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  • I have to gain weight to survive. But I don't want to.

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    Old 01-18-2010, 11:22 PM   #1
    lovelybones10's Avatar
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    Exclamation I have to gain weight to survive. But I don't want to.

    Hello all.

    I'm a 16 year old who just started recovery from anorexia and it's been about 3 weeks so far. In the beginning I've just been binging and stuffing my face because, hey, I have to gain weight anyways right? Now it's really putting a strain on me both mentally and physically because that weight is SHOWING. So far I've gained <some weight>. I wouldn't mind if that weight distributed throughout my whole frame, but the fact that it's all gathering at my midsection and stomach is driving me insane. Is it ever going to redistribute? I will be miserable if I had to walk around with a pudgy stomach forever..

    I'm the most sensitive about my stomach fat. It's the reason I turned to ana in the first place. Now that I've gotten it back, and know that it's going to take a copious amount of time to redistribute, I feel like relapsing. Sometimes when I look in the mirror I see a completely disgusting body, one of frail bones with a contrastingly large belly. I'm disgusting.

    I know that I'll most likely die if I relapse, judging from the sharp chest pains and fatigue that I used to have. On the other hand, if I gain so much as another inch to my stomach I'm probably going to die from self-imposed mental and emotional torture.

    I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place. This is most definitely the worst thing I've done in my life and I sometimes wish that I never came across this horrible disorder.

    I just want to be normal. Is that even possible now?

    Last edited by mod-anon; 01-19-2010 at 08:29 AM. Reason: edited triggering words

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    Old 01-19-2010, 10:04 PM   #2
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    Re: I have to gain weight to survive. But I don't want to.

    Aw I really feel for you. I'm sure that your stomach is only fat in your head - you can't be bones and have a fat stomach. You can't gain weight like that. It's just your anxiety about gaining weight, so you focus on your stomach and see something that isn't real. You see yourself differently than others see you. Recovering does involve emotional and mental strain. It's very painful for people with ED's, but don't you want to live? You can get through emotional and mental strain, it will get better as you learn to accept yourself more. You might not get better from the chest pains and fatigue that will lead to your death though. Emotional pain=temporary, physical pains from starving=strong possibility of death. Which is more manageable? Do you want to die to be thin? I'm assuming you're in therapy and getting support right now, right? If you're not, it's very important that you have all the support you can right now while you're recovering because yes, it's very stressful and makes you feel out of control to gain any weight at all. Remember anorexics think very black/white. If you gain a pound, you're fat. The truth is that you are gaining much needed weight so you won't die and you are far from fat. If you do gain weight and that scares you, remember that your metabolism is all out of whack right now and it's holding onto much needed energy to survive. It will level out if you don't start starving yourself again.

    Old 01-21-2010, 03:01 PM   #3
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    Re: I have to gain weight to survive. But I don't want to.


    I just wanted to say that the weight will redistribute. {We cant mention weights or behaviors so it's really, really hard but i'll try to share my experience without mentioning them. I know it's hard to concentrate when you are recovering so I broke it down.}

    Weight Gain:
    I had a significant amount of weight to gain. I was anorexic for close to 6 years. The first 5 weeks were hard because like you said- the weight caused my stomach area to swell and I gained weight really fast. This happens because because that's were the weight goes first to protect your internal organs-heart and stomach.

    The weight gain stopped after about 5 weeks because I started getting night sweats and cold chills so I lost all the weight. So basically, for me, the first month I gained weight really fast and then lost it because my body freaked out.

    For months 2-7, I was on a weight gain meal plan with no exercise and lots of bed rest, so the weight gain was really slow.

    I started refeeding during June while school was out so it was easier. It might be a good idea to buy sweatpants with elastic or drawstrings. I also bought jeans that were baggy and boyfriend cut. Before I started recovery, I like to wear clothes that showed my frame. But once I started recovery, I didn't want anything showing my form so I wore really baggy clothes like babydoll shirts.

    Time frame:
    Refeeding is probably one of the hardest things I've ever had to do in my life. Every bite was a battle. I tried to get better before but the weight gain freaked me out and then I would stop and revert. This time it was different because I gave myself a time frame. I said to myself, "I am going to do this (refeed-recover) for 1 year. I could always go back, but i'm going to try for year."

    It's been 7 months and 21 days of refeeding and yesterday was my first day of not being officially underweight! I relapsed several times and wanted to give up but I made it.

    The ED thoughts got softer somewhere during those seven months. I still have those thoughts that say that "i'm big" or that "I shouldn't eat that." The only difference is that I don't listen to those thoughts anymore.

    The behaviors went away also (I can't mention specifics) but the more you don't do them, the easier it gets.

    I was told that it's going to take up to one year to recover physically and mentally. I still don't have a grasp on my size. My wrist is still the size of 5 year olds but I still can't see it.

    Anyways, I've ramble on long enough! You can do this. I was close to dying several times but there is still only one thing that scares me more than dying. It's being labeled a chronic anorexic.

    Last edited by mod-anon; 01-22-2010 at 12:00 AM. Reason: removed quote

    Old 02-21-2010, 01:59 PM   #4
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    Re: I have to gain weight to survive. But I don't want to.


    You have an amazing story. I'm on day 3 of refeed and your story is a total inspiration to me. what amazing tools you incorporate that are getting you HEALTHY! I'm so proud of you because your battle sounds so horrific.

    Keep up the fight and keep us informed.. Believe it or not your story is a great motivator for us newbies we love to hear of your success and lessons learned.


    Last edited by mod-anon; 02-21-2010 at 09:51 PM. Reason: removed quote

    Old 03-21-2010, 07:46 PM   #5
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    Re: I have to gain weight to survive. But I don't want to.

    it may seem like you have weight in your stomach right now, but it's maybe just a reaction your body has to eating again. my doctor called for a cat scan of my stomach when i was starting recovery & said it was emptying very slowly, which is common in people who haven't been eating or who've been binging/purging. for months, i had this little round belly, but over time, it went away. taking some probiotics and digestive enzymes with your meals helps a little with this.

    Old 04-04-2010, 12:39 PM   #6
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    Re: I have to gain weight to survive. But I don't want to.

    Maybe you have food intolerances. I attribute my eating disorder to all of my food intolerances. I haven't quite figured all of them out yet, but so far, I know I have autoimmune reactions to milk and gluten. I have a terrible time with my stomach and I have a tiny body with frail limbs and a potbelly. Eliminating those foods made me feel better, but I still have to find what other things are causing the problem. I advise testing. Intolerances do not show up in blood tests though. You might want to ask your doctor about what you can do, but I must also add that not many are well versed in that area and food intolerance testing is a relatively new concept. It is not well understood and much of the medical profession is unaware or skeptical. I wish you luck.

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