Post # 1
Hello bee friends,
Sorry this is so long, but I’m really looking for some support and light in the darkeness today. I’m looking to find others who have struggled with disordered eating and have found something (or anything) that has helped you feel at peace and escape the feelings of darkness, guilt and constant obsession with food (whether it be constricting or overeating.)
I’ll give you a little background on my experiences. I have struggled with emotional eating and food obsession, and was diagnosed with anorexia when I was 14. At that time I was a compulsive exerciser and starved myself over many months until I was severely thin and malnourished. When I was finally hospitalized I began working with a therapist and nutrition counselor and after a year of treatment, it seemed things had gotten much better and I felt less captive to my “food demons” as I have always “affectionately” called them…
I am now 25 and have swung from that end of the spectrum all the way to binge eating and living every day in deep shame and sadness as I struggle with finding my once very thin body at an obese and still very unhealthy place. I left my doctors office sobbing last week because she gave me the cold hard facts about how desperately I now need to lose weight. I already knew every word she had to say and how true it was, but I feel so desperately powerless and compelled to eat. I have swung to either side several times and fluctuated by 100 pounds on my petite 5’3” frame. There have only been a few months at a time here and there throughout the years that I felt stable, my body settled at a relatively healthy weight and I felt healthy. Only a few fleeting moments have existed where I actually was able to just view food as wonderful fuel to help my wonderful body walk through life.
My family and fiancé have been incredibly supportive and involved in helping me in any way they can, although both my parents struggle with anorexia and it is really hard to talk with them about it especially when I find myself on the other side of the pendulum. I love my career, I love my friends, I adore my fiancé and I know that I deserve to find physical health. I have worked very hard to get where I am, and in the past I’ve found my eating disorder usually correlated with very stressful life circumstances. Right now I feel very successful in my career and passion, and feel very balanced in my personal life… Which makes me even more terrified as to why my eating is so out of control and why every day this feels like a battle that makes me feel unlovable and unworthy.
Today I made an appointment with a therapist who specializes in eating disorders and I’m hoping this will be the first step toward gaining control of this problem in my adult life, but I know this is a life-long journey. If anyone would be willing to share feelings or stories of success they’ve found with making peace with food I’d really appreciate it. Thanks in advance. xo
Post # 3
- Wedding: April 2013 - A court...
🙁 I’m also struggling, I used to obsess about what I ate, and then either work out or make myself throw up, sometimes both. Like you my weight has also fluctuated drastically, from being smaller to my current suze (+30 pounds) in the course of a couple of years. My husband loves me no matter what, but I feel bad that I gained so much weight while with him. I’m now just trying to eat better and hopefully find a nuce balance between caring too much and not enough. I hope therapy helps you <3
Post # 4
I’ve been recovering from binging and bulimia for about three weeks now and highly credit therapy with helping me really finally reach my ‘I cannot do this anymore,’ moment. I struggled with obsessing over food off and on from childhood and the tough thing with this is that part of your weight is from your body feeling ‘fear’ that it’ll be food deprived again and wanting to hold on to every calorie it gets because of your previous restrictive eating. I have found that stopping all restrictions-yes, even if you are obese-is the best way to help your body physically get over cravings, stop obsessing over eating ‘bad’ foods and stop allowing food to be such an important part of your life. I found that actively viewing food as nourishment, not a comfort or emotional outlet has helped-and I’m having to frequently remind myself of this. The first week of eating like this I ate a pastry every day and lots of carbs, and refused to feel guilty about it but this week I have lost the urge-a small piece of chocolate is enough and the rest of my meals are much smaller-my body is getting the hint that ‘bad’ foods are there if I want them but they aren’t a craving anymore because I’m showing my body it’s ‘safe.’ try looking into the book The Gabriel Method-it’s simplistic and definitely not a cure, but has a lot of good ideas about how this is more than a mental or willpower issue you can control-EDs are all about control, but this helps explain why they can’t work and how to break the cycle. Hang in there. You aren’t alone.
