October 7, 2013 at 11:16 am #13013
It seems like whenever I give my body time to rest/relax I eat much more than usual. I feel like on a normal day I am eating below what I REALLY want but I feel like this would be too much food. Whenever I have an off day or a slow day in regards to work and school all my mind thinks about it food. Should I listen to the thoughts? Should I be eating 2500-3000 calories after being weight stable? I am thinking of taking a recovery week from exercise and just doing yoga and stretching and some body weight stuff. But now since my mental appetite is so high I am a little freaked out!October 7, 2013 at 11:19 am #13014
Forgot to mention, exercise has been causing a lot of weird anxiety. For example, I wake up every hour looking at my phone in anticipation of exercise. I sleep the best the night before my off day! It’s like my mind knows I am going to exercise and it gets all weird on me!October 14, 2013 at 9:15 pm #13151DavidModerator
Do you feel stressed out by your exercise? If you’re getting anxiety from working out, you might be doing too much, too soon. Maybe you should pull back and gradually build your stamina until the exercise is more comfortable. I occasionally push myself too hard and then have to take a day or two off to recover. Ideally, you want to exercise hard enough that it requires a little effort, but not enough that it wears you out or makes you hate it.
To determine the amount of calories you need it eat, you could start with a BMR calculator. But I think the easiest way to do it monitor your body. If you’re gaining unwanted weight, decrease your calories. If you’re losing weight you want to keep, then increase your calories. Eventually, you should get a feel for where you need to be. If you’re like me, and your weight has fluctuated a bit, it can take some time to find the sweet spot that works for you.October 15, 2013 at 5:32 am #13158heatherdukeParticipant
Bauer is trying to recover from a serious eating disorder and should definitely not be trying to decrease her calories, not now and ideally not ever.
@BauerPower, I’m often hungrier on rest days too. If all you can think about is food, you need food. You’re recovering both from a workout AND an ED–food can only help with that.
And a light week re:exercise sounds like a good idea, since if i recall correctly you never fully stopped to rest in recovery, right?October 15, 2013 at 11:08 am #13160DavidModerator
Since no one had responded to her post for a week, I decided I would share my thoughts. I agree that it wouldn’t make sense to limit calories if she is recovering from an eating disorder, but I was not aware of that.October 16, 2013 at 9:28 am #13167
Hey guys thank you both.
David, I have scaled back exercise, have been an exercise ‘freak’ for five+ years and an athlete when younger so it isn’t so much about intensity but about the anxiety for planning, executing exercise. I am a little hesitant to start following BMR stuff just because of the ED. Plus, when I have calculated that and added in exercise/activity level it still came out lower than what I tend to want! Thank you for responding, this ED kinda complicated things!
Heather, I wonder why I would be hungrier on rest days. Could exercise be blunting appetite? I was never sedentary in recovery, which I probably should have done. I think it would have really helped with the damn exercise obsessions/anxiety/etc.October 17, 2013 at 9:02 pm #13201
Exercise DEFINITELY blunts my appetite. I could easily get through a day of 500 cals or less when I ran my long runs (back in the bad sad days-not any more!) I’d get back and have no use for food.
I know you here and from YE and I really do think you know in your heart that a full break is in order. I wonder what is keeping you from taking the plunge. You’ve made amazing progress-amazing!-so you know you CAN do it, but will you? I’m not saying never exercise ever again but you have and have had a very serious exercise addiction in addition to the ED. You will never learn to trust your body unless you allow yourself the experience of eating to appetite while abstaining from exercise. Until you give it a try to prove to yourself that your body will take care of itself without your tinkering, I think you’re going to remain in a semi-state of recovery.October 19, 2013 at 12:53 am #13244heatherdukeParticipant
Bauer, in my experience, exercise blunts appetite and rest restores it. The idea of stressors such as exercise signalling to the body (especially on that houses an ED-wired brain) that food needs to be sought out, there is work to be done etc., is a compelling one, but obviously just a theory. Conversely, resting is a time to repair, recharge, and refuel, getting ready for the next cardio set to hit.
For what it’s worth, I definitely think that stopping all exercise for a while is the only way to drop the obsessions (something I’m still working on myself!)–seeing that you can not work out and still be fine is something you need to experience firsthand. It also will definitely help with the physiological side of things: exhaustion, pain, etc. And cosign everything @tennosea said, of course. You should really give it a try, imo.October 19, 2013 at 1:38 pm #13255
Thank you both. Of course fear runs most of my ED. I guess I fear that without exercise I will just eat and eat and become super uncomfortable in my body and develop some type of overeating issue. It seems that is a big fear for many people on the REDS. I have come far, and enjoy going out to eat and stuff like that, but I am definitely still stuck with food. I still feel the guilt if I eat a lot or eat a “bad” food. I kind of feel like in today’s society this is the norm. I hear so many women at work say things like, “God, I can’t believe I ate that cookie cake” or “I wish this was calorie free” that I sort of feel justified in my irrational relationship with food. I have been having some extreme-ish hunger lately, but I guess it isn’t super duper extreme considering others that have rested and experience true EH.
