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hannahmh
hi there, everyone!! i love this thread and i love hearing from you all-the-way recovered ladies. it's very inspiring, and hopeful for somebody like me who is still dealing with all this shit, although very much tired of dealing with it and wanting veryvery badly to be finished with the ed nonsense for good.

it's scary but mostly empowering to know that this is something we have control over! at least the behavior aspects. if i'm still struggling with the occasionally destructive and irrational monologue going on inside my head, i can control my behavior--ie, i can not starve myself or binge. but man, even though anorexia was my ed of choice, it is always the latter that is hardest to avoid when i'm feeling sad/anxious/myriad of other things. i was talking to my therapist about this: how i am eating fairly healthfully, yet i am not feeling any better mentally. in other words i am not eating like a person with an ed, but i am thinking like a person with an ed. and she reassured that this was ok, or normal, anyway, and that it tends to take longer for my head to catch up.

my therapist is wonderful, and i am totally glad to have her and her support. she also says that a lot of my body/weight anxiety will get better with time. i will continue to eat normally and see that i am not gaining weight and learn to trust my body. but i don't know! i still feel like i struggle with what "eating normally" is. i haven't been weighing myself--no scale for nearly two months, which is something i didn't even think i could possibly do a year ago--and i am pretty terrified that i am getting fat. she doesn't think so, and i think she says this honestly. but i have such a whacked out perception of my body that i honestly don't really know if i am getting fat!

i've been working out, which makes me feel good and helps. i've been writing, which makes me feel good and helps. but it's still been tough!

i'm also seeing someone for the first time who i think is pretty remarkable and who i like and likes me back, and this makes me nervous, too. i don't know why. obviously, he doesn't have a problem with the way i look. but somehow his attractiveness brings out my insecurity!!

thanks for patience with my ramblings,

happy valentines day!!
crinoline
Hello everyone!

Octi- I totally relate to the ridiculously inaccurate body perception. I have always bought clothes that I was certain were my size, only to have them be comically too big when I got them home. I had a friend, who is also a recovering bulimic, tell me once that it is important to not buy clothes by size, but to try on different sizes, and buy whatever fits without looking at what size it is. It sounds obvious, but it was a revelation to me. I get so married to the idea that I am one size or another, that I disregard reality entirely. I also really liked your advice that "Progress is not linear", I'll keep that in mind in the hard times. I'm no longer with my family, which I don't know if that's a good or bad thing. How are you?

Knorl05- It's great to hear from someone who has completely recovered. Sometimes it seems so impossible. I know my mother has recovered (She had an ED until she was hospitalized-no problems after that) but since she doesn't know that I have a problem, I can't talk to her about it. I'm afraid she would blame her history, when this is really all me. Anyway, thanks for checking in.

Hannah- It's great that you've met someone who can see how wonderful you are! How are you doing with your recovery?

I had a close call about an hour ago. Crinoboy and I had gotten into a stupid fight, and I went to go purge afterwards, which I often do after a large emotional onset, and also because I had eaten a cookie earlier. Apparently Crinoboy heard me, because he started yelling for me to open the door and let him in, and he was almost banging the door down. When I came out he thought I had just been crying, so I went along with that (I had been crying as well, so only a half-lie). I'm still shaky from the close call. I really, really don't want him to know. I know he loves me, but this is something that would be hard to accept in a significant other. I need to just suck it up and get over this whole mess, but it's just so hard to stop.

Also- I've been getting intense headaches following purging- should I just drink water for that, or do you think it's unrelated? It's okay if noone's comfortable answering that. Again-I'm sorry to take up so much space on the board, and I'm sorry that I'm such a mess.
_octinoxate
Hannah, I'm happy to hear about your new love interest, too! Keep us updated on that!

I totally agree with your therapist about how it's normal to have a sort of lag time between getting in a healthier place physically/ with habits, and catching up mentally. It will come! Just keep the healthy stuff on the day to day basis and one day you'll wake up and realize how far you've come and be amazed and proud!

Crin, wow, thanks so much for that suggestion on how to buy clothes! You're so right- it seems obvious but somehow it's not!

You never ever have to apologize for "taking up space on the board" or "being a mess". We're all a mess sometimes, and the whole point of this board is to support each other. So you've got nothing to worry about!

As far as the headaches go: I don't know for sure what that's all about, but I wonder if it could be in part from an electrolyte imbalance after vomiting. If that's the case, the solution would be to drink something like gatorade... but I'm not sure if you're down with that, since it does have calories. (?) If I think of anything else i'll come back and post!
knorl05
.. real quick ..

crinoline: remember that when you purge you are putting unnatural amounts of pressure in your head, which could be causing the headaches. i got them real bad for a while too, they would come and go. i dont think it was anything too serious, but i've read it can be. i dont get down with scare tactics, but i have heard the pressure can lead to hemorrhaging.. so just be careful.
crinoline
Thank you both for the advice and words of warning.
I am unfortunately aware of the risks involved. I am definitely quitting for at least a week now, as I've begun to bring up blood, which hasn't happened to me in years. Good luck everyone.
_octinoxate
Crin, that must be scary. Glad to hear you're quitting at least temporarily. I wonder if it would be helpful to brainstorm things you could do instead of purging when you get that urge... ? I wonder if it could work to "purge" verbally, by writing: you could sit down with a computer or paper/pen and do stream of consciousness writing (maybe starting with "I want to purge I want to purge I want to purge" or something similar until other thoughts start coming)-??
hannahmh
octinate! i read about you being able to weigh yourself sans trauma on the becoming healthy thread. congrats! this seems like such a big accomplishment, even if you have been recovered for some time. i am quite impressed.

