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    Old 09-17-2004, 10:00 AM   #1
    Leanne R
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    Help me understand Eating disorders

    Hi,
    I have never suffered from an eating disorder but I am training to be a nutritionist and am interested in learning about eating disorders. I have been ill for many years (10 years) ever since a minor operation with an anesethic that went wrong, this caused me to have an auto-immune disease (dr's are still investigating which one) so I have to watch my food closely (as some foods make my symptoms worse), I don't eat wheat/dairy/potatoes or refined sugar but enjoy my food and don't have an issue with weight. There was a point when I could have had an eating disorder when I was unclear of which foods made me feel worse so I started fearing all foods. I made myself aware of what could be happening and put a stop to it straight away by telling myself that not eating a good variety will have a terrible effect on my body and actually counteract my goal of getting better. Anyway through trial and error the foods above do make me unwell and I am 200% better since avoiding them but I still eat lots of other foods to replace i.e corn, rice, sweet potatoes, tofu, meat, lots of fruit and veg plus I take vits and minerals.

    I decided to study nutrition to help people with health issues and want to cover eating disorders but first I have to understand whay people hurt themselves.

    Do people with eating disorders start seeing food as the enemy? and that eating foods will do damage to themselves whether it be in weight gain or something else (I can understand this fear of food as I almost went there)
    Like they start by dieting then just keep going cutting out more and more foods and convince themselves that this is needed.

    What are people with eating disorders trying to achieve? do they have a goal i.e losing weight that they are working towards or did it start that way and spiral out of control?

    Are they punishing themselves for a guilty feeling and make food the focus of their attention to avoid what they really need to deal with?

    Do those with eating disorders that are obviously underweight with bones showing etc genuinely look in the mirror and see someone who is fat or do they see the bones but feel that they could lose a bit more. Is it like a feeling of being unsatisfied and you must keep going?

    I think Anorexia and other eating disorders might be a result of a completely seperate problem/issue that manifests itself as an eating disorder and those that cut themselves (I can't remember name of condition)are punishing themselves too just in a different way. It is so hard to not eat and it is really hard to give yourself the unpleasant feeling of vomiting (I have a major phobia about being sick) So what is the motivation that keeps you going?

    You can not eat to reach whatever goal it is you have set yourself and feel uncomftable and feel like you can't relax until you achieve it. i.e One could focus their thoughts to exercise instead of food and work out for hours and hours on end and still feel like they could do more, they feel like they haven't done enough.....or you could turn your focus to work and feel you must work and work and work and not have a life outside of work and feel really guilty whenever you try and relax as you tell yourself that this could be time spent working. You happen to focus your attention on food.

    I really want to understand why people starve themselves or make themselves sick so that I can one day help those people.
    I hope I am not angering people with my ignorance but I don't think enough time is spent actually getting to the root of a person's problems......

    Why is being fat so scary? I would much prefer to be fat and feel great and be able to do everything I want to in my life than to be thin, unwell, miserable. I am unwell not out of choice I am trying to do everything to get better and want to warn that if you don't eat well you could end up unwell like me and for what? don't do it to yourself stop now whilst you have a chance. I have been studying cell metabolism and I know your body needs fats, proteins, carbs, water in order to function if it doesn't get all these in a good amount it will one day stop working for you.

    Thanks Leanne

    Last edited by Leanne R; 09-17-2004 at 10:03 AM.

     
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    Old 09-17-2004, 03:12 PM   #2
    kittylover29
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    Re: Help me understand Eating disorders

    First, I can tell you about being obese and bulimic. At one time, I was 275 pounds. One day, I decided to change my life. I bought a treadmill, lowered my fat grams and drank at leaset 64 oz of water. I lost about 110 pounds. Today, I am about 155 on a good day. I'm 5'8 so it's ok. The demon is maintaining. Once you've been obese, it's EXTREMELY hard to see yourself as think. I was in excellent physical shape. But if the scale moved one pound, I would go crazy. Terrified that one day I would be 275 again. Food is now the enemy to me. I've been Bulimic for five years now. I am seeing a psyc - but reality is that I have a problem. I am not in control and Food has taken over my life.

