National Eating Disorders Association

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kcsauk
Binge eating after anorexia

I am siting here today at the exact same weight that pushed me over the edge into my anorexia. Four and a half years ago I developed anorexia and for the last year and a half I have been trying to recover. I have read countless books and attended numerous therapy sessions, but for some reason I can not stop bingeing. When I first attempted recovery, I my weight was not stabilized. But with hard work, I settled at a stable weight for my height. I maintained this weight but was still engaging in bad habits. This past November I was put on a new medication that didn't sit well with me, hated my job, and was super stressed by the toll my eating disorder still had on me. I decided to resign.
For the past three months the intense bingeing has come back and no matter how hard I try I can't seem to stop. I have gained more weight over this time. This has put me at the exact same high weight that I was four and a half years ago when my anorexia started. I look back at old pictures of myself and it doesn’t even seem real. I feel that I have lost my identity and the anxiety about disorders thoughts overwhelm me.I am wondering if anyone else has ever experienced this.I feel like everything changed so quickly and I am alone. I feel like I have lost all self control. I am so frustrated with myself that I have been trying to focus on recovery these last three months and all I have been doing is eating and gaining weight. I feel like there is no end to this constant battle of trying to become "normal" with food and weight.
Has anyone else binged after anorexia or gained all their weight back? I feel like it's impossible for me to lose weight without eating so few calories a day. I'm looking for hope that one day I will be back in a healthy weight range and free from bingeing and self hate.

sj728
kcsauk

Hi kcsauk,

First of all, I want to congratulate you on seeking recovery from anorexia. It takes a lot of strength and hard work to do so, and you really dedicated yourself to it!

I'm sorry to hear about your struggle with binge eating. I know it must be frustrating and doesn't make you feel good about yourself, but I hope it doesn't cause you to relapse. Remember that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes, and you are beautiful.

There are healthy ways to achieve a reasonable weight, like preventing your binge episodes, while still getting the required amount of calories you need! The main thing here is to figure out what is behind your binge-eating. It seems like stress might be playing a huge part in it, which is understandable. Using a journal to figure out "triggers" behind binges can help people control their habits. Most importantly, seeking a health professional's advice is key. Have you spoken to your therapist about what's been going on?

The NEDA helpline is always available if you want help finding treatment near your, or just want to talk. It can be reached at: 1-800-931-2237. Stay strong, we're here to support and encourage you all the way!

-sj728, NEDA volunteer

Starke
Sort of the same

Although diet and exercise seems healthy I was so obsessed and since then have put so much weight back on because it is unsustainable and my bingeing is a massive problem. I sort of know what causes my binges and over the past two weeks have started writing things down and when I know I am going to binge I think about how and why I am feeling this way. I still struggle, but less frequently. It's still a massive issue and like you I am so frustrated with myself but I can sort of see myself getting better.
I think instead of focusing on unhealthy behaviors, I might start creating a weekly meal plan that is healthy and easy to stick to if I give myself a few treats in the week that I love. Maybe this could work for you too?
I know you will find something that works for you because if you have overcome it before you can do it again. You are stronger than you think and we are all here to help each other so keep sharing your story and progress :)
Xx

CrossingHorizons
Identifying Triggers

Hello, Do not worry you are not alone! Often after chronic anorexia, binge-eating is not unusual. It is because the body has been in starvation mode for so long that it is instead going in the opposite direction, and now that feels more natural.

I would recommend identifying the triggers every time you want to binge. Write what you are feeling in a journal immediately. You may begin to see patterns or trends of when you feel like you have urges. Then another time when you have an urge you can flip through this journal and realize why you are bingeing. Talking about what you are feeling on the inside really helps as well. The symptoms of an eating disorder are often just the iceberg of the overall problem.

Overall, try writing your thoughts down in a journal, seeking help in terms of finding a professional to talk to or perhaps a formalized treatment center, and also don't forget that NEDA is always here for you. You can call the helpline and also use any of our helpful links.

All the Best!

emmakiwi
Exactly The Same! :(

Yep I hear you 100%
I have had anorexia since September 2009, I received treatment during 2010 including hospitalisation and NG feeding. Over the years I’ve done better then I panic and go downhill. In November 2013 - I hit my lowest point (mentally not physically) and so I decided to give recovery one good whole-hearted attempt and just get to a normal weight and do it quickly before my brain tells me otherwise. This went fantastically until reactive eating and extreme hunger kicked in. I do have terrible pitting edema so that might add to the weight gain but still it is way more. I am pretty much in the middle of a healthy BMI - I shouldn't need to lose weight but the anorexia has come back so hard and fast it is horrible. I feel so guilty because I wasn't forced into recovery this time - it was my decision and I wish now I had never done it. I am so upset all the time - I always want to die and I am so embarrassed to go out.
I am so sorry you feel the same way because it is not nice :(

surikaye
emmakiwi

Hi emmakiwi,

I'm so sorry to hear about your struggles with recovery. Know that you are not alone, and that although right now things seem bleak, help is available and accessable. You say that several months ago you decided to give recovery a whole-hearted attempt. Although your journey has been wrought with challenge, do not let that deter you from getting well.
The NEDA helpline (1800-931-2237) can be a great source of support and guidance for you at this time.
I know that the journey can be long and painful, and I hope that yours takes a turn for the best. You write that you want to die, which expresses the extent of your pain, that is real and raw (in case of emergency, this is the suicide helpline 1800-273-8255 ) It is my hope that you will start to feel much better with the right help and support in place.
Loads of luck and best wishes,
Surikaye

emmakiwi
Aww thanks, sorry I didn't

Aww thanks, sorry I didn't see this comment sooner :( Thanks so much for those nice words I really appreciate it xx

girlie21
Binging after anorexia

I am going through the same thing.

