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TLynn07 10-20-2007 06:54 AM

Renfrew Center
I may be admitting myself there next week. Has anyone been through their program? I'm scared.

I'll "introduce" myself/my story later... :(

Okay, I'm back.

I'm 22 years old. I think my problem initially started when I entered college in 2003. I have always had low self-esteem, and I've always, always compared myself to every single girl I look at, pass by, or talk to. I get so insecure and so jealous over the slightest of slight things that, in my perception, make another girl "better" than me.

In order to cope with this, I started restricting and over-exercising. I saw one of the girls measuring her thighs with her hands, fingers touching, and I felt filled with rage. Why couldn't I be like that? What right does she have to have what was a clear problem, but I looked up to her for it. I started doing it too. I would walk through the cafeteria with a salad and see someone walking by with a burger and fries and feel SO good about myself. Otherwise, I ate normal foods, just in extremely low amounts, and felt terrible guilt for eating more than I believed was enough.

The same year that this was all going on, I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. I subsequently had my thyroid removed, and I suppose after realizing the severity of the sickness I'd been through, began a very healthy and regimented eating lifestyle. I've always had an interest in nutrition. My dad subscribes to Nutrition Action magazine, and I've been reading it since I was little. I want to be a dietician. Anyway, for the past few years, I've avoided all processed foods, all bleached grains, (no white bread, etc.), no partially hydrogenated oils, no high fructose corn syrup, no sugar, no cane sugar...I wouldn't put a bite in my mouth if any of those ingredients were on the list. Which, is a good thing, right???!!!

For at least a year, or two, I've eliminated red meat from my diet. About six months ago I took out poultry, and within the month I've stopped eating fish. I've also stopped eating eggs, and since I am intolerant to dairy, I don't consume dairy products either. So, I'm a vegan. I do so for ethical beliefs, health reasons, and semi-spiritual reasons, as I am beginning to practice Buddhism.

I also follow a gluten-free diet, as I've found it gives me much more energy.

Moving on, I am currently very much underweight for my height, but I FEEL good. I know that I look good, people tell me all of the time how great of shape I am in. I exercise regularly, and I eat small meals every 3-4 hours.

I know I have an issue though when the extreme fear of gaining even half of a pound constantly haunts me. I weigh myself compulsively, probably 10-12+ times a day. I will not let a cookie pass my lips because I instantly fear it will INSTANTLY add 10 pounds to my body. I still feel inadequate and I feel as though I could be better. My physical appearance is what gives me any sense of self-worth.

My dilemna is, although the staff at the Renfrew Center (in Philly) think that I should without a doubt admit myself to their 28-day program, and they must know what they're talking about, I feel as though I don't have a problem. I eat!!!!!!! I refuse to compromise my morals and start eating a burger or a piece of turkey. I'm a PETA member, I can't!

She said a typical breakfast would be a bagel and eggs and cereal. WHITE BREAD??? Cereal LOADED with carbs and CORN SYRUP??? MILK??????????????? How is that healthy????

I know that I will not follow their eating plan when I come home, so is there any sense in going???

I am on medical leave from work because I am also bipolar and my mood swings intensified to the point where I was almost incapacitated. I am also in the midst of changing medications. Will they be able to help me in that regard????

I don't know what to do. Please, please, please help me. Please...

MariaBB 10-20-2007 11:19 AM

Re: Renfrew Center
I haven't gone through a Program, but I attend a group where a lot of people went through one. These people (even ones just beginning the program) all report that the members and staff are really caring. The patients each have a treatment team and learn a lot through different group programs. They are all given a chance to relive their childhood through different activities. Those I've heard speak all seem to like it. But they were all scared when they began. Good luck!

TLynn07 10-20-2007 12:42 PM

Re: Renfrew Center
Okay, I just talked with my aunt for half an hour and decided that I should NOT go and instead see a psychiatrist here who specializes in ED (I know of one) before making any rash from what you described, my mind is flipping in the other direction.

This is just too much.

SqrrlGrrl 10-22-2007 05:39 PM

Re: Renfrew Center
This is crazy! :)

TLynn, you and I think identical regarding food. I just cut out gluten and my face stopped breaking out. I should add that I have a ton of food allergies. Anaphylactic shock is something I am all too familiar with. Dairy gives me sever eczema and sometimes wheat causes me to break out in hives or rashes. It's all very frustrating. I'm also a big animal enthusiast. I work with wildlife for a living. I TOTALLY see where you are coming from!