    It's completely a mental thing - and I'm not sure that it will ever go away. But I do pray. Eating disorders are monsters. It makes me sad, because I actually worked my butt off for my goal, reached it and became miserable. It's not fair - but I'm not in control. And until I gain control of this disorder, I will not win.

     
    Old 09-17-2004, 05:24 PM   #3
    Leanne R
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    Re: Help me understand Eating disorders

    It seems like those with eating disorders find a marker to control themselves and watch themselves by whether it be calories, scale watching etc. What happens if you ignore the voices in your head telling you to get on the scales and fight the feelings that make you feel guilty? And not allow your irrational thoughts which you know are telling you fibs not to get the better of you.
    It must be really hard, a daily struggle. Is it a scary thought to throw your scales out? does it mean you may have to give up a part of you that you need or have got used to? Not all foods are the cause of being fat? Yes certain foods eaten to excess will make you fat but eating a good diet of healthy foods will make you feel and look great and weight gain will not be an issue. There are good fats like avocado and olive oil that actually help speed up the metabolism.

    Were you bullied as a child because of being fat? If so aren't just punishing yourself now and finishing off what the bullies started? don't you owe it to yourself to say I have been through enough with this Bulimia and I deserve to enjoy my life.

    Do you ever read information on nutrition and what different foods do for your body etc? Learning about how your body works chemically down to the cells it's really interesting andtells you what your body needs to function and may help you to ignore the feelings if you know the facts.

    Leanne

     
    Old 09-17-2004, 10:19 PM   #4
    Aurora
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    Re: Help me understand Eating disorders

    Hi Leanne,
    I can tell you about EDNOS leading to anorexia if that is to use to you?

    I don't see food as the enemy as you wondered. I see food as a very strange thing. Admittedly, my outlook has probably changed since I first started down the ed road 9 and a half years ago. I know that I see my need to eat as a sign of my weakness. I analyse each bit and decide whether its worth the upset it will cause me - and it rarely is. I think if anything I am at war with myself rather than food.

    Once you start to restrict you suddenly realise that you cannot possibly eat a bigger amount of food because surely you will gain back some of the weight you lost. And as you still desire the ultimate 'thinness' you surely need to eat less. It feels impossible to me that you can maintain (and I know this isn't true) but I feel like you must be either gaining or losing.

    I feel that many ed sufferers start with certain goal, but as they reach it they feel achievement. This makes them hunger for more. It makes them feel stong. As you continue to lose weight you start to become so obssessed with the way you look that you feel like you need to lose more because you haven't quite reached the 'look' you have imagined for yourself.

    And in my case its definitely a case of giving me something to focus on that I can control. Like now - I can't control whether my dad will get well, but I can control my food intake and my exercise levels.

    You asked if those who are underweight enough to see their bones genuinely see someone who is fat in the mirror? Well, I think in my case the meaning of fat has slightly changed. To me fat is simply me taking up too much space in the world. I can SEE every rib, and I can FEEL the concave area between my rib cage and my stomach by hooking my fingers on the edge of my ribs. But I KNOW that to me I am still fat. I take up too much room, I want even my bones to get thin.

    The motivation to continue? Fear of gaining, and a complete surety that things will be better once I am thin. And a sense of complete self hate that makes me feel even unworthy of the breath I draw from the world - let alone any food.

    But no I don't just focus my attention on food, I focus my attention on exercise too much, and on working harder than I would think possible. Anything I do must be at least 110% effort filled or I don't do it. I guess this is why I am not doing great trying recovery - I am too undecided what I want from it. So it trips me up a lot.

    Unfortunately Leanne, most of us are well aware of the dangers, but they sem to be eclipsed by the need to continue with their ed.

    Listen I hope this was useful to you, even a little bit. And I wish you all the best in all you do.

