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#61 of 118 Old 02-18-2005, 10:05 AM
 
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Originally Posted by AnnMarie
Do you mean you got some sort of satisfaction out of it?

And no reason to hide. You are among friends. s Everything will be OK Jennie. s
I mean it took practice to learn but yes then if you do it just right you throw up- it builds up until you throw up. Make sense? And I know you are a friend, but you know how I feel about friends lately- sharing. Scared to share anything.
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#62 of 118 Old 02-18-2005, 01:21 PM
 
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I mean it took practice to learn but yes then if you do it just right you throw up- it builds up until you throw up. Make sense? And I know you are a friend, but you know how I feel about friends lately- sharing. Scared to share anything.
s Don't be. Remember I've been through the same thing. I totally understand. You know I'm here whenever you need to talk. s
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#63 of 118 Old 02-27-2005, 06:43 AM
 
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Sigh...
Can totally relate to all of this.

I have dealt mainly with overeating since I can remember. When I was in high school, I'd wake up in the AM and stuff myself so that I felt blissfully sleepy and could go back to sleep for a few more hours. I got used to this routine for a few years (ok - many years, off and on) so that it became an old friend I could visit whenever I became depressed when in college or as an adult. I've had lifelong probs with depression. My mother, who also had lifelong probs with depression, committed suicide a little over three years ago. I've been emotionally torn to pieces by that, mostly because my children were robbed of their grandma... I guess I've had a lot of pain -- I won't go into the whole long history, but I definately overeat, chronically. Although, a few years ago right after my second child was born, I became (what I now realize to be) anorexic. I just couldn't eat; there was no room in my emotional turbulence for food. I got down to 96 pounds and could see my ribs in my chest. I've never been that thin (except when I was a young child). My healthy weight would be around 110 (I'm 5 feet tall and small-framed). Right now, I weigh 135. I hate this. Usually, I fluctuate between 115-122, but I am now at my 40 week preg weight. There is a reason: I quit smoking tobacco almost 9 months ago. I smoked obsessively for 18 years, aside from pregnancies/ nursing (as much as possible). It was very effective for dealing with my feelings (or rather -- avoiding my feelings) but had to go. I smoked organic tobacco to try to offset the damage I was doing. My oldest is a girl and just turned 10, recently. I knew I needed to show her the way out from the smoking thing, since she had watched me smoke. I did not keep it a secret, because I felt that I should be honest -- not wanting her to learn that we should keep secrets from each other, of that sort. So I'm very proud of quitting -- it's nothing less than a true miracle, and I couldn't have done it without the 12-step group that I go to. In fact, I'll be going to that group regularly forever as an insurance policy. Maybe I should try the 12 step route for the overeating, because now I'm left with this as my only vice and man is it taking over.. Speaking of holidays/ binging: I feel horrible that I cannot control myself when it comes to candy/junk food in the house. Ironically, we're a veggie/organic family, but that has not stopped me from seeking out the yuckiest junkiest 'organic' food in the health food stores! The worst is when they have some yummy junk food thing on sale at these stores. Everything is always so expensive there, so when it's on sale I feel this pressure to 'get it while I can.' It sucks. I am really trying to do the logic thing, too, and convince myself to indulge in other things besides food (healthy things like yoga, reading, etc.) -- hey, it worked with smoking, along with the support of the group.

Just rambling here, I know, but it's good to connect on this level because I also have this 'secretive' quality to my eating disorder and I don't feel safe talking to anyone else about it. In fact, this is the very first time I've talked to anyone, anywhere about it. It's time. I'm ready to talk about it.
Sigh..


Thanks for bringing this up.
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#64 of 118 Old 02-27-2005, 09:55 AM
 
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Hey there May May!

So glad you posted with us. I'm doing a lot better since I last posted. On medication- seems to be working. I used to really overeat as well and then sleep. That was several years ago and I too had/have depression. I am 5'2" and weighed 174. I do judo three times a week now and eat healthfully- organic stuff. (Except going to Tim Horton's! :LOL ) I tend to want to purge the calories with exercise. But sometimes I just give up and eat it anyway. Quit throwing up though- figured it would destroy my vocal cords and I'm a singers so....

