January 23, 2014 at 5:01 pm #14748
I apologize in advance for the length of this, but it is high time I write this whole thing down in one place. I am going to put it in a timeline format to make it easier to read.
I need help. If anyone actually reads all this, I would be so grateful.
GROWING UP: I ate very little and typically only processed carbs. I was underweight my whole childhood and had a very hard time stomaching most foods. I vividly remember vomiting after being force-fed beans, macaroni and cheese, hot dogs, scalloped potatoes (on separate occasions)’stuff other kids loved. I little couldn’t chew and swallow most foods without a gag reflex. My mom tried everything. I was even taken in for esophagogastroduodenoscopies (my favorite word in 4th grade!) a couple times in elementary/middle school because no one knew why I simply hated eating. (When I did eat, it was virtually always one of the following items: ramen noodles, pizza with the cheese peeled off, spaghetti marinara, Pringles, or peanut butter Ritz Bitz.)
Although my eating habits were involuntary, I was also always a little fixated on my weight/size. I don’t know exactly why ? my parents were overexercisers but shitty eaters (but are the only non-overweight ones in their families). I remember trying to suck in my stomach in kindergarten, and in second grade, obsessing over the fact that I wasn’t the tiniest one in my class anymore. I was 8 years old when I first purposely went 24 hours without eating. In 5th grade, I was upset for months when I learned I’d crossed the arbitrary weight of 60 lbs (I was really attached to being 59 lbs). I could go on and on…
7th GRADE: Got put on Prozac. I was a very sad and angry kid.
9th GRADE: During my freshman year of high school, I hit 113 lbs ? apparently I had finally put on some weight in middle school. This same year, I made friends for the first time, and was pretty active with them (walking all around town). Same old eating habits, eating the same 5-6 foods.
10th GRADE: Sophomore year of high school. I got more into drugs (including/especially uppers), which I think fueled my tendency to skip meals. Although not on purpose, I ate less than ever. Midway through the year, I went to the doctor and weighed in at 99 lbs, with clothes and shoes on. I had lost 14 lbs in about 8 months, without really trying. I was amazed?and I loved it. This is when I started really paying attention to my weight again. (By the way, I had stopped growing at this point and was/am 5?3?-5?4?.) One morning my mom told me I was ?emaciated. I was thrilled. The lowest weight I achieved during this time was 96 lbs. I didn’t ?diet? per se. I just ate even less than usual.
The second half of that year was filled with doctors appointments. My mom was convinced I was anorexic (was I?), and took me to numerous therapists and even an outpatient eating disorder clinic, which I refused to visit ever again. Finally one psychiatrist switched me from Prozac to Zoloft and added a pair of antipsychotics ? Zyprexa and Depakote ? to the mix. No one even told me that rapid weight gain was a probable side effect.
11th GRADE: The antipsychotics did increase my appetite, but not enough to explain the leap in weight: one morning I was 103 lbs and fretting about it, then seemingly overnight, I was 130 lbs and climbing. The Zoloft made me suicidal, so I was switched back to Prozac, but was kept on the antipsychotics.
In an effort to stem the weight gain, I started throwing up after meals whenever possible, even though it was hard for me to do (sometimes a single session of vomiting would take 30-45 minutes. My throat would be shredded at the end of it). I purged for a year or more, but it never stopped my weight gain.
12th GRADE: Finally off the antipsychotics, my weight seemed to stabilize around 140 lbs. It was all fat, and I looked terrible. I tried going back to my old way of ?eating? ? one meal every other day at dinnertime. Usually this would be a loaf of bread or half a pizza with no cheese. I also still purged occasionally. Right after graduating high school I got down to 132 lbs by hardly eating for a week, but it quickly came back. By the time I started college in the fall, I was back up to 140-145 lbs.
AGE 18: I got a job in the campus cafeteria and for the first time in life, touched foods other than the few I would eat. I actually started to find it fun to build salads for the salad bar, etc. even though I never ate them. I started researching food more and more and began to enjoy working with it (but still not eating it).
In winter 2003, I was 145 lbs. I weaned myself off Prozac around that time. I remember thinking that if my weight ever got above 150, something would have to be done. At this time, I gave Weight Watchers (the home version) a try, but only lasted 2 weeks.