Anorexia took control of me for over 2 years, and since this past Thanksgiving 2013 I have been non-stop binging. Everyday. I have gone the opposite direction. It happened so suddenly...

I have been receiving therapy and treatment since my anorexia in 2012. From what I understand, this is a normal occurrence after anorexia. I feel so discouraged and upset at myself for letting this happen.

surikaye
girlie21

HI girlie21,

So sorry to hear about your battle with anorexia and binging, but know that you are definitely not alone in your struggles. Sounds like you are taking good care of yourself by receiving therapy and treatment. For some extra support, you may find the neda navigators program helpful- check out this link for more details:

https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/neda-navigators

Good luck with your journey to recovery and stay connected!

danicajoson
Battling with Anorexia

Exact thing happens to me. I feel so down and helpless everyday. I feel like anorexia has taken control over me. No one in my family knows.

lovetowrite81
Danicajoson

Hi Danicajoson-

I'm so sorry to hear you are struggling. I know it's so hard to feel like ED is taking over. Is there anyone else you would feel comfortable telling? What are your thoughts about seeking professional help? Just want you to know as hopeless as you feel, there is hope and you are deserving of recovery. You are not alone <3

JaneA88
Hi kcsauk

i swear i could have written that myself, i can relate to everything you've said 100%. Iv recently just left my job as it was getting harder and harder to get myself in. Everyday is "day 1" but always ends up becoming a failed attempt and its incredibly frustrating and embarrasing, expecially as its my sole desire to be healthy and "normal".

i was diagnosed with depression when i was 15, anorexia when i was 20 and now at 26 im sitting at my heaviest (after binging and purging on and off for the last 2-3 years) and cannot get back on track no matter how hard i try. I rarely leave the house and have missed out on so much in life, time goes by so fast and i cant seem to get better fast enough so i can join back in with society. I too am looking for hope.

-Jane

michael26
Hope = Hold on Pain Ends!

Hi there!!

Thank you so much for your post!! You are very brave, strong, and courageous for sharing with us your situation! I hope that I can be of some support for you!

I am sad that the ED has been such a long struggle for you... A wise person once told me that oak trees develop strong roots whenever a powerful wind shook the tree. Similarly, the more we live through and learn from tough experiences, the better and stronger we are to truly win the fight against the ED!

Have you considered seeing an ED therapist? I think having a therapist is an awesome form of support and a great way to get guidance throughout the recovery process. A doctor that understands ED's are also a great resource to have too!! The way I see it, the more help we can receive in our community of support, the more stable we become and the better we approach each bump in the recovery process! If you are interested in seeing a therapist or a doctor but are not sure where to find one, the NEDA Helpline is here to help! All you need to do is call 1-800-931-2237 and a representative will be there to help you find resources!!

Have you heard of the NEDA Navigator program? It is a great free resource that connects you with a trained volunteer who has experience achieving recovery! It is a great way to ask questions, seek support/advice, and gather more resources for you to utilize!! Here is a link to learn more about the program!!

https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/neda-navigators

I hope that this helps!! You are not alone!! Please if you'd like to continue our conversation post it on the forums!

Stay strong!! You can do this!!!

JosieK
Feeling hopeless

I can relate so much to this and these other posts. I'm not sure if anyone still comes on here or not but I am struggling so bad. I struggled with anorexia for almost two years and have been binging almost daily for probably 6 months now... As you mentioned, every time I try to "start fresh" the next day, I get stressed and eat for comfort, always foods that I restricted for so long like sweets and junk food. I am disgusted in myself and have gained so much weight. My ED thoughts are always there, wanting to restrict and get back into a strict exercise/eating plan to lose weight. I constantly wish I was the size of was before, when I was "fit." I hate going anywhere and I feel so self conscious with this increased weight. I don't know what to do, I'm so lost. No one in my family understands what I feel like and I feel so alone. I'm glad to know I'm not the only one feeling like this. This is so hard.. I don't know what to do. Someone please help

lovetowrite81
JosieK

Hi JosieK,

Welcome to the forums! We are really glad you are here & can find support among others who understand where you're coming from. I can absolutely relate to your experience- as I struggled with restrictive eating/orthorexia nervosa to then fluctuate to binge eating for several years. And yes, eating all of the forbidden foods I had not let myself have for so long. Is there a sense of loss of control during these episodes of binging? Some of what you described could be indicative of Binge Eating Disorder (BED) but none of us here can diagnose- so that would be something to bring up with a medical professional. But that being said, please try to be gentle with yourself in this. Having an eating disorder and struggling in this way is not your fault.

And know that you are not alone- I think many of us can relate with how you are feeling. I am sorry to hear that you are feeling lost. Did you ever receive professional help in your battle with anorexia? I know that for me, I did not reach full recovery from BED until I began seeing a therapist regularly and worked through the deeper issues that were spurring the behavior. It always runs so much deeper than we even recognize. I would recommend trying to talk to someone about what you are going through- is there anyone such as a close friend you would feel comfortable sharing with?