Anyway, welcome!
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#65 of 118 Old 02-27-2005, 05:04 PM
 
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I just found this code on someone's Xanga blog. I encourage all of you to add it to your blogs.

There are way too many women, and men, with eating disorders. There are a lot of misunderstandings about eating disorders as well. I think the biggest one is that people think you have to be thin to be anorexic or have any eating disorder. That's just not true. Maybe we can post some real facts about eating disorders on this thread to clear some of those misconceptions up for people?
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#66 of 118 Old 02-27-2005, 06:36 PM
 
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Originally Posted by AnnMarie
I think the biggest one is that people think you have to be thin to be anorexic or have any eating disorder. That's just not true.
Is anorexic then just taking in insufficient nutrients? How is that different than malnurished? If you don't have to be underweight to be anorexic?
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#67 of 118 Old 02-27-2005, 10:21 PM
 
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Hello everyone! s:
Well, I suppose I'll join in as a recovering/struggling bulimic. It all started on day when I had eaten too much and got that oh so sick feeling and I made myself throw up. It felt bad throwing up, but it felt sooo good afterwards.

I remember when I was in college, I would stop at several gas stations on my drive home to buy a couple ice cream bars at each one. Then to get home and have that feeling of euphoria after purging, like you were in control, like all the pain was gone. For me, bulimia was a way of dealing with issues in a different way. You eat away the pain until you get sick and then magically make all the pain go away, sort of like a drug.

What an aweful struggle it has been, and I can't yet say that I am over it completely. My husband has thrown away and broken soo many hidden wooden spoons that I can't count. For me, recovery has involved dealing with personal issues in different ways, expressing feelings, relying on God more, and not worring about my weight. I can no longer have a scale in the house or watch when they weigh me at check-ups. I also can not diet or deny myself certain foods. If I start that cycle of avoiding foods and dieting, I tend to start the cycle of binging again.

Blessings to you all!

Mom to two boys, ages 8 and 11, and one blessing due May 8th.

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#68 of 118 Old 02-27-2005, 10:30 PM
 
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Originally Posted by AnnMarie
There are way too many women, and men, with eating disorders. There are a lot of misunderstandings about eating disorders as well. I think the biggest one is that people think you have to be thin to be anorexic or have any eating disorder. That's just not true.
This is very true, I was bulimic for many years and I was always an "average" size in a "normal" weight range. I ate healthily most of the time and no one would have guessed that I had this secret addiction. In fact, I actually lost weight when I stopped my habitual binging and purging. Not sure why, unless it is because not all the food comes up when you purge.

Also, not everyone who is thin has an eating disorder. Many people are naturally thin and eat very healthfully and normally.

Mom to two boys, ages 8 and 11, and one blessing due May 8th.

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#69 of 118 Old 02-27-2005, 10:56 PM
 
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Originally Posted by heldt123
In fact, I actually lost weight when I stopped my habitual binging and purging. Not sure why, unless it is because not all the food comes up when you purge.
I've heard that, actually. You only throw up a bit of what you eat, so with binges you still probably will gain weight. Plus your metabolism is changed by purging and eating too much. It isn't just an equal "eat then throw it up", basically.
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#70 of 118 Old 02-27-2005, 10:57 PM
 
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Originally Posted by AnnMarie
Do you mean you got some sort of satisfaction out of it?
I thought every bulimic did! I found it to be a way of erasing the past (even if the past was 5 minutes ago), distracting myself from anything I didn't want to think about, and gaining control . . .I could have my cake and eat it, too. (I think bulimia is where that phrase comes from!) I would be SO frustrated when I couldn't get throwing up to work-- I felt like I failure even as a bulimic!

My heart goes out to the mamas here who are struggling with it. Having lived with some sort of ed for over 2 decades, I know where you are coming from and it is just horrible. I remember watching movies/shows where bad things happened to people, and I wished THAT was what was going on . . .that there was something bad happening TO me. But to be your own worst enemy . . .shiver . . .to not be able to get away from myself was terrifying.
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I think the biggest one is that people think you have to be thin to be anorexic or have any eating disorder. That's just not true.
So true. I was also (like the pp) always within a normal range for weight, so no one ever suspected (although even within the normal range, I lost/gained). Once I stopped with the behavior, I lost weight. Bottom line: eating disorders have nothing to do with weight, or even food . . .it's an addiction like any other.

and more to all. I hope people keep this thread going because as bad as an ed is, it's a million times worse to go it alone.

