July 5, 2013 at 1:31 pm #7213
I have been in recovery from Anorexia/ Exercise compulsions for a little over a year. I recently gained a few more pounds so I stand at about 5’6 and 125 lbs. Close to a 30 pound gain. So I am slowly getting used to a completely different body. Even after a year I am still thinking about food ALL DAY, eating peanut butter and ice cream in the middle of the night, and obsessed with exercise. Why won’t the obsessions leave? I have also recently added normal food into my diet, and stopped counting calories. STILL, I am completely obsessed with weight and exercise and food. WHY?!July 5, 2013 at 3:40 pm #7243Matt StoneKeymaster
I don’t think there’s any clear reason why. It’s normal with such a history to have excess catecholamines circulating, which leads to greater OCD type tendencies and having a very narrow fixation on things. I would think an important thing to do would be to find something else to be fixated on if possible – like a hobby of sorts or research topic that’s not health-related. Otherwise your mind will drift towards food, exercise, and weight like it is accustomed to. It sounds like you aren’t 100% recovered physically if you are waking in the middle of the night. Be careful of hanging out in that semi- but not completely recovered state. It’s not a good place to be and can delay full recovery by years.July 5, 2013 at 4:25 pm #7245saisriceParticipant
Hi BauerPower, I’m sorry you’re still obsessed with food and exercise. I’ve only been at this for a few months on only recently been watching my fluid intake, so I’m no expert but I’m wondering if you need to take a break from exercise? Taking a break from exercise was a very hard thing for me to do but I knew I needed to do it and my body has really felt like it’s been healing since I’ve been resting. I stopped exercising about 2 months ago and now all I do is walk (slowly and not too far) and sometimes do slow yoga or a bike ride.
Also, are you still weighing yourself? If so, maybe stop and throw out your scale. I threw mine out in February and it’s great. Also, I try not to look in the mirror too long or obsess about the changes in my body. Our bodies are in a transition phase and if I do look in the mirror I try to think at least one nice thought.
About eating at night, are you eating enough during the day? Is your temperature low before you go to bed? Maybe a small snack of a salty pretzel with some dried fruit?
I agree about finding a hobby or something you like. Every recovery book I’ve read says the biggest thing was finding a passion. I’ve picked up knitting again and it’s really fun.
What about meditation or mindfulness? I’ve been doing mindfulness and it’s a big help.
Finally, are you reading books or magazines or watching shows that may be triggering regarding weight and food? It’s crazy how there are so many ads or shows that talk about diets and calories. I try to change the channel or leave the room if I hear them. I also don’t buy magazines that talk about weight or diets and actively avoid conversations focused around dieting and weight loss.
Sorry this is such a long post! I could go on and on but I’ll stop myself.
All the best to you!July 5, 2013 at 8:56 pm #7275
I appreciate your responses. I have diagnosed OCD so that definitely feeds into the eating disorder. I need hobbies badly… I’m in grad school, a Psychology major ironically, and I am currently working on a very boring thesis. I could use an entertaining hobby that doesn’t focus on weight, food, and exercise.
Working out is that last thread of the ED that I hold onto… I do honestly enjoy it but I can admit that my intentions are not 100% free from the ED. I am always on celebrity news websites and it is definitely triggering, my fiance hates that I am on those sites… I guess he has a good point!
Anyways, thank you both. Trying to make sense of an ED is very tiring and usual futile. Thanks again!July 5, 2013 at 9:18 pm #7280RodzillaParticipant
First, congratulations on your recovery thus far. If by “in recovery” you mean with a team of professionals – great. If you’re going alone at this point, you may want to consider developing said team or bringing on some new members. Diet Recovery 2 and 180 degree health are amazing resources, but they’re not enough on their own.
As I’m sure you know, eating disorders are incredibly complex, the triggers and reasons are multifaceted, and though there are many similarities they vary by the individual.
Matt is absolutely right about discovering new activities that interest you. Developing other areas of your life that you can associate yourself with..music, art, making new friends, etc…this can be an incredibly exciting part of escaping from the years or regimentation. And help to divert the focus.
Ditto the freedom from feeling like you HAVE to exercise, or HAVE to eat a certain way, which comes from additional exposure of NOT doing those things.
I truly believe Mindfulness Meditation to be an incredibly resource for addressing any stressor that comes up in your life.July 5, 2013 at 9:34 pm #7287Teen WitchParticipant
I totally recommend getting into a hobby that keeps you active physically and mentally! I found when i had time to sit around, I would obsess and focus on all the wrong things, that would trigger me back into the vicious cycle and obsession which was my ED.
Once I immersed myself in my hobby, food became something that i needed to sustain me so i could keep doing what i love. Also the activity helped level my weight out from the big gains due to refeeding/recovery. Plus, you may meet new people and increase your social life as opposed to the often isolating environment that ED’s tend to foster.