Just want you to know that we are always here to listen. I would also recommend starting a new thread as this one is from several years ago so I believe you would receive more of a response if you were to start a thread of your own. Please keep us posted. I will be thinking of you, Josie :)

-Lovetowrite81

tryingnottogiveup
Hi Jane

Hi Jane
can you connect with me? i am the same way I'm so depressed!

jblackmore23
I completely relate.

I am in your exact situation and honestly it feels so good to finally read something I can relate to so much. In other support groups I am a part of no one seems to understand. I was diagnosed with anorexia at 16 and it almost took my life. I entered a 4 month in patient treatment program and it was amazing. After I left I felt like I was so powerful and that I could eat anything I wanted and be free. I didn't realize however that I was just replacing restricting with binge eating. I am so overweight and I know I have to lose weight to be healthy. But I am so terrified that the weight loss journey will trigger all those old symptoms and I know I have come too far to end up back where I started. I feel so helpless because I know I need to lose weight to be healthy. But I am very scared to start losing weight again for fear I will end up trapped in the deadly cycle again. I have no idea how I will ever be a healthy, balanced person.

michael26
Hope = Hold on, pain ends.

Hi there!!

Please know that you are so STRONG and that I know you have the will, strength, and determination to achieve the life you deserve and do it in a healthy way! Yes, it is scary to think of relapse, but a life lived in fear is no fun at all!!

I know you mentioned being in a treatment center in the past. Have you considered continuing therapy with some outpatient therapist? I think that you could utilize a therapist as a great form of support and accountability when you begin to change direction in recovery. Another great resource to have would be a dietitian, especially one who has experience with eating disorders. A great way to find out about local therapists and dietitians is through the NEDA Helpline! All you need to do is call 1-800-931-2237 and a representative will be there to help!

Another great resource to consider is the NEDA Navigator program! It is a program that connects you directly with a trained volunteer who is in recovery. They can provide you with support, guidance, a listening ear, and many other things too! I always think of them as recovery buddies or a friend who understands how I see and use food. I think they are a great, free resource!! Here is a link to learn more!!

https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/neda-navigators

Remember, the more support and help we receive, the safer we become and the stronger we are!! You are already strong but with others at your side you will be unstoppable at getting the things that fulfill you most!

I hope this helps! Please let me know if you have any questions!!

Stay strong!!

Avishek
End weight loss efforts

Hey,

I just wanted to repeat what I said to the OP. You have to truly STOP trying to lose weight and thinking your fat in order to restore that balance. It's just incredible how so many not fat people still think they're fat! Forget it!

gracec17
I feel your pain!

Hi!
I'm new hear and just opened up about my eating disorder on this forum. Please help me if you have some time!
I binge eat all the time as well. I am recovering from anorexia and extreme binge eating. I didn't even understand I had the disorder until it was too late and I was thin enough for people to be concerned about me.
I have gained some of my weight back. It is the scariest feeling but what I'm trying to realize is that being healthy in your mind is still what's most important. You are BEAUTIFUL. You don't want to hold yourself back by having this eating disorder.
Don't you want freedom from food and fear? Life is too short. Try to remember that. I'm trying to tell myself that every day!

Avishek
You're on the right track, thumbs up

Hey!
Sounds like you're on the right track. The body acceptance and loving your body part is great. A lot of people are able to do that but still can't cope with weight gain or fat on their bodies. I am still recovering myself from orthorexia, but I did binge once upon a time.
For me what helped the most is letting go of the desire to be lean or thin and realizing that it's not even attractive past a certain point to be too thin. Everyone’s set point is different. With regular exercise we can be at a healthy and attractive bodyweight but being thin and unhealthy is not worth it.

Avishek
You are missing the point

The hallmark of anorexia nervosa is a fear of gaining weight and an overevaluation of weight and shape, which you described perfectly: you said you lost your "identity" which implies being skinny and at a low weight is somehow part of your identity and then you mentioned repeatedly your desire to lose weight again.

-being at an anorexic body weight is not attractive or healthy at all
-having fat on your body is attractive and healthy
-everyone has fat on their bodies, it's an endocrine organ that secrets inflammatory cytokines and hormones. It is active and we need it.

Anorexia is a biological disorder. I am not a doctor who specializes in eating disorders, just a blogger and student who is interested, and I believe that if people understand how fat is more attractive and healthy on their bodies they can end unhealthy attempts to lose weight.

Stars1207
Wow

Hi, this is my first time posting in this forum, but I just had a binge and was just feeling extremely guilty about it.
I can relate to every one of the comments said here. I had no idea other people were facing similar struggles as me. I used to be extremely skinny and thought that was part of my identity. Until university came and I was on a weight rollercoaster. I was constantly thinking to myself that I am hideous and that I was so beautiful before and not anymore. I regretted listening to my doctor to increase my weight, because eventually I went over his recommended weight gain. I felt so ugly ever since.
Squishing in exercise made me feel healthier and more beautiful and perhaps I don't need to lose all the weight. I am really thankful for what you said, Avishek. I rarely looked at having fat on my body as being attractive and at how being overly skinny is not necessarily attractive. My mind was set on losing weight, but now I don't feel as sad that I haven't lost all the weight I gained. It's like a stepping stone to a new me.

nanzhu
Stars1207, I think your

Stars1207, I think your realization of exercise making you feel healthier and more beautiful is so inspiring! I used to struggle with restricting and over-exercising several times a day in order to feel "attractive" but I think it's a much greater outlook to use it as something to empower you beyond how you look or what the scale says. Changing this mentality doesn't happen overnight but step by step, and with support like people on these forums, I think that finding an inner peace and recovery are both possible.