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#71 of 118 Old 02-27-2005, 10:59 PM
 
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quit smoking tobacco almost 9 months ago.
ETA: May May, this is absolutely amazing. I have heard that quitting smoking is THE hardest thing to do . . .harder than any other addiction (inc. addiction to heroin, cocaine, etc.) WOW WOW WOW.

Oops . . .meant to add this to a previous post without adding a new post!

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#72 of 118 Old 02-28-2005, 12:51 AM
 
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Is anorexic then just taking in insufficient nutrients? How is that different than malnurished? If you don't have to be underweight to be anorexic?
Clinically to be anorexic you must have a body weight that is 20-25% below your ideal weight for height, I believe (according to DSM). But you can have all the behaviors of an anorexic and not quite get that thin. I would still call this being anorexic. I experienced this several years ago. I grew up overweight, a compulsive binge eater from the age of approx. 8. I have no idea what started this in me at such a young age. I became very fat and remained so until I was about 22. Then something clicked and I lost over 100 lbs. sensibly. My general guiding principle was to eat fairly low-fat and exercise everyday. I lost about 80 pounds in 8 months, then another 40 over the next 9 months. This brought me down to 140, which at 5'8" is a great weight for me. But then I got obsessed with becoming thinner and lost an additional 15-20 lbs. Then for several years I fluctuated between 120-135. I know this is thin but it probably doesn't sound anorexic to a lot of people. However, it was for me. I monitored every morsel I ate, had lots of rules about food, cut up stuff in very small pieces, and had to exercise everyday at least an hour vigorously. I thought about food all the time. I was hungry all the time. At my thinnest I was a size 2-4 (after being a 22 at my highest). I didn't qualify as anorexic clinically, but I had/have a good amount of weight in excess skin (maybe 10 lbs.?). I binged and purged occasionally. Took ipecac a few times, which is awful and very bad for your heart. As for satisfaction in binging and purging, I hated throwing up, but the times I did it, I felt extremely calm and satisfied immediately afterward. After several years, my weight started creeping up and I seriously feel as though my body revolted and I ate and I couldn't stop it. I would wake up in the middle of the night hungry and eat. I was up to about 170 when I got married (on the high side of ok for me, I am pretty muscular). I was 185 when I got pregnant a year and half later. I gained almost 40 pounds during pregnancy, but was back at 185 at my six-week check-up. And now as my daughter reaches 18 mos. I am STILL at 185-190 and struggling to get my eating in check. I now would like to get down to a size 8-10. However, my struggle is usually that when I get to where I say I want to be, I'll probably think a 4-6 sounds awful nice. And then the whole roller coaster will start again and I'll screw up my metabolism even more.

I have been seeing a great therapist since 1998, who I am lucky to have found simply by assignment through health insurance and who graciously kept me at a reduced fee when she stopped participating in my plan. I think it's hard to find eating disorder specialists, esp. outside of large metropolitan areas. I went to one before finding my current one who actually suggested I go to Weight Watchers (I am 5'8" and was a size 6-8 at the time).

I don't really know what else to say now, though. But I just found this thread and it is validating to tell your story to people who know how hellish this all is and don't trivialize your experiences.
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#73 of 118 Old 02-28-2005, 02:03 AM
 
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Is anorexic then just taking in insufficient nutrients? How is that different than malnurished? If you don't have to be underweight to be anorexic?
It really has nothing to do with weight, it has to do with your mind and for most, being in control and eating is sometimes the only thing they can control in their lives. Besides that, like I've said to you before, it has to start somewhere, and for many that's overweight. You can starve yourself and over exercise and purge, and not lose a ton of weight because it's bad for your body and metabolism. There are also different stages of anorexia.

http://dictionary.reference.com/sear...exia%20nervosa

"A psychophysiological disorder usually occurring in young women that is characterized by an abnormal fear of becoming obese, a distorted self-image, a persistent unwillingness to eat, and severe weight loss. It is often accompanied by self-induced vomiting, excessive exercise, malnutrition, amenorrhea, and other physiological changes."