i am wondering when i will be able to weigh myself. sooner or later, i think it will good of me to come to terms with numbers on scales without letting them freak me out. how long did it take you?

and crinoline, i'm so sorry. that sounds scary. a virtual hug. hang in there.

cheers smile.gif
hannah



octinate! i read about you being able to weigh yourself sans trauma on the becoming healthy thread. congrats! this seems like such a big accomplishment, even if you have been recovered for some time. i am quite impressed.

i am wondering when i will be able to weigh myself. sooner or later, i think it will good of me to come to terms with numbers on scales without letting them freak me out. how long did it take you?

and crinoline, i'm so sorry. that sounds scary. a virtual hug. hang in there.

cheers smile.gif
hannah

_octinoxate
Hey hannah, thanks so much for stopping in to say congrats! I really appreciate it! (I know you get it!)

It took me three years. Patience patience. You'll know when it's time, I'm sure.

How are you doing?

And crin, what's up? How are you holding up?
hannahmh
it goes ok. i'm trying to take it one day at a time...the ratio of good days to hard/bad ones seems to be climbing a bit. if only a bit.

i was so close to weighing myself the other day at the gym. i was feeling strong and comfy in my body/skin and the scale seemed undaunting, like i could face it and accept it. i nearly stepped on but stopped myself at the last moment. damn am i glad i did! i don't think weighing myself, yet, is a necessary battle. i don't think i could be totally ok with the number, whatever it is.

i think i'm maintaining my weight but sometimes i feel like i am not at all. my therapist says i look the same for the last few months, which is my goal. which is great. in moments of anxiety, i don't trust myself at all. it's weird, because i have wanted to go to my mom in the past for reassurance (i need someone to tell me, it's ok, you look ok), but this seems to be the wrong place to turn. we are very close, but i feel like she never says the "right thing." and she knows this, and also feels like she is trying so hard to help but can never seem to say the "right thing," and gets mad at me/herself.

it's interesting because i don't lack confidence in other areas of my life. i know i am smart and kind and passionate and a wonderful friend and successful at many, or most, of the things i do. but i don't know, on some level, that i am ok physically, that i am not ugly or fat or somehow unacceptable. which is, objectively speaking, absurd. i don't think anyone would ever think to call me ugly. and mostly, i don't walk around feeling ugly. but sometimes i do, and it is this highly irrational, intense, anxious state of feeling really gross and unlovable and hideous. i haven't slipped into it for a little while, so that's good. something i've been trying to do is talk myself out of it. just STOP my obsessive, negative thoughts and replace them with distractions or at least something a bit more kind and gentle.

i can't lie: it does help to have a veryvery cute boy who thinks i am pretty and sexy. but ultimately, i don't think it is a good idea to have my confidence depend on the approval or response of others.

love and luck and thanks to everyone,
hannah



_octinoxate
Hannah, i'm happy to hear that the good days are getting more and more common!

Do you have any ideas about why your self-doubt is only about the physical, while you're confident in all other areas? I'm trying to remember if it was the same way for me... my memories are real hazy but I'm inclined to say that when I'd be in a self-doubt/ self-loathing place, it bled over into *everything*, not just my body/looks. I wonder, though, if for some of us the body/the physical is just an apt symbol for ourselves... if doubting the quality of our bodies/looks is a roundabout way of doubting whether or not we're fundamentally loveable. Who knows?

(Speaking of that, though--ugh! I just woke up for the day a bit ago, from a dream where the guy I'm involved with IRL was telling me that I was a bit too "hefty" for him to be with long-term so he didn't see much of a future for us. In the dream, I remember not being able to tell if he was joking or not--because my body was pretty good and because that would be such a shallow thing to say--, and thinking that I wouldn't put that past him, and thinking how lame he was. Then pondering whether or not that would be the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back to make me dump him. While overall it wasn't a real pretty dream to have, I realized that it's awesome that even dream-me concluded that my body was fine and that he was just a lame-ass! Go dream-me!)

Haha, I guess situations like the one in my dream confirm the truth of what you said: it's better to not base your opinion of yourself on what other people tell you! But really, I don't think it's bad if your new guy's opinion of you is helping you recover... it doesn't mean you're forever going to base your opinion on other peoples' opinions, it's just a step up, you know?

Hey, if you ever need the "it's okay, you look okay" from somebody and you don't have that person IRL, we can do it for ya! If that wouldn't mean anything to you without us knowing what you look like, feel free to send a picture via PM (if you're comfortable with that)!
hannahmh
octinoxate,

thanks for sharing your dream: you go, dream-girl! it's cray how that stuff haunts us, though, even if it's in a much "better" (healthier!) way than before.

maybe i'm overesting my confidence in other aspects of my life. it can be fragile, too. i especially tend to be worried about what others think of me: even when it doesn't matter, even when i don't value or respect their opinion. the people pleaser part of me surfaces a lot, and it's a part of me i don't like.

it's also a part of me that seems somehow related the ed stuff.

actually, i think it might be really cool thing to send a picture. i lack anyone in real life to get the "it's okay, you look okay" from, and i would be happy getting that from busties instead...how do i go about doing it, logistially? could i email a pic to you perhaps, octi?

knorl05
i love how dreams symbolize a lot for us by way of our subconscious thoughts and feelings. i had a real tough time with people my sophomore-senior years in HS. i would still have dreams about it years after high school centering around the dynamic between myself and others. and i have found the stronger i become as an individual, the more it's reflected in my dreams. i love being in a dream where i come to a realization about myself knowing that i have grown. i've found after doing so i'm able to put that shit to rest. so i can relate, _octi.
_octinoxate
(hey hannah, did you get my PM with my email address? ...I don't actually know how to post a pic on the site--though there is a "say cheese" thread just for photos of busties--so feel free to send one via email if you'd like.)

