Live Help


Forum Jump
Post New Thread  Reply
Old 23-08-2017, 10:17 PM   #1
book lover
 
book lover's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Losing weight without triggering old ED thoughts/behaviours *trig*

Hi everyone,

This is my first post here.

I have always been overweight, and struggled with food. I have a long history of mental ill health and have Complex PTSD as a result of childhood experiences. In the past, I have self-harmed, but this is not something I have done for at least the last 7yrs.

Around 2.5 years ago, during a time when my C-PTSD was very bad and I was in desperate need of help for my mental health, I began controlling my food intake and increasing my exercise. I noticed how it felt good to be in control... so I controlled some more... and some more. I think most people reading this post will recognise where this is going.

I lost a lot of weight in a very short space of time. My therapist was incredibly worried about me and so were a few key people who were close to me. This went on for about a year. Because I had been overweight to begin with, I never became underweight and therefore never 'qualified' for ED help through my local psychiatry team. In fact, most people saw this rapid weight loss as a good thing and I got a lot of compliments (which felt strange as, to me, this was my biggest and most self-destructive act of self-harm that I had ever done).

Finally, I got help. I had a medication change, and it made all the difference.
I became me again, and my life felt like a life worth living. Just a few weeks later, however, I became very physically ill and was eventually diagnosed with ME and joint hypermobility syndrome. I suffer (still do) from dizziness, lack of balance, and extreme fatigue, and use a wheelchair for much of the time out of the house.

As you can probably guess, all the weight I'd lost came crashing back on in a matter of about a year. In fact, I weigh now more than I ever have done. I have been struggling to maintain a positive self-concept and remain self-compassionate because I basically feel disgusted with myself. I hate what I see when I look in the mirror and I hate how none of my clothes fit any more. I've spent the last 6-12 months buying new clothes at increasing sizes, and recently, I have gained so much weight that I can no longer wear my engagement ring without it hurting me, and I am starting to notice that my wheelchair is not really wide enough.

I desperately want to lose weight. To not be at the size I am. But I am struggling to know how to do that without falling back into old restrictive, self-hatred fuelled behaviours. Any time since my recovery that I've even attempted to lose weight, I've found those thoughts and feelings come flooding back really fast. I don't know how to manage the dichotomy between aiming for self-acceptance, whatever my size and however I look, and losing weight. It feels like the two mindsets/approaches cannot exist at the same time in my head.

I know that I am eating too much. I know that I am exercising too little (although that is made very difficult with the physical health issues that I now have to live with). I just don't know where to start. I feel like I have tried to eat healthily a million times over the last thirty years of my life, and every time I have not succeeded. The only time I "succeeded" was when I succumbed to an internal dictatorship that made my life hell.

I know that I am probably now living with Binge Eating Disorder, so I'm not that recovered after all, it's just a different type of ED...

Is there anyone else out there who's experienced this? Who might have any ideas or suggestions? Books I can buy, maybe?

book lover is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-08-2017, 12:16 PM   #2
Pi.R^2
I always have a choice
 
Pi.R^2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: sitting this one out in the safety cupboard
I am currently:

Heya :) First off, congratulations on the recovery that you made from a time when it sounds like you were dangerously ill and it's utterly rubbish that because of your weight you didn't receive ED-specific treatment. That's not right at all.

I can relate to an extent as when I recovered from my ED I had a very unhealthy diet but when I tried to think about being healthier it always quickly went from from "let's eat some more fruit and a bit less chocolate" to "let's restrict calories" so for years I avoided engaging in any thoughts about a balanced diet.

What I have found helpful is doing things slowly, so I started trying to eat one portion of fruit every day rather than completely overhauling my diet. It sounds like you have people around you who are aware of your past difficulties with food and maybe you could share with them your plan to try to start making some small changes and they could help you keep an eye out for it tipping into being a disorder again.

I'm not sure what country you're in but if there is slimming world where you are, it could be worth a try. It's not about counting calories and lots of the recipes enable you to have decent portions of tasty food so it doesn't really feel like you're restricting or dieting. There's also not a lot of weighing and measuring involved, which I think is beneficial for someone with a history of eating disorders. My partner is on slimming world and I've actually found it quite helpful for improving my eating as when we eat dinners together they are slimming world friendly and it means that I'm getting much more variety than I used to and also more vegetables so it's probably been good for me too! I just asked her if she'd recommend it for someone who has a history of an eating disorder and she said yes, but said to try to be careful about not getting fixated on the weigh-ins and trying to lose lots of weight very quickly, but instead to try to see it more as a change in lifestyle that will naturally cause you to lose weight at a sensible rate over time. Also, as above, having people around you who can support you with it but who will also be keeping an eye on you is very important.

