Can't stop thinking about food

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mkf6da
Can't stop thinking about food

I'm a recovering anorexic, after dropping a significant amount of weight my parents encouraged me to see a dietician who showed me my anorexia I didn't even know I had. I was resistant to treatment at first but am now feeling like I'm nourishing my body well and have gotten back to a more normal weight, don't constantly restrict, etc.
My question is about being on the "brink" of recovery, I don't feel as strong urges to restrict or feel extreme fear of some foods anymore, and while these behaviors are still somewhat present, I'm mostly concerned that I am thinking about food ALL of the time. Even when it's not in a restrictive way, it still is on my brain way more than a normal person and I can't seem to get over it. It varies between sometimes restricting, sometimes eating small meals because I'm "bored" or excited that I don't feel so oppressed by anorexia anymore and can enjoy more foods, and eating pretty large portions and not being able to tell if I'm full/satisfied or not.
I know you lose a lot of hunger cues with anorexia, but I just want to be able to go about my life without thinking about food, it almost feels like restricting made it better because then i had some sort of structure rather than absentmindedly thinking about different things I could cook just for the hell of it, etc. It mostly comes when I'm alone/not occupied, which seems somewhat normal, but still I'd like to be able to eat balanced meals and recover without having food constantly on the brain! Anyone else have similar thoughts?

ahepler
A lot like me

I, too, have gained the weight I needed and no longer starve myself. Unfortunately, my mind keeps telling me that I'm going to gain weight if I don't watch it, so I try to eat as little as possible while staying in a healthy range of how much I eat, if that made any sense. My battle with the thoughts are more about wanting so desperately to lose weight and look better, even though I know I should not lose weight. Bulimia has now become a problem, too, in connection with all of that. If I do think I ate too much or ate something that had maybe too many calories, then I exercise like my life depended on it, trying so hard to not gain even an ounce from whatever I ate. It's a rough kind of lifestyle to battle, isn't it?

LegacyofLove
Can't stop thinking about food AND a lot like me

Dear mkt6da AND ahepler,

First of all I want to applaud you both for not only sharing your challenges through this supportive forum that will surely inspire others that are currently struggling with an eating disorder and some phase of their own recovery. I too can relate, as I battled and survived my ED. I remember how physically and emotionally exhausting it is to feel as though your entire life is centered on food and consumes almost your every thought!

Just know that recovery is definitely a process and it is not uncommon to have some setbacks. However, give yourself the credit you both deserve for the wonderful progress you've made. You are "choosing" to create a healthy and loving relationship for yourself. Life is richer and fuller when live a life free of and ED. I'm including a link that I've found incredibly helpful regarding the recovery process. I hope it provides insight and hope as you continue through your recovery. Keep up the great work. You both deserve an ED-free life!!

Are you both seeing therapists, or part of a support group in which you can share your thoughts? I found it helpful to read or write in my journal to release those thoughts out of my mind and it also helped me to better process my feelings and thoughts.Perhaps you might want to try this!?! Or, do something that you really enjoy, or are passionate about when you find yourself overwhelmed with thoughts surrounding food.

http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/slips-lapses-and-relapses

I would also encourage you to feel free to reach out to the NEDA Helpline to share your thoughts and receive additional feedback from their trained, compassionate and supportive volunteers. Their number is #1.800.931.2237 (Mon.-Thurs. 9am-9am/Frid. 9am-5pm EST).

Please keep us posted on how you both are doing. You are never alone! We are all here for you and ready to help!

Healing hugs,
Legacy of Love

ahepler
To Legacy of Love

Thank you for your encouraging words. For the past three years, I have been not only a trained leader but also a participant of Celebrate Recovery, which is a faith-based recovery program for "hurts, habits, and hang-ups", as their mission states. It is a 12-step program like AA and NA, but it is done by Christians and is for many problems beyond the alcohol and drugs. People come with problems like codependency, sex addiction, low self-esteem, and anger problems, but there has never been anyone who I can relate to who has and ED. For that reason, it has been very frustrating to me to not have anyone who can relate to the struggles I'm going through. I am glad that I found this website to be able to relate to others and get advice. I will probably call your agency's number in the near future.

nanzhu
you are on the right track!

I completely agree with LegacyofLove! For me, recovery was about the physical aspects of maintaining a healthy weight and healthy eating habits that could nourish me but also the mental aspects of not letting food be the center of all my thoughts. Even though this mental part of recovery isn't physically noticeable to others, it is definitely just as important in my opinion so I'm really glad that you are both aware of your struggles with it - that is a crucial first step and shows that you both have insight into the obstacles of recovery! Like LegacyofLove, I also think that seeing a therapist or other professional who you can talk through these struggles with would be beneficial. After all, they specialize in helping people overcome these types of roadblocks and have the experience and knowledge to arm you with advice and tools to use. The NEDA Helpline is also a great resource that you can use to find more information on finding this type of support.

In the meantime, here are some links that may be helpful as well:
Positive body image: http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/developing-and-maintaining-positi...
Sharing with others: http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/sharing-eeease
Recovery and relapse prevention: http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/recovery-and-relapse-prevention

It's encouraging and inspirational to hear that you're both on your recovery journey - keep going!

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