I know that exercise is still a big issue, but I have noticed that I look forward to my rest day where before I dreaded it. Sometimes I will think about what if we went on a week vacation and I coulnd’t exercise, and it totally freaks me out. I would lose everything I worked for!!! I just can’t seem to find a balance between understanding the ED is still strong and seeing other healthy people work out like I do. Am I doing something wrong or am I just enjoying exercise. UGH!October 19, 2013 at 7:22 pm #13263
Are you familiar with what they call “quasi-recovery” on YE? It sounds like that is maybe where you are. It is a pretty crappy place to be. It might not be as dark and terribly painful as the depths of ED but damn, it’s a pretty sad place-feels like there will never be real freedom. Your justification-“all women have dysfunctional relationships with food/weight”-definitely seems to be a theme for those in quasi too. Yes, there might be a hell of a lot of people out there with shitty relationships with food and their bodies, but does that make it ok? Does that make it ok for you?
Now, I don’t know what your beliefs are on this, but for years-hundreds, really-women were to do what they were told. Women who didn’t like this really just accepted it because hey, other women out there are in the same predicament, but it was the norm. Well, they accepted it, until they didn’t. I kind of see this as a similar phenomenon-not that it’s just a women’s issue; it’s a human issue. Yeah, it might be pretty damn common for people to live this way, but that doesn’t make it ok or mean we have to continue to accept it. Not to mention the fact that the amount of effort and energy it sucks is such a waste.October 19, 2013 at 7:42 pm #13266
Yes, I began my recovery with a lot of help with YE. So yes, I am definitely in quasi recovery if someone is following the MM guidelines. For me, the guidelines were a bit much, however I still visit that site for inspiration. I know those guidelines will work for some but I am not necessarily one to believe that it is necessary for everyone. Who knows though, I could be completely wrong.
I agree that it isn’t a great existence and that it is sad that women have these unhealthy relationships with food. I also do not know one woman, literally one woman, who does complain about their bodies, comment on their food intake, etc. It is a pretty pervasive issue.October 19, 2013 at 8:00 pm #13267
I’m sort of right with you on the YE guidelines-I’m not hard core subscribed to it either-but I do think that the idea of quasi recovery is valid and I think it happens a lot that people start to recover, think “I’m better than before and that’s good enough,” and then spend years and years still stuck in prison. The cell has a window this time, but it’s still prison. I don’t want to spend my life in prison anymore.
Sounds like your group of friends could use at least one inspirational woman who is changing the game. Maybe that could be you? I’m not being cheesy. I’m serious. With our histories, we are in a prime position to start the change, one woman (or man), at a time.October 19, 2013 at 8:05 pm #13268
I agree. I know that weight gain is really (for me) only about 25% of recovery. I feel that society, family , firends, etc. all think your are better is your weigh more. I know as soon as I looked somewhat normal again I was treated differently. I had to explain to them that I am still struggling.
I agree that I still live in a prison with the ED. I really wish I didn’t, but it is what it is for now. Yeah, female coworkers, family, friends all seem to be hypervigilant about food and their bodies… and this is coming from a variety of body types. I do make a conscious effort to not bash my own body in front of these people.October 22, 2013 at 11:09 am #13336
Hey, sorry to harp on the topic I am just a little confused. I have mental hunger.. and physical hunger too, but if I were to only listen to physical hunger and respond to that I would be in a bad place.. not near enough food. When will this regulate?!October 24, 2013 at 1:23 pm #13354
Bauer, you may not want to hear it from me because obviously, I haven’t gotten to that place yet so I can’t promise you that if you do what I say it will regulate. Or if I did make that promise, I wouldn’t be able to back it up with experience. But I suspect that your continued exercise means it will not regulate. You are confusing your body’s signals with the exercise, not to mention the fact that if I remember your stats correctly, you are still at the very low end of a healthy BMI range (not that BMI means ANYTHING but just to illustrate my point) so it is likely that your body is still not satisfied. And even if you did completely respond to all hunger (mental, physical, whatever you want to call it; hunger is hunger), if you continue the exercise while doing so I think your body will remain confused.
What about taking the leap to no exercise and fully responding to hunger of all types? What about fully trusting your body? If you give it what it needs to regulate, it will regulate. (and what it needs is rest and food.)
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.