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zusanna 03-22-2005 01:23 PM

Recovering from an ED....need some help in what is defined as "normal eating"
I know eating a healthy well-balanced diet is what is considered normal. But what about portions and does everything really need to be low-fat or fat-free?? I'm used to eating almost everything "fat-free" but recently I just switched to low-fat because I realize now my body needs it and I need to gain weight. I've just had this ED for so long now that I've forgotten what normal eating is really like. It seems everyone around me over eats or under eats so I really can't get a good idea from them. So for those of you that maintain a healthy weight and eat a well-balanced diet could you please give me an idea of how and what you eat or even an example of a normal days menu for you. I eat 5-6 times a day because I'm trying to boost my metabolism back to normal. So I eat 3 meals and 2-3 snacks. I just need to get a better view of normal healthy eating. Please help!

bluehen94 03-22-2005 02:19 PM

Re: Recovering from an ED....need some help in what is defined as "normal eating"
It would help if you could at least post your age, so we can see if your a teen who is relying on a parent for their meals or if your an adult with access to make what you want.

margarete 03-22-2005 03:35 PM

Re: Recovering from an ED....need some help in what is defined as "normal eating"
hi, as someone who strugged with eating problems, i just want to say that i'm really glad you are making the effort to be healthy. i know what you mean, my whole family tends to overeat and then some girls seem to eat remarkably little, so i'm used to either stuffing myself or not eating much of anything. what you're doing (5 small meals a day) sounds good - i hear that's what we're all supposed to do. i'm not a nutritionist, so i frankly don't know whether you should try to eat fatty foods to put on weight - everyone needs fatty acids though. try to eat a lot of whole grains, fruits, carbs in the form of grains, not sweets. what are you snacking on? if you have a health food store around (like we have whole foods stores in san francisco/the real food store/trader joe's), that would be the easier place to go shopping - just about everything in there is good for you. wish i could be of more use. good luck!

LS289 03-22-2005 04:57 PM

Re: Recovering from an ED....need some help in what is defined as "normal eating"
Hi Piscean- I am in a similar situation as you are. I have been working on gaining weight for a few months now. It's a LOT harder than you think! There will be days when you feel you completely overate (when you probably didn't) and days when you feel like you have already gained 10lbs just from eating normally, and those are the toughest parts of gaining weight. Honestly, most of the time you will need to be eating to the point of being uncomfortable. Not that you have to stuff yourself every single meal, but often you will feel like "ugh - I shouldn't have eaten all that peanut butter" or whatever it was. But that is GOOD. It's amazing how skewed your vision of "normal" probably is now after having an eating disorder for how long?

I am eating a lot differently now than I was, say, in November. Not only am I eating more, I am eating more fat, more carbs...lots of things I used to be scared of. And I STILL haven't even put on enough weight! The body is an incredible machine and adapts itself very easily so trust it to even out and to tell you when it needs things. If you crave a piece of steak, eat it. If you crave chocolate, eat it. If you crave peanut butter, eat it. This is your grace period and your body is going to be wanting a lot of things it's been needing for a long time. "Normal" is very different for every person so try not to compare your meals or your cravings to anyone else- it will only make things worse! TRUST ME. Good luck and if you ever have any other questions, ask away!

SammyT 03-22-2005 05:34 PM

Re: Recovering from an ED....need some help in what is defined as "normal eating"
im on the same page! recovery...ED, hey Piscean, i think ive read sum of ur posts! well one thing GOOD JOB ON RECOVERY:):):) !! great feeling eh? well, ive been going SO good. im not just eating "low fat" foods, im eating whats good and healthy! like 2nite? i had chicken cordon blue, tator tot casserole, colesaw, 2 peices of breead, pees, and skim milk. like...and u should see the stuff i was snackign on! lol i have aten way more and i feel the weight coming.

and LS298!! good job 2!! its great to accept foods that were forbidden for so long!

zusanna 03-22-2005 11:37 PM

Re: Recovering from an ED....need some help in what is defined as "normal eating"
Thanks for all the replies. As for my age, I am 20 and I'm not living with my parents so I do the grocery shopping and cooking. Anyway...yeah, like tonight I felt like I ate too much at supper, but after thinking about it I really didn' all. I had a boca burger on whole grain bread, mashed sweet potatoes (yummy!!), cucumber slices, a banana and some milk. Very healthy, but those feelings of guilt started creeping up on my afterward like I had over did it. I felt SO full! I realized later though that I didn't over eat at all and shouldn't feel guilty so those guilty feelings went away and I feel better now. I'm SO bloated though and I feel really swollen but I know that's normal at first, right? I hope that goes away soon after my body adjusts. My perceptions of what is "normal" is very altered. But I know as long as I continue to eat healthy and listen to my body (eat when I'm hungry and stop when I'm full) I'll be ok. I know gaining my weight back will be hard but I know I need to do it. My ideal weight for my height is 105 lbs. I'm short, only 5 feet tall and I have a small frame also. Last time I weighed myself I was 92-93 pounds. I know I've probably already gained a few pounds just in the past several days just from water weight. So I still have around 10 pounds to go. Anyway, thanks again for your replies. It's good to know others on here are going through the same thing. It's hard, yes, but we can do it!!

Lenin 03-23-2005 05:10 AM

Re: Recovering from an ED....need some help in what is defined as "normal eating"
I wouldn;t worry too much about getting ALL the way to 105...don't force it. At 5' with a small frame, 100 is just fine for a 20 year old.

To be happiest with your result why not try some resistance training as you SLOWLY up the weight to the century mark. A few pounds of lean muscle on arms legs and abs will be easier for you to appreciate better than anything like water bloat or soft fat which is apt to send a former anorectic into a tailspin.
The muscle mass is also SMALLER pound for pound than fat.

