This is partially to vent and partially to get advice from people in a similar situation.
I was binging and purging as well as strictly limiting calories (50 per day or less) for 7 years. I maintained a weight of 90-100 pounds to keep family and friends from worrying or forcing me to eat. I never ate in front of people, and when invited to meals or dates, I would make an excuse as to why I couldn't go. I met my now husband in early 2009. He is a big guy, but he boxes and weight trains. At meals, he can eat a fairly large portion. Since we started dating (and now, still), he always complimented my body, and I felt really good about myself. I got more and more close with him, and eventually it became inevitable that I would need to eat around him. He'd get frustrated when he would be hungry, and I'd insist I wasn't. He'd ask me how it's possible that I have any energy at all without eating for 2 or 3 days. I would tell him how ridiculous he is to think I haven't eaten (though I hadn't) and that I ate on break at work, or on the way home from a class, or any given time slot I knew we weren't together. He believed me, and never tried to intervene. Eventually, I couldn't keep hiding my disorder, and I forced myself to recover. We both wanted children, and I knew I couldn't carry a child at the weight I was or with such limited calories. I decided to start eating once a day. Gradually, I was eating lunch at school, and dinner with my family. I didn't purge after any meals, and I felt great that I was recovering. I felt strong that I was able to overcome such a disorder on my own and without any support (since people didn't know, they just thought I was naturally skinny). I began to gain weight until I was 170 pounds...how could I have let myself get so heavy ? I have stretch marks everywhere, and I have gone up 10 dress sizes. Now, I'm 30 weeks pregnant. (I gained weight from January 2010 to July, when I found out I was pregnant). I knew I had to force my weight gain to plateau, as I'd naturally gain weight with pregnancy. Know, I've been eating healthily during my pregnancy, and have no intention of recontracting an eating disorder while pregnant or breastfeeding. I feel hopeless when looking at my friends who've had their children and lost their baby weight within months of delivery. I feel like I'll be 200 pounds forever. I don't want to have sex with my husband because I don't feel comfortable with my body. Pregnancy, with my baby bump, as helped me mask my stomach fat, as well as given me an excuse for having added weight in other places. However, I know that this is NOT a sufficient excuse. Other people may believe it, but I can't convince myself. My husband and I are VERY close, and he's supportive in anything I want to do. He tries to understand how I feel, but (he's a man!) and comfortable with his own appearance as well as still attracted to me, making it difficult for him to see what I see in myself. It's easy for me to say, when I'm feeling level headed, that I know he still thinks I'm attractive, and always has. He constantly wants sex, begs to use me as his 'porn', and always compliments me. Regardless, I still feel like there's no way he could be attracted to me still. It's not so much that I feel like I need to look like a celebrity or a porn star to have his attention, I just know it's unrealistic to look sexy at 200 pounds. As a result of me feeling this way, we rarely have sex (which I'm able to tell him is due to pregnancy making me uncomfortable) and I don't have the drive to gussy up. I feel like there's no point in dressing attractively or spending time on my appearance, when I'll just look fat anyway. No amount of makeup or hairspray can possibly mask being overweight. I feel like I need to go back to bulimia and anorexia, because I felt better about myself, and I know that I looked good. I also know that having a psychological disorder is NOT something I want to continue dealing with or have my children and husband deal with. Having the disorder makes me feel weak and like a liar. Not having the disorder makes me feel disgusting and ugly. I know I need to find a medium (exercise, healthy eating) but it's difficult. I do moderate exercise (doc doesn't want me over doing it and complicating the pregnancy) and I eat healthily now, but I feel like my habits won't stick. I need to find the drive to be better AND healthy.
If anyone has advice/similar situations, please help.
Firstly, an eating disorder is NEVER a solution to your problems. You may have thought you looked good on the outside, but I can guarantee that you didn’t look good on the inside – either mentally or physically. You were obsessed by food, and that drove you to lie and be deceitful (I don’t mean that in a harsh way, I have been there, I know that it is the disease that drives you to lie). You need to view an eating disorder as a disease, would you ever wish that you had the flu? An eating disorder is just as much of a disease.
Your husband obviously loves you and is attracted to you. What’s more, he’s been attracted to you at every weight which means that he doesn’t care what weight you are. He loves you because of the wonderful, beautiful person you are inside, not because of your outward appearance.
Being overweight is not hideous, it is not horrific, it is not awful. The media would like us to think that being overweight is the end of the world but that is not true. There are many many fabulous women who look absolutely stunning, who are hugely successful, and who are “overweight”. Who you are has got nothing to do with what you look like.
The drive to eat healthily and exercise can only come from inside of you. You need to learn to believe your husband. You need to learn that you are a beautiful woman. You need to believe that you deserve to be happy, that you are wonderful and loveable.