"A psychophysiological disorder usually occurring in teenage women, characterized by fear of becoming obese, a distorted self-image, a persistent aversion to food, and severe weight loss and often marked by hyperactivity, self-induced vomiting, amenorrhea, and other physiological changes."

": a serious eating disorder primarily of young women in their teens and early twenties that is characterized especially by a pathological fear of weight gain leading to faulty eating patterns, malnutrition, and usually excessive weight loss"

" : (psychiatry) a psychological disorder characterized by somatic delusions that you are too fat despite being emaciated"

http://familydoctor.org/063.xml

http://www.anred.com/defswk.html (I don't think you have to have all of these to be anorexic. My medical chart says past history of anorexia and I only got down to 112 and people were telling me I was getting too thin, and I can see it in old pictures of me now, but back then I still thought I was huge. I'm 5'5" and a good weight for me in in the 130's to lower 140's for my build. I don't think I missed any periods.)

http://www.dietitian.com/anorexia.html

http://www.anad.org/site/anadweb/

http://www.mamashealth.com/anorexia.asp

http://health.yahoo.com/ency/adam/000362/0

http://www.remudaranch.com/?flash=yes

http://www.priory-hospital.co.uk/htm/anorex.htm
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#74 of 118 Old 02-28-2005, 05:15 AM
 
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Hellos all! I'm a COE and have been slowly sliding back into that lifestyle since starting TTC meds. I think the stress of actually admitting my body doesn't work the way it should along with all the hormones the various meds produce have really affected me. I'm starting WW tomorrow not so much for the weight but the accountability and the journalling. It really helped me last time so I'm hoping this time will be good, too.

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#75 of 118 Old 02-28-2005, 06:38 AM
 
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Thanks, Mizlenius...
It has been sooo hard -- I feel like everything is foreign to me these days. I guess I'm getting to know life all over again from a new perspective. Maybe I should be more understanding of myself about the overeating because I DID quit smoking. But I'm scared that I'm gonna lose control of my eating and just get stuffed, ya know? I used to control my eating with the smoking.

Oy...
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#76 of 118 Old 03-13-2005, 07:06 AM
 
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Originally Posted by AnnMarie
I just found this code on someone's Xanga blog. I encourage all of you to add it to your blogs.



There are way too many women, and men, with eating disorders. There are a lot of misunderstandings about eating disorders as well. I think the biggest one is that people think you have to be thin to be anorexic or have any eating disorder. That's just not true. Maybe we can post some real facts about eating disorders on this thread to clear some of those misconceptions up for people?
Hi, AnnMarie. That would be mine. My xanga's http://www.xanga.com/Quencherita/ I'm a 16 year old suffereing from EDNOS.

There are many misconceptions RE ED's.... such as... "you look normal, you dont look pale, you CAN'T be anorexic." Stuff like that, you know? They drive me nuts. Anyway, I hope these ribbons continue to circulate. I'm very excited to see them on another forum.
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#77 of 118 Old 03-13-2005, 01:56 PM
 
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Hi, AnnMarie. That would be mine. My xanga's http://www.xanga.com/Quencherita/ I'm a 16 year old suffereing from EDNOS.

There are many misconceptions RE ED's.... such as... "you look normal, you dont look pale, you CAN'T be anorexic." Stuff like that, you know? They drive me nuts. Anyway, I hope these ribbons continue to circulate. I'm very excited to see them on another forum.
Yup! I know what you mean. People don't believe me when I say you can be fat and be anorexic, but it's true. It has to start somewhere right? I just thought of something else too. People make the same misconception about vegetarians. I can't count how many times I was told that I didn't look like a vegetarian (I used to be, I was for 7 years.) because I wasn't thin.
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#78 of 118 Old 03-15-2005, 06:51 PM
 
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I just found this post. I'm in the low weight anorexia/bulimia camp. I've dealt with this since high school. I'm not quite ready to post of more recent struggles but do see a counselor & have for the past 15 years. I did some hospital time during my senior year of high school. Thankfully I live near NYC & one of the top drs (founder of one of the national organizations) has an office down the street (where I go).

