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Sparklybeck 04-14-2007 04:12 AM

Massive attention seeking got out of hand

I'm new to this forum, but have been desperately seeking one to tell anyone who might understand the situation I've got myself into - here goes:

In March last year on my way to back university after my half term holiday, I suddenly decided I was going to lose lots of weight in the five weeks left before the Easter holidays so that when I got back home, people would notice and start to worry about me. The primary reason, and I'm very aware of this, was for the men in the local pub I work at to worry about me (worked there for two years, am very popular as a barmaid, full of older men looking at me - this stems very much from an issue I have with wanted to be protected by older men (I'm very self-analytical!)). I think it was something about wanting to give myself an edge, to show them I wasn't just a body they could look at (numbers removed by moderator), but that I had things going on inside my head that made me want to lose weight. I suppose it was to make myself 3-dimensional in their eyes.

So to cut a long story short, I dieted massively, (numbers removed by moderator). I lost about (numbers removed by moderator), and people did notice. I started jogging, going to the gym, and I carried on doing it until I graduated in the summer, and my body basically transformed into being really toned and quite athletic, which it had never been before. And I carried on. When I moved back home, I found I couldn't go abck to eating normally becuase I was terrified of putting on weight, I was weighing myself about three times a day compulsively, I was skipping meals, but as I became quite depressed over the summer of last year, due to the fright of having left education and being in the real world, I was drinking quite a lot and was even more determined to lose weight and make people worry. It became a real way of showing my depression to people without going up to them and saying 'Look at me, I'm depressed'. I wanted them to come to me and ask me what wasthe matter.

Basically, I continued doing this, and when I started work at the college I work at in September, I decided I needed a climax to finish this dieting thing, or I wouldn't be able to get out of it. By a climax, I mean me fainting or breaking down in front of people (most preferably the men in the pub) to show that I wasn't messing about and there was really something wrong with me. I feel that if I don't have this climax, and just kind of crawl back into eating 'normally' again, the whole thing has been a complete miserable waste of time. But I didn't get my climax at Chirmstmas, because I stuffed my face (another issue: I can't control myself around food, and never have been able to) and put on half a stone, and it's taken me about three months just to lose that Xmas weight.

I'm eating sometimes as little as (numbers removed by moderator), and the awful thing is that my body has become accostomed to that and if I eat much more than that, I put on weight. (numbers removed by moderator) I'm not underweight for my age, I don't look too thin (although I just cna't comprehend it when people tell me I'm skinny, (numbers removed by moderator), but I cna't stop this. I'm still desperartely trying to lose enough weight for people t oactually sit me down and say 'Becky, we're worried about you', or for me to collapse in front of people. I know this sounds like an almost obsessive plea for attention, adn essentially it is, but it's gone beyond that now and I actually can't stop trying to lose weight - it's horrible,but I feel I've lost all sense of identity without this weight issue. I haven't had a period for over a year, I've been constipated, I'm constantly tired, and I've missed out on so many social opportunities in the last year by refusing to go out when there's food around. Today my mum's doing a BBQ, and it'll be lovely, but I'm dreading it, becuase I know I cna't control myself around food.

That's another thing that's really got out of hand: chewing and spitting. I came across this tact about 6 months ago, and have been doing it compulsively ever since. I don't do it with meals, I do it with snacks betwen meals. Sometimes I can be in the kitchen for up to an hour, cramming sugary and fatty things into my mouth that I've denied myself for the past year, and spitting htem out into kitchen paper. I can't stop thinking about food, I'm constantly baking cakes so I can eat the mixture and chew and spit them out when they're baked, I go into shops and stare at the food I can't buy, I cook meals for people and don't eat them, becuase I get some kind of weird pleasure out of it - almost like I've satisfied hte psychological pleasure that goes with eating without satisfying the physical pleasure - and I don't know how to get out of it. I used to love food, I was known by family and friends for loving food, for always eating healthily, but no one really knows that I've never been able to control myself. Before I discovered chewing and spitting, I'd binge eat terribly, and then feel awful, awful afterwards. I do have black outs when I'm chewing and spitting, I rush around the kitchen frantically grabbing at things, I stand at the fridge with a spoon and eat mango chutney, jam, marmalade, tartar sauce, beetroot, pickled onions, even mustard out of the jars, just to put something in my mouth. I can't spend an evening at home without tearing my hair out thinking about what's in the kitchen. Even now all I want to do is go downstairs and raid the biscuit tin, spitting it all out again.

I know this is awfully long and I bet no one's got to the end of this, but if anyone has, I was just wondering whether anyone's found themselves in a similar situation, or can relate to anything I've said? The irony about my situation is that whn I decided to lose weight it wasn't because I thought I was fat, or because I thought I needed to; it's only now, when I've lost over a stone and transformed my body, that I think I keep needing to lose weight. I tried to deny for months that I was teetering on the edge of an eating disorder, but I know I have one (or, rather, several rolled into one!) and I don't know how to get out of it.
Sorry for rambling, but I really, really needed to get this off my chest to people who might understand, because I've never spoken about it to anyone properly before.
Thanks for listening (if you made it to the end!)

