side to this, you get to shop!! but i know it's not as simple as that. i haven't bought jeans in like 2 years with all this crap -- i'm just *waiting* to gain so i can get new ones (mine still fit, but they're all raggedy on the bottoms). so i haven't fully dealt with this yet, but i anticipate it sucking. i have had to get rid of some capris though (i had a REALLY sickly skinny summer before the binging started), so here's how i did that. i waited till i was having one of those "empowered" days before i even TOUCHED them. you know, "i'm fabulous and f*** this ED and i look fantastic (yes, it was a "skinny" day for me) and if these pants don't fit, who cares?!?!?" so i waited till i was in one of *those* moods and then i stripped down and let loose on the pants. i whipped them on and off trying not to think except for "yes" or "no" and tossed the tight (and my God! some of them wouldn't even button, lol!) ones in a pile and kept only a couple pairs. end result? i got rid of the "skinny/anorexic" pants in like 5 minutes and it wasn't painful at all. now, i have like zero pants, but that's okay, you know?! cuz i've been slowly buying more (still hesitant cuz i know somehow i'm supposed to eventually gain at least 6 more pounds, oy). i've been working the gaucho style like never before this summer -- they're loose so i don't "feel fat" in them and they're cheap AND they're stretchy so a couple of pounds forward and they'll still fit, you know? like girly, i plan on having LOOSE pants when i buy them for real. the tight-pants-on-my-thighs feeling triggers MAJOR "I'm fat!" feelings for me, so i figure if i've gotta have slouchy pants for a year or so to not automatically feel like sh** when i dress myself, then so be it. plus, we're tall! wider legs look GREAT on us! so i'd say wait till you're feeling GOOD to deal with the pants issue and embrace a loose, flowing style. i bet you'll look like a million bucks!

i want to keep writing, but this is the definition of EXCESSIVE, so i'll stop. have a good day ya'll and i look forward to reading some replies!
Oh my gosh, Joni, you're alive!!! It was so great to hear from you and I COMPLETELY understand how hard it is to post when you have tons of other things going on. What kind of job are you searching for? Are you leaving the advertising industry? What have you decided about acting and auditions? I am so glad you are back in the loop!!

So, in response to what you said: I know exactly how you feel. I have gained roughly 5 lbs, I think (I don't weigh myself so that's a rough estimate from what the Drs have insinuated) and I know that I don't look pathetic and sickly anymore. By the way, it took me about 1/10 of the amount of time to gain the same amount of weight as you - talk about scary!! But anyway, I feel "normal" now and it bothers me that I am still supposed to gain a bunch of weight. Don't they see that I am not unhealthy anymore!?!? Don't they see that my face is not gaunt, my arms are not toothpicks, and my stomach has meat on it? I just don't understand why I am still supposed to eat this weight-gain meal plan when I am not too thin. BUT, as you increase weight you also increase your Basal Metaboloic Rate. The amount of calories you burn just sitting around increases as you gain weight and you will need more food. That is one thing to keep in mind. Another thing to keep in mind is what girly said - it has taken you SO much to simply gain the amount of weight you have gained so I can't imagine it taking any less for you to gain those 6 more lbs! Don't even think about maintaining at that weight yet b/c you have no idea what will happen once you are there. In fact, my therapist told me a long time ago that people who reach a healthy weight range (and not just a weight on the lower cusp of the range) have a much lower risk of relapse than those who just gain the bare minimum of weight and try to maintain there. So keep that in mind. What is your GW? Is it too low maybe? What was your weight when you were "healthy?"
Also, I am 10000000% sure that your arms are not "flabby." Maybe they have a little more flesh on them, but don't automatically place judgment on them by calling them flabby. You need to learn to be more mindful, which, by definition is moment-to-moment awareness without judgment. Notice a feeling, acknowledge it, sit with it, and move on. You are already making your weight gain a NEGATIVE thing when you say your arms are more flabby and you have the diet of a 300 lbs man. You have the diet of a determined woman overcoming anorexia and you are bringing your body back to life and nurturing and feeding it. Sound better!? Haha. Just know that even though you feel healthier and are making progress towards your recovery you still have a DBI (distorted body image) and your "normal" probably isn't so normal. In fact, it is probably much thinner than normal if you've only gained the amount of weight you say you have. I'm sure the doctors would like to see you gain even more than 6lbs!
You have been doing so awesome and I'm so happy that you are feeling more free and more comfortable doing things like eating out and having weekends away - that is what life is all about!!!

As for me, I've been really confused lately for the same reasons you are. I just literally feel like I am at a healthy yet thin weight and I do not see theneed for me to gain weight. People don't think I'm "too" thin anymore, my anxiety about food has gone down a lot, some of my jeans are getting tighter - it's just really, really scary! I'm trying to stick to my meal plan, but I haven't been 100% good. Today was pretty close:
for breakfast (8am) I had a wheat tortilla with 2 eggs and RF cheese scrambled and a nonfat latte
Snack was a granola bar (1030 am)
Lunch (145pm) was a turkey sand. on pumpernickel [U]baguette[/U] with cucumber/tomato salad
And dinner (at 10pm - starving!) was a burrito in a bowl (no tortilla) with lettuce, beans, chicken salsa, and grilled peppers
and frozen yogurt for dessert (SO full).
I hate the fact that I was so hungry when I ate dessert and I hate how it is midnight here and I am still So full from eating so late.

It seems weird to me that your nutritionists, Joni and Girly, had you go by calories and not food groups. That means you could just eat a million salads or 3 twinkies and reach the same ---- calories? I can't tell if that is a good way to do it or a bad way to do it. B/c you definitely want to move away from calories, but they are important to know, too. I think our nutritionist basically knows how many calories, roughly, are in ONE carbohydrate, ONE dairy, etc, so that's how she does it. AND it helps us to get a good mix, ya know?

Joni, are you still not able to exercise? I seriously feel like I MUST be that special case b/c you DO NOT exericse, you eat a ton and you have gained just as much weight as I have and I exercise sometimes and have a hard time following the meal plan most days.

Girly - how are you doing with your recovery now? Is it hard coming on these boarsds? Do you find them triggering?

I am falling asleep at my keyboard here - I REALLY need to go to sleep. I'll talk to you girls tomorrow!

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