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To freeze or to "overeat"?

Blog Forums Raising Metabolism To freeze or to "overeat"?

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    Feeling very lost right now. It has started to creep up thoughts in my head- that I dont want to live my life anymore. I walk around during the day and talk to people and try to function , apply for jobs , organize my life, acting like a grown up 26-year old , keep in touch with friends . I do all this because I want to simulate (fake it til you make it) a normal life , lived by a person who has a purpose and meaning in life. But right now it doesnt really feel like I do. I do not really care about something that feels worthwhile. I just want manage. Manage another day. Manage not being inactive. Manage to not be sedentary . Manage to not gain weight . Manage to not eat compulsively .

    I am afraid of my appearance, and the way my body looks, wich I consider that I have destroyed through my ED-behavior.

    First I lost weight until I started freezing on the day and was unable to deal with low blood sugar. Like I got some kind of ?diabetes?. Then I started to adopt bingeeating behaviors. Moments when I in a short time overate until I felt sick. Afterwards , I panic and start to hate myself . And my face swells up . I do not know why , whether it is fat that is stored in your face, or if it has the salivary glands to make , that become swollen by strange eatingbehaviours . I am terrified of my reflection in the mirror. I see a monster. A disgusting monster, a pig. I look away when I walk past shopwindows and step into the car because I’m afraid to get a glimpse of my puffy cheeks. I look at pictures of myself from before my eating disorder and become sad and frustrated, because it feels like I ‘ve ruined my body.

    I have tried counting calories , to make sure that I eat just as much as I probably need in one day. I ‘ve weighed all my food on a scale, and written down. It has given some security , because then I knew I had just ?enough? energy to try to ? repair ? my metabolism and hopefully stop freeze or become tired as soon as I’m not feeling stuffed with food. Calorie-counting takes up all my thoughts and become an obsessions that makes me feel bad and unable to concentrate. But I do not know how to eat the right amount without counting calories . Maybe I’ve stretched my stomach through to overeating. And I have ignored my hunger multiple times when I’m embarrassed that I eat more than others. I am afraid that I eat too much if I eat my fill , because I’m bad at detecting the stomach signals.
    I feel like if I try to eat like people around me do, or wait until others say it ‘s time to eat , I always start freezing, shivering , become dizzy . The only times when I feel warm, reasonably strong and filled with energy are the days when I stuff myself, more food than I should (1000+ maintenance maybe). Then I feel a bit energized and can manage to listen to what people actually say for a while. But the next day I wake up with swollen face and flabby stomach. And i cant stand that. To swell up in the face like that. I can not imagine that it is a sign of anything other than that you have overeaten. And I want to be able to feel good and be able to concentrate without having to look swollen.

    Before my eating disorder , I could eat a whole package cookies at once, and my cheeks were not swollen or affected by it . Has my binging behaviours made my body to store ??fat in my face as soon as I take in a caloric surplus? What is happening? Im weightrestored since several months, so why does my body behave like this?

    It feels like my mind, body and my brain is in a prison. Like I see the days from a cellwindow. Inside the prison, the only thing that matters is how much I’ve eaten.
    Freezing and feel like a zombie who can not be bothered to think , exercise or care about other people OR eat more than everyone around me , gainweight , getting more and more bloated in the face??

    I do not want to choose between these two options. I cant handle it-
    I just want to disconnect myself from this part of my life . All feels very dark right now, is there anyone out there who have similar experiences?

    The Real Amy

    Tamarino, all I can say is, I’ve been there. You are the picture of a person with an eating disorder. The reason you get a puffed up face is water retention (edema), which is a healing mechanism for the body. You are not beyond help in any way, but you probably do need professional help rather than trying to wade through by yourself using websites. I needed a psychologist and a nutritionist (a certified RD), both specializing in eating disorders. I now am pretty normal looking (as I was before my ED) and do not get a puffy face or binge anymore, but it took a few years. My nutritionist told me that it takes a year of normalized eating for your metabolism to repair itself. I took about 4 because I had multiple relapses. Most ED people go up a bit above weight-restoration level and then back down again after a bit. It’s all part of the process. The healing really does happen.