With my issues & behaviors, my appearance gives away when things aren't going well. I recently was able to pull my weight up some since it dropped too low last year. I have that distorted mirror view of myself. I don't see myself how others do. So others will comment on my appearance but I don't see it when I look in the mirror. Interestingly though, I can see it in photographs.

I've also done a lot of volunteer work to promote eating disorder awareness & positive body image. I used to do public speaking at schools, hospitals, medical conferences & even on TV once. Mainly talking about my personal experiences, what has helped me, what to look for & what to do if you are concerned about someone else.

Things I have found helpful are throwing out your scale, cutting the size tags out of your clothing, blacking out the nutritional info on food packages or just throwing the box out & storing it in another container.

P.S. I also asked my drs office to drop their subscription to magazines like Vogue, etc. The ones where everyone's way too thin. I noticed that my therapy office had fashion magazines in the office. Kind of counteracts the therapy, KWIM?. They listened & found some great magazines that are wonderful examples of women with positive body image.

Stephanie, mom to 3 big girls ('94, '99 & '02) and to my little guy (12/30/09) intact & CD'ed!
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#79 of 118 Old 03-15-2005, 08:00 PM
 
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As I've mentioned previously,

I've struggled with compulsive over-eating and then gone to the other extreme of 'not eating.' From reading this thread, a curiosity has grown in me to try to understand this issue of mine and, apparently, many other women. Until now, I'd never thought much about it, except for the guilt, and certainly had never done any research or discussed it with anyone else.

Well, in doing some research, lately, I've found that there are quite a few perspectives about eating in relation to emotions/control/health/etc. For example, there is this one diet called the 'Restricted Calorie Diet' in which the idea is that an extremely controlled calorie intake (BUT NOT STARVATION) can actually strengthen the immune system and extend one's life span through metabolic-shifting. The goal is to get as little food, but VERY nutrient-dense food, into the person as possible.


To me, that seems like anorexia from a different slant. When I go through my no-eating periods, I eat healthy food, too. One difference for me, though, is that I DO see myself as very thin when I'm not eating.... meaning I do not see fat when I'm thin..

Please forgive my ignorance, but I'm trying to understand myself and others.


How is it that some people see this as a 'choice' or a 'lifestyle' and others call it a 'disease?'
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#80 of 118 Old 03-15-2005, 10:56 PM
 
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To me, that seems like anorexia from a different slant.
I'm sorry but that just sounds like someone trying to make up a "diet" so they can continue their eating disorder with out harassment.

"No, I'm not anorexic, I'm following the such-such diet plan!"

I know when I severely restricted, I made sure I ate healthier foods since I wanted to be able to consume more but with out going over my self imposed daily calorie limit & with out passing out. LOL aside from the calorie & fat issue (or lack of it), I made healthier choices (as in the specific items, not how much) then than I do now.

I don't remember if my immune system was better or worse but I do know that it killed my teeth & digestive tract. I wouldn't recommend that type of diet for someone who wants to be in good health. Most people like to have a well functioning digestive tract.

Stephanie, mom to 3 big girls ('94, '99 & '02) and to my little guy (12/30/09) intact & CD'ed!
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#81 of 118 Old 03-16-2005, 03:55 AM
 
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I too have struggled with "How is this a disease and not a choice?" Well....for me it was a disease (dis ease "I was not at ease" was how I had to first understand it) when my obsessions with food/eating/not eating/purging/not purging/weight/size/etc. became THE center of my life and I didn't want it anymore but couldn't stop it. When the food no longer did its job...when the controlling behaviour to manage my weight (or others' behaviour) no longer worked....when it was all I could think about or breathe or anything and I just kept stuffing the food in and going back for more and more and more and barfing and doing it again and again. It isn't ONE particular behaviour or set of behaviours that make you eating disordered...it could be a whole host of things... any obsession with food/weight will do. If it is what you spend a great deal of time dwelling on (and no, most people DON'T yo yo diet and binge and purge and exercise and bounce from diet to diet to diet to diet....they really don't. There is a more sane way to live your life!) you may just have SOME issue with food and eating disorders.