These are some great links about positive body image and keeping this much healthier perspective! http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/developing-and-maintaining-positi...

Stay strong!
Nan

idahorunnergirl
Glad (but sad) I am not alone

I can relate to much that I've read in the original post and replies, and I'm glad I'm not the only one who struggles with this (but sad because I know how awful it feels). I was diagnosed with anorexia nearly 10 years ago, and I've experienced occasional binges since the early days of my initial weight loss, but usually I feel like I can maintain some kind of overall control. The past couple of weeks I feel like I'm falling apart, like I just can't take any of this anymore. I'm tired of pushing myself so hard and being so worried about weight, but I can't seem to let go of that fear of putting on pounds. I've gained and lost weight over the past decade. It happens in spite of me. But I hold onto this ideal of being thin, telling myself that's the best version of me and I have to work to maintain it or get back to it. Lately I'm wondering what I am doing all this for--but instead of getting me someplace healthy, that questioning just seems to bring on chaos. I think Avishek is right that holding onto a thin ideal is missing the point, but I don't know how to make sense of anything if I'm not counting calories and miles run and constantly scoring myself based on those numbers. And when I binge, I feel so awful about myself, so irredeemable, I'm convinced I'm beyond help. I don't see the path back to something "normal," let alone healthy.

nanzhu
Hi Amber,

Hi Amber,
First, you are NOT beyond help. Recovery isn't easy, but it IS possible and I'm glad that you've agreed that the "thin ideal" is actually no ideal at all. This shows you have the insight in you to realize that these behaviors are unhealthy and just making you feel awful. I know it can be extremely frustrating and it's normal to feel scared about changing something that has been engrained in you for so long, but with the right help you can find the right path back to health and happiness.

Personally I had a long struggle with anorexia and over-exercising including a significant relapse, and for me, seeking out consistent professional help made a huge difference. Have you or are you working with any doctors or ED specialists or any other sort of medical provider? It can be hard to open up but having someone with the right knowledge and resources can really help you work through the physical urges as well as the mentality behind body image.

The NEDA Helpline is another great resource that can give you more options: 1-800-931-2237 (M-R 9-9, F 9-5). Here are some other links with information that might be helpful:
Sharing with ease: http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/sharing-eeease
Treatment basics: http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/treatment-basics
Recovery and relapse: http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/recovery-and-relapse-prevention
Stages in recovery: http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/understanding-stages-change-recov...
Positive body image: http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/developing-and-maintaining-positi...

I hope this helps - help IS out there. Stay strong!
All the best,
Nan

pikamon
You aren't alone

Hey there! I'm so glad that you posted this because I thought there was no one else like me! My weight has not been stable over the years. This first started about three years ago. However, since then I have found more control. I haven't binged in months (occasionally I'll treat myself, but nothing like what I used to). I'll try to explain how I gradually changed from struggling to recovering.
My friend group was definitely supportive. They aren't the kind of girls and boys who obsess over calories (like I used to), and seeing their positive outlook gave me a positive outlook. Also, I tried to engage my time more than I used to. I used to have a lot of free time at home, and during those times I turned to food. Once in college, I tried to turn that boredom into study time and friend time and it worked wonders! Best thing I can suggest is don't let yourself become bored!
Something else I did was revamp my wardrobe. I had been a tomboy for a while, but in the last two years I found myself reconnecting with the girl in me. I found clothing that made me feel sexy and confident. I sure as h*ll looked good in that dress, and I wasn't going to let that voice in the back of my head tell me I looked big.
Somewhere along the lines of supportive friends and getting clothes I felt good in made me learn to love myself again. For so long I defined my self-worth by how much I weighed, by how much weight I lost. I learned how to redefine myself by how I treated by friends, by how much I gave back to the community, by how much I could make someone smile. Don't let yourself get caught in the cycle of guilt and shame, I know how awful it is. I know how hard it is to look in the mirror sometimes.
Last month I went to the beach and wore a bikini. I haven't been to the beach in two years because I was ashamed of how I looked. But I realized that the biggest critic, if not the only critic, was me. That was one of the most freeing moments of my life.
Love yourself for all of your flaws and for your body. If I can do it you can too! I believe in you!

Anshoo
I have the exact same

I have the exact same situation as you. I have had an anorexia around 2 years, then after recovering I start to gain. I don't know how I can control it and start again to eat less... Please help me, support me

Thanks

michael26
Support Resources!!

Hello! Thank you for your post!! I hope this helps!!

I am sorry to hear that you have been struggling, but I can tell by your words that you are committed and strong!! Those qualities will remain no matter how difficult things become!

I think that you could utilize a therapist as a great form of support and accountability when you begin to change direction in recovery. Another great resource to have would be a dietitian, especially one who has experience with eating disorders. A great way to find out about local therapists and dietitians is through the NEDA Helpline! All you need to do is call 1-800-931-2237 and a representative will be there to help!