Fast-forward to May 2004, and I step on the scale for the first time in months. It said 155 lbs. I was shocked and appalled. I picked back up my WW materials and committed. 20 points a day (about 1000 calories), no cheating, ever.
I lost 30 lbs in the first three months.
The good thing about WW was, for me, that it forced me to try new foods for the first time in my life, because my old standbys were just not a good bang for the caloric buck. I began eating chicken, milk, VEGETABLES’things I’d never even tasted before! The expansion of my taste preferences was the best (and maybe the only good) thing dieting ever did for me.
AGE 19: When school started again, I joined the campus gym and added exercise. I started at 20 minutes of cardio a day and worked up to 50 minutes a day, EVERY day. I continued losing weight, but slower. The last pound took me 3 weeks to lose.
By December 2004, I hit my goal. I was down from 155 lbs to 110 lbs, my (in my head) ideal weight. Rejoice! Although the process was difficult and full of hunger and struggle, in hindsight, it felt so simple and easy. Just eat 1000 cals a day and boom, 45 lbs were gone. Amazing.
For five weeks, I raised by caloric intake by 100 calories per week until I settled in at 1500 calories. And that is how much I ate every day for 5 YEARS after that.
AGE 20: My weight hovered between 110 and 113 lbs as long as I stayed at 1500 calories. I asked my doctor if it was normal for one to gain weight if one ate more than just 1500 cals. She said yes.
I had a horrible boyfriend during this year who was not only emotionally manipulative, but began beating me in the spring of 2006. I graduated college that May and very soon after, we finally broke up (or started to).
AGE 21: That summer after college, as I was extricating myself from that toxic relationship, I became a personal trainer. Why not? I was a weight loss success story. Just diet and exercise, baby. I was on my feet about 6 hours a day and working out for 1-1.5 hours a day, 7 days a week. That summer, my weight fell to 103 lbs ? the lowest weight of my adult life.
Later that summer, I got a bodybugg. I was shocked when it showed I burned 2400 calories the first day I wore it (granted, it was a very active day). And there I was eating only 1500 cals a day! I started eating a bit more and matching it up to my daily activity.
I only lasted 8 months as a trainer (I’m a terrible salesperson). When I quit, I very quickly gained 10-15 lbs, probably because I wasn’t nearly as active, but also because I was no longer eating 1500 cals a day ? I was eating what my bodybugg said I burned. My weight got as high as 118 lbs that winter. I was horrified and deeply depressed.
In February 2007, I got my wisdom teeth removed. In the two weeks following, I lost 6 lbs, landing back at 112 ? within my happy range. Woohoo, I was back on track!
AGE 22: I stayed 110-112 lbs all year. Somehow, I had transitioned to ?intuitive eating,? and was no longer counting calories ? however, in looking back on what I ate then, I was still eating just 1500-1600 per day.
In April 2008, I began running (only 2 miles a day at first, then 5, then 7?). I always thought running was out of the question for me, since my boobs are comically huge (yes, even when I was that skinny). But once I started, I was hooked.
At this same time, I went 99% vegetarian.
AGE 23: I was SO hooked on running from the start that I quickly signed up for a full marathon. During the 5-6 months of training, I lost about 5-6 lbs. (I was still eating 1500-1600 calories a day [except on Saturdays when I drank, then I consumed roughly 2000] even though I was running 25-35 miles a week). I suffered hip and ankle pain throughout my training but stupidly pushed ahead. At my marathon in October 2008, I was 106 lbs.
That November, the toxic relationship I was in (yes, another) crumbled, and I lost my appetite completely. I embraced the loss of appetite and automatically, without even thinking about it, began to gleefully record my daily eats. I was averaging about 1100 calories a day. My weight fell to 105 lbs that winter and the following spring. I was miserably depressed in general about life but utterly ecstatic about my weight.
AGE 24: In May 2009, I began gaining weight again, even though I was still running and still eating barely 1100 cals. I couldn’t believe it. By August, I was back to 113 lbs. Formerly, that was the top of my happy range. But now, I was crushed.
I did an uncharacteristic thing in August-September 2009 ? I took a leave of absence from my job and went to Europe, alone, for 5 weeks, to ?find myself. I had the time of my life, but I had no good way to track my intake (not knowing what I was eating half the time!) and only ran 45 miles in the whole 5 weeks. This was a turning point: when I came home, I weighed 122 lbs.