Also, binge eating disorder is an eating disorder and you should be entitled to specialist help for it. Could you ask for a referral to the eating disorders team in your area?

Another option would be to see a dietician who could talk through your eating habits with you and make suggestions of healthy changes you could make that aren't too drastic but would gradually help you lose some weight.

Sorry for that big ramble, I hope some of it proves to be helpful!



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


Pi.R^2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-08-2017, 12:54 PM   #3
Entropy
 
Entropy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
I am currently:

I don't have too much to add to the excellent advice you received there but good luck!




"this is the room where you don't have to be brave"


Entropy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-08-2017, 11:16 AM   #4
book lover
 
book lover's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2015

Hi everyone,

Thanks for your messages and the hugs :)

@Pi.R^2 I think your advice about doing things slowly is fantastic. I read a book a couple of months ago that basically advocated getting as much variety in your diet as opposed to restricting, counting calories, etc. I've tried to act on that way of thinking as much as possible and so I've set myself a goal of trying to eat/drink one portion of fruit, one portion of vegetables, and a glass of orange juice a day. I'd say I'm successful with that maybe 60% of the time, and the rest of the time I usually manage 2 out of 3 (I'm really not that keen on fruit so I have to force myself to eat any!)

It was crap that I didn't get any ED help but I did at least get a psychiatrist referral and it was him that got me onto the right meds that eventually brought me back from the edge. I've spoken to them about the intrusive thoughts, etc. that come with ED thoughts/behaviours but they haven't really given any indication that they think I need specialist ED support. I'm fortunate in that I see a psychotherapist privately, and she is very skilled, so really she can help with a lot of the issues around that.

I've heard about Slimming World as I know someone else who had severe anorexia in her twenties but has found SW a positive way of helping with diet. I think if I actually joined SW I would end up down a negative path pretty quickly because it's still so focused on weight loss, whereas (as you say) I would rather make permanent lifestyle changes that hopefully result in weight loss further down the line. But I think it might be worthwhile me trying to get hold of some SW cookbooks/recipes as it might give me good ideas for healthier meals.

I struggle a lot with energy around cooking because of my ME, but I'm trying on my better energy days to cook twice the amount so that we have healthy meals in the freezer rather than having a takeaway on the days that I'm too ill to cook!

Thank you again for reaching out. It's good to "meet" you and I appreciate being able to talk with someone about all this :)

book lover is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-08-2017, 01:47 PM   #5
Entropy
 
Entropy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
I am currently:

Hi, it sounds like a great idea to get a lot of variety into your diet. I find that more variety means I am much less likely to get bored. If you are not super keen on fruit then could you try having it in different ways like smoothies, as part of a dessert, with yoghurt or freezing them? Or you could have double vegetables instead, I find soup is a very good way to get a lot of veggies in!

It is good that you have good psychological support at the moment, perhaps you could ask her to focus on some of your ED thoughts/behaviours for a bit? This might be just as helpful as specialist ED support, although I'm sorry that you didn't get the help you needed.

I have found that SW can be really positive as it is about making lifestyle changes etc. But I do understand that with the "awards" and focus on weight loss that can be really triggering. One option is that you could attend the class but ask not to be shown your weight or have it mentioned. Otherwise I really like the idea of making a collection of new recipes that you would like to try. I also find it really helpful to make meals in bulk and freeze the leftovers to eat at a later date :)




"this is the room where you don't have to be brave"


Entropy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-08-2017, 09:38 PM   #6
Pi.R^2
I always have a choice
 
Pi.R^2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: sitting this one out in the safety cupboard
I am currently:

Good to "meet" you too! It sounds like you've got a lot of insight into your disordered thoughts which is a positive start :)

I like the 3 goals that you've set; maybe you could have a sticker chart or some other way of recording the days that you meet the target? I love a good sticker chart :P

Even if SW isn't quite right for you at the moment, it's a good idea to get hold of some recipes. I don't actually subscribe to slimming world or anything but have had no problems finding tons of recipes that I can cook for me and my partner (who is the above poster by the way :P), both on the slimming world website and just on google in general. Making extra and freezing it is a fab plan, always great when it's a day that we can just take something out of the freezer with no effort at all!



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


Pi.R^2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-08-2017, 10:43 PM   #7
bitomato
 
bitomato's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
I am currently:

I don't feel able to read all of the OP or responses today. However, as I "ordered" my doctor to screen me/ diagnose me with a binge ED I understand your frustration. Because even with the diagnosis no one in my mental health team was comfortable to treat it and I got referred back to my physical health team. Fortunately, I had a dietician/ nutritionist because of my diabetes and that is their specialty. They also had so harsh words to the same thing you said.
"Who said you are overweight?" By who and what standards?