Another great resource to consider is the NEDA Navigator program! It is a program that connects you directly with a trained volunteer who is in recovery. They can provide you with support, guidance, a listening ear, and many other things too! I always think of them as recovery buddies or a friend who understands how I see and use food. I think they are a great, free resource!! Here is a link to learn more!!

https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/neda-navigators

Remember, the more support and help we receive, the safer we become and the stronger we are!! You are already strong but with others at your side you will be unstoppable at getting the things that fulfill you most!

offbrand09
Help me

I have recently recovered from anorexia that almost killed me. I had this problem for about a year at age 15, but I can remember that thoughts started much much earlier. I first started feeling conscious of my body when I was in third grade. From then I had not eaten normally. I never starved myself but I would go from dieting to binge eating back to dieting. I don't know what normal is. Two years ago is when it really hit me hard. I was diagnosed with anorexia and almost died. I had been on the cross country team at the time which proved extremely hard on my body, especially considering I was starving myself. It got so bad I can't remember everything and I know that, for a time, my grades were very poor since my brain wasn't receiving enough glucose to function. Now I've recovered but I've been suffering from bingeing for about 9 months.
I don't want this to be my life but I don't know what normal is because I never learned it for myself. Trying to handle this problem, I quit restricting and having extremely small meals to make up for the bingeing because I heard that was supposed to help. If anything it has only increased the problem. Once I get one taste of my trigger food It literally triggers me. I continue to eat more and more of it; it's never enough. I tell myself I'll only have a little more and then I'll stop. I don't. In addition to this I have severe constipation which is especially bad because of the bingeing. I was wondering if previously having anorexia could somehow damage your digestive system in that way. I am completely ashamed of myself. My mother told me that if I don't fix my problem by next year I won't be allowed to go to college. I don't want to live like this because this isn't living. I shouldn't have to live in constant shame. I feel pathetic. I don't know why and I can't live my entire life like this. I just want to be normal. I don't want to have to think about food. I don't know what normal is. I don't think I ever have and I'm afraid I never will.

idahorunnergirl
Let go of the shame ... ?

offbrand09, I don't know what normal is, either, although I feel like I did once and I don't know how to get back there. One thing I can tell you (although I guess it's already clear from this thread) is that you aren't the only one who struggles like this. I have felt the shame, too, and I've felt pathetic and hated myself so much. I think those feelings only make all the behaviors worse. My hope for you and for myself too is to let go of the shame and the self-hatred. I think that would be a big step toward healing.

surikaye
offbrand09

offbrand09,

I am so sorry to learn about your struggles with ED, both your anorexia and recent binging. I want to extend a hand in support, and let you know that there definitely is hope for you to achieve complete recovery and happiness. You deserve to and you CAN! Below are some resources that can help you along the way:

http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/information-referral-helpline

http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/neda-navigators

Do not hesitate to reach out and enable yourself to recover with good support at your side and the best interventions possible. Your a brave person- you reached out for help- now you are up to step two on your journey- getting the treatment and support system in place.

Good luck and stay in touch- know you always have a place here to talk and share. Thinking of you!

offbrand09
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offbrand09
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mameegan
Bingeing after restricting

Hi all! Sadly it is extremely common to have the challenge of bingeing after a period (no matter how long) of restricting. I too am in the midst of the same crisis. I meet w a therapist and nutritionist weekly. I had 3 very balanced weeks
And then felt like the rug pulled out from under me and binged several days this weekend. I've been dealing w all forms of an Ed for now more than less of my life. That really depresses me. I have 3 kids, ages 14,12,10 so I worry about this impacting them. Most importantly how my low self esteem impacts them. We are not alone! I hope to some day (sooner than later) share helpful advice and speak of this in past tense. I feel like I work like hell to make forward progress and then discover I was on a circular road as I'm always back to where I began!

Hugs to all my fellow fighters! Don't give up on yourselves!

Tferrari
Thank you

I have been stable for about 6months now.

All of my clothes from my thinnest boo longer fit me. It's like bitter sweet.

I've tried other diets and stuff but cannot stick to them because I end up binging on the "safe foods" that I am allowed.

I feel my anxiety coming back too. And my dreams are extreme and quite scary at the moment too.

It takes a lot for anyone to speak out and get through and GO trough this terrible illness so we are all in this together and we are not alone. I just want to say thank you to those who have shared so much because, for me (and I am sure so many others) it makes us feel more 'normal' which is what I crave and makes us feel less alone.

In glad it's not just me who has this issue of weight gain. Is it ever possible to loose it again without getting unwell again?

godsbookworm
this is my life too!

I've never posted here before, but this is my life right now too! I'm also having problems with bingeing after a period of extreme restricting. I currently only have one food I can eat without starting a binge. It's the same thing I lived off the entire 3 months my restricting was at its worst. All I want to do is eat, even when I'm not feeling physically hungry. Someone please tell me this will balance itself out soon. I don't want to gain back everything I lost because I was legitimately overweight before and now I'm finally at a weight that's healthy for my height and age. I don't know what to do because I want to be able to eat more than just this one food without bingeing, but every time I try, I fail. I don't even know why. I hate my life right now.