Immediately, I launched into a 1500-calorie diet (I was finding it hard to eat less than that after indulging in Europe) and two-a-day workouts, totalling 1.5 hours. By November, I was back down to 115. Then in December and January, my weight rose back up to 122. I could not fucking understand it.
So I did the worst thing possible: I embarked on a 10-day Master Cleanse. (January 2010)
The last day of my Master Cleanse, I was 113 lbs. Two days after, I was 116. The next week, 118. You get the picture. It was a failure in the long-term, but of course I blamed myself.
That spring, I followed Fuhrman’s Eat To Live and got down to 116. Then my weight went back up to 120.
AGE 25: That summer and fall, I got serious again about calorie cutting and two-a-day workouts. I got down to 115. Then I went back to school for a spell. By the following January, I was back up 122-123.
That spring (2011), I did P90X plus additional cardio and didn’t drop a pound. I tried running again, and signed up for a half-marathon in June, even though my right knee hurt when I ran. That half marathon was the worst experience of my life ? by mile 3, I could no longer put weight on my right leg without stabbing pains in my knee. So what did my dumb ass do? I walked ? limped ? in horrific pain ? the remaining 10 MILES of the race. I couldn’t walk for days after that. My knee has never been the same since, and I cannot even WALK more than 2 miles without experiencing knee pain for the rest of the day and sometimes beyond. (Xrays and MRIs have shown nothing intrinsically wrong with my knee.)
AGE 26: That October, I decided to do another Master Cleanse (smart, huh? Since it worked so well the first time!). I only made it a few days this time before binging on protein powder mixed with gobs of honey. I decided my resolve was too weak, so I should attempt WATER fasting. 3.5 days in, I caved. Those were some of the most miserable 3.5 days of my life. I still don’t think I even got below 118 lbs.
If I was going to eat, I decided I’d have to get serious about working it off. I started working out a minimum of 2.5 (usually 3) hours per day, 6 days per week, and eating between 800 and 1200 calories daily. I briefly dropped to 116, then my weight started rising again. I was fucking exhausted.
I was still vegetarian, but at that point was desperate enough to try eating meat again. So what did I do next? A low-carb, near-ketogenic diet, testing my urine and everything! <20g of carbs a day, 1500 calories total. I lost no weight and remained steady around 122.
That December (2011), I finally went to a new doctor and had my thyroid checked. My free T3 was low, but not TOO low (and my TSH was normal), so the doctor wanted me to try other things before trying thyroid meds. He told me to quit birth control, which I’d been on for 10 YEARS. He gave me B12 and testosterone shots (even though I later found out my testosterone was extremely HIGH) and sent me off to his metabolic specialist, who recommended?HCG.
So I did HCG. Two rounds of it, though I faltered in the middle of each and had a couple days off the wagon. You’re supposed to stuff yourself for 3 days before beginning it, which I did ? so I started at 129 lbs. My weight then dropped to 122, and then ROSE, to 124ish. I quit the HCG, disgusted, and again asked my doc to prescribe me thyroid meds. He did. (Big mistake? I don’t know. I’m still on them ? Armour.)
I did not get my period back after going of birth control. I waited and waited.
I quit that doctor when I found out my testosterone was three times the upper limit, yet he was giving me shots of it. I found a new doctor in spring 2012, a chiropractor, who specialized in thyroid/Hashimoto’s disease. He immediately had me go off thyroid meds, STOP exercising, and begin an aggressive elimination diet ? no gluten, soy, dairy, grains, nuts, etc. I did it (though I only laid off the exercise for 5 short weeks). In doing so, I gained several pounds, peaking at 132.
AGE 27: That summer (2012) was the summer before my wedding. I decided to try juice cleansing ? and I mean really juice cleansing. I juiced a total of 45 days that summer. My weight fell to 127, then 122. At my wedding in September 2012, I was somewhere around 122-123 lbs.
In the three weeks after my wedding, I didn’t exercise and I more or less ate whatever I wanted. When I weighed myself in October 2012, I was shocked to find I was only 126 lbs. It was very surprising that 3 weeks of eating whatever I wanted and not working out had only made me gain ~3 lbs.
