I think it's important for me to start out by saying that I don't have anorexia nervosa. My low weight is not due to extreme dieting or body image issues. It is because of poor appetite. However, I am posting on this forum because I have realized that the steps I need to go through in order to reach a healthy weight are similar to those of anorexia recovery.
I understand that the problem I have is not an eating disorder per se, and so what I have to say may anger some people. I don't know why it angers people, but pretty much whenever I try to tell my story people get upset that someone can be very underweight without having an eating disorder. Again, I don't know why this makes people mad. If you wish to leave a negative comment on my thread, that's fine, I expect it. But if someone can help me with this, I will be very grateful.
Ever since I begun my period at age 12, I developed a very poor appetite and completely stopped gaining weight, but continued to grow. I still have a very poor appetite and I still have no idea why. I stopped growing at 5'4". For 6 years, I weighed about 100 lbs, give or take a few pounds. The most I've ever weighed in my life is 103. In high school, I was on a sugar free diet for three months due to medical reasons completely unrelated to weight. However, I ended up losing 5 pounds because obviously it's hard to keep up with caloric intake when there's sugar in practically everything we eat. Then I got the swine flu and dropped to 89 lbs. Once I recovered from that, I pretty quickly got back up to 95, but have had a very difficult time getting past that.
I have long been self-conscious about my body, not because of fat, but because my hip bones, ribs and spine stick out. I'm also pretty flat chested. I don't even fill out a 32 A. As a result, people would make fun, tell me I need to quit starving myself and get a hamburger, etc. It really hurts me when people say stuff like that because they act like it was my choice to be so undeveloped and skinny that I can easily be mistaken for a young boy if I don't dress properly. I've always felt like I have a little boy's body, and that I will never look like a woman. I didn't wear any clothes that would show off my body for a very long time because I knew people thought it was "sick" that I'm so bony.
But I never really realized just how few calories I consume on a daily basis until I started having to read the ingredients of everything I ate when I couldn't eat sugar. I realized I only eat between 800-1200 calories per day, and I do not do it intentionally. This kinda freaked me out because I always assumed that I eat normally, but just couldn't store fat for some reason. So that's when I realized I have a bad appetite, and I've had one for a long *** time.
Within the past few months, I've really been trying to put on weight. I've fluctuated between 94 and 98, occasionally reaching 100, but whenever that happens my appetite completely dies and I lose it all within days and end up back at 95. But I have such a poor appetite to begin with that getting up to 98 is practically impossible. I feel like it's physically impossible for me to consume the amount of food necessary to gain weight. I feel like I have to be eating non-stop. I once tried to force myself to eat 2000 calories per day, but by just the second day I was so bloated and uncomfortable that I constantly felt like I was going to throw up.
For a while I was smoking weed every day, and when I did that I was able to steadily gain weight because I could easily eat over 2000 calories a day without much discomfort. For a few weeks I could go to the river and wear a bikini without feeling like a freak, and it was awesome. I wasn't pale as a ghost, I had tons of energy, I could literally run a mile, I felt like I could do whatever the hell I wanted. But during that month and a half, I was also out of school and work, had some money from my summer job left over to burn, and had nothing to do but smoke weed and eat. But once school started again I couldn't keep doing that of course and my hips and ribs started to poke out again. Now my face is pale and kinda droopy again, I'm always tired, unmotivated, depressed and moody. My blood pressure is super low and I get hypoglycemic all the time. My period is regular, but I get the worst pms ever.
Lately, I've found that I eat mostly sugar, and it's messing with my health. All I want is candy. I only have to eat a small amount of it, and the hypoglycemia goes away. I've come to realize that I don't care about food, and I don't care about eating. It provides very little immediate reward for me. Nothing really tastes that great, except the stuff that's way too expensive to buy regularly. And even stuff that does taste great somehow isn't very rewarding either. Food is nothing to me but an annoying necessity to stay alive.
I don't know how to gain weight without weed. I have no appetite. Eating is a boring chore for me. It's just a time consuming task that I always end up putting off. It doesn't matter if it's tasteless crackers or something really flavorful like pizza. I really wish I could just take a few pills in the morning that would provide me with all my nutritional and caloric needs for the day.
I was so very glad to see this posting because I am in a similar situation. I haven't had medical issues (that I'm aware of) that keeps me this weight, but I've always been underweight my entire life. Now, at 32, I struggle with trying to maintain a healthy weight. I'm currently at 105ish and I'm 5'6". I don't talk about my issue with too many people because far too many people don't understand and get upset by the fact that I *can't* gain weight. Like you, I rarely have an appetite. I've also tried weed, and while that has helped me sometimes in the past, I feel like it has also taken away a bit of my appetite. Eating, for me, is a chore as well. I've said before that I wish I could have some sort of feeding tube. Sometimes I get bored of eating, so I stop. Sometimes I even get tired of chewing. I don't binge/purge, nor do I think I'm fat. I'm self conscious about my weight because people always comment on how thin I am. I've begun to see myself as this ugly stick of a thing, and it's really messed with my self esteem. I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one who struggles with this. I wish I had some suggestions for you on what to do. I'm currently seeing a therapist and trying to figure out the connection between my appetite/attitude towards food, but I find it very difficult to make it a point to eat three meals a day. I just want to be healthy and happy like everyone else, but I find that I have low energy, struggle with depression and anxiety, and I honestly mostly struggle with the motivation to fix the problem. I'd be very interested if there were others who could offer some suggestions, but with that being said, I'm relieved to find that others are in similar situations.