I do have a Navigator, but it's not the same as a person to talk to in real life. I also see two therapists, but neither one specializes in eating disorders. I don't have health insurance and I only work part time, so this is the best I can do right now as far as treatment goes. It's costing me enough to pay for the therapy plus my psychiatrist and meds out of pocket. My Navigator sent me a link to scholarships for treatment. I think I need to look into maybe doing some intensive outpatient if I can get help paying for it because this is miserable. All I want to do is eat normally and be at a healthy weight. Why is that so difficult?! I feel so trapped.

bkhanson7
I Feel You

I'm in the exact same situation as most of you here. About two years ago I was at a perfectly healthy weight for my height \, but developed a restrictive eating disorder, along with anorexia, and dropped down. I maintained this weight for about 1 1/2 years until my health and social life were greatly affected, so I began healthily gaining the weight back. I've always been a very healthy eater, so all I did was increased my portions, which helped me, but not enough to be at a healthy weight. My family and boyfriend were very concerned with my weight and constantly told me to eat, eat, eat, desperate for me to gain weight. These words planted in my head, along with that I needed to gain weight, so I began binge eating because this was the easiest thing to do that the time. I did gain all of the weight back through my frequent binges and I'm completely 100% weight restored, but the thoughts of my family and boyfriend telling me to keep eating and needing to gain weight are still with me. I’m still engulfed in an unhealthy cycle of habits. I struggle the most at night. It's my terrible habit that I cannot seem to overcome. No one knows about my binging because I'm too embarrassed to tell even my closest friends, but I don't want to live with this the rest if my life and I know I need to change. If anyone has any positive feedback, I'd really appreciate it!

Bartleby
I Feel You Part 2

I'm having the same problems with binge-eating after a restrictive eating disorder. I can't stop hearing my mom going "eat, eat, eat" and I get into this "You want me to eat? I'll show you eating!" state that's impossible to break. Then afterwards I'm filled with the worst sense of regret. It's truly the hardest thing I've ever been through. I'm so sympathetic to your situation and I hope we both can pull through. In terms of opening up, I just told my dad about my disorder last night, and a wave of relief went over me. I basically went on like a 15 minute rant. So I'd say find someone who you think would be the best listener, and go have your 15 minute rant. Don't get me wrong, it was really hard to tell him--since this is embarrassing stuff--but I think we both have to power through. I still binged today, so it's not like I'm cured (my dad wasn't in the house and I was left alone with my mom. i always binge when that happens. work in progress), but I was inspired enough to create a NEDA account after binging today. So that's pretty huge. Tonight my dad and i are planning to sit down with my mom and discuss everything, since I haven't told her yet, so hopefully that works out (fingers crossed). But my main feedback: even though it's embarrassing, we have to fight the stigma of mental illness and open up to people. the only way we can get better is if we stop all the secretive business. and my BIGGEST piece of advice: don't result to behavior where you make a display to try and get your friends to say "is something wrong?" In my experience, nothing good comes from 'hinting' at a problem and hoping that someone picks up on it. For a long time I would binge in front of people, hoping they would catch on, but I totally regret that phase. So that's my schpeel. Hopefully something about it was helpful.

Emily_J
Slightly relieved I'm not the only one

My life pretty much ended when I was 13 because I started restricting huge amounts of calories, and I had no menstrual cycle for nearly two years. I gained weight slowly because I moved schools, and everyone else was eating so I wanted to fit in. While revising for GCSEs, I found out my mum got a new job near Leeds and I panicked because I didn't want to go, and I tried pleading and asking my mum if I could stay and live with my dad or something but she just kept snapping at me and telling me I was being stubborn. I gave up and spent the entire summer watching TV shows online and eating a lot trying not to think about when we have to move. I now live just outside of Leeds and the bingeing is getting worse. And having a bedroom in very poor condition, being away from my friends and the city I grew up in really isn't helping. Right now I wish I was thin again, and I've spent several days off school

It doesn't feel like I can talk to anyone about this because my family isn't the kind that talks about feelings, and they're the kind of people who think that disorders are "excuses" or "made-up" and "pathetic". I can't just go telling my friends because who would believe me? It's always assumed that if someone comes out and says they have an eating disorder, they're "attention seeking". I'm completely stuck. To cure this I need to cure my social anxiety, but to cure that I need more self-esteem, - and I've realized, this is a cycle I'm stuck in and it's stopping me from experiencing the normal teenage fun everyone else my age is having.

I'm really sorry to everyone else who's feeling like this. I wouldn't hug my own family but I wish I could hug you lot :(

surikaye
Emily_J

Emily_J,

I am so so sorry to hear about your struggles with ed. It sounds like life has been really stressful for you, especially with your recent move, and with feeling like you have no one to share your struggles with. Please know- you are not alone, and there is help out there for you. You deserve to have all the support and guidance it will take to get you on the road to wellness.

Below is a link to the neda navigators program. This program enables you to pair up with a trained, recovered volunteer who is there to support you through your journey to wellness. Do not hesitate to give it a try. There is also a link for the neda helpline, where you can call to speak with trained volunteers about ed related questions an concerns.

https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/neda-navigators
https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/information-referral-helpline

You were so brave to reach out for help. Please continue to do so until you are in good hands, and on the road to leading the healthy, happy life that you deserve.

best wishes and good luck!

Emily_J
Very grateful,

After hearing things like "Just deal with it!","Just eat normally" and "What's wrong with you", that was the most understanding response to my situation I've heard, it doesn't make me feel like a freak <3

JuliaPG
Me exactly

I didn't check to see how long ago this post was, so if it was a while back, I hope you have recovered by now! I wanted to let you know that the same exact thing is happening to me. I feel so hopeless fighting this illness. I lost a lot of weight as well a couple years ago and then became obsessive with counting calories, losing pounds, etc. Doctors urged me to gain weight, and when I allowed myself to start eating more food again, I couldn't control myself. Before my anorexia began I was the weight that I am now. I don't know what to do because the binges feel uncontrollable. I've been to therapists and doctors and I can't seem to stay on track. I'm constantly in fear of food because at any moment I feel as if I could lose control. If you've recovered and can give any tips or even if you haven't recovered yet, tips would still be great. Good luck to you. I hope we can get through this disorder together.

krmagda
Thank god, I am not alone

I was reading so much different eating disorder stories, but none was similar to mine, nobody gained the weight they lost in their ED, but finally I know I am not alone and that's an amazing feeling and that gives me hope.