If only I’d taken that surprise and run with it, and continued Eating The Food. I didn’t. I turned right around and got back to work. Insanity workout program + eat as little as possible, check!
I lost a couple pounds, but soon started juice-fasting again. After a couple weeks, I needed a new approach. The new idea-baby I adopted was intermittent fasting.
Beginning in November 2012, I started whittling my eating window down from 6-8 hours a day to 2-4 hours, at dinnertime. I couldn’t possibly have been eating more than 1000-1200 calories most of those days. By early December, I was 118 lbs. Wow! This shit really works! I thought, even though I was foggy-headed, cranky, depressed, and miserable every day before my eating window, and consumed with thoughts of food.
In December 2012, I went on my honeymoon. Germany and Paris. I only ate one meal each day. I still can’t believe I did that. I want to strangle myself.
Yet at the end of it, even though I’d kept to my IF program, I had gained 4 lbs.
I figured it was the fatty European foods I’d eaten over there, so I buckled down and went back to IFing. I lost 2 lbs in 2 months, ending up at 122 lbs. This was my weight before I starting ETFing.
By February 2013, I couldn’t take it anymore. After a couple weeks of last-ditch-effort juice cleansing, I decided to finally listen to Matt, whom I’d been reading for years, and Gwyneth, whom I’d just discovered. I quit seeing my quack chiropractor (whose last idea was for me to take homeopathic drops and eat 800 calories a day).
MARCH 2013: I went back to my primary care doc for the first time in years, and she prescribed me Metformin to try to get my still-absent period back. She also helped me tweak my dose of Armour thyroid. I am still on 3 grains (180mg) a day just to keep my Free T3 near the top of the ?normal? range.
I began ETFing for real that month. I polished off 3 jars of peanut butter in 4 days. I was ravenous. But I was still working out ? I couldn’t let it go.
I stopped weighing myself. But my doctor weighed me at the end of the month (and upped my Metformin dosage), and I later looked back and saw that I was already 129 lbs at that appointment.
APRIL 2013: 132 lbs, according to my medical records. My doctor raised my Metformin again, to 1500mg. On April 10th, 2013, I stopped exercising.
On April 27th, 2013, I got my first period in 1.5 years (and first REAL, not-B.C.-caused period in almost 12 years).
I cut my own Metformin dosage back to 1000mg after that. I rested. I ate ? a LOT.
MAY/JUNE 2013: 134 lbs.
I started weighing myself again in the summer of 2013. To my surprise and delight, I stayed steady around 132-134 lbs, even with frequent travel and lots of indulgence, and NO exercise, not even walking.
AUGUST 2013: I decided to finally quit the antidepressant I’d been on since age 23: Wellbutrin. I had cut my dose in half in July, then finally weaned off it in August. Right around this time, my appetite picked up again out of nowhere. By the end of the month, I was 138 lbs. So much for weight stabilization.
SEPTEMBER 2013: My husband and I took a trip to Europe for 3 weeks, during which I gained no weight. After we got back at the end of the month, we quit drinking and I started working out again (lifting weights) after 5.5 months with no exercise. I was SURE that quitting drinking would cause me to drop a couple pounds ? prior to that, I was consuming well over 1500 calories a week in alcohol alone ? especially combined with strength training. I did initially lose 2 lbs, dropping to 136, but then gained them back, and then some. Is it muscle? Some of it, maybe. But my body fat and lean mass %s haven’t changed.
By NOVEMBER 2013, I was weighing in at 140-141 lbs (28.5% body fat ? ironically the same as my body fat when I was 118 lbs a year prior). I tried for 2 weeks ? just 2 weeks ? to track my intake and eat 1800-2000 calories a day, just to see what would happen. Nothing happened; my weight didn’t change. So I quit, and went back to eating whatever. I was especially hungry ? but especially active ? between Thanksgiving and Xmas, but my weight didn’t change. Stabilization? I thought so?
In fact, it didn’t change at all till these last 2 weeks. I really thought, once again, that I had stabilized. But now I’m up to 143-144 lbs (and 30% body fat) and feeling very bloaty. I’ve added a little cardio to my twice-a-week weightlifting routine, and started eating almond butter again (I had gotten totally sick of nut butter after the indulgences of my first week of ETF), but other than that, nothing has changed.