It was a year and a half ago now when I last binged and started on the 12 steps of recovery. I realised that my tendency to dwell on all things food/weight related were going to kill me because I could no longer control it. I have always been an overeater...I've always been big. I used food to cope with all sorts of things...happy sad anger lonliness. Feelings in my life became so insane I was eating CONSTANTLY to try to stop them...and finally, at the end, purging as well. I felt like I could keep living like I was or kill myself and my kids...or at least those were the most frequent thoughts in my head. Having some sense (or a higher power...HOWEVER you look at it) I chose to finally follow a path well worn by others at the end of their rope...Overeaters Anonymous and the 12 steps as a program of recovery from the dis-ease of Compulsive Overeating (or restricting or purging or other nutty food/weight/exercise regimes you've got going on). I hear not everyone needs to get to the point of suicide before starting on the 12 step path. Hmmmm.....I could have saved a lot of heartache getting on that wagon long ago.

I am greatful that I can eat healthy most days and yet really enjoy the food and special foods on occasion as well. Like tonight we went out for Italian and I ate a "sane" amount. I wasn't too full or too empty. I wasn't cheated and I wasn't compelled to eat EVERTHNING on the table and later purge. In fact, the left-overs are in the refrigerator and I know they will still be there at lunch time tomorrow (instead of in the sewer or in my body)...it's a MIRACLE (or something...). My bent is usually, "everything in moderation"...thing is...with compulsive overeaters/anorexics/bulimics we can't seem to control it...a human condition (it's been said that the 12 steps help you manage your human condition and the eating (or drinking or drugging or restricting food intake or compulsive exercise) is merely a symptom.).

Bottom line: I'm ok with myself today. I can eat at a restaraunt and not constantly worry that others are looking at what I'm eating and what I'm not eating. I can eat what I want and enjoy it rather than worry what you see me put in my mouth. I can go to the grocery store and stick to a list. I can bypass the drive-thru restaraunts with nary a thought of them (I used to know where they all were and frequented them...often more than one at a go....often). I am OK with my body. I take care of myself. I take care of my home. I take care of my children. I do follow the 12 steps...but it seems a pretty simple thing to do to be free *today* from the insanity of food addiction.
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#82 of 118 Old 03-16-2005, 04:02 AM
 
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I also wanted to say

re. To me, that seems like anorexia from a different slant.

I'm sorry but that just sounds like someone trying to make up a "diet" so they can continue their eating disorder with out harassment.

"No, I'm not anorexic, I'm following the such-such diet plan!"


...maybe your choice to live on a restricted calorie diet IS a lifestyle choice. I have no doubt that there are people that do that. It COULD be you are LIVING your disease???? some might say that. But there are people out there who choose all sorts of lifestyles and aren't defined by that choice. Are you DEFINED by your choice to eat a low cal diet because it is good for you metabolically....has it been able to be sustained without constant thoughts about it? Are you able to "have a life" OTHER than thinking about your food?

Those are the questions I'd be asking.

It's easy for us to sit in judgement of someone else's food plan being a diet or restrictive or "insane" What works for us...individually...is really up to us. If it's not a problem for you...you're either in denial...or it's just not a problem (yet...or maybe ever). It's good that you're asking the questions.

Hang in there,

Abby
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#83 of 118 Old 03-16-2005, 11:31 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by girlzmommy00
I don't remember if my immune system was better or worse but I do know that it killed my teeth & digestive tract. I wouldn't recommend that type of diet for someone who wants to be in good health. Most people like to have a well functioning digestive tract.

girlzmommy00,
How did it ruin your teeth and digestive tract to be anorexic? Or did I misunderstand.... Were you purging, too?
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#84 of 118 Old 03-16-2005, 11:39 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2BMamaof3
Are you DEFINED by your choice to eat a low cal diet because it is good for you metabolically....has it been able to be sustained without constant thoughts about it? Are you able to "have a life" OTHER than thinking about your food?

Those are the questions I'd be asking.

That sounds like a very intelligent assessment method.


No, I don't think the folks who promote/ practice restricted calorie diets for the purpose of immune-strengthening and life-extension are consumed with thoughts about their size/body/diet/etc. If anything, I've read that they think civilized cultures spend way too much of their time revolving around preparing/cooking/eating/food-shopping/food-thinking/etc. and that it is remarkable how little (nutrient-dense) food humans actually need to subsist on.