My story short:
Everything started with the age of 18, was left by my boyfriend, started to do sports and loose weight. Liked my body skinnier and had an eye on my nutrition and sports and soon I was obsessed of counting calories and doing sports. This worked well for around 1,5 years, but then the binging started really bad. So I visited a therapist, it helped a little bit, that I didn't care about sports and nutrition that much any more, but continuosly I gained weight. Now one year later I am almost at my starting weight and really unhappy with my body.

I am at the moment reading a lot of books of intuitiv eating and for 1 month I had a good realation to food, no binging and felling well, but now since last week I am back in binging and thinking about food a lot.

Is there somebody who overcomed all those weight gaining and feels comfortable now? Is there a point, where your body just accepts that there will be no more time with food restriction and looses weight automatically to a point where you feel comfortable?

Wish everybody look on their journey away from ana or mia.

Emily_J
I used to think that too -

I used to think that too - assume that the more weight I put back on, the more recovered I will be. It's kind of sick how the people who have never experienced this disorder have so strongly believed and enforced the misconception that you are only ill if you are stick thin - and it's even sicker they even made ME believe it. But how do they know? What's their proof? That misconception convinced me that the way to get better was to not be stick thin anymore, when I actually needed a doctor (and still do). It's like being depressed - do you go to the doctor and get therapy or drink until you forget about it? THEY would tell you to get therapy, but when it comes to eating disorders WE are expected to sort it out ourselves.

I feel the same - I wish I could just stop worrying about my weight and food and eat how I should, like everyone else. I think the only way is to get help.

I hope you get well and feel better, and seek support :)

I really hope someone here finds a way out of this cycle - and if you do, please give your advice. I'm supposed to be doing my A levels now and this is really draining all my motivation, and I can't fail at this

sammi_k
i know how it feels

I know how it feels! I know about the despair, the hatred, the guilt, just wanting to be normal again. I remember one time i ate so much i felt as if i was going to have a heart attack. All i wanted was to stop binging :(. I tore myself on the inside each time i binged. I hated every momment of the past 3 years of my life. I missed out on life, i shut myself up at home when i realized i couldnt control the binge eating and thus the weight gain. I was 17 when it started,i thought evryone was judging me at school, so i stopped going. I said to myself i would only leave the house after i lose some weight. So guess what, being home all the time = being bored, so i ate and when i ate i felt defeated, and in despair. So i ate more and i ate and i ate and i ate. The weight gain kept on happening and i hated my life. I hated it but i kept on saying that it is gonna get better. Flash forward 2 and a half years later. i left the house to finish up my schoolung after my parents were on my case. I made a new friend and life lidted up a bit. I was still binging and missed many days of school cause i was too depressed to go, but it was a start. Looking back on those days now i was still obsessed with losing weight, hated myself and how i looked, wanted to be confident like i was before back when j was thin "beautiful" and anorexic, and i was basically putting my life on hold until i got skinny and in control of food. Cause that was what was going to bring me confidence.

So after i completed my course i started uni the following september. All i thought was 'this is it, time for the big change i was hopeing for, time to be so busy that i wont have time to focus on and eat food!" " time to be so busy i dont have time to eat." I was ready to lose the weight :D. Guess what happened? I was still obsessed with weight loss and eating so i was stuck in a binge-restrict cycle. So i would restrict and then i would binge and be depressed because binge equated to faliure, weight gain, depression, all the good stuff. When i was depressed i couldnt do anything. Didnt want to do anything so i fell behind on uni. My dreams started falling apart again, and i had to drop somenof my courses. I went to go meet with my student advisor and told her about my whole problem, and she was soo understanding. That was when i started seeking help and opening up about my problem.
i started seeing the uni counsellor, but she didnt help me at all. I was at the breaking point; i despreately needed help because i was tired of living like this. I contacted the eating disorder program at the childrens hosptial. They said that they focused on the more risky disorders like anorexia and bulimia. I think binging is just as risky because it makes you feel helpless, depression, etc. Anywho, they referred me to another counselling service, one that didnt cost 60 bucks an hour. So i started seeing them. My counsellor was this wonderful, full of life, just lovely girl. This was at the start of 2014. I started seeing her weekly and i started learning stuff. I knew i was binging in response to stress so i was primarily there to learn how to handle/deal with stress, therefore if that problem was out of the eay i could finally not binge. But i learned so much more, though at the time i didnt fully accept/understand what i was learning because i was still so focused on my image and how i looked.