What is the next step? Should I work out/lift weights more, or less? Should I cut out the cardio I added? I should I get rid of the nut butter? Should I try eating a little less again in general? I haven’t really talked about my food choices, but they’re very well-rounded and Matt-approved: eggs, toast, gelatin, butter, nut butter, SALT, pasta, chili, cheese, sausage, rice, etc. plus sugary desserts when I feel like it (which is a lot less often than when I was restricting!). I’d estimate I’m eating 2100-2400 calories a day. Other than my workouts (2-3 days a week), I’m extremely sedentary (especially during this Midwestern winter).
Of course I wonder what would have happened had I never started on Armour thyroid. But I’ve been on it for almost 2 years now. Am I correct in thinking I’m stuck with it for the rest of my life?
P.S. My body temp was always between 96.6 and 97.3 for years until ETF. Now it’s 98.0 pre-ovulation, and 98.4 post-ov. Also, I weaned off my Metformin in November and continued having (35-day) cycles.
If anyone actually read this far, can you offer any insight as to my situation? I’ve surely overshot my set point, as 143 lbs and 30% body fat on this 5?3? body is both unsightly and uncomfortable. I’m ?only? 10 months into this process ? but then again, it seems like other people stabilized far sooner than this. Maybe I’m worrying too much about everything. In rereading all I wrote, I can tell that for the last 3-4 months, I have not been as chilled out about the process as I was for the first 6 months. But do I have reason to be worried? What should I DO at this point? My history is so long and convoluted, it’s hard to tell where I am in the process, let alone where I’ll end up. I feel like my commitment is crumbling.
Again, I am sorry for the length of this. But I had yet to tell my entire story anywhere.January 24, 2014 at 12:01 am #14752ErinElizabethParticipant
I think you should keep listening to your body and give it time. Remember, you’ve been treating it well for 10 months after a whole lifetime of some pretty serious abuse. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to take a bit more time.
I know you don’t like how heavy you are now, but try to focus on all the ways you are feeling better to help keep a more balanced perspective. Pretty short feedback after such a long story I know but that’s what stands out to me.January 25, 2014 at 1:23 pm #14761
That IS a whole long awful story. A LONG AWFUL story. So I second the above. Why would you expect such a LONG AWFUL sequence to be resolved in less than a year?
Going back to exercise at this point, in my opinion, is playing with fire. If you need something to ‘work’ at, then work at changing your mind just as hard as you’ve worked at changing your body in the past. Work at changing your mind so that you accept and actually like (love?) yourself no matter what size your body is. It is only when you unconditionally love your body and feel a true physical desire to move that you should go back to exercise. Your eating disorder will cause a desire to move, but that desire comes from a sick place-it is driven by a need to alleviate the anxieties about your body being ‘too big.’ In my opinion complete rest is necessary until you can fully accept yourself at whatever size. If you go to the gym now, you are doing it to try to change your body once again. You will get sucked right back into the rabbit hole. Your issue is not your body or the size of your body, though it may feel that way. Your issue is the way your mind has adapted to view food, weight, and exercise.
Ask yourself this question: If you knew that working out, lifting weights, or doing other formal exercise would absolutely NOT change your weight or the way your body looked, would you still want to do it? If the answer is no I don’t think you’re ready to hit the gym again.January 25, 2014 at 1:33 pm #14762
Also, same to the idea of returning to caloric restriction. Rabbit hole. Let go and let nature/biology make the decisions, because yours (sorry) clearly weren’t in your best interest in the past.January 25, 2014 at 4:15 pm #14766
Thank you so much, ErinElizabeth and tennosea, for reading and replying.
I also posted my story to the YourEatopia forum on Thursday, and immediately received feedback saying: QUIT EXERCISING. (And to quit weighing myself.) I think you’re all correct: I somehow convinced myself that I was ready and was doing it in a perfectly healthy way. After all, everyone on that Eating The Food group on Facebook says to track your TDEE, count calories, and lift heavy weights. But I’m not one of them. I’m just not ready. Maybe never will be.
I can see now that I’ve simply been impatient. And yes, I do hate this new body, even more than the old one. I don’t know how not to.