LS289 03-23-2005 10:07 AM

Re: Recovering from an ED....need some help in what is defined as "normal eating"
Piscean- I think 105 is a great goal weight! My goal weight is a little higher, but I'm also a foot taller than you are (lol). I am 22 and in college so I do my own grocery shopping, too. That can be a good thing and a bad thing. When you're grocery shopping, don't overthink things that you are buying. Sometimes I used to sit there for 10 minutes contemplating whether or not I should buy a jar of peanut butter (b/c I didn't know if I wanted it in the house). BUY IT.
Your dinner was not a lot at all. I know exactly how you feel, though. You just have to try and get past those feelings because they are not going to go away right away. They are extremely irrational though! What you ate for dinner is something that normal people might eat to lose weight. And yes, it is normal to feel bloated/fat at first. In fact, I still feel that way sometimes and have realized that the scale is more of an enemy than a friend. Avoid it as much as you can b/c, especially at first, your weight will probably fluctuate a lot!
I hope my advice has helped you a little bit. Even when you have those days where you think "gosh, I've eaten SO much for 4 days straight and I haven't even exercised...I'm going to get fat!!" - you need to keep going. I've had those days where I have freaked out and thought that all of the sudden I was gaining a ton of weight, but it's NOT TRUE. Trust your body. You've put it through a lot - let it tell YOU what to do for a change.... :cool:

zusanna 03-23-2005 06:59 PM

Re: Recovering from an ED....need some help in what is defined as "normal eating"
LS289: Oh, thank you so much!!! Your words are so encouraging! Espeicially today...I'm having a real "fat" day. I did weigh myself today..I know..bad!! But I was actually surprised I didn't weigh as much as what I felt. I've gained 2-3 pounds of probably just water retention I'm sure since last Saturday which is the day I started eating normal. I felt like I had gained 10 though. So it was actually a little reassuring but I know I must stay away from the scale! I can't believe how bloated I am after eating...that part really sucks. Does that subside after awhile though? I didn't want to eat supper tonight at all but I forced myself to. That hot fudge sunday I had this afternoon was really bothering me. I did some grocery shopping today and I know what you mean by standing there and comtemplating whether I should get this or get that. I will stand there at times and read nutrition facts on things for what seems like forever and then end up not getting any of them. It takes hours sometimes for me to get through a store. You sound so much like me. We should keep in touch. It really helps to talk to someone who is going through this too. I know it will be a struggle every day for awhile but I'll just have to keep reminding myself that it'll get easier. I just want to be able to eat and not worry about it anymore! I can't wait until I'm to that point.

ASDGRMama 03-23-2005 09:42 PM

Re: Recovering from an ED....need some help in what is defined as "normal eating"
Hello! How wonderful to be on the road to healthful eating habits!! I struggled for many years with an ED and just finished my first full year of being ED free in January :bouncing: .

I can't tell you how freeing it has been :) . I still have difficulty maintaining a healthy weight due to a medical condition but my eating habits are healthy.

Don't be too afraid to add some fat to your body. Muscle may add weight but large amounts of hormones are produced in your fat cells and not enough of them will cause imbalances. Many female athletes are at their ideal weight but fail to have regular cycles because of low body fat percentages. It's avoiding extremes that will benefit you the most.

Congratulations on coming so far!!

Love and Prayers, Kelly

Editing to add that it sounds like you're doing wonderfully with your meals. The food sounds healthful and in moderate proportions. It was very difficult to learn how to eat "normally" again. I don't ever remember having "normal" eating habits. Even my mom says that when I was a baby I would eat and eat and eat (even though I had always been very small for my age). I still have trouble once in a while due to bad habits (literally forgetting to eat breakfast and lunch and then wonder why I'm starving at 2 :rolleyes: ).

LS289 03-24-2005 10:16 AM

Re: Recovering from an ED....need some help in what is defined as "normal eating"
Piscean-I'm so glad you relate to what I'm telling you. You honestly have to trust me because this is probably one of the hardest things you'll ever have to do and 90% of your thoughts are going to be irrational - at least in the beginning. To answer your questions - YES, the bloating will subside, but not until you eat normally for a while. And by that I do not mean 3 days, a week, or even 2 weeks. Your body is so scared that you are going to starve it again that it is doing all kinds of weird things - clinging to water, calories, basically, anything it can! Once it realizes that you're not going to starve it again (and you're going to be NICE to it..haha) it's going to start acting more normally and your metabolism will rev up.
The scale right now is not a good idea. Honestly, it will just make you confused. You felt like you gained 10lbs and were somewhat relieved yesterday when you didn't, but what about if you don't feel like you gained any weight, but you are holding on to 3lbs of water and then you weigh yourself? That could easily send you into a downward spiral and get your negative thoughts conjured up. As much as you can, don't weigh yourself.
About the grocery shopping thing- it's ok to be health conscious and read labels, but if you get obsessive about it or feel yourself overthinking certain foods, STOP. When I started buying peanut butter again, I would compare the labels of different kinds and buy the one that had 180 calories versus 190 calories JUST for that fact...that is insane! 10 calories is NOTHING and I should just buy the one that I like the best and stick with that. Same goes with cereals and things like that. "Healthy" is a broad category - something that has 20 more calories than something else is not less healthy!
By the way- how great did that hot fudge sundae taste? I'm sure you felt bad after you ate it, but your goal is to get to a place where you can have treats like that and not feel badly afterwards - just enjoy them! It's a terrible feeling to have guilt/anger associated with ANYTHING that tastes good!
You're doing a really great job - keep up the good work! You're on your way to a happier, more carefree life....

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