Post # 5
@Jazzylove: I have been struggling with ED since I was 9. I am 24 now. I went through treatment for anorexia when I was 15 and 17. I ‘recovered’, but like you I just went to the other end of the spectrum, and ended up from being around 35lbs underweight to being around 50 over. Then, bulimia kicked in. I’ve been in therapy for that for a few months now. But without a whole team, I don’t know how far it will go. Good luck!
Post # 6
@atreyu547: Yes, I hope very much for us both that we can somehow find the balance! I know what you mean about your husband loving you through it but feeling bad about him having to deal with it… I sometimes can’t believe how patient my fiance has been with me. Good luck to you! xo
@Peacockhead: I have wondered a lot about removing all restrictions… Because of course I have tried (and succeeded and then back pedalled) on so so many different eating plans… And I rebel every time because of the restrictions. The idea of letting food just be food is exactly what I’d like to accomplish. I want to take away its power. I will definitely look into The Gabriel Method, thanks so much. It is so nice not to feel alone. Congratulations on finding some peace, and may you continue to!
@LeonardLady: I really understand the feeling of needing a team… Things felt doable when I worked with the team of a psychiatrist, counselor and nutritianist… I hope we can both find great support in the people we are able to work with. Good luck and hugs!
Post # 7
I hope it is helpful. I’m still totally struggling with feeling guilty at times, and yes, initially you may gain a tiny bit, but I’m already seeing my body get better, a reduction in sweet cravings (my personal Achilles) and I have NO desire to binge, and I went an entire year binging almost daily. It’s amazing and I have no doubt you can reach that point too. Feel free to PM me any time about anything.
Post # 8
I had disordered eating habits for years, from about age 10 to 22. It got to its worst while I was in college, beacuse I could restrict and purge whenever I wanted. I aimed for less than 700 cals a day, and went to the gym daily for intense cardio and strength training, then would crack and binge and purge (laxatives were my demon). I belonged to a very destructive online journaling group that was pro-ED, and I rarely slept. My BMI didn’t drop terribly, so I was never formally diagnosed, but I would fall into the ED-NOS category.
I’m now 28, and terribly overweight. I’m looking for a therapist now (I also have GAD and Panic Disorder), and am hoping that they will also be able to help me find peace with food. I can’t “causually” diet, as I become obsessed with calorie counts and skip meals again, or turn to pills of some kind.
My moment of realization/peace came when I found my SO, and he was so distraught to learn of my habits (he was studying for a psych degree at the time). He helped me to apologize to myself (literally, facing a mirror), and it broke my heart for a little while. I moved to a healthier weight and habits, and I felt really good. WIth him I ahve been able to love myself more and give up some control, but it is a battle everyday. We want to be married next year, and I need a healthier way of feeling in control. Over the last 6 years, I have gained 70 lbs, and have very little self-esteem. SO supports as much as he can, but I need professionals again.
-hugs to OP-
Its a dark place, but light reaches us. You are lovable, you are worthy of love and happiness, and we will all find a way to the surface.
Post # 9
@Jazzylove: Congrats on taking that awesome first step!
I struggled with anorexia and bulimia as a teenager and a young adult. Therapy helped me tremendously by giving me the techniques and just the support to walk through that path. I now have a happy and healthy relationship with food and my body.
As someone who got her masters in counseling and worked at an eating disorder clinic, I want you to know that your experience is very common. So many people go from one spectrum of disordered eating to the other – so try and calm the guilt you feel about that a bit. Stop visualizing one of your “bodies” verus the other. Try and focus more on YOU. Disordered eating is disordered eating and your mind is still fighting with that “negative programming.”
From a personal side, i fought it by becoming my own best friend. I know that sounds a bit strange, but i dont know how else to describe it. I became passionate about who i am, inside and out. I learned to laugh with myself, cry with myself, experience life for the good and the bad. I learned to love – Me, unconditionally. And i learned to have unconditional faith in myself. I also never let myself leave anything unanswered. If a thought or emotion came into my head and i had one of those “ugh, i dont know why i feel like this right now” feelings, I would sit there and make myself figure out why. Afterall, every feeling and thought, originates within us. Whether it was through writing, photography, walking or just meditating, i stopped allowing myself to leave things unanswered. It wasn’t an easy road, but it was a beautiful one. I love how deeply I feel like i know myself now and how hard i had to push myself to learn to love myself unconditionally and have unconditional faith in myself.