Good luck on your Thesis and stay strong in your healing!July 5, 2013 at 9:50 pm #7297Matt StoneKeymaster
Great comments everyone. Great name Teen Witch. I can’t top that.July 5, 2013 at 11:33 pm #7307Teen WitchParticipant
Yeah I know, it’s supersonic idiotic. Boom.July 5, 2013 at 11:43 pm #7308saisriceParticipant
BauerPower, I went to grad school for school psychology! Do you have any friends in the program? I met one of my best friends in my program that’s why I ask. Maybe you can find some people to partner up with and have a common interest and distract yourself.
Mindfulness will definitely help your psychology practice and you could get into trying different meditation practices to find which one fits for you. There are loads of guided mindfulness practices online (youtube) and you could try those out. I’ve been doing body scans, which are helpful and I search youtube and see which ones I like. You can also try Metta (Loving kindness meditation) where you send yourself and others kind thoughts. I’ve been reading this book, “Full Catastrophe Living” and it’s great and I’m taking a mindfulness-based stress reduction class that follows it. There are pscyh grad students in it too and they get credits.
You could think of finding a hobby as sort of an adventure and write down all the things you’ve ever wanted to try and then try them out and see what you like- playing an instrument, baking, making jam, photography, pottery, painting, etc…
I’d definitely should stop the celebrity website. It’s hard at first to break out of the routine but once you do it you’ll never look at them again. Maybe try some more positive websites such as
Or even take a break from the internet. That was something I was doing towards the end of my work time (I’m on summer break). When I used to go to healthy living websites I would shut down my computer and meditate for 10 minutes. Or I’d go on a walk around the block.July 6, 2013 at 2:41 am #7315RodzillaParticipant
Dammit, why can’t we like posts on this forum?
The psychology degree isn’t ironic..we all get into it to save ourselves ;)
The co-morbidity and similarities between OCD and ED are very interesting, sometimes it’s hard to tell which is the motivation – but it probably doesn’t really matter. The desire for control and ritualistic behaviors can shift and manifest in a millions different ways. There may be a new, higher level of calories – but just as much regimentation. Letting go of that and just being is a la mindfulness can be incredible.
The Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction programs and Jon Kabat-Zinn’s work particularly really changed my perspective on life in general. There are also Mindfulness Based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.
I would highly recommend even just downloading the audible version of Mindfulness for Beginners and giving it a listen when you’re not distracted. From there if you want to get into full-blown MBSR I would recommend taking a course, the community and camaraderie aspect of it can be an amazing experience.
It’s not easy – stress reduction can actually be a lot more stressful than it seems, but it’s worth it. It can be the ultimate exposure response therapy to just sit with those anxious thoughts and feelings, let them in, come back to the breath, and let them go.
Thoughts will always come and go, but this type of practice helps us realize that thoughts are just thoughts – you can get a sense of spaciousness or equanimity, you get distance from those strong emotions – whatever comes up. Much of this seems obvious, but the practice is what actually makes the change. Similar to how realizing why you do something will not actually stop you from doing it.
I apologize for the chapter length post, but I really think this would be an amazing outlet for you – especially given the psych background. It may also be one of those new activities/interests.July 6, 2013 at 2:39 pm #7355
Rodzilla, I have a ‘team’ of some sorts. I have an ED specialist therapist as well as an incredibly supportive family. I have tried some mindfullness meditation but it is REALLY hard for me. It is something that I have to practice a lot because of this incredibly hard-wired brain of mine. It likes to think think think at all times and never relax! I will see if I can find a download for the mindfulness techniques, my therapist keeps asking me to do so.. so thanks for the extra motivation!
Teen Witch, I absolutely feel the same way with down time. I tend to get very anxious and feel the need to “do” something. I would love an activity that isn’t physically demanding but is mentally stimulating. Oh and in response to your stellar username.. I don’t really give UH about tryin to top that!
Saisrice, I haven’t made any serious friends in the program. I am not exactly a “people” person, but I do really the need for me to socialize a bit more. As a recovering addict, 5 years clean!
(yeah..I got issues) most of my friends are in the program I go to for that. Thank you for those websites! I think I saw a link for one on Gwyneth Olywn’s site (Your eatopia… this site probably saved my life and is what led me to 180 dh).
Again, thanks everyone. Such great support :)July 7, 2013 at 3:25 pm #7553SenecaParticipant
Have you ever tried flower essences? White Chestnut essence sounds like it would be really good for you.July 7, 2013 at 3:29 pm #7558
Never heard of these! I will do a little research, thanks!July 7, 2013 at 3:31 pm #7559SenecaParticipant
Yeah, google OCD and White Chestnut flower essence…July 9, 2013 at 9:21 am #7858
My weight has been on my mind constantly yall! I am gaining I think and feeling out of control with food. This sucks majorly. Felt like I was on a good streak, but guess not! I need a brain transplant… they do those right? :)
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