National Eating Disorders Association

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Staying Motivated and Self Doubt

Hey there,
I'm an 19 year old male who was officially diagnosed back in early January 2019 with anorexia nervosa, although I started to lose weight back in the fall of 2018. Ever since my diagnosis, I've been looking to get all the help I can find, of course with some highs and lows.

I began talking to a counselor back in April of 2019, and I met with him and my doctors weekly to provide updates on my recovery. I saw a dietitian as we who provided me with a meal plan to jump start to eating more. I've found that once I am given permission to eat food, I find it much easier to actually begin eating. So once my dietitian told me to eat a lot more food, I felt that I could do do it.

I've always struggled with feelings of hunger and fullness, and that's been one of my Achilles heels of my recovery process. Here we are a year later, and although I have put on weight since then, I have found that it is extremely easy to fall back into my old habits and stop challenging myself, despite the fact that I am tired of being controlled by my ED. I very rarely feel "full", occasionally I feel satiated, but more often than not, once I eat I feel no difference in my hunger levels, which provides me with a kid of angst. My thoughts tell me that "You're eating all this food, and it's not even helping you to feel full", and that's a main concern of mine. I feel that although I believe I am at a healthy weight, if I continue to eat so much food, then I'm bring selfish, greedy, and I don't truly need it (because of my healthy weight).

I've definitely seen some improvements. I have been able to go to the gym and put on muscle mass, I've definitely diversified my diet from what it used to be, but it's still not perfect. I have more energy now, but it comes at the price of always wanting more food.

I believe that I have an issue with valuing myself, and allowing myself to have indulgences. My brain tells me as though they are unnecessary, and there's no reason for them. "Why eat more if you don't NEED to". As time has gone on,I constantly have to be working to keep my mind productive. I think this is because when I am productive, I don't think about food as often, and that's a win for the part of my brain that doesn't want me to keep eating, as it's trying to keep me "safe".

Overall I'm getting tired of my ED controlling my life, and I want to be a normal healthy teenager who can go out to eat food with their friends and not stress about it all day. I don't want to be stuck in this structure that my ED has built, and I want to know if anyone has been in the same place I have. Thank you!

I understand how you feel,

I understand how you feel, sometimes it feels like i've eaten a horse and I am still not full. But bodies can be strange, sometimes they might be super hungry for no reason, and super full for no reason. It might be because it's lacking in a certain nutrient, or calories i'm not sure. But what I am sure of, is that it's important to listen to what your body is telling you. Even if the outside of your body looks healed, your body is still working on repairing your organs and such. And it may seem like a lot of food, but it is what your body needs and you deserve it. Also, food is not something that needs to be earned. You do not think, "I should hold my breath every 20 seconds, because I can still survive." But you do not need to earn air, you need food just as much as you need air. There is no shame in being hungry, full, or whatever it may be. You need food, and you deserve any food you desire! I'd say a few good tips are getting rid of the scale, stop calorie counting, and before going out to eat with friends say out loud in a mirror, "I deserve this food, I get to have it, I am allowing myself the food." That way there is less guilt. I hope things get better! Hugs and good luck!

I really appreciate your

I really appreciate your feedback! I completely understand how you're feeling. It's the sensation where you just finished eating and you're body feels like you just woke up after a famine. Definitely something I need to become attuned with, as I focus on allowing myself to eat whenever I am hungry, no matter what I have already eaten today. Your analogy was fantastic - you're right. Just because I took a breath 20 seconds ago doesn't mean I need to wait 20 seconds to breathe another. I need to do whatever my body wants and it needs. I think I'm primarily fearful of the unknown? What happens if I "give in" and do what my body is asking. It's a tough thing that I need to focus on, one stride at a time. I'm going to take your advice, and put it into another daily practice. Thanks :)

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