    Take care,
    H
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    Old 09-18-2004, 03:07 AM   #5
    Leanne R
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    Re: Help me understand Eating disorders

    Why do you feel you take up to much space? and that you are somehow not entitiled to be on this planet? Are you a murderer? a rapist? A terrible evil person? I bet you have lots of people that love you and care about you that feel you are worth it. What have you done to deserve all the suffering and pain you are going through?
    You mentioned your dad is ill, It must be so hard for him to not only deal with his health problem but also see the his daughter do this to herself. He will need you to be there for him I'm sure.

    Your eating disorder has nothing to do with food or weight and has something to do with your self esteem and need to strive to do the best setting yourself unrealistic goals that you will Never achieve thinking that anything less is a failure. (if you accept that now you will be able to get on and fight these feelings), The sad thing is you will not achieve the weight you desire even if you could do no damage to your body and get to this "ideal weight" it is the feelings you have about yourself that control your motivation not the weight. Why not take the harder road of fighting these thoughts, and uncomfortable feelings, ignore what you see in the mirror, and use Logic from your brain instead of feelings to guide you.

    What is being fat? what does that mean? I am slightly underweight (compared to the country's average) am I fat? If you compare your weight to someone else who has the same weight as you are they fat?

    Why must you push yourself to the absolute limit in order to feel satisfied? change your expectancy of what you should achieve You are way to hard on yourself, why must you do the ulitmate at everything what is wrong with jjust doing enough but being satisified and happy with that? There is always more or less you can do....There are always people older and younger, there are always people taller/smaller there are always people thinner/fatter Find the weight that you know to be healthy Not the weight that is the thinnest as you will never achieve it, you can achieve being healthy that is a good goal to aim for. Do it for yourself and for your dad and for all the other people that love you. What are you good at in life (except for exercising and controlling food)?

    Leanne x

     
    Old 09-18-2004, 08:29 AM   #6
    Dance4jc
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    Re: Help me understand Eating disorders

    Leanne,
    For some people it is not about being thin, I mean in today's society we are told we are worth more if we are thin, but a large number of people with Eating Disorders are of average or above average weight.

    Some use food to numb a feeling, reward themselevs, soothe themselves, hide from themselves, punish themselves.

    Others find purging as a way to deal with stress/anxiety (not the best way, but a way) Often for these people eating calms them and releaseing that food in a purge some how cleanses those feelings.

    EDs are all about emotions, hiding from, fear of, misunderstanding etc.

    Yes most of us with EDs have self-esteem and worth issues. Causes vary from person to person, but unfortunately we are all very hard on ourselves.

    Now you asked about how we see other people, well for most of us, we see everyone else as being thinner than we are. When we would see a woman who was thin we would automatically assume she was smaller than ourself. (this may or may not be the case, but that is not really the point)

    Somewhere along the line as we were growing up we began to use food and the techniques associated with EDs to cope with the things (emotions, issues, situations) that seemed to overwhelm us. In my case it was an abusive older brother who was on drugs and degraded and hit me constantly, then it was my fathers death when I was 16 and the overwhelming responsibility to keep my family together. So at that time I found a way to cope and that way was controling my food (both in and out). Coping this way stuck with me for nearly 2 decades. Each time things seemed better my ED lessened, but when troubles hit out came the coping mechanisims. It is much like this for most people with EDs.

    I finally decided to recover after once again hitting rock bottom, the road was long, jagged, painful, scary and one in which I thought would kill me, but each day I perservered and kept taking baby steps to freedom. Now I come to the boards to support and encourage others to let them know freedom does exsit.

    The people here are wonderful, but a lifetime of lies, uncaring, hurt and fear has gotten many of them down, but I believe in each one of them and one day they will be free!

    ~Dance
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    Old 09-18-2004, 12:17 PM   #7
    Leanne R
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    Re: Help me understand Eating disorders

    Hi Dance,
    I am really happy for you that you have been able to supress the undeniably strong feelings those with ED's seem to have.
    It's great that you are helping others cope (I wouldn't know where to start having not suffered with food issues like yourself)
    What made you realise that ignoring the feelings was a better course of action than continuing not to eat?
    I know they say you cannot make someone give this type of "obsession" up, they have to want to do it themselves but how miserable and ill and low do people with ED's have to feel until they take notice? They seem to possess more strength and will power than most people and are rigid in their quest.
    Can't we somehow save them the trouble of getting to that low point before they do the irreversible damage?