MariaBB 04-14-2007 10:28 AM

Re: Massive attention seeking got out of hand
Some of your symptoms are similar to mine. I didn't believe I had an ED because I didn't get sick or pass out or anything. Sometimes I'm still not convinced. Regardless, you should look into therapy. I see a counselor every week and we talk about all sorts of things. There is much more to an ED than just food.

lostandfading 04-17-2007 07:23 PM

Re: Massive attention seeking got out of hand
Hi. I just want to say that I can really relate to a lot of what you have said. My metabolism is also very screwed up and my body has become accustomed to a small amount of calories and whenever I try to up them slowly I gain fast. And the constantly thinking about food, shopping for foods you wont have and cooking things for people you wouldnt eat. I also go from restricting to full binge mode. It totally sucks and is so strange to me how I've gone from one disorder to another. I've found that support groups help me tremendously. I am also in therapy but I just started seeing a new therapist and so far we havent "clicked" but its still early. Have you sought out a therapist at all?

shellshell82 04-18-2007 06:32 AM

Re: Massive attention seeking got out of hand

A lot of what you wrote rings true for me as well. I saw a dietician for a bit last year, who helped me work through some of the reasons why I was restricting etc. I stopped seeing her because she was impressed by my (physical) progress. Unfortunately, some other stuff has come up for me recently and it's like heaps of new issues concerning food have come up that didn't seem to be there previously. I would like to be able to see someone again - someone who is going to take it a bit more seriously. Last year I had physical symptoms of an ED - this year, I am going well physically but have the emotional / psychological aspects happening worse than ever. I look fine, but seriously aren't going well inside my head. The only way I managed to keep the weight on was to quit my gym membership and go for walks instead (since I was overdoing it at the gym, and don't fall into that trap when I'm just walking for exercise instead).

Same as you.... can't believe it when people go on about how thin I am... when I'm thinking of myself as pushing the upper limits of the healthy weight range like I was for most of my teenage and young adult life.

Sparklybeck 04-18-2007 02:28 PM

Re: Massive attention seeking got out of hand
Thank you so much for responding - I've been to counselling about it just before and just after Christmas, but it really didn't do anything. It kind of helped insofar as being able to just talk at someone helps, and some stuff did come out that I'd never really thought about before like perhaps some of the reasons I'm like this, but it wasn't really that helpful. I'd like therapy but I can't afford it - that's the simple reason I don't go! But I'd love to know what makes me like this - I had what you might call a perfect childhood with loving parents and a fantastic upbringing in a very stable family, so why are these issues here?! I know it's not just down to the family and upbringing, but I'd love to know what's made me like this. Isn't it frustrating?!

shellshell82 04-18-2007 05:36 PM

Re: Massive attention seeking got out of hand
Yeah, I've seen a counsellor twice before. But like you, after I saw them, I felt good because it was good to talk about stuff, but I also felt like they didn't do anything that I couldn't have done myself by just sitting down and working through my feelings - like writing a diary or something like that. Maybe that is something you could try? Writing about how you feel when you feel really down and like it's really out of control and there's nothing you can do. I've done that a few times this week and it has really helped me to work through how I have been feeling.

I also want to see someone long term, but am worried about $$$ .... always about the $$$$.... if only there was help without that being a factor. Although there are some places that charge on a sliding scale, so it's cheaper if you don't earn much (like me... hahaha).

The other thing that freaks me is actually going in there and admitting I have a problem with all of this. I felt in the past that I could admit to about half of the problem, but I didn't want to admit to all of it... that would really be admitting that I had serious problems... don't know... really hard to admit how serious the problem is.

MariaBB 04-19-2007 07:17 AM

Re: Massive attention seeking got out of hand
One thing I'm learning in therapy is the problems I thought I had aren't so bad, but there are little issues I wasn't aware of (or didn't want to acknowledge?) that do need work. It's a difficult process. Sometimes I think I'd rather not address these issues and just keep the ED. But I'm trying to work through it all.

JenW67 04-24-2007 03:38 AM

Re: Massive attention seeking got out of hand
This is mostly for Sparklybeck and Shellshell,

Therapy can be really expensive. I have a suggestion. Talk with your regular doc and ask him or her if there is a local community mental health program near where you live. I live in coastal Maine and we have programs here that offer therapy on a sliding scale. You may not find someone who specializes iin ED's but they can help. I didn't want to talk but finally did. It was hard and I felt like it did nothing for a while, mostly because I was resistant to the treatment. After I stuck with it, I felt better.


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