Tennosea, I asked myself that same question the other night, and the answer is no, I would not work out if I KNEW it would absolutely not change the shape/size of my body. (Funny thing is, for these last ~4 months, it hasn’t!)
However, I would still go outside for 1-2 mile walks a few times a week. You see, one thing I didn’t mention above is that I actually had a career for the last many years that revolved around food and “health.” I quit last August. I just couldn’t handle being in that orthorexic environment – the online food and health blog world – any longer. I still am wrapped up in that stuff a bit, but not nearly as much as I was when I was actively writing about food and health.
So this has caused the complication that I’m currently unemployed. I do some freelance writing still, but overall, I’m just sitting at home doing nothing most of the time (no kids yet – though my husband and I are trying to conceive). Having all this free time on my hands (and too little money to go DO many things) has not been good for me. I’ve too often reverted back to reading health blogs or forums other than this one. I need something else to fill my days/time so that my mind isn’t constantly left to wander and ruminate. I suppose that’s another reason I started working out again. Normally, a nice walk outdoors lifts my mood and brightens me up. But in the winter, I can’t go outside often in this awful cold (not without being miserable), so I thought another form of physical activity could help. Lying on the couch all day in my pajamas (or sitting in front of the computer) just makes me feel so worthless, especially after doing it for months on end, and especially now that I’m well and truly fat.
Anyway, I don’t feel that a few short walks a week is “exercise.” I walk very slowly, and can’t walk more than 1-2 miles at a time anyway because of my bad knee. Is it okay to continue with occasional, leisurely walks (particularly as/when the weather warms up in a couple months)? I just NEED to get out of this apartment sometimes.
Thank you both for your honesty and input. I agree with everything you said. After a tearful conversation with my husband on Thursday (who is not thrilled with my larger body), I’ve decided to quit exercising again for the foreseeable future. You are right, I was playing with fire, and losing again.
Now I wish I hadn’t just spent $300 on larger clothes…I fear I will be outgrowing those too, shortly. :(January 25, 2014 at 4:39 pm #14767ErinElizabethParticipant
I totally get how trapped you can feel in an apartment with nothing to do. My solution is to CREATE. There is something very satisfying about making something that wasn’t there before and that could help give you something to appreciate about yourself. Whether it’s knitting/crocheting (my personal favorites), scrapbooking/making cards, baking, beading, woodcrafting, painting, drawing… You said money is tight so start small and try out your local freecycle and thrift stores for supplies. If you already have some talent with any of it it could become a supplemental source of income. If you want to learn something new there are SO many awesome free resources online for learning new crafty skills.
Try to think about all the things your wonderful, beautiful body allows you to do. Just because you don’t look like a model doesn’t mean you aren’t beautiful. Your mind isn’t yet in a healthy place but I think if you keep telling yourself that you’re beautiful and capable you will find better success than when you keep telling yourself that you aren’t where you want to be. I don’t care if you don’t believe it, tell yourself anyway! :)
Hopefully my super-optimistic, self-loving, perspective can help a little at least.January 25, 2014 at 5:48 pm #14769BauerPowerParticipant
Hey blackheart, I am also on YE. Your story is lets me know your body has been through a lot! I also agree that when I do have downtime I tend to start seeing the ED behaviors come back. This makes sense for me because when I have down time I also get bored, anxious, etc. and I use ED behaviors to fill this void.January 26, 2014 at 1:08 pm #14774
I don’t know, honestly. I think 95% of people here would say a couple of 1 mile walks a week would be fine. From my perspective, I know I am not able to do this without it eventually turning into a compulsion. Not yet, anyway. And your history-as a ‘runner’-sounds similar to mine so I suspect you have similar addictive tendencies. I think the problem is that, when you get bored, you think: “there is NOTHING to do but exercise.” Whether that exercise is walking, or running, or whatever. I think the challenge is to not answer the question of boredom, restlessness, emptiness, etc., with exercise. And those walks are a way of you answering boredom/restlessness/emptiness with exercise, so I think it is feeding into that in a way. I think that you (I as well) need to learn how to answer that emptiness in utterly new ways. Otherwise we fall back into old patterns. You need to get out of the apartment, I get that, and you don’t have much money. Okay, is walking really the only option available to you? I don’t think so, and if you say it is you are reinforcing the idea of yourself as someone whose primary hobby is ‘being active’ which, in my opinion, is not healthy in recovery. What about being outside twice (or more) a week in nonactive ways? What about going to the animal shelter 2x a week and taking dogs out to let them run in the play yard? Or if you’re not into animals, what about going window shopping for baby stuff? Same goes for reading health blogs. You have to find other things to read I can’t imagine how even dabbling in that wouldn’t reinforce orthorexic tendencies.