    Leanne

     
    Old 09-18-2004, 06:49 PM   #8
    Dance4jc
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    Re: Help me understand Eating disorders

    Quote:
    What made you realise that ignoring the feelings was a better course of action than continuing not to eat?
    I did not learn to ignore the bad feelings, I learned how to diffuse them. Ignoring them is almost impossible. I learned to put truth to what was causing the feelings and learned new ways to cope with the hurts and pains that arose.

    You have to get at the heart of the issue if you are going to have sucess and for most of us it is not just one issue. It is a ball of yarn all twisted up and intertwined. It takes patience, determination, support, tears, laughter, honesty, heart, courage and so much more to walk the road to recovery.

    In the begining it seems so overwhelming that you feel you can never recover, but if you have good professional support around you, they will help you break down the recovery into manageable pieces.

    Quote:
    I know they say you cannot make someone give this type of "obsession" up, they have to want to do it themselves but how miserable and ill and low do people with ED's have to feel until they take notice?
    For some it is hitting rock bottom that makes them want out. For me I finally realized I had two choices, die or recover. I chose to recover. Each little step towards recovery felt like it was too big for me, but I surround myself with people who encouraged me and found good professional help.

    Now for some people instead of hitting rock bottom, something better happens. Sometimes a new love will come along side their life and they want to get better to be a better partner to him/her. Recover is still hard, but again, with support and encouragement and professional help they can get to the heart of the behavior and diffuse it.

    People's wake up calls differ.

    Now you said something I found interesting, you said "till they take notice" - funny statement. We notice, we do, we choose to bury our head in the sand sometimes, but we notice. We notice it is not normal to be afraid of food, we notice it is not normal to shove your fingers down your throat after you eat, we notice it is not healthy to take a box of laxatives. It is not that we do not notice, we just don't generally have the skills necessary to cope with our lives without these behaviors. When that changes, when we aquire the coping skills and diffuse the pain, the world opens up to us again.

    Now I know that it sounds like wow that is simple, why don't more recover. Well all of this disease is shrouded in pain, wounds, fear, shame, rage, confusion, anxiety, anger, loneliness, feelings of worthlessness and pride.

    It is so personal and so complex that recovery from EDs are like Snow Flakes, no two are alike, but all are beautiful!!

    Hope this helps somewhat.

    ~Dance
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    Last edited by Dance4jc; 09-18-2004 at 06:54 PM. Reason: spelling :(

     
    Old 09-19-2004, 02:01 AM   #9
    Aurora
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    Re: Help me understand Eating disorders

    Hiya Leanne,

    If I knew why I feel like I am not really entitled to take up any space then perhaps I would be recovering better than I am currently. I think its probably something along the lines of just wanting to disappear. I hate myself. And no I'm not a murderer, but I do carry guilt for many things that have happened in my life - even if my therapist insists that they were beyond my ability to control and therefore NOT my fault.

    Thankfully my parents have never seemed overly bothered about my ed. Even when I was in hospital a while back they never came to visit. They have other people to worry about, and I live away from them and have a husband too, so why would they worry? Please don't insinuate that my anorexia will make it harder on my dad to get better. I am not trying to hurt him. I love him - so much that I would kill myself in a second if it would make him better. And I am there for him - for anyone that needs me. I don't care how overstretched it makes me, I am the person they ALL come to for strength. That is the only reason I let myself live any longer - so that I can continue to help other people, its my only sense of validation for living.

    I know full well that the 'ideal weight' is never enough - believe me I have gone very close to losing my life to this disorder. But then as we all know, its not really anything to do with the weight. And I am trying to get better, but its so hard to ignore these feelings sometimes.

    In answer to your question regarding fat. As I said, for me personally it simply means too much. I take up too much space, but I never look at others and regard them as being fat. Peoples weights usually don't worry me apart from making me feel a bit jealous now and then. I am sure that if I saw someone my height and weight I would a) feel huge in comparison, and b) be scared for them that they could get like that and still be standing.

