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Old 22-11-2015, 04:57 AM   #1
CannedWalrus
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
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Beginning Anorexia Recovery

Hi,

I'm a 21 year-old male who is home from college indefinitely due to serious mental health issues which have been exacerbated by an eating disorder. I've been falling deeper into anorexia for about 18 months, and am at the point of serious restriction and am highly attached to a diet with virtually no variety.

I am seeing a therapist weekly for my depression symptoms, and a nutritionist/dietician/psychologist twice a week to discuss my feelings involving food. I am finally at the place where I have truly admitted I have a problem, and I want SO BADLY to get back to a state where I can just eat normally without thinking about food constantly. I want to be able to join in on family functions that involve eating together instead of being the one isolated odd man out who can't eat with everyone else. I want to be able to call up a friend and just go get a burger, or order a pizza on a Friday night. I miss mac and cheese and PBJs and spaghetti and cream cheese and so many other foods.

My life has become an endless routine of waking up with extremely high anxiety, then making this "meal" and watching TV while eating it, then feeling super tired and falling asleep into the afternoon.

This behavior has been going on for a few months. Before that, I was eating during the day, and I was biking/hiking obsessively. Over the course of anorexic experience so far, I have had either extremely restrictive patterns or insanely specific and ritualistic patterns with NO variety in my diet whatsoever.


For those of you who have recovered or are in recovery from an ED like this, what are the first steps you took in actually changing your diet? Did you make a meal plan with a ton more calories right off the bat? Did you gradually add calories, protein, fat, etc. to your diet? How difficult was it to continue and not fall off the wagon?

I am super anxious about gaining weight very rapidly even by adding a little bit of calories or variety into my diet. I'm afraid to even start making changes because I fear I am just going to explode right off the bat.

I miss my old favorite foods SO much, and I just want to be back at the point where I can eat like everybody else, not fearing foods, being able to enjoy great meals without shame, guilt, or residual self-hatred.

I want to do this while living life, and not going into a residential program. I have already been through a 4-week outpatient daily program for depression and suicidality, and I want to be able to work my new eating habits into my lifestyle so that they are sustainable and ingrained into my life. I feel fat all the time, even though everybody says I look emaciated and bony.


Any guidance, specifically in the practical first steps of changing food habits, would be greatly appreciated. I know this is going to be a difficult road, but I also believe it can be ENJOYABLE if I let it, because I will be able to experience foods I haven't let myself have for so so so long.

Thanks, any advice is appreciated.

-- Josh


Last edited by Aardbei : 22-11-2015 at 02:35 PM. Reason: removed food lists and calories eaten - please see ED forum rules
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Old 22-11-2015, 02:33 PM   #2
Pi.R^2
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I would really recommend getting some professional support with increasing your intake and moving forward in recovery. Could you ask your therapist for a referral to a dietician? A dietician would be able to work with you to create a meal plan which would safely bring you up to a higher and more balanced intake.

Congratulations on taking the first steps on the road to recovery :)



We’ll find a way to fight it, we always have.
It's not how tragically we suffer but how miraculously we live.


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Old 23-11-2015, 01:22 AM   #3
CannedWalrus
 
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^^ I am seeing a dietician and nutritionist, but I am looking for advice on how some of you might have taken initial steps in terms of adding variety or additional intake into your diet. For example, how extreme were your initial additions to your meal plan? Were you adding like a significant amount of calories right off the bat? It seems overwhelming to do that...


Last edited by tiptoes : 23-11-2015 at 09:34 AM. Reason: Removed numbers, please see ED Forum rules
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Old 26-11-2015, 12:10 PM   #4
Wonderland.
 
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Are you uncomfortable with the amounts recommended by your dietitian and nutritionist?



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Old 27-11-2015, 04:56 PM   #5
marimar
 
Join Date: Oct 2013

Hi, welcome ti ryl. Hope you'll find it useful, if nothing else feel free to vent here :)
Seems like you have a good support with therapyst and diatician. Well done for letting them try and help, i know it's not easy admitting you have a problem.
When i started recovery, i also tried to do it as an outpatient as i didn't want to sacrifise my life being "locked" in hospital. Unfortunatelly, it didn't work for me. I suppose it depends on how serious your ed is but based on what you've written above, seems like you're really struggling. I'd honestly suggest to consider inpatient program. There you wouldn't have to think what or how much to eat to recover as you'd have experienced professionals helping you with quantities and variaty of food and overseeing you. This would ensure you don't eat too little or too much and gain little by little. You're too envolved with the behaviours and the fear you mention about exploding from adding just a bit if calories is not easy to overcome on your own. Further to that, those programs are only few months and instead of losing them on trying to recover outpatient and then in the end going residential, you might as well go residential from the start (dont make the same mistake as i made)
On the other hand, if you really want to give it a try and feel strong enough to do it, you might start with a structured mealplan made with your dietician. The initial additions also depend on how underweight you are. It might be required to go little by little as there might be a possibility of re-feeding sindrome (try googling it, i-m not an expert so don-t want to explain it incorrectly). On the other hand, don't go down the route of partially trying to recover with eating one proper meal and than restricting the next 3. My first mealplan was made based on my intake before that plus additional 30-40÷ more cal still making sure that i'm not more than 30÷ below recommended intake for a women. This was a staring point and it was increased afterward as you need to eat more than rwcommendes for healty people in order to recover. Another important thing is that my activity levels were restricted. Sports, walking, even standing for too long consumes much needed calories that your body could use to recover internal damage. This can cause additional anxiaty which is why it's important to have professional help to deal with it.
Hope i didn't scare you :) my intention was to point out the choices you have. You're young, seems like you have suppost to go for it. You're already on a good path :) feel free to pm me

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