I am starting to look at how mobile I am, how I manage my pain, and what my relationship with food is. I think it is important with a chronic illness (I am not in a wheelchair yet) to be healthy. I currently have very little food in my house, and it feels like both a fake sense of control and fake sense of accomplishment- but it is also deluded that this is good for me.

I am not going to put too much details here as the rules on RYL still confuse me, but definitely having a dietician has educated me through some of the real false beliefs I have- I go once every couple of months and work on a few skills.

Be forgiving to yourself. I think my priority would be to assure that I am doing transfers into and out of the wheelchair correctly and that I don't spend so much time in it without the correct pressure cushions etc. Congrats on where you have managed to adapt to your fatigue. Keep on keeping on.


Last edited by bitomato : 29-08-2017 at 10:45 PM. Reason: Wrong letters




~Happy tomatoes together we will be~
You say toe- may- toe, I say toe- mah- toe:
Let's call the whole thing- red

Its time to lead the third revolution, which is not to say we want to be at the top of the world, but to say we want to change the world. Because the way the world has been designed by men is not working. Its not working for women, its not working for men,
its not working for polar bears
. Arianna Huffington 2014

bitomato is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-09-2017, 08:36 PM   #8
book lover
 
book lover's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2015

Thank you for all the support everyone, I really appreciate it.

I think, as has been said here, variety is the key. I am trying to introduce that as I'm hoping that more stable food intake will gradually come along if I try and introduce more positives rather than focus on restricting/ruling out "negatives". I had got a goal that I wanted to eat 1 portion of veg, 1 of fruit, and 1 glass of juice a day. I was finding that I was struggling to meet that goal because I don't like fruit that much, but actually was having 2+ portions of veg. It took me several weeks to realise "well, actually, that is still 3 portions of fruit/veg a day!" I swear the pain meds are making me stupid! I'm also hoping that freezing lots of easy meals will mean that we're less likely to have takeaways when I'm having a low energy/high pain day.

Haha I don't have a sticker chart but I DO have it as a daily goal on Habitica (which is a seriously cool app; complete tasks and gain XP so you can be a kick-a$$ mage/healer/rogue/fighter!)

It's all about self-compassion, really, I guess. Which is so easy when you have a history of complex trauma...

book lover is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-09-2017, 06:55 PM   #9
Pi.R^2
I always have a choice
 
Pi.R^2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: sitting this one out in the safety cupboard
I am currently:

Sounds like you've made some really positive changes, well done!

I know someone else from here who uses Habitica or something similar and it seems really cool :)

Self-compassion is hard but important. This is a really simple suggestion but I've found it quite helpful to try to get some perspective at a distance from myself; when I know I'm being harsh with myself, I think about what I'd say to someone I cared about who was in my position. Then I remind myself that if I aspire to be a kind person, then if I wouldn't treat another human being like that, I'm not allowed to treat myself like that either.



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


Pi.R^2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-10-2017, 09:46 AM   #10
book lover
 
book lover's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2015

Thanks, Pi That's a really good suggestion about self-compassion, too. Have you come across Insight Timer? It's a free app that has thousands of free guided meditations and quite a few of them are self-compassion focused - I've found them really useful.

book lover is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2017, 09:34 AM   #11
Pi.R^2
I always have a choice
 
Pi.R^2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: sitting this one out in the safety cupboard
I am currently:

I haven't heard of it, but I'll have a look!

How are you doing?



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


Pi.R^2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2017, 10:58 AM   #12
book lover
 
book lover's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2015

So-so. I think I am still gaining weight but I daren't check. I've started looking into Health at Every Size - have you heard of it? It's based on the idea that BMI is a crock of s**t and that every person has a certain weight that their body is healthiest at - which may be higher (or lower) than they are told they "should" weigh by BMI indices. It advocates self-trust, self-compassion (all the things I'm fab at! ). I initially thought it was too good to be true but it seems to have a lot of evidence behind it.

book lover is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-2017, 11:30 PM   #13
Pi.R^2
I always have a choice
 
Pi.R^2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: sitting this one out in the safety cupboard
I am currently:

I haven't heard of it, but I do agree that BMI isn't particularly accurate and my understanding is that people's bodies do have their own 'healthy weight'. And self-trust and self-compassion are never a bad thing!



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


Pi.R^2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-11-2017, 10:19 AM   #14
book lover
 
book lover's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2015

I completely agree!

book lover is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Members Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Censor is ON
Forum Jump


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 09:16 AM.

Back to top