How do you think the people-pleaser in you relates to ED stuff? I can think of a couple possible things, but I'm wondering where you're coming from..?
crinoline
Dreams can be a way for our subconscious selves to communicate. It's excellent that your subconscious is telling you how much you rock Octi! Once you are completely okay with yourself, you've really made it!! Thank you for sharing with us, I know dreams are very personal.

Hannah- I relate to being a "people pleaser".
I have lived my entire life, and no I'm not exaggerating, trying to make other people happy. I'm one of several children, but I have always been the favorite, which sounds great, but there is a lot of pressure to be "perfect" and not to let anyone down. I have never made a decision without considering how it will affect other people. Everything I have done, from cheerleading as a teen to my major in college, was because I thought it would make someone else happy. The first decisions I made for myself, to please myself, were after I left home and changed colleges. And I want to please EVERYONE, even people I don't know, and that is just impossible and unnecessary.

I'm sorry, I have a tendency to ramble, you just struck a chord in me. Crinoboy gets very upset with me because I'm unable to do things that would hurt or even displease people I care about. It's a constant point of contention.

I can tell you, that you are ok. More than ok, in fact. And although you don't know me, and vice versa IRL, I do mean that.

Regarding my ED: I have been doing better. Once I hit rock bottom I usually pop back up again. The first thing I'm doing is removing all of my "trigger" foods. And tonight I'm making a low-cal, low-fat peanut butter pie (I hope my recipe is a success!).
knorl05
everyone's a people pleaser for different reasons. i'm one too.. and what i'm learning is that -for me- i'm ok with being one as long as i know my boundaries. that's just fundamentally who i am.. and rather than try to change it.. it's better i learn how to put myself first. putting myself first does not mean that i dont consider other people in the situation, it just means that my well being is first and foremost. i've realized there is no guarantee that being a people-pleaser is in fact improving any else's well being.. and so if i do it for my own well being, it better not be the source of any negative feelings. does that make sense? i think it can be summed up with a sheryl crow lyric, 'if it makes you happy, then why are you so sad'
knorl05
arg. *derailed* :-(
hannahmh
knorl--damn, i totally agree with you in that "there is no guarantee that being a people-pleaser is in fact improving any else's well being.. and so if i do it for my own well being, it better not be the source of any negative feelings."

i spent my teenage years being overweight, not dramataically so, but enough for me to feel like a "fat girl." (although i am not overweight now, and often still feel like a fat girl.) as i lost weight, i got a lot of positive feedback. i was really into a guy who said "you look good, but you'd be so ridiculously hot if you lost weight." as i lost weight, he was encouraging and had a lot of admiration for my thinner body. everyone seemed to respond to me differently, quite suddenly. so it was not far fetched at all to get the impression that people liked me better when i was thinner. they did! i was, to them, more acceptable and prettier, and people were explicit in saying so.

it is disgusing that we live in such a superficial and judgemental world, but it is also very much the reality. especially when i worked as a hostess in this reallyreally intense, hot ny restaurant. my boss made it clear that he hired me because i looked a certain way, etc, and would always scrutinize what i was wearing and how i was looking. it was horrible and degrading and unfair; i realized it at the time but i certainly internalized the pressure. (of course that same boss commented, when i was at my thinnest--only a few pounds thinner than when he hired me--that i was looking a little skinny and he hoped i "wasn't on some starvation campaign or anything.") the guy who had told me to lose weight, too, told me that he hoped i wasn't developing any food/eating issues and wanted to let me know that if i was, he couldn't help me work them out. funny how the same people who are such enablers are unwilling or unable or simply refuse to help at all.

blah, sorry for such tangents.

i need to work on only being able to like myself when other people like me, and when i know that. i need to get validation from me. but that seems like a goal pretty far in the distance.

on another note, i am interested, in what "eating normally" entails for those recovered ed-ers. do you eat three meals a day? what do you do when you eat too much? did you ever really "legalize" all foods or are there still some things you won't/don't eat? do you have a fairly standard routine of what you eat every day, or does it vary a whole lot? how long did you take to find a way to eat that felt right and healthy?
knorl05
hannah: yep. it's amazing what you learn about human nature through your own unique experiences. especially when there are so many people who are very willing to submit to some really ugly aspects of being human. the comments and the ignorance.. hard to ignore. people are hypocrites and many dont have the capacity to really understand the weight of their words. and you're right, that's reality. everyone's fucked up, everyone's imperfect.. and it's pretty humbling to realize that. that's why all any of us can do is forgive ourselves for being human and then continue just trying to live as authentically as we can. my therapist says, "the fear of not being good enough is not yours to own." the constant need for validation.. i know it well. but the ironic thing is that no matter how many times i got it, it was never enough.. it never touched in me what i was hoping it would. and after years i've learned it's because those comments, those opinions, are meaningless. if i allow myself to be uplifted when they approve of me, i then leave myself open to be let down when they dont. so when i purged the cycle, i also purged the ideas i had about beauty and sexuality. and it was fucking intense.. but i knew it's what i needed to do. so no matter how far your goals may seem, as long as you stay dedicated to them, they will come.

re, the food. i eat a light, semi-vegetarian diet. the bulk of what i eat is low-cal low-fat, which allows me the freedom to have a rich meal, or a cookie, or a few chocolates.. whenever i choose to. as many times as i've heard it, what it really comes down to is moderation. i eat when i'm hungry. i do try to stick to three meals a day just because it feels most natural to me. if you allow yourself to remember why it's important for you to work through the cycle.. that your well being is *so much* more important than their transitory approval of who they think you are.. then you'll find yourself relying on it less and less.
_octinoxate
Ugh. I wish people would be more careful with their words. Your experiences, hannah, reminded me of the comment that I can say kicked off (though didn't cause, all by itself) my ED: my mom saw me after we'd been apart for a couple of months and told me "You've gotten fat! It's like you have this... this tire!" I fixated on that comment for a long time, whereas she quickly forgot she'd ever even said it. Anyway, I've come to realize that usually peoples' insensitive comments come from their own issues and fears about their bodies, and like knorlo said, are not "mine to own."