Therefore, you're right. EDs are truly mind/perception-based.
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#85 of 118 Old 03-17-2005, 11:09 PM
 
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On the subject of a restricted diet being a way to mask anorexia, there is also a separate eating disorder called orthorexia. This is being obsessed with healthy eating and eating only pure, healthy foods. It can overlap with anorexia in that the sufferer could be so obsessed with eating healthy that their definition of what is acceptable narrows so much that they don't eat enough. Conversely, you could be physically healthy (and not see yourself as fat), but emotionally miserable because your obsession with healthy eating consumes you.

Many ED patients use a "special diet" to mask anorexia. I once told someone I was a vegetarian just so I wouldn't have to eat sausage in front of him (and then couldn't eat meat in front of him for six months until we became close enough that I told him about my disorder and said I'm not veg). But as others have said, I think the differentiating factor is whether the person following the special diet is consumed with thoughts of food and following the diet and whether or not they have an accurate perception of their body.
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#86 of 118 Old 03-18-2005, 06:15 AM
 
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Originally Posted by May May
girlzmommy00,
How did it ruin your teeth and digestive tract to be anorexic? Or did I misunderstand.... Were you purging, too?
You don't have to purge to have the same problems. If you don't eat you have all this stomach acid sitting around with no food to digest and it can cause problems.
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#87 of 118 Old 03-18-2005, 11:14 AM
 
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Thanks for the clarification, ladies. And bethwl, I thought this was really interesting:


Quote:
Originally Posted by bethwl
On the subject of a restricted diet being a way to mask anorexia, there is also a separate eating disorder called orthorexia. This is being obsessed with healthy eating and eating only pure, healthy foods. It can overlap with anorexia in that the sufferer could be so obsessed with eating healthy that their definition of what is acceptable narrows so much that they don't eat enough. Conversely, you could be physically healthy (and not see yourself as fat), but emotionally miserable because your obsession with healthy eating consumes you.

It's interesting because I've been down that path, and I didn't ever think of it as an ED! I was on an obsessive raw food diet for four years, during which time I was consumed with thoughts of perfection in relation to the foods I was eating. But it didn't stop there; there was also obsession about the eating utensils and preparation tools -- they had to be non-toxic in every way so that the food was 'totally pure' because it had touched only pure things and surfaces. Oh my goodness... how obsessed I was. Of course, in all embarassing fairness, I'm still like that, only I don't let it rule my world. Luckily, on my own without even knowing about orthorexia, I realized that thoughts regarding food should not be consuming me and that a diet that was intended to be healthy was not healthy if I was constantly feeling concerned and worried and stressed.

There are actually a lot of folks in the 'health food movement' who experience constant anxiety about their food reality.
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#88 of 118 Old 03-18-2005, 11:45 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by May May
Luckily, on my own without even knowing about orthorexia, I realized that thoughts regarding food should not be consuming me and that a diet that was intended to be healthy was not healthy if I was constantly feeling concerned and worried and stressed.

There are actually a lot of folks in the 'health food movement' who experience constant anxiety about their food reality.
This is the essense of an eating disorder--any time your thoughts about food are a constant source of worry and stress, you know that something's not right. Even if your worry is about eating good foods.

I think you're right that there are many people who are into healthy eating who experience a lot of anxiety about the food they eat. However, they can't fathom themselves being eating disordered because they're just trying to do what's best for their bodies, right? However, truly healthy eaters know that if they eat a cookie once in a blue moon they'll be alright.

I think some posters here have mentioned that they are working the 12 steps for food issues. Could you talk more about it? I have been to OA in the past and it didn't work for me. I had a good friend (with whom I had a falling out and I think some of it was food-related) who was in OA (and AA) and her abstinence was incredibly restrictive (no flour, no sugar--she basically ate tuna and lettuce with sugar-free salad dressing and apples and carrots). I respected that she was just doing what she needed to do to cope, but she seemed miserable (even though she said the program was her only sanity). I had to wonder if that's really recovery. Anyway, since then, I have been kind of wary of OA, because I don't think I can follow a food plan. For me, that would just be another eating disorder. I just want to get to the day where I don't have to be 265 lbs. (my highest weight) or a size 4 and getting head rushes all the time or about 25 lbs. overweight (where I am now). I want to eat moderate amounts of everything. I want nothing to be off-limits. But when I allow myself sweets, I just want more. And then I think about doing OA, but I never go.
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#89 of 118 Old 03-19-2005, 02:35 AM
 
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I used AA to recover from bulimia and anorexia. I went to some OA meetings, but they weren't a good fit for me. I found the definition of abstinence in the meetings I attened did not match my own. (For example, one man broke his abstinence by eating carrots at a party because they weren't a part of his food plan.)