    I’m not sure where you live, but if it’s in a big city there should be some eating disorder centers which would be a good place to start (if you live in NYC I can make some recommendations). You need to get to the root of why you starved yourself to begin with (as a coping mechanism for some emotional stress probably) and get a good eating program that you can stick with so you don’t have to count calories, which is WAY too stressful during recovery. In fact, I was instructed to not count calories or measure. An RD can help you with some meal plans that do not require any counting, and the counselor can help with all the issues that go along with the recovery.


    Thanks for your answer Amy! I live in Europe, but I really would like to find some help with this. But the most frustrating thing is that I dont restrict calories, in fact I eat a lot, but still experience being cold if I go too long between meals. Whats up with that?!

    Im not sure if this swelling is edema . I am at my pre ED-weight, and have been for almost six months. I havent restricted for a very long time. Still my face gets bloated when I overeat or take in a big caloric surplus during a day. The reason I’m so confused is because my face never reacted this way to overeating before my ED-problems. I wonder what has happened, has my body decided to put fat stores in “new” places now?

    The Real Amy

    It’s definitely not fat. Edema can take a long time to clear up – basically until all the healing is done, and that’s longer than 6 months. Same thing with getting cold between meals – your body needs to get to a place where it can trust that you’re not starving. That’s great that you eat a lot and no longer restrict. From your earlier post it sounded like you are still restricting. If you’re not including two snacks each day, I would recommend adding them in for awhile. It really helps.

    I’m now 8 years out from my ED and my body comp is healthy and I don’t ever get a puffy face, but at the beginning I got very puffy and fat would go to my stomach very quickly. When I look back at photos, I can see my very puffy face. It’s just what happens when you are recovering, but it is only temporary. If you continue to eat normally (no restriction), it really will get easier and better. And although it feels horrible, you notice it all much more than the people around you do.

    The hunger signals take awhile, too, but eating 3 meals a day (and the 2 snacks) will really help with this. No matter what you ate the day before, eat the 3 meals on a regular schedule every single day, and just start paying attention to your hunger signals (even if you can’t hear them yet). It takes time to balance out, and until you get over the starvation you will overeat. I used to get into an argument with my nutritionist because I would say “I restrict because I binge” and she would say, “no you binge because you restricted”. She was right. Once I stopped restricting and ate 3 proper meals each day and my body felt safe, I stopped binging.


    Did you ever experience this freezing sensation between meals?

    Before my ED, hunger was when my stomach felt empty and maybe made some grumbling sounds, that was when I felt that I was hungry. Nowadays this grumbling sensation from the stomach rarely hits me. Because two hours or so PRIOR to that “regular” hungersensation, I begin to freeze and feel dizzy, weak and fatigued. And I get so angry, because I want to be strong and able to let normal timeperiods pass between meals. So hard to work, socialize with other people when I crash like this all the time, at night, in the morning long before lunch etc..

    • This reply was modified 10 years, 2 months ago by tamarino.
    The Real Amy

    I didn’t freeze so much as get dizzy and weak. Soon enough you’ll stop crashing. I don’t need snacks anymore. It just takes time. Make sure you’re eating enough salt, too. It helps.


    You’re certainly not the only one.

    With regard to the eating cycle, it will take time to normalize – but the problem with any of them whether it be straight deprivation or binge/purge type behavior is the restriction or the fear of overeating and feeling like you need to compensate.

    When food isn’t an issue for you, it really isn’t an issue for you.

    but it’s very, very, very hard to do this alone. Give yourself some credit, you’re trying to take on a lot!

    I highly suggest getting help from a professional, if your insurance will swing it consider a few programs.

    Check out and


    As others said see a pro. I just wanted to chime in to say that you are showing classic symptoms of ED – fear of being fat (discussing the swelling in the face, trying to eat like other people going several hours between meals), body avoidance (not wanting to look at yourself in the mirror), anger at self for not being able to control.

    It’s more than just freeze or overeat that’s involved with recovery, it’s forming a new relationship with food. I don’t know what that relationship will be, but letting go of fear of fatness, being completely involved in your own healing and weight gain, these things are really important. Anorexia has the highest mortality out of any other psychiatric illness; to not recover is to perish. Sounds like you’re pretty close to that, but once you’re nursed to good health you’ll feel better.

    Following instincts is important but another aspect is not letting much time pass between meals. You should have snacks a few times a day and regular meals, eating until satiated. Cheers

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