On "eating normally": I've been vegetarian for a long time, since way before the ED, and still follow that lifestyle. Generally do three meals a day, b/c I hate the feeling of constantly being on the verge of being hungry. I like feeling full and satisfied (though not over-stuffed)... before I was fully recovered I never really allowed myself to have a complete meal and be full, as it felt like I'd fucked up.

Definitely a fan of snacks to get me through afternoons. All foods are "legal", but I find that those supposedly dangerous foods don't actually appeal to me much (maybe b/c they don't have any power now). I definitely indulge in sweet stuff fairly often, but prefer healthier sweet stuff (say, some dark chocolate). I don't like how my body feels when I eat junky, fatty food... it's just not a nice thing to do to my body for health reasons (and "health" does not equal "weight" anymore).

If I eat "too much" (which rarely happens anymore since I've learned to listen to my body better) I just say "Whatever, it'll jump-start my metabolism" and put on looser pants for the rest of the night smile.gif And usually I only overindulge like that on special occasions, so I can take comfort in the the fact that it was probably worth it!

Oh yeah, and: it took me about two and a half years (and a major injury related in part to compulsive exercise) to get here.
knorl05
If I eat "too much" (which rarely happens anymore since I've learned to listen to my body better) I just say "Whatever, it'll jump-start my metabolism" and put on looser pants for the rest of the night And usually I only overindulge like that on special occasions, so I can take comfort in the the fact that it was probably worth it!

i've found this to be key too.. self forgiveness when or if you do happen to fluctuate between that three to five pounds. i'm not a fan of rachael ray, but she made a comment about holiday pounds that i really respected. when people asked her what she does to take off the weight after she indulges during the holidays, she said nothing. she has pants in three sizes for when she does put on weight but eventually it will just come back off. and i think that's essential to realize that when you eat a balanced diet, your weight will reflect that and remain pretty constant. the main reason we put on weight is due to over-eating and/or lack of activity (with the occasional health concern as a contributor).
crinoline
I just wanted to hop in and let ya'll know that after reading your posts on self-forgiveness, I did not purge after eating pizza. For the first time probably since high school.
hannahmh
yay yay yay!! big congratulations in your direction.

_octinoxate
Crin, that's awesome!!!! It must feel so good to able to say that! I'm happy for you!
knorl05
oh my god that's amazing crinoline! what an accomplishment!
hannahmh
has anyone read "gaining" by aimee liu? i just bought it and started it, and it's thus far quite insightful and interesting. i'm really enjoying reading it and going to finish it on the plane to north carolina tomorrow.

i'm off to visit a friend i met while traveling in mexico, just for the weekend. he's a dancer and a lot of fun and i'm pretty damn pumped. the two primary activities he has planned for us include dancing and cooking/eating. he's particularly excited to experiment with his good friend the deep fryer. he means it half in jest and half with utmost pride, as it is his favorite emblem of being a good 'ol southern boy. in planning the trip he said, "i don't think we'll be able to eat all the food i have planned," and i responded, "i think you are underestimating my appetite." he continued, "i'm not being explicit enough. i don't think two people can physically consume the quantity of food i have planned in the amount of time you will be here." jokingly i responded "should i expect to return 42 pounds heavier" and he said, "i wouldn't worry about a thing, as we'll be dancing our asses off all night."

so, anyway, i'm going to try to not sweat the food stuff and enjoy. it's not like a deep fryer is part of my normal life. but "not sweating the food stuff," is not such a small deal, as you guys know. i have been doing so well, and this seems like it will be a challenge. on the other hand, it might not be. he's such a relaxed, easy going kind of guy, i plan for it that chillness to rub off on me. it is vacation after all. (spring break after my last midterm tomorrow morning!). so i want to enjoy his fried delicacies and dance dance dance and banish my body hatred and food worries. they can go on vacation for the weekend, too. i really hope so!
knorl05
that sounds awesome hannah.. enjoy yourself. it totally comes down allowing yourself to experience the small joys of life. you will do fine, that i know, because you are going into it with your eyes wide open. smile.gif be sure to tell us about it when you get back!
crinoline
Yes, definitely don't sweat it hannah,
Well, do "sweat it" on the dance floor, but just relax and have a fantastic vacation!

I'm leaving on a cruise for spring break, which will have a constant barrage of delicious foods, but I also intend to burn it up on the dance floor every night. I'm going to take a cue from you and not let this ED thing ruin a wonderful time.
_octinoxate
Hannah, I found that the people I was hanging out/eating with always made a huge difference in my attitude about food/body. If I was with someone who was anxious about those things like I was, I stay anxious. If I was with someone who had a healthy outlook on it, it was soooo encouraing and healing. A good role model and all that... I think you may find that you have a wonderful experience eating all those "culinary delights" with your buddy! Have fun!