    And I am told that I AM good at some other things in life too - in my career I am nothing but dedicated. I have progressed faster than most of my peers who studied the same as me. ...but nothing is ever enough for me.

    H xoxo
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    Old 09-19-2004, 12:43 PM   #10
    Charlyssa
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    Re: Help me understand Eating disorders

    Hi Leanne -

    I've been on these Boards for many months now, but have yet to see anyone with my exact, and current, ed. By medical definition I am morbidly obese. I can't seem to stop doing what I very well know I shouldn't do - eat to excess. Sadly, I WISH I could be bulemic - then I could have the best of both worlds, so to speak, meaning NO disrespect to bulemics!!! I just wish I could eat what I choose, as much as I choose, and not gain weight.

    I don't know if you could ever understand me, or if anyone can...I don't even understand myself. I've been in therapy and it didn't help. (I will be trying hypnotherapy to see if I can rid myself of the demons that seem to possess me, but whether this is my panacea, remains to be seen. I'm hopeful, but skeptical.) Unfortunately, since my situation sems to be the only one on these Boards, I'm not altogether certain it's even classified as an eating disorder. Sometimes I just think I'm a pig, a glut, who KNOWS she shouldn't be, yet feels powerless at slef-control.....

    I've always been in various stages of overweight, but I am now the heaviest ever, and much to my consternation, still gaining. How incredibly stupid I am!! I feel like a freight train without brakes....and it won't be too much longer before I resemble one.

    I THINK my ed began in childhood, as many do. My mother was a very strict disciplininarian, and being that I was always a chub, her favorite form of punishment was depriving me of dessert - converesly, if I was "good" that day, I was allowed to have it, and my favorite dessert was ice cream. Oh, my....this doesn't often happen, but the tears have just started typing that. After all these years...BTW, I'm 53, and probably the oldest here. Anyway, I feel certain she thought she was doing the right thing, sort of killing 2 birds with one stone. But apparently, at some point, this deprivation turned to a sort of obsession, not only with dessert, but food, in general. It had hurt me TERRIBLY to be deprived of something I loved, and worse, that other family members had their dessert, but I was disallowed. (whah, whah. sorry.)

    So thru the years I developed an unhealthy attitude toward deesserts and food...and worse, it evolved into...almost a sort of drug. It's there for all the reasons Dance4jc mentioned, and more. To soothe, destress, comfort pain (physical and emotional)...just, a plethora of reasons. And I sooooo hope that some day I can be where she's at now, to have learned other ways to cope, diffuse, etc. Until then, food is it. I know no other way, shamefully. And much as I desperately want to change, I feel doomed to stagnate in my obesity, and reasons for it. The freight train - ever the freight train.

    Quote:
    Yes most of us with EDs have self-esteem and worth issues. Causes vary from person to person, but unfortunately we are all very hard on ourselves
    Soooo true, Dance!! I don't even POSSESS a self-esteem, and perhaps only a smidgeon of self-worth. Many with eds are this way, but it baffles me as to why.

    Most of those who know me on this Board know that I don't even like to talk about myself, that I would rather, hypocritically, try to help others do what I can't even do for myself. That I've said all this to you is only because you are trying to understand those with eds. But something tells me you won't understand me any more than I, or anyone else, has been able to. I mean no disrespect - it's just what I perceive to be a fatalistic statement of fact.

    Hugs
    Char

    Last edited by Charlyssa; 09-19-2004 at 12:45 PM.

     
    Old 09-20-2004, 02:56 AM   #11
    Leanne R
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    Re: Help me understand Eating disorders

    Aurora and Dance,
    Thank-you for replying. I apologise straight away if I use the wrong words or seem to simplify your conditions. It is a very complex and very frightening condition and I acknowledge that unless you live through it, it is very difficult to understand.