I think the OA experience depends upon the meeting and the people.

There is a newer 12 step group called EDA (Eating Disorders Anonymous) and I *love* the approach to recovery it has. I started an EDA group in my town before I got pg and had my daughter. It never got big enough to be self-sustaining and I quit leading it when I was pregnant.

Check out: http://www.eatingdisordersanonymous.org/

I am not "religious" about the 12 steps, but it was one of the most powerful forces in my recovery. The fellowship of other people, and the idea of surrended were vital for me.
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#90 of 118 Old 03-19-2005, 02:36 AM
 
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OA and any other 12 step program is a simple program in that it lays out 12 steps that are suggested as a program of recovery (of course...I don't know many who have solid recovery without taking that suggestion seriously) but it is by no means EASY! No no no!

I can only speak from my experience.

I came to the 12 steps through AA when I was a binge drinker in late highschool. Alcohol was easy to stop drinking because I'm not an alcoholic. I sort of worked the steps and liked my very 12 steppy sponsor, but it didn't stick. I didn't relate the steps to my life, just to the alcohol. Once I quit and realised I didn't miss drinking, I quit AA. I didn't really ever go back to binge drinking either.

BUT

I did eat more. And more and more and obsessed and ate more.

So I did an eating disorders treatment program but was there to lose weight.

This last time of coming to OA I was at the end of my rope for many emotional reasons, but I KNEW the way I lived with food was not cool and would kill me (if for no other reason than I would kill myself for being so "lame" with food. Why couldn't I stop eating????). I heard, "the 12 steps work if you work it!" and I decided to get a sponsor and do what my sponsor told me. It is a spiritual program...it takes a belief (even a fake it to make it belief) in a higher power of your own understanding in order to make it work...but interestingly enough, even tried and true agnostic me can find enough Higher Power to make it work.

I knew if my abstinence was restrictive, I'd never make it. I had that much insight from a higher power or higher level of thinking at any rate. I decided to do the steps and see what happened....listen to insight through meditation, etc. Well, what came to me is that I need to eat only 3 meals a day and to take any of my will out of it I pretty much stick to the food pyramid. It's not THE BEST nutritional guide maybe...but THE BEST wasn't what I was looking for (because...that was part of the ED, you know?). I just wanted a sane relationship with food. So I do the steps. I'm still not through them officially, but I'm busting my ass to do what I can one day at a time. This program does work, if you work it. I do believe that. Some people use a strict food plan, others listen to God/HigherPower/Intuition. I can honestly say that I pretty much eat what I want when I want...because what I want is what my higher power wants for me. It's nice to only eat three meals a day instead of 9 or none. It's nice to have freedom within boundaries. yet I still cannot eat donuts today. I tried some doritos a few days ago and no...I still go bonkers when I eat doritos. Can't do it. I'll eat the whole freakin bag (though I didn't it was a slippery slope and I had to do a lot of program work to get out of the headspace that eating a bag of doritos would somehow make my life better). The other thing is that I don't have guilt with enjoying my food. I ENJOY my food FINALLY! I'm not shamed...I'm not feeling guilty...if it's ok to eat I eat it and love it and if not, I don't eat it. It's so cool! I have had a significant weight loss and I never tried to lose weight or eat differently...I just was given the grace of being free from bingeing and eating only 3 times a day with snacks when hungry and it came off. nearly 80 lbs over a year and a half or so.

I still do crazy things with food and around food (I still freak out if someone else tries to dish up my dinner)...but as I work the steps and use the tools of recovery, I find that those rules are disappearing without me doing anything about it. My life is also a hell of a lot more sane too!

Abby
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