Take practical steps to do this – every day look in the mirror and force yourself to say “I am a wonderful woman who looks beautiful and I accept and love myself for who I am” five times. Force the words out even if you don’t believe them, but promise yourself that you will do it anyway, and you will do it everyday. I promise you that this will be a lot more effective than any amount of beating yourself up over not eating “healthily” enough.
I read a brilliant quote the other day:
“I have never accomplished anything in my life that was healthy or worthwhile which was motivated by self hatred”.
The Following User Says Thank You to knittingirl For This Useful Post: mamamartinez (12-17-2010)
mamamartinez - I know how you feel. I used to be bulimic too and, although I've recovered for the most part, I'm paranoid of gaining weight now. I was anorexic at 16, but I like food too much so I became severely bulimic from 17 - 20, then moderately bulimic from 21-25. Like you, I got through it on my own too. I'm 29 now and I'd consider myself in control of my eating. However, I still HATE to gain weight. If I can tell that I have gone up a few pounds, I will throw up food that I've eaten. But it only happens like once every 3 months. If I have a boyfriend, I cannot go on the pill anymore because it makes me gain weight and that drives me to throw up again. When I'm not on the pill, I can maintain a very healthy, thin look that I love. But 4 or 5 pounds more, I can't handle it and I will throw up food. I haven't had a boyfriend that I've been sleeping with for a while now, so I'm not on the pill and it's easy for me to maintain my weight. However, there will come a day when I will have to be on it again and it scares me. The pill also makes me crave food...I hate it.
But in your case, you have gain much more weight. What weight would you like to be? Are you honestly eating healthy or do you binge on too much junk? If you can try to eat a fiberous breakfast, a lunch with veggies (like a loaded sandwich or something) and a square meal at supper time, you should be good. That's what I try to do anymore - I eat quite healthy. Are you getting out and having fun while you get exercise? I'm not a gym kind of girl, so I join things like tennis or volleyball to get exercise (without knowing that I am!).
Does my advice help? I hope so. You seem like you're not OK just yet. You need to get into better control of your weight and yourself. I hate that feeling of being out of control. Start with small steps...like try to start new good habits for one week...see how you feel. Gradually, you will start to like yourself more and become comfortable around your husband again.
I can relate 100% to what your all saying. Honestly it's nice to see that people who are not 16 years old struggle with this as well. I thought I was the only person. When I got pregnant in 2008 I was so stressed out about gaining weight. I'm naturally petite and then once the weight started to pack on I didn't know what I was going to do. I had been recovered (by myself like you) from bulimia for over 3 years, and all I wanted to do was go right back to my old ways. Once I had my baby I was so stressed about getting back to my original weight that within a month I had lost all my baby weight plus an additional 12 lbs, putting me around 90 lbs. I did that by binging and purging of course. I wasn't able to breast feed my newborn because I was taking in so little calories I couldn't produce milk. After about 3 months I went back to work and live got a little bit more normal and I was able to maintain or at least not binge and purge to such an extreme. It's been 2 1/2 years since and I'm back in full blown binge and purge stage, and exercising like a fanatic. I wish I had some advice for you, but all I can say is will power, will power to do it the right way. I'm terrified my 2 year old is going to catch me doing this and then I will have to face those repercussions and a whole new set of problems. Make sure and take the time to focus on YOU once your baby is here, and know that your health isn't just about you anymore but you have a littler person and sounds like a wonderful husband who also need you.
I do know how you feel. after i had my baby my weight went up to 200. i had recovered from bulimia before getting pregnant. once i had the baby i went right back to anorexia/bulimia with no remorse and wasted precious time i could have spent with my son, now 5. just recently (2 month ago) i began therapy to find out why....why i could not stop this behavior. it was a horrible cycle because i kept thinking for a week or two at a time that i had found a way to stop. but it never kept working. my therapist worked withh me to find the root of the problem: my mothers suicide aimed at me for not living with her when i was 15. she was eating disordered and incredibly beautiful, fun and talented. i DONT want to be like her. i want to really live my life. as a result of my therapy, i eat like, well humans were designed to eat. i eat until i am satisfied usually. its been only 1 week since my last purge but apparently it gets worse before it gets better. my weight has fluctuated after my son was born from 170- 115-140 and has finally evened out but you know what...i have no clue what it is because i have not weighed or measured my body via tape measure in 5 months.
if you have gained weight, and are uncomfortable with your body. some good sweating could help you along with therapy. you can be happy and you deserve to be happy. to forget about lunch if you are having fun. to have passionate sex with your husband, because you are beautiful right now regardless of your weight. its ok to feel sad, angry or guilty they are normal emotions and very healthy just like eating is. i promise you. the root of your dismay is the same now as it was when you were 90lbs it may have evolved or callussed around the edges but the problem is still there. a therapist can help you find the root and get on the road to a healthy body image. dont weigh yourself. its addicting. oh, and dont take antidepressants or mood enhancement drugs, they are the biggest lie of all.