    Aurora, you mentioned you have guilt and that may be a reason for driving your ED. Even if you believe you are the cause of what happened (I don't know whether you are or not as I don't know the story) Could you find it in your heart to forgive yourself? sometimes we all make wrong decisions, We are not psychics and if we new every consequence of our actions I'm sure we would choose not to do half of them. Even if you are to blame, you couldn't have known the consquences, if you knew then what you know now would have you made the same choices? If your anwser is no then forgive yourself and stop punishing yourself.
    I made a terrible mistake it involved my elderly dog (14 years of age, he was blind with a heart condition) I loved him so much. I made some really bad choices trying to do the right thing by him with his heart issues unfortuately this caused his kidneys to fail and he died of kidney failure I am sure he would have lived for many years more had my choices been different. I carry this with me everyday and wish I could turn back time and could make different choices but I can't. I have to acknowledge that what's done is done and the most important thing is if you have made mistakes or bad choices do not let them be in vain, learn from them so that you won't do the same thing again.

    Charlyssa,
    Eating lots and lots isn't a problem, the problem is the type of foods you are eating. There could be an element of what happened to you as a child, it could also be that your body isn't getting the right nutrients from what you are eating so keeps switching on the hunger signals, it could be a medical condition like underactive thyroid which will make you put on weight and can make you depressed. (I would get your medical side checked out to make sure there are not underlying problems like this). As I mentioned it is not a problem eating lots but eating lots of the wrong foods will cause problems. The ones to watch for are Processed meals, wheat, Dairy, SUGAR, diet/sugar free drinks/foods (these actually increase your appetite and have terrible chemicals in them.

    Eat lot of fresh fruit and veg, eat lean meat, eat sweet potatoes instead of normal potatoes. Eat fish. Basically eat foods that you have to cook yourself, plain, natural, unprocessed. Go for variety's that say No added sugar (not sugar free) and no added salt. If you get a sweet tooth eat figs and dates and sugary fruits instead of refined sugar. If you want to, you could also not mix your proteins with your carbs at the same meal. so In the morning perhaps have a bowl of porridge with rice milk , lean chicken and a huge portion of veg at lunch and maybe fish and veg in evening, Drink at least 1 and a half litres of pure water a day as your metabolism will not work properly without pure water. Cokes and fizzy drinks are not the same!

    Take supplements to help your body with the cravings like chromium and good multi min and a good multi vit.

    If you feel as if you are denying yourself food it is hard to stop, when you go out shopping only buy healthy real foods then the temptation isn't there.

    Good luck!
    Leanne

    Last edited by Leanne R; 09-20-2004 at 03:02 AM.

     
    Old 09-20-2004, 10:38 AM   #12
    Charlyssa
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    Re: Help me understand Eating disorders

    Charlyssa,
    Eating lots and lots isn't a problem, the problem is the type of foods you are eating. There could be an element of what happened to you as a child, it could also be that your body isn't getting the right nutrients from what you are eating so keeps switching on the hunger signals, it could be a medical condition like underactive thyroid which will make you put on weight and can make you depressed. (I would get your medical side checked out to make sure there are not underlying problems like this). As I mentioned it is not a problem eating lots but eating lots of the wrong foods will cause problems. The ones to watch for are Processed meals, wheat, Dairy, SUGAR, diet/sugar free drinks/foods (these actually increase your appetite and have terrible chemicals in them.

    Eat lot of fresh fruit and veg, eat lean meat, eat sweet potatoes instead of normal potatoes. Eat fish. Basically eat foods that you have to cook yourself, plain, natural, unprocessed. Go for variety's that say No added sugar (not sugar free) and no added salt. If you get a sweet tooth eat figs and dates and sugary fruits instead of refined sugar. If you want to, you could also not mix your proteins with your carbs at the same meal. so In the morning perhaps have a bowl of porridge with rice milk , lean chicken and a huge portion of veg at lunch and maybe fish and veg in evening, Drink at least 1 and a half litres of pure water a day as your metabolism will not work properly without pure water. Cokes and fizzy drinks are not the same!

    Take supplements to help your body with the cravings like chromium and good multi min and a good multi vit.

    If you feel as if you are denying yourself food it is hard to stop, when you go out shopping only buy healthy real foods then the temptation isn't there.