Post # 10
@Jazzylove: I went through a period of heavily disordered eating that left me with a pretty significant health change, but I wouldn’t say that I’ve had an eating disorder. That said, I have a very close friend who was treated for bulemia and anorexia numerous times, and I’ve seen personally how difficult her journey towards recovery has been. I just wanted to step in as an outsider with a bit of understanding and say that, even though I know I’m a stranger to you, I’m in awe of the strength of character it takes to admit you have a problem and seek treatment.
Post # 11
- Wedding: April 2014 - Rebar
@Jazzylove: I dont think i have ever struggled or rather have been diagnosed with a eating disorder but when i was in middle school i would starve myself a lot. I used to skip breakfast, lunch and sometimes dinner. I was super thin and still felt super fat. This went on for three years. I used to obsesses over my weight…my mom found out about me skipping meals and tried to get me to eat at home…which i did but then i had the neccesseity to purge. I would go to the bathroom and tried many times but i never got myself to do it more then 3 or 4 times. Now i am 25 and lately i have been feeling really overweight. I am 5 feet and i weight 118 pounds. I feel really fat and i have been wanting to purge and just get rid of this weight. I am feelign the way i used to feel back when i was in middle school and it scares me a bit. I havent told my anyone but my SO. He has really supportitve in whcihever way he can. I keep distracting myself…but i am really not happy with my weight. I feel bad to even feel like this. I used to see a therapists when i was in middle school for this reason…but i am not sure as an adult i should…for soem reason it breaks my heart to feel like this. My SO always makes me feel beautiful and everyone i know things that i am at my perfect weight but i dont see it at all. what is wrong with me?…
Post # 12
First of all, thank you to everyone who has commented and shared… I logged on tonight, and your support and kindess brought me to tears. I send you all love in all of your journeys. I met with my new therapist today, and it was the most amazing breath of fresh air… She made me feel so safe, and acknowledged my pain and fears in such a compassionate way that I feel so much less alone and more like I’m ready to do the work it will take to love myself.
@steph_lady: So many hugs to you. That is so so wonderful that you have a partner who is so supportive and helpful in being able to point out signs and sort of keep watch with you. I actually am also treated for GAD, so we really have had some very similar experiences! I think we both need to lean into our wonderful partners, and I hope also that you too will find someone professional again soon so you can find your way back to some peace. I had forgotten how amazing it is to have that objective support there. This is a road we don’t need to walk alone. PM me if you ever want to talk, I’d love it. xo
@HappinessIsInDaisies: Thank you so so much for posting, everything you said was incredibly helpful. I love the idea of working on not conceptualizing two different bodies. I am me, and I sure hope I can find a way to be my own best friend too! I think the mindfulness you talked about is so essential… I find when I “leave myself” so to speak, or just shove my thoughts and feelings aside and leave things unanswered is when I binge and use food to try and fill the space instead of staying wtih myself. You are amazing and so inspirational, thank you so much for sharing.
@MrsRevolutionize: Thank you so so much for your kind words and support, I can’t tell you how much it means right now. I have felt so down on myself and guilty and dark about it that it feels so wonderful that people are happy for me as I start down this road. Thank you and many (((hugs)))
@katherin788: I’m so glad you felt comfortable sharing here, you are not alone! I deeply understand your pain, and what it is like to struggle with hatred toward your body and all the shame that comes with it. I think you should share these feelings with your SO if you can, I have drawn great strength from leaning on my fiance, and he has stood with me through this battle for 7 years. I also think you should absolutely not feel strange about seeking professional help about this as an adult! It is the kindest thing you could do for yourself. Even after my one therapy session today, I remembered just how important it is to talk with someone objective who specializes in treating the kinds of things we are dealing with. All my best wishes to you and I hope you can let someone in to help you as you work toward feeling better! xo
Post # 13
Ive had food and body issues as far back as my memories go. As early as grade one I thought I was fat. I Spent a lot of time starving myself in high school and college. I’d see how many days I could go with no food at all. The first time I purged was grade 9 but I didnt become seriously bulimic until my early 20s.