Crin, I hope you have a blast and a ED-free vacation (or as close to it as possible) too!! It's not every day you get to eat yummy chef-prepared food... eat some on my behalf will ya? (If you "overeat" and need to cope with it, just tell yourself that that second helping was for your friend octi smile.gif )
hannahmh
i am in total agreement, octi, about the importance of the right company. for me, it makes att the difference. the weekend was the right company--totally laid back and devoid of food/body issues and anxiety, and it rubbed off on me. i ate all sorts of fried things, some tasty, some not so much. i came home craving fresh fruits and veggies! but i was able to be unusually relaxed about food. i had a great time, and did dance my ass off.

actually, it's been much harder at home. i have a week of spring break, and although it is fairly filled with things to do, people to see, the lack of structure is difficult for me. more time to think mean things about my body, beat myself up, and raid the parents' kitchen. being at home is hard, for a variety of reasons, although i really do enjoy it. and, that said, spring break is already half over! the nice guy at the gym here also gave me a free week's membership. so here i go, off to start my day with a little cardio, which always puts me in a better mood and is a good start. and the beautiful weather is helping more than a little.

hope you had fun, crin!

knorl05
i saw a program on 20/20 about crack addicts. they did a study and they found out that just the sound of lighting up the crack pipe will trigger a binge. i would imagine it's the same with any addiction... reminders, environments, sounds, smells.. bring back memories of the binges and take the person right back to that time. i think that's why it's so important to be away of our triggers, so that we're able to stop it before it takes hold.

hannah: maybe simply being at home offers you the comfort and security to engage in the cycle, and that is your trigger?
_octinoxate
Hannah, I'm so glad to hear that your break went so well, food-wise and otherwise! Yay!

Word to what knorlo says about triggers.
hannahmh
hi everyone.

i just had a little bit of a nervous breakdown inspired by the fact that my mom told me i was gaining weight and needed to "watch myself." she said this in response to me asking her "how my weight was." i felt like i wanted/needed reassurance, yet like somehow i could handle her honesty. i didn't get that reassurance and i couldn't handle that honesty. it kind of serves me right for asking!

i have been feeling actually pretty good in my body. part of it is that i am feeling sexy--seeing someone i care about who obviously thinks i'm quite sexy. although i did really have an emotional unravelling, my mom and i were able to talk about some stuff that has been lying around unsaid for a long time. my mom has struggled with being overweight all her life (despite her having some of the healthiest eating habits of anyone i know), and she fears that i will struggle with the same thing. she always wants and wanted to be thin, thought it would make life and things easier and happier, and saw my success at losing weight as just that--success. that's how i saw it, too. she said this.

she is anxious that my lifestyle, which includes a lot of going out and cooking and eating, is not conducive to thinness. i've been dating a chef and having such a wonderful time cooking and eating new and wonderful things. things that i have forbidden for so long, or would never approach just because they have such mysterious but obviously high caloric counts (crazy delicacies from china town bakeries, indian fast food huts, thai coconut curries). i haven't weighed myself but it's now undeniable that i am heavier than i've been for a while. even though i guess i HAVE been denying it. to myself, at least. i need to learn how to moderate myself. to enjoy these things in small or reasonable quantities, then stop. i still have that all or nothing mindset, and tendencies towards excess. so if i'm eating delicious things, i want to keep eating delicious things. and then i want dessert! i used to follow these "bad days" with days of rigid restriction, but i'm not doing that anymore. so they're just piling up. i think it is possible to find a way to balance a little better without being a control freak. maybe the pendulum is just winging the other way, and i can realize that and allow it swing back a little.

i'm trying really hard to feel a little better and be kind to myself.
right now, though, i feel very fragile. for some reason, when i'm hurt this way, when i'm hating my body and scared of it, it is a very painful and raw and awful kind of hurting. i want to curl up in a ball and hide.

thanks for listening,
hannah


_octinoxate
Oh hannah, darling! I'm sorry you're facing this sort of stuff. (((hannah)))

I had a similar experience with my mother-- actually, it was the event that catalyzed my ED to begin with. Similarly, my mom has had weight/body issues for a long time and I'm sure she believed she was telling me this stuff "for my own good". But actually--of course--no, it wasn't good for me at all. Still, I took it very seriously and let it hit me really hard. (And I spent the next three hours out running--in the rain-- to try to burn off fat.)

I find that in my own life/relationship, as well as in those of my girlfriends, the connection between moms and daughters is fucking intense. Moms can say things that wouldn't have much of an impact coming from someone else's mouth, but from them, it has a whole different meaning. (I mean, hello, if some guy I went on a date with told me I was a bit on the fat side and needed to watch myself, I'd tell him to fuck right off, and I'd be certain the problem was his and not mine.. you know?) Anyway, it's taken me a long time to be able to (mostly) realize that my mom's issues are her issues, and not mine. I try not to take things personally 'cause they're really not about me. I try to gently just push her issues back to her instead of accepting them as my own.

It sounds like although that conversation hit you hard, you're recouping really well! I'm happy to hear that you're not going into rigid restriction mode. Keep posting if you find that the "talking" helps!!