    Good luck!
    Leanne[/QUOTE]


    Hi Leanne -

    All of what you have written is good, sound nutritional advice, and I'm aware that you are most correct. But knowing and DOING...well, perhaps that is what makes this an eating disorder, as opposed to just general ignorance. On the plus side, I do eat veggies, mostly lean meats and 3 servings of fruit a day. I have to be careful of overdoing on fiber due to IBS.

    I do take supplements - a multi, plus extra C, E, selenium and calcium, but I despise fish, but I do manage tuna a couple times a month and salmon once...did I say I despise fish? LOL I have been checked medically - not thyroid problems to blame it on - but I DO have a strange digestive system, they think due to having my gall bladder removed 30 years ago. In the past decade I have an intolerance to fats, especial during the day - they DON'T digest, will lie in my stomach causing severe nausea. So, what I can eat during the day is only carbs, or I pay the price. I can have 1% milk and a small banana, so that is my breakfast - my lunch is .5 cup Raisin Bran cereal, .5 bagel, .5 grapefruit, and a small orange. I really have no appetite during the day, anyway, so I force these things just to maintain SOMEwhat of a metabolism, which has been annihilated due to decades of yo-yo dieting. But by night I am hungry, some 7 hours later...this is when I overeat and have have foods I know I shouldn't. The ice cream some hours later really isn't about hunger...it's about NEED. I MUST have it - it's like a fix. I have many disorders that cause chronic pain, I have depression and GAD, for which I take meds, as well as the pain. I have been told by the therapist I used to see that I use food as a reward for having gotten thru another day, to make myself feel better, to 'reward' myself, including spending most of the day eating the way I MUST. It comforts, it makes me FEEL better, it satisfies and soothes...it's all emotional...not about true hunger. Oh, and I do drink lots of water and rarely have a cola. Again, I know what I SHOULD do, but I can't...at least, I haven't been able to, yet. And what is porridge??

    Thanks for responding.

    Hugs
    Char

     
    Old 09-20-2004, 10:52 AM   #13
    Leanne R
    Senior Member
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    Join Date: May 2004
    Posts: 186
    Leanne R HB User
    Re: Help me understand Eating disorders

    Char,
    I really have to say that yes it can be lack of self control etc but there are lots of physical things that come into play here......Why are you craving sugar? (like in the Ice-cream) If your body is genuinely craving for it you may actually have an allergy to it same goes for wheat and dairy. If you are drinking and eating sugary things it is like a drug and your body will crave it. If you have IBS you I would really strongly advise you to cut out dairy and wheat products for a start as they will make this problem much worse. I had IBS and found that once I worked out what I was allergic to it went away.

    The things you should watch for are:
    Wheat
    Sugar
    Dairy
    Yeast
    Sugar free/processed meals.

    Be strong and go for the natural and plain, it gets easier as you carry on as the cravings stop I promise. It's the inital couple of weeks that are the killer! Once you are past them and you feel better mentally and physically it keeps you on the right path.

    Some more tips!....Try not to mix your carbs and proteins
    Get rid of the bran, instead eat porridge (the oats are less harsh on your system) What is porridge?!! don't you guys have it in the US? It is made out of oats and it nice with banana on top.
    Eat fruit on an empty stomach only and not around any other foods (don't include avocados,tomatoes on bananas in that list as they seem not to cause a problem)
    Eat reguarly throughout the day little and often as too much after a long period of not eating will be too much for your digestive systen to cope with.
    As I mentioned before plenty of water (not tap but bottled)
    Take spirulina (made by lifestream) it is really really good at stopping sugar cravings and will aid you so much.

    Have a go what have you got to lose I don't mind helping you every step of the way (if you need it)

    Leanne x

    Last edited by Leanne R; 09-20-2004 at 11:06 AM.

     
    Old 09-21-2004, 04:55 AM   #14
    juicy*lucy
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    juicy*lucy HB User
    Smile Re: Help me understand Eating disorders

    Hi Leanne

    I said that I would answer your questions about eds, then promptly got engrossed in trying to remember how mine began and how I have coped with it over the years. Sorry if I'm repeating what others have said...I tried to explain my ED to my boyfriend the other night and it's so hard to understand, like you said, if you haven't been through it...so here goes.