The counsellor helped me discover the root of my binging problem, and this was poor self esteem and poor self image. And she gave me ways i could handle stress better too. I was still not fully right yet. I was still in a state of distress, confusion and out of controlness. My thoughts were changing like crazy and although i was not depressed about my weight anymore i was still depressed on how i looked so the binging, although less, still occured and i still felt bad on the inside. I still had very low self esteem and didnt believe in the praise the counsellor gave me. By this time it was may and me and my family decided to go on vacation so i stopped seeing my counsellor and her training ended (she was a counsellor in training) so i nvr saw her again. So coming back from my one month long vacation a lot of changes happened, all as a result of two things: thinking positively and EXERCISE. Around the time i made exercise regular my mood up lifted and the depression started to decrease drastically. I started doing a lot of positive self talk the the time and thought through my problems instead of eating through them. I began applying the things I learned in counselling and my self esteem got better too, I started to start going things for myself, for my health, for my confidence. This started in september 2014. There were many (and still are) bumps in the road, but I was determined to get past this and get better. I kept on moving forward, thinking to myself, and made exercise a priority. I started learning more things through the bumps I encountered. I learned that the more I focused on food, the more i restricted it. I had to let my body and brain know that I had complete freedom to eat whatever I wanted. Eventually it learned and I ate what I wanted and when I wanted, and I wasn't eating excessively. It is complete freedom, raw and fresh. I remember one night it was snowing and it was the perfect weather for some hot flavoured coffee, so I went to Tims to get a French Vanilla. I drank that FV with complete freedom, no guilt. It was the first time I drank something without any after thought, guilt or depression in 4-5 years ! IT FELT AMAZING! Recently I went through a time when I started binging again. I started feeling more and more depressed, but I learned something from this recent binges, I learned to LOVE MYSELF for who I am. I learned to love my flaws, everything about myself. I realized that all of this doesn't matter. And life gets better..... to be continued...

Emily_J
sammi_k,

I'm doing the same thing you did - I'm 16, nearly 17, and I'm in yr12 but I can't make myself go to school because I feel like people look at me and think I'm fat. I used to be anorexic, and right now I wish I was that thin again. I used to run even when I was light-headed, and I see you said that exercise helped you, but I can't go running anymore because I get this pain which feels like it does when you hit your funny bone, except it's in my hips, along with additional pain in my knees which has been more long term. I went to see a doctor before and she gave me tablets for inflammation, but they didn't make any difference. I was then sent for an x-ray, which showed nothing. That was several months ago and now I can't even go to the doctors as I am WAY too embarrassed to have a doctor focus on my legs. I'm completely stuck, and I'm falling behind in my A Levels, which isn't like me because I usually work hard but now my motivation is gone. On top of all that, this whole thing started when I had to move cities because my mum got a new job, so I have no friends for comfort and I can't make any new friends because of my low self esteem (and even better, I already had social anxiety to begin with). You sound like you've gotten a lot better, especially after you took a break. How did your bingeing affect your A Levels? Is it worth me dropping out and re-doing yr12 in the next school year to give me time to sort myself out?
Thanks

_admin_moderator
Sammi_k

Sammi_k
just a reminder, here on the NEDA forums, numbers are one thing that we want to make sure we don't discuss. Your post has been edited to fit the NEDA forum guidelines.

Ruth100
Its so nice to hear that I'm

Its so nice to hear that I'm not alone! A few years ago I was underweight and suffering from depression and anorexia. However through my guilt and anger at myself for hurting my family through not eating I binged my way back to a healthy weight within a month. However now I realise this was just another way of hurting/punishing myself for my imperfections and lack of control. My binging made me feel horrible and I lost the little self esteem I had being on the heavy side of a normal BMI.I had become unable to socialise due to low mood and anxiety and although I was able to hide it depression hit hard and I was in a very dangerous mind-set. This then became more stable with help of therapy however when I turned 18 I was unable to attend the same outpatient service and so decided to give it a go alone! Deep down I knew this probably wouldn't work and I truly regret as I am now using symptoms again I recommend to those of you that are experiencing the binging set-back to seek help as I really would not like relapse to happen to anyone ! I am so determined to concur my issues so that in the future I will be able to relate and support those who are experiencing such difficulties! Keep strong all of you! Your never alone help is around you just have to reach out for it which can be hard but is honestly the best way forward ! :)

Brooke125
Keep working toward your goal!

Hi Ruth,
I’m sorry to read that you are struggling, but remember that recovery is an ongoing process. Don’t ever feel like you have to delay achieving a healthy lifestyle for any reason. There is no time like the present and every day counts. As a reminder, if you ever want to talk to someone NEDA hotline is available and so is the Navigator program. Here are two links for more info:
Below is a link to the neda navigators program. This program enables you to pair up with a trained, recovered volunteer who is there to support you through your journey to wellness. Do not hesitate to give it a try. There is also a link for the neda helpline, where you can call to speak with trained volunteers about ed related questions an concerns.
https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/neda-navigators
https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/information-referral-helpline

plznotme
feeling like you

I wanted to mention to you that I went through something very similar to what you did, except over a shorter period of time. I am currently a few pounds above the weight I was one year ago. About a year and a month ago, I unknowingly embarked on my journey to anorexia nervosa. In six months, my weight dropped and I was below a healthy weight. Both my physical and mental health were in severe condition. In the most recent 6-7 months, I have gained all that weight back I binge eat consistently without partaking in old ED behaviors. I sometimes feel out of control when I eat.
The people around me with whom I am close to do not comfort me because they believe I will only return to my anorexic ways. I feel I will never reach a weight I feel comfortable with and keep it for any length of time. I fear I will never be content with my relationship with food.
My story may not have been terribly moving, but I only wanted to tell you that you are not alone in you binging and gaining weight after anorexia. Reading your post also reassured me that I am not alone in this unfortunate situation, so I thank you for posting.

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