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coolleen7 05-25-2012 10:27 AM

Recovered from Anorexia & Bulimia but need advice
 
Hello! My name is Colleen.

I've been a recovered anorexic/bulimic for several years. However, I still struggle with knowing who I am and feeling good about myself. I work out regularly and try to boost my confidence with as much positive self-talk as possible but I feel like there is part of me that won't stop being negative.


Let me tell you a little bit about my story,

When I was 8 years old, I gained 30 pounds in a year. I ended up weighing around 200 pounds by the 6th grade. All my friends were thin, but I didn't think I was capable of being a "normal" size.

My anorexia began without me knowing. I started riding my bike a lot and eating less, because that is how I thought "normal" people stayed skinny. Soon my one meal a day became some grapes or a granola bar a day. But I still perceived this as "normal eating" because I was losing weight. Good right? Well I dropped around 85 pounds in 6 months my 8th grade year. I was about 5'7" and at my lowest weight I was 115pounds. I thought I was being healthy, but didn't realize that I was in a competition with the scale that I used every day.

When the teachers started calling my house telling my mom I was sick, I then started to realize that maybe I had a problem.

After a the start of high school I had gained 30 pounds back, felt awful about myself, and began throwing up after binge eating.

Therapy was no help and they only wanted to put me in an inpatient facility, which I declined. Eventually me and my mother worked together to help solve the eating issues.



Now I am around 5'8", almost 21 years old and weigh153-165 pounds (it fluctuates).

Sorry for the long post, but I feel like in order to get good advice I needed to explain a bit why I don't feel good about myself. I was wondering if anyone else has had a yoyo from being overweight to overly skinny, to around normal, and if you have any advice on how to be happy with the way I am?


It affects my current relationship, because I am always negative and anxious about what people think or how I look. I also apologize constantly for things that aren't my fault. I feel like my anxiety/previous body issues are to blame.


any advice or similar experiences?

aileb 05-25-2012 08:20 PM

Re: Recovered from Anorexia & Bulimia but need advice
 
Hi,
My weight really hasn't fluctuated too greatly, but I can related to having some of the problems you mentioned.


Eating disorders don't fully go away when we stop the behaviors or when we reach a "normal" weight because they are a psychological problem.

You stopped the eating issues, but eating disorders aren't eating issues. They are psychological problems that revolve around on thoughts and behaviors.


The negativity, anxiety, avoiding conflict, minimizing the problem, lack of self-awareness, etc. are all traits of people eating disorders. (Again, these traits don't go away when you reach a stable weight.)

Now that you are at a stable weight, it would be worth giving therapy another try. How long did you go? Not all therapists are the same.


It's really great that you have been able to stop the physical behaviors. I am also in this part of recovery. I stopped the physical behaviors but the thoughts and traits remain.

Also, people with EDs can cycle between disorders with periods of lows and highs. Relapse rates are also high.

I don't mean to be so negative. When I started recovery, I thought my ED thoughts would go away when I reached a normal weight.

I remember waiting months... for the ED thoughts to lessen during recovery. It never happened because it was just me and my ED thoughts. I didn't know how to challenge and change the ED thoughts on my own. For years, the ED was my identity.


I had to go to therapy--it was uncomfortable and scary at first. But my therapist really challenged my ED thoughts and I am learning how to do better in recovery.

hugs

coolleen7 05-29-2012 11:41 AM

Re: Recovered from Anorexia & Bulimia but need advice
 
The woman I went to, I only stayed with for several months. But that was years ago.

I'm now seeing someone for my anxiety, but maybe I will bring up the fact that these things I'm trying to change stem back to my ED.


I certainly have lows and highs, and its been hard, especially when I become sad, or a boyfriend breaks up with me I eat significantly less, but I am always aware of it and never let it get to a detrimental point.


Congratulations on your physical recovery, and thanks for your advice.

I am so glad that I at least know where the "I'm sorrys" and the lack of self confidence comes from.

Lately I feel as though they have been even worse, even though I'm trying so hard to be positive.

My poor boyfriend hates it.

beachlove12 07-08-2012 05:15 AM

Re: Recovered from Anorexia & Bulimia but need advice
 
[QUOTE=aileb;4986994]Hi,
My weight really hasn't fluctuated too greatly, but I can related to having some of the problems you mentioned.


Eating disorders don't fully go away when we stop the behaviors or when we reach a "normal" weight because they are a psychological problem.

You stopped the eating issues, but eating disorders aren't eating issues. They are psychological problems that revolve around on thoughts and behaviors.


The negativity, anxiety, avoiding conflict, minimizing the problem, lack of self-awareness, etc. are all traits of people eating disorders. (Again, these traits don't go away when you reach a stable weight.)

Now that you are at a stable weight, it would be worth giving therapy another try. How long did you go? Not all therapists are the same.


It's really great that you have been able to stop the physical behaviors. I am also in this part of recovery. I stopped the physical behaviors but the thoughts and traits remain.

Also, people with EDs can cycle between disorders with periods of lows and highs. Relapse rates are also high.

I don't mean to be so negative. When I started recovery, I thought my ED thoughts would go away when I reached a normal weight.

I remember waiting months... for the ED thoughts to lessen during recovery. It never happened because it was just me and my ED thoughts. I didn't know how to challenge and change the ED thoughts on my own. For years, the ED was my identity.


I had to go to therapy--it was uncomfortable and scary at first. But my therapist really challenged my ED thoughts and I am learning how to do better in recovery.

hugs[/QUOTE]

Aileb, I understand EXACTLY what you mean when you say that an eating disorder doesn't disappear when we reach a normal weight. I am in therapy for anorexia and I've gained weight, but my 'anorexic' mind is stil as strong as ever. And it's annoying because suddenly people don't think your sick anymore because you look 'normal', even though you are still anorexic; it's just not able to be seen because you are at a normal body weight.
Do you have any experiences similar?

coolleen7 07-12-2012 03:27 PM

Re: Recovered from Anorexia & Bulimia but need advice
 
So, now I'm starting to worry I may be falling back into old habits. I'm trying to figure out why exactly, so that I can stop it. I really can't figure out a good reason though. I have been fine with the physical behaviours for years now...so why??

bleh! The only thing I can think of is that I spend a lot of time at my boyfriends, where there is not a lot of readily available food.

I haven't even told my therapist yet because I don't really want to make a big deal about it.

Phoenix 07-13-2012 11:21 AM

Re: Recovered from Anorexia & Bulimia but need advice
 
[QUOTE=coolleen7;5018212]So, now I'm starting to worry I may be falling back into old habits. I'm trying to figure out why exactly, so that I can stop it.
I haven't even told my therapist yet because I don't really want to make a big deal about it.[/QUOTE]

Hello colleen

Life,in and of itself,can be enough to bring about urges.

I really feel that you need to bring this up to you therapist.After all,they can only try to help you based upon their own observation of you,coupled with what you feel like sharing to them.

Will it be easy and feel awkward;no and yes.

We do what we have to do now,so we can be free to choose what we want to do later.

Ryan's Respect


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