National Eating Disorders Association

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Eating disorder and weight loss

So it's been two weeks since I've purged. It's been real hard, I find that I have lots of urges to purge. I've been taking it one day at a time trying not to give into my urges. Now I'm finding that things are becoming more difficult with me wanting to lose weight. I don't know how to lose weight in a healthy way. I mean I know what is healthy but I can't apply it. Theres so much pressure to lose weight and look good with the new year starting. If anyone has any advice for the purging and the weight loss piece please let me know . I really need help!

Eating Disorder and Weight Loss

Dear Peachgirl43,

I'm proud of you that you've been able to go two weeks already without purging. I know how incredibly hard it is to fight the voices of the ED, as well as the bombardment of media messages, but you're doing it. You're making progress!. YOU are worth this battle, because you can cllaim a life free of an ED, and you don't have to do it alone. Matter of fact, you can't do it alone. This forum is here for you, and we're glad you've reach out to us. That shows you know you deserve to live a life free of the daily, exhausting, negative messages an ED creates. There's HOPE - full recovery is possible! You can do this and we're here to support you through this process.

You mentioned that it's becoming more difficult with you wanting to lose weight. One thing I would like to share with you, is to focus on Wellness NOT Weight. To that point, do you have a ED-trained therapist and nutrionist that you are seeing? If not, I would strongly encourage you to select a therapist that can help you establish a clear gameplan for your recovery. I would encourage you to contact the NEDA Helpline #1.800.931.2237 (Mon. - Thurs. 9am-9pm/Fri. 9am-5pm/EST). They can help you find an ED-trained therapist in your area. They can also help you find a support group and a nutrionist. These are key elements that will help set you up for success in your recovery! I found that a great therapist and nutrionist can help you find balance in your life. A healthy balance with eating and exercise will allow you to enjoy life the way you deserve to!

Here are some things that may be helpful to you:
Recovery and relapse prevention:
Slips, lapses and relapses:
Positive body image:
Listen to your body:
Support groups:

I hope this helps! Please keep us posted on how we can continue to provide support! YOU CAN DO THIS!!

Healing Hugs,
Legacy of Love

Healthy girl

The counselor that I work with has helped me to determine that first I need to know what my version of healthy is. But to really grasp what healthy is takes work. The most helpful thing anyone ever helped me to do was surround myself with support. This means talking to people that love and support and won't judge. But also will keep you accountable. Turn your attention to healthy and distract yourself with healthy. Recovery is a daily thing. Sometimes the lines get blurred when you battle an eating disorder because you don't know what's extreme, what's healthy and whats not. I encourage you to get an accountability partner that will do this with you for support. I have begun to treat this like an addiction, as though I'm an addict in recovery. I have to do everything I can to be a healthy girl. Working hard and smart. Not trying to do it on self well, being a good person or trying to be strong. Also, seeing a counselor is amazing, it has changed my life.

Hi Peachgirl43,

Hi Peachgirl43,
I can totally relate to the pressure to lose weight and look good, especially with the New Year and resolutions flying left and right. It's not easy to ignore all of these messages from the media and people around us! But you should be proud of being purge-free for 2 weeks - you're on the right track! It's great that you already recognize though that these things are all influencing your ideas of weight loss. This shows that you have insight into the situation and are in the right mindset to know that there are healthy lifestyle changes out there to feel your best, not just those controlled by ED behaviors or the media.

Something that has helped me in my mindset of choosing to be HEALTHY rather than focusing on image/weight/numbers is finding foods and activities that work for me - not following cookie cutter "diet and fitness" plans or turning to my old ED behaviors that only made me miserable. Trying to eat from each food group and realizing what would work with my lifestyle has helped me make changes but more importantly, maintain them so I don't slip back and relapse. For example, finding fruits and vegetables that I enjoy (rather than just a bowl of plain lettuce) and activities that make me feel good (like yoga and hiking rather than forcing myself to run long distance) has helped my mindset as well as physical health. Do you have a professional (therapist, doctor, etc) who you can talk to about your concerns? They may be able to work with you to develop a plan that works for you.

Another thing that I like to keep in mind is that no one's perfect! Even though ads and New Years resolutions always make it seem like the way to success or health is one straight smooth path, it's almost never like that in real life. Everyone has ups and downs - what's important is to ultimately be consistent in your approach and find a balance that you can keep, that still gives you peace of mind while maintaining your health.

I also encourage you to call the NEDA Helpline for more advice and support, and the following links may be of interest:
Media and body image:
Can you tell anything by a person's weight?:
Sharing with ease:

Hope this helps!

NEDA is here to support you during the evolving COVID-19 outbreak. The health of our community, especially those who are most vulnerable to the virus' serious complications, remains paramount. To access resources that can provide free and low-cost support, please click here.