P.S.- I am SO jealous that you're dating a chef. Seriously, it would be a crime not to take advantage of that! smile.gif
P.P.S.- Your body is fine! You are beautiful!
hannahmh
oh octi, huge thanks.

i am actually crying out of relief, too (no longer just sadness), i feel like there’s a lot of hope/joy/potential for really good things. that i need to just get some of this awful shit out of my system, but that it is waiting on the other side.

how have you solved or dealt with the mom stuff? it sounds like realizing her problems are hers, not yours, was a really vital key in doing so.

do you not discuss weight/body image/eating/etc at all, because it carries so much nasty baggage? or have you found a way to talk about these things constructively and honestly?

much of the convo i had with my mom today involved her being unusually open, honest about her own issues. that was a great start, i think, to having an honest dialogue. which i really do crave, largely because i am so close with my mom. i, too, feel i need to work on being less acutely (over)sensitive to this stuff coming from her, because it puts a ton of pressure on her—which she’s told me she feels—to always say the “right thing.”
crinoline
Oh hannah, I'm sorry. Mother-daughter issues can be so complex. It sounds like you've already realized some very important things though, that her body image issues are her own, and that you may be super sensitive to everything she says. I know I am with my mom. I find that my dialogue with myself was heavily influenced by the way my mother has referred to herself my entire life. For instance, when adressing myself (in my head, although sometimes outloud to the mirror) I use words like "fat" ALOT and "stupid". My mother is constantly referring to herself as fat, no matter what anyone says to her. Yeah, anyway, I'm not here to talk about me.
Good luck hannah, I'm so glad you've found the hope/potential of the situation!
knorl05
hannah: x3 on the sympathy from over here too. i'm in my late twenties and i too still feel the sting of thoughtless comments from my parents. i've had to come to terms with the fact that they are not perfect or all knowing. it sounds logical enough, but i've noticed that somewhere in my head i still hold the idea that my parents views and opinions are almost more important than my own. and it's simply not true. they are their own complex imperfect beings with their own issues and insecurities and experiences that result in their own view of the world. i think it is important to detach ourselves from who they are and just continue to listen to our own wisdom. keep doing what you are doing, you are on the right track.. you are in the process of healing, which is a very subjective experience for each person. as hard as it is, just remember that she means no harm and then forgive her for her temporary lapse of couth.
hannahmh
thanks, chicas, as usual, for sympathy and wisdom.

i'm curious how you've managed to deal with the mom thing after acknowledging all the sensitivity/complexity wrapped up with it. i guess i want to ask again, to everyone, the question i had directed towards octi:

these days do you not discuss weight/body image/eating/etc at all, because it carries so much nasty baggage? or have you found a way to talk about these things constructively and honestly?

crin: hey, talking about you is good! i am unabashedly "here to talk about me," and it is really nice and helpful to hear other people's stories and such. my mother constantly refers to herself as fat, too. it's hard to hear that over and over again growing up and have it not rub off at all.

something else that i got from my mom: there's also this view of food, especially food that is not totally "healthy" which i think is really common in women, as "bad." like it carries some mark of malevolence, and consuming it is a sign of weakness. that it should, and inherently does, inspire guilt. i think these views are irrational and damaging, but i a large part of me is still having trouble shaking them!
_octinoxate
Re: how I deal with "the mom thing" (aptly stated!)... it's basically just taken a long time as well as some therapy smile.gif (that I went to for reasons originally unrelated to the ED and to my mom). And some sympathy/understanding/reframing/an open mind and heart. Which is tough to pull off, and I often don't do it successfully. Stuff still really gets to me sometimes. But yeah, basically, I just have to remember that my mom's a real person with her own suffering, her own struggles, her own issues, because of how *she* was brought up, the messages *she* was given from family/friends/culture, etc. But I don't have to inherit those things like I inherit genetic traits.

Re: discussing weight/body issues... I love it. I love talking about this stuff from time to time (of course, not often or obsessively) when it's with the right people. I find it really healthy and rewarding. After all, our bodies are so important: without them, we wouldn't be here. So I like talking about health, food, my body... and how I feel about and deal with all of it. I find that talking about it, esp. with other women, normalizes a lot of stuff, helps us to make sense of it, helps us to resist pressure and give each other support. (Like this forum smile.gif ) But of course, I can only take so much before it just gets plain old boring. (Which happens way before the point of it getting unhealthy for me.)

I also think-- this is about the "nasty baggage" part of the question-- that talking about any sort of struggle/trauma/etc. leads us to create a narrative about it: a story with a beginning, middle, and (at some point) an end, which makes it all make sense. And sense-making is important to mental health, I think. (We do, of course, have to be careful of the story/narrative/sense we make, as we can cast ourselves as victims, or as survivors, or as hopeless, or as strong, or.... )
hannahmh
how is everyone doing?

i'm afraid my own answer to that question is not too well. not since that comment from my mom. i can't blame that, but i seem to have had this relapse of all the unhealthy stuff i did minus the restrictive part.

i've been gaining weight, i feel, although i haven't stepped on the scale. i am feeling very self conscious of my flabbiness--it is especially located in belly area. there is now officially a visible roll, and it kinda freaks me out.

i have been trying just to eat "healthy" but failing miserably. i beat myself up too often, and then have these awful almost binges--i will just want everything i can find, but won't let myself eat the whole thing/take a whole serving. so i will eat just a piece of a cookie, and a few chips, and a bite of lasagna, and a bite of ice cream, and then another bite of a cookie, and i know it's too much (after all, i'm gaining weight), and i know my messed up behavior is totally a result of putting food "off-limits" to myself and my all or nothing thinking (you've fucked up, so it doesn't matter if you eat morrrrrrre). it's weird because i am so aware of it and doing it anyway!! i thought i was "over" or atleat "getting over" all this stuff. but i'm reverting to it almost, it seems, naturally. i don't know what to do now that i am no longer skinny--whereas before i could justify a binge to myself by being really thin, now i can't quite let myself binge (like i said, i keep having these not quite binges) but i don't seem to have this "will power" i had before to eat less. i'm a mess.

arg.

again, thanks for letting me vent. any advice as always would be much appreciated.