I tried therapy but it didn’t really help me. It just gave me more anxiety. I think I binged right after every session. i just wanted to learn practical ways to to overcome it but all they wanted to do was talk about my feelings and my childhood. Everybody is different though and I think it helps most people. I don’t really think I’m bulimic because of childhood trauma, I think I just legitimately never learned to properly feed myself. My mom has food issues and I think I learned all her bad habits and picked up some worse ones along the way. If you think your issue is more on the mental side then therapy will probably help, if you’re more like me then talking to a nutritionist could help too.
The best thing I’ve done is to stop trying to lose weight. For the first time in my life I don’t know what I weigh and I don’t care. I guess I haven’t gotten too fat since my clothes still fit. I do count calories still but not to restrict, I do it to make sure I’m eating enough. I eat a mimimun of 1800 calories and try to keep it under 2200. Those numbers were unfathamable to me a couple years ago. I wouldn’t eat that much in a week. now I’m not hungry all the time. I don’t obsess about food, I don’t crave anything, I dream of my next binge. I just eat when it’s time to eat. I don’t know who’s the asshole that keeps telling women to eat 1200 a day because that is not enough! I used to think it was way too much and now it makes me mad because I realize what a tiny amount of food that really is.
I havent completely recovered yet, I still binge and purge once or twice a week which might sound bad but I used to do it 3 or 4 times a day. Every waking moment was devoted to my eating disorder. I dropped out of school, I couldn’t hold a job, went into massive credit card debt mostly from junk food, all so I could starve/binge/purge. I’m doing so much better now. I’m happier than I’ve ever been and I’m still working to gradually get free of this. Its a long, hard process that I have to work at every day. I actually managed 3 solid months purge free this year! I’ve relapsed a bit but just knowing I can go that long gives me hope. Next time I’ll aim for 4 straight months 🙂
Post # 14
I struggled with anorexia from the age of 14-17 and then bulimia on and off from 17-21. i now regard myself as 95% recovered. The main factor was my fiancé. He took a while to understand but eventually he became my partner in all of this, someone who I can always turn to.
It it took about a year and a half if actively trying to recover before I felt success. I’ve had counselling, meds, psychiatrists And dietitians in the past but they actually trigger me more than anything.
What at helped me:
NO MORE WEIGHING. NADA. NONE. Not for a minimum for 8-12 weeks at a time. When you recover your weight will fluctuate. This is upsetting to know and triggering. Help yourself recover by not triggering yourself.
Eating properly and regularly with my fiancé. I gauge portions on others around me, and healthiness of food choices on what my fiancé is having. I always had a chocolate bar each day (my usual binge food) so that I didn’t get overwhelmed with the urge and binge. I walk to the shop each day to buy this 1 bar.
Forgiving myself when I have a slip up.
Reminding myself why I need to be healthy.
Learning what ‘hunger’ and ‘satiation’ actually feel like. I discovered I didn’t know either sensation. Eat when I feel sick. Stop eating when I feel sick. I’ve somewhat changed that now. Not perfectly but I’m much better.
ita an upward slope. It’s difficult. But the day you can say you are recovered (and I’m still overweight) is an amazing feeling. I still get those thoughts sometimes but I remind myself not to listen, because my life is so much brighter now that it’s not ruled by the exercise bike, the scales, or the kitchen.
Post # 15
@Jazzylove: You are just as amazing and inspirational. 🙂 Feel free to PM me whenever if needed.
Post # 16
I completely understand the sensitivity of this thread, so please excuse me if this is crossing any lines.
May I ask if any of you ladies have had children or are pregnant and still suffered from your ED?
I’m asking because my best friend of 15 years has been bulimec ever since I have known her. I’ve tried to get her help many times but she’s always refused it. Her parents (Colombian) support her disease as long as it keeps her skinny. Her Husband doesn’t know about it, or he pretends not to know.
Anyways, she had a baby two years ago and still binged and purged. The baby was born at 24 weeks. I can’t say for certain that it was in due to her disease but I can’t imagine it helped any.
She is now pregnant again and I feel like I need to talk to her more seriously about her the bulimea could really be hurting the baby and putting herself at high risk.
Does anyone have any advice? Especially from those who are seeking help now actively. Or would it be best for me to stay out of it?