I actually found a nutritionist who was willing to work with me and all my food issues. It was an awesome experience. I really fell into the right hands. Have you considered a nutritionist?


MariaBB 10-23-2007 10:11 AM

Re: Renfrew Center
I agree - a nutritionist and therapist can be very helpful.

Have you been evaluated by an ED center? When I had this done they asked me a gazillion questions, weighed me backwards, took a full blood count and an EKG. By analyzing your blood they can check for ED damage that you may not be aware of. This includes electrolyte imbalances, anemia, thyroid, liver function, etc. If you have an assessment like this done you will be in a better place to make a decision, because you'll know if your body/health are in danger.

lostandfading 10-23-2007 06:59 PM

Re: Renfrew Center
I've been vegan since my preteen years (I'm almost thirty now) and I only developed my eating disorder may of last year. I was lucky to find an awesome vegetarian nutritionist that was very open minded to my veganism and was a huge help to me. I would research nutrtionists in your area that would be comfortable with your eating choices. I've been encouraged to go inpatient many times but I found it difficult to find any clinics that would accept my veganism but they are out there (just not near me).

TLynn07 10-24-2007 09:41 AM

Re: Renfrew Center
I am extremely angry. I HAVE NEVER BEEN DIAGNOSED ANOREXIC. I will NOT, under any circumstances, compromise my veganism. They are forcing me to eat cheese, yogurt, and cottage cheese EVEN THOUGH I have a doctor's note stating that I have an upper respiratory allergy from dairy. I would also be forced to drink Boost or Ensure to gain weight. <removed> They both have WHEY protein, from MILK. The head "dietician" at this "world-renowned" center said to me, "well, we need another note to be sure you have a whey allergy, I'm not sure what you mean." WHAT?????!!!! HELLOOOOOOOOOOOO. And you call yourself a dietician???? I know more than she does!

She said that they supply vegetarians with cheese for their main protein source. Okay, let's talk real now. Beans, tofu, and nut butters, which I consume regularly now, contain a HELL of a lot more protein than one slice of what is probably government-supplied cheese. ANYONE with a functioning brain knows that.

I will not compromise my morals, and I will not eat things that will make me sick. And I DO NOT want to consume gluten!!!!

Oh, and I have to gain <weight> while I'm there, which would add on <a lot of weight> by the month's end.

I am HAPPY with my current weight. I love myself and my body. I work hard and exercise regularly and know a TON of things about nutrition. I am really second-guessing this place. If I come back, my clothes don't fit, and I look in the mirror and I really AM fat, then I will be WAY worse off than I am now.

I can guarantee I would be suicidal and in bad shape.

I am not impressed with the Renfrew Center, and I am not one who likes to judge before experiencing something, but I am getting bad vibes.

And I've already committed and am probably going on Friday.


SqrrlGrrl 10-24-2007 10:33 AM

Re: Renfrew Center
I don't see how this place could be of any benefit to you, if you go in angry or defiant. I'm not saying you don't have a right to be angry or defiant. I just feel you need to find a place you feel is safe and comfortable for you. This doesn't sound like it meets your needs


Part 2.....

I thought of something else. So what happens when you leave and go back to being vegan. You'll have no practice eating foods you are comfortable with. In fact, your vegan food could then become a trigger for you to go back to your old way of eating.


tengalla 10-26-2007 10:33 PM

Re: Renfrew Center
Wait, wait, wait. This is kind of random, but are you telling me that boost and ensure have milk in them? That means they lied to me. I have been inpatient several times, and my meals were very much supplemented with "Boost" - because I was vegan, and they said that they needed to make sure I was getting the right nutrients and calories. They told me that it was vegan, and I believed them. Are you sure they're not? The hospital I was at worked with me to be vegan, though they made mistakes sometimes, but they let me continue to be vegan, I just had to drink my "Boost" after every meal and snack. So either THEY were wrong - which is possible, because there were times when I was SURE they gave me meat or dairy products on accident - or else you are misinformed. But that kind of freaks me out, that I spent the four months inpatient there drinking a load of milk four or five times a day. UUggghhh. But many hospitals will work with you, if they know that you won't use it to continue your behaviors, and if you honestly try to work with them and eat the right servings and calories, and drink boost - if it really has no milk.

SqrrlGrrl 10-27-2007 05:51 AM

Re: Renfrew Center
I don't consider "milk protein concentrate" vegan.....and it's one of the first ingredients :(

I have no faith or trust in most health care facilities


Part ll

Ensure looks vegan from what I have found so far

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