hope you guys are doing well and feeling good!
hannah
knorl05
oh hannah. i want to say just the right thing for you at this time to let you know it will be ok. what you have described, that is bulimia (obviously, i know, but it is all a part of the sickness). you have an eating disorder. try not to get angry at yourself over it because that does not help any. instead acknowledge that you have this illness and then consciously make the choices that will slowly get you out of it. i know it is so much easier said than done, especially when you're in the thick of it and so overwhelmed with your emotions that you dont know what else to do.

i'd say the two determining factors that got me out of the cycle was the fear of rotting my teeth out and just plain being SICK and tired of giving myself over to the bulimia. i became so exhausted even just thinking of the binge/purge cycle. i was the type that would go out every night and spend $30 on binge food and then alternate between sitting in front of the TV and kneeling in front of the toilet. it was sad. it was a waste of energy, time, food, and money. i hated it, i hated myself for doing it. but i felt i couldnt stop. i prayed for strength and the will power to stop. eventually i realized that if i was going to change my habits, i had to change my habits. i decided it was time. and sure i've had relapses, but they are in the past now. i eventually got to know the things i can and cant eat but i dont limit it to "healthy" or unhealthy. it's like i allow myself to mix it up.. i let myself eat a cookie or two and i dont freak out about it because i know that realistically i am not going to get fat over it. ironically enough, i've been able to maintain a lower weight than when i was bulimic. and i stress maintain because while i was bulimic my weight would go up and down so dramatically that i was never able to stay one size for long. that in itself drove me batty. when my weight was up, i was disgusted with myself and i would engage in rigorous exercise and restriction and diet pills and laxatives until i got my weight down again. it's amazing to me that i would destroy my body like that.. i just wasnt in control.

so i guess the moral of the story, what i have learned.. is what i needed to focus on wasnt the food, but in learning self-control. i've had to teach myself that self discipline and self respect are what get me what i truly want out of life. i am fulfilled and i am able to use more of my time and energy to do the things that make me feel good about myself.

i hope some of this helped. i only share with you what i have gone through so that you know you are not alone and it's ok. i'm sorry you are feeling overwhelmed and frustrated. i guess the only thing i can say is figure out what you need and then begin to create that for yourself.
_octinoxate
((((((hannah)))))))


The main thing I want to say to you is this: Progress is not linear. The fact that you're struggling lately or engaging in unhealthy habits does NOT negate all the progress you've made-- and are still going to make! (And are making even right now: you're not doing the restrictive stuff anymore- it's only a partial relapse, right?) Try to look at your overall trajectory and not get too down about this backslides. It's a natural part of recovery, ok? Progress is not linear.

Also, it sounds like maybe you need a good laugh and some empathy, so maybe you'd be interested in checking out Margaret Cho's standup where she goes into her own eating disorder. I think it's in the show "I'm the One that I Want."
hannahmh
knorlo, thanks for your story. i do not have bulimia--i've never purged or thrown up my food. nor do i ever really eat until i'm uncomftorably full, so i'm not sure if i should qualify what i'm doing as a "binge" but it is exactly a binge in the sense that i feel totally out of control. it really makes me me hopeful that you're able to maintain a lower weight now that you're over your ed--part of me is very scared that i can't eat normally (not have anerexic eating patterns) and maintain a lowish weight. that i am destined to be fat, or some nonesense. thanks for the advice. i guess i am just feeling kind of terrified and vulnerable and very very guilty for both having gained weight and for this "relapsing" behavior.

octi, i know that progress is not linear, but i feel so ready to be done with this already! i will def check out the margaret cho piece.

thanks xooo, hannah
knorl05
QUOTE(hannahmh @ Apr 12 2007, 03:55 PM) *
so i will eat just a piece of a cookie, and a few chips, and a bite of lasagna, and a bite of ice cream, and then another bite of a cookie, and i know it's too much ...


sorry about that... i guess i read the above statement and assumed you also struggle with bulimia. i know that bulimics will start off the day eating in small portions and then end the day consuming large amounts of food because they feel they have eaten too much.

either way. jus remember that whatever you concoct in your head about gaining weight is only a fear. it is not reality.
crinoline
I'm sorry you feel bad, hannah.
I know exactly what you mean about trying to be "good" but just having a "bite" of cookie, or whatever. I've actually been kinda avoiding this thread because I've been doing so badly. After a few months of successful portion control/ eating only the recommended amount of calories a day, I fell off the wagon. Into a puddle of ick. Last night I ate raw cookie dough, as well as easter candy. Both of those are big no-nos. I haven't gained any weight yet, but I feel very weak. (I know what you mean about willpower).
Also, I would like to point out that bulimia does not necessarily mean throwing up, there are different types of bulimia, one in which the person "purges" with unusual amounts of exercise, one involving the use of laxatives, and the most commonly known variety to which you refer.
I would just like to reiterate the phrase "Progress is not linear" That concept really helps me out when I feel weak and worthless. Just because you did not entirely stick to your original eating plan does not mean that you have not come a long way.

Good luck everyone, sorry I didn't check in sooner!

And knorlo- thank you for sharing your story, it helps to hear from other people who have "been there".
hannahmh
Knorlo, it is interesting that I don’t really have bulimia, but I clearly have some bulimic ways of behaving and even thinking. Even when I was diagnosed with anorexia and in the thick of it, I didn’t ascribe to many anorexic symptoms or criteria. I think labels are and are not helpful, but when it comes down to it, what mattered was establishing there was something wrong and I needed to fix it. Less with my body (although I was too skinny) and more with my head! The way I talked to myself, treated myself, fed myself, was clearly deeply fucked up.