    No one 'chooses' an eating disorder. Whatever kind it is; anorexia, bulimia, binge eating, you don't ask for it. Different people have different coping mechanisms and just as some people turn to drink, drugs, smoking or self-harm as a way to cope with a difficult situation/period of time, eating disorders, for me anyway, have been a way to cope. Young women/teenage girls are generally more suceptible to EDs because they are more emotional I guess and there is also pressure on them from their peers and the media to be thin. I am not blaming the media for EDs but they promote skinniness and this leads me to believe that anorexia is more prominent today partly due to the attention it gets in the media. This is just an opinion however.

    Anorexia becomes a part of you. It is almost like having a duel personality - there is one side of you who is you, who wants to escape and live life just like everyone else. The other side, the anorexia, wants to retreat further into a world where you can shut out the outside world, forget about all the responsibility and worry, and focus on something where we are in control. In reality we are not in control, our ED is and that is why it is such a struggle to break the ED cycle.

    I have been anorexic for 8 years now, although that doesn't mean that I haven't eaten for 8 years. The last 2 years have been a recovery period for me where most days I have eaten a good 1200 calories; a reasonable amount. But then the last 3 months or so I have relapsed and so I say 8 years because it is clear that my anorexia is still there and I am not rid of it yet.

    Anorexics are some of the strongest, most determined people I know. We are so stubborn about getting our own way that we can throw aside help and support from professionals, loved ones and friends, just in order to get what we want. It is turning this determination around into a willingness to get better, to recover, that I think is the real struggle. We have to want recovery whole-heartedly and that means overthrowing the anorexia, shutting them out of our bodies and taking over ourselves. Gaining back our real personality is where the key to recovery lies.

    Sorry for rambling!! Once I get going...let me know if I can help by maybe answering more specific questions.

    Take care

    x J*L x

     
    Old 09-21-2004, 08:36 AM   #15
    Leanne R
    Senior Member
    (female)
     
    Join Date: May 2004
    Posts: 186
    Leanne R HB User
    Re: Help me understand Eating disorders

    Thanks JL for responding.
    I am glad to know you are fighting this horrible condition. 8 years is a long time. My hope is for you that you can rid yourself totally of the anorexia and that you can wake up one morning and forget about food, eat as others do and look forward to things in life with out food creeping in.

    A couple of things I have noticed about this Eating Disorder board is the obsession about calories. Everyone is watching their calories.
    I really believe calorie counting is what causes the problem. My mum went on a diet and tried to calorie count this made her think about food all day and all night and she became pre-occupied counting and weighing all the time it took over her mind/life very quickly. (as with all the diets my mum has tried she gave it up after 3 weeks or so which I was thankful for as she was driving us all mad with the calculating!!).

    If you eat healthy calories are not the issue you won't get fat if you eat the right foods.
    Fat comes from fast foods and sugar and chemically charged processed meals etc No one has ever got fat by eating healthly foods.......we need good fats in order to live like nuts/avocado/olive oil these are essential fatty acids that without them your body can't function. these even speed up your metabolism believe it or not.

    The other thing that happens which does not help you guys very much is the more you deny your body vital nutrients and foods the more your brain can't function and this distorts your perception of yourself and life. It can make you depressed, make you paranoid,can make you think you see things and think things that are not really true, it makes you blow everything out of proportion. You begin to lose touch with reality.

    The way to break this chain is to ignore the negative thoughts...shut them out! As soon as you find yourself thinking a negative thought tell it your not listening. The negative feelings and thoughts are really strong I am sure but they do not control you physically (only mentally) if you keep ignoring them they will go away I promise just do not give into them.

    Learn about what foods do what in the body and about cell metabolism, don't be afraid to learn about foods..the more you understand about what they do and what vitamins and foods are needed for each function of your body the easier it will be for you to rationalise the negative thoughts.

    Leanne

    Last edited by Leanne R; 09-21-2004 at 08:59 AM.

     
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