Recovery is so much more than eating and resting. You have to learn who you are totally separate from your old ‘hobby,’ getting thin (And ‘fitenss’ and ‘health food’ and all that went with it). If you can’t learn who you are because there isn’t anything else there (which sometimes I think is the case with me because I’ve had an ED so long) then you get to create yourself based on who you want to be.
That said, I am not really qualified to tell you no to the twice weekly walks. I have no idea whether that is therapeutic or triggering to you. I can only tell you the perspective I have, based on my own compulsive tendencies. I know there are some people who recover from drug addiction and can go on to drink alcohol. But if I were in recovery from a drug addiction I don’t think I’d be one of those people who could continue to abstain from drugs but be responsible with an occasional glass of wine, if that makes sense. Because the habit that gets me into trouble is being a one-trick pony: I get stressed, and I want to turn to some sort (any sort) of physical activity to alleviate stress. Even if that physical activity appears moderate and healthy to others, it is reinforcing a destructive habit. Just something to consider.January 28, 2014 at 9:54 am #14801BauerPowerParticipant
Tennosea, are you on the YE forums?January 31, 2014 at 1:50 pm #14855
Yup. I have been giving you a hard time about exercise for months (gosh is it years now?) under the pseudonym t-mac :)February 4, 2014 at 6:48 pm #14970maelamelParticipant
Girl, I think you could be eating more!! Your bodie needs it. Visit Your Eatopia website. Read the Minie Maud protocol to recovery. You should take a minimum of 2500 calorie per day if you are over 25. Also, I don,t think you should be exercicing! Take it easy and enjoy life :o)February 7, 2014 at 6:11 pm #15015
maelamel – I have been eating according to the YourEatopia/MinnieMaud guidelines for almost 1 year – as I mentioned in the original post, though I don’t blame you if you didn’t read the whole thing. :)
Update for everyone else – I recommitted to not exercising, again. I also stopped weighing myself, again. As I predicted, I’ve already “grown out of” the new clothes I bought less than a month ago. Here we go again. When will the weight gain stop? Why have I not stabilized after a YEAR of this?February 11, 2014 at 10:21 pm #15111hhccParticipant
Speaking from experience; the “what do I do” piece has nothing to do with diet and exercise. Ultimately, many of us need to come to terms with our natural body size/weight and respect and love the fact that it functions well…and there’s no guarantee we’ll have that luxury long-term. If you can imagine life with no scales and mirrors, how would you gauge your existence and worth?February 12, 2014 at 4:06 pm #15120TinaTParticipant
Amazing story. I can see where writing could be a good thing for you – as ErinE suggested, I think finding something to do that “creates” would be great therapy!
I love crochet, and also do stained glass windows (which takes a little investment in tools). I also play sax. Maybe singing or learning an instrument would be something fun and different to get ‘addicted’ to? (maybe not!)
I would ask your husband what his favorite body part is (if you have to tell him to be nice, do! let him know you NEED his support in this health journey!) – and then think of that piece when you think of your body. For me, it’s my calves. The rest of me gets wiggly and jiggly, but my calves always seem to look good…
I would also say a nice stroll outside in the fresh air – for the purpose of clearing the mind, meditating, and breathing – is good for the soul. Just don’t think about moving or exercising… think about how amazing nature can be. This will be much easier when the new leaves come out and birds return in spring, too.
Another thing – you mentioned traveling and not gaining… while still eating… try and get back in that same mode, if you can. Something was working for you then – can you recapture that mindset? Maybe when cooking meals, plan an “around the world tour”?
I’m new to the whole ETF journey myself… so hopefully I’m not way off base. I do know you need to love yourself first. Once you see the beauty inside, it can’t help but radiate out to others – and then reflect back to you again, multiplied.
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