I think a lot of those disordered ways of eating are very similar. For me, the problem is the name itself—the lack of any order. The chaos, which is exactly what I do with my not-quite-purges, by refusing to eat meals and then eating all these unhealthy snacks, or starving myself and then getting ravenous and eating almost a whole box of cereal (which has happened more than once).

Crin, I’m right there with you about the really tough time. I’m lucky that I have a really smart, bright, wonderful therapist. We came up with a goal for my next week that I think is a really good goal for me: I am to eat three meals, and that’s it. if I know it’s going to be a long time between meals, I should plan a snack, but no chaotic “snacking” throughout the day. That way I can eat food when it’s appropriate—at meal times, and put it out of my mind during the rest of the day (I don’t think I’ve come close, yet, to food ever being really entirely “out of my mind,” but it’s certainly a goal, and a good one.) During meals, I am supposed to eat “across the food groups” she calls it. I’m supposed to stop when I’m full, not before, and not too much after. It seems very simple. It’s been two days. I haven’t been perfect, but it’s as you say about the process…and as far as perfection is concerned, a big part of overcoming this ed for me is about overcoming my obsession with perfection. I can be happy, healthy, and at a good weight and not eat perfectly. I can be beautiful and not have a perfect body (right? Sigh. This one is still hard for me to believe about myself). Trying to be perfect all the time is setting myself up for perpetual disappointment and misery.

Crin, know it’s ok and good to not follow your or any eating plan completely rigidly—that if you mess up a little, its ok. I completely identify with that all or nothing thinking: “I’ve messed up my eating plan, so it doesn’t matter if I eat cookie dough and easter candy (yum!) or whatever.” I don’t know—life does and should involve a little bit of raw cookie dough and easter candy. Just not enough to make you feel ick, or bad about yourself, or as you say, like you’re not in control. For me, I will feel successful less when I stick to any kind of eating plan, and more when food is a part of my life that causes joy and not stress. When I can think about it constructively and not obsessively. When I can be happy in my body and accepting of it. And, of course, feel confident, and healthy, and in shape. It seems like such a terribly long way off from where I am not, but it helps to think about it, and know that that is what I want for myself. And, damn, I want it very bad.

Again—I always always appreciate advice. Any ways of breaking out of the cycle of self destructive, nasty thoughts? Of beating yourself up about what you’ve eaten and shouldn’t have, or weight you’ve gained? I feel like a healthy attitude, for me, translates into healthy eating habits.

Crin, I wish I could give you a big hug. I know how much all of this sucks You’re not in it alone! And, as these fabulous recovered busties can attest, there is lots of hope.
crinoline
Thank you hannah, for both the support and the hug *hugs back*

You are absolutely right that we need to work on our heads before we can "fix" our bodies. The manner in which I address myself disturbs me, and it is certainly not helping with my ED. I would never address another person in such a way, and I would not tolerate anyone else addressing me this way (I hope!). I have a problem with the words "stupid" "fat" and "bitch" inserting themselves any time I "talk" to myself. I used to have problems with physically abusing myself, but I have overcome that and am left with only verbal abuse.

Any type of disordered eating does have at least one thing in common - an unhealthy way of thinking about, and interacting with, food. There is a lack of "order" in that we lose control. I know that I lose control with both binging and purging. I used to only eat a small amount of carefully portioned food, only to purge it soon after. That is how I lost weight from the time I hit puberty. Then I got into a binging cycle and the purging got so intense (I hate bringing up blood) that I quit purging, but still had the binging. So I gained weight. I find it very difficult to maintain balanced, "ordered" eating habits.

At the root of most disordered eating is an abnormal and unhealthy way of thinking about food. (and by that I do not mean that it is the only root or source, just a large contributing factor). I know that I cannot get through a day without obsessing on food. I am constantly thinking about it, what I can and can't eat, what I wish I could eat, what I shouldn't have eaten. From the moment I wake up, I begin thinking about my next meal, and once I get through that meal, I think about the next. It can also be extremely difficult for me to avoid snacking between meals.

hannah said: "For me, I will feel successful less when I stick to any kind of eating plan, and more when food is a part of my life that causes joy and not stress. When I can think about it constructively and not obsessively."
That is exactly right! The key is getting past the obsession.
I'm so glad that you have such a wonderful therapist!! I know how much of a difference a truly good therapist can make. Keep hanging on, and I know that you will make a stellar recovery!

Good vibes to everyone, I hope you are well.
knorl05
notice how what you say to yourself about whom you are, affects your overall well being..?

hannah: you are right, labels do not matter much. they only help to direct you to a solution to your "disordered" patterns. bulimic, anorexic.. really we all fall into the same patterns when we have an eating disorder. what i'm saying is, in its essence, this is the eating disorder. not to say that we dont all experience it differently, or that we dont have different reasons we engage, but something about the relationship between our self-perception and our eating choices is skewed. i think crinoline described it best.
_octinoxate
Hi hannah, crin, knorlo. I'm sorry to say I'm swamped with work and only have time for a fly-by, but I just wanted to give hugs to all!
((((((((((ED thread busties))))))))))))
knorl05
*bump*

how's it goin girls?
MaybeSparrow
I entered this forum cautiously because I feel like I maybe shouldn't be here. Although I do not have typical anorexia or bulimia, food and exercise rule my life. I am completely obsessed with food, I pour over cookbooks, love grocery shopping, and talking about food. Yet, everything I eat makes me feel guilty, and I work often. I am of normal weight and eat very very healthily and I only work out in normal amounts so I don't really have a "eating disorder" ---but I know my relationship with food is unhealthy and detrimental. Not quite sure what to call myself or how to fix my compulsions.
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