National Eating Disorders Association

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missy33
lost and confused

So my family is visiting me this week and I am soo excited. I love spening time with them but I'm really nervous bout my eating habits. I binge when I'm with them cuz the food they eat is trigggering to me and I'm happy when I'm with them and when I am happy I feel I can eat. Yet that then always leads to binges. I want to be happy while they're here and restricing leaves me miserable nd tired yet I want to restrict 2 lose weight. I am just lost and confused as how to not binge all week. Any advice or tips? Thanks :)

nanzhu
Hi missy33,

Hi missy33,

Thanks for posting! You're definitely not alone and I (and I'm sure many MANY other people) also have trouble with overeating and such when we have family or special events. Get-togethers inevitably involve lots of good food and it can be hard to avoid it all. I know you can do it though! You've already made a big step in acknowledging that tend to binge when your family is around, and I know you can work through preventing the cycle!

Here are some ideas that might help - it's geared towards the holidays, but might have tips that apply to your week too:
http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/twelve-ideas-help-people-eating-d.... Focusing on spending time with your family doing other things (outdoors events, seeing a movie, going for a walk, etc.) and enjoying their company and talking rather than the food is what's really important. Alos, making sure that you eat well-portioned and balanced meals will make you less likely to overeat. If you restrict, it'll only make you hungrier and more likely to binge. If you stick with a healthy meal plan, you'll feel full and satisfied and happy!

Someone on the NEDA Helpline (1-800-931-2237, M-F, 9AM-5PM EST) may be able to offer you other tips too.

Hope this helps and enjoy your time with your family!!
Nan

missy33
Thank you so much. I will

Thank you so much. I will look at the article and try to not binge. I haven't ate a normal balanced portion meal in a while, so I am nervous to do that as it may trigger a binge, since I usually restrict, but I can try. thanks so much! :)

missy33
Unfortunately I've been

Unfortunately I've been triggered. I guess I'm just a failure at all this.

eghall
Try to believe

Missy33,

You are most definitely not a failure. Relapse does NOT equal failure. Recovery is a process and you have to give yourself time. Instead of thinking of it as failure, think of yourself as someone who is willing to try. Fear stops a lot of people, but it didn't stop you from trying! That is a win! Relapse is a normal part of the recovery process but EDs prevent us from realizing that. Your ED wants you to believe you can't live without him. I believe you can. Actually, I know you can. Believe in yourself, not your ED!

missy33
Thanks so much eghall. I will

Thanks so much eghall. I will try.

missy33
I have been trying really

I have been trying really hard not to turn to food, but all I have done is over eat. I am having a blast with my family, but feel my ED is taking away from more happy times. I am so scared I am gaining weight and I am trying to tell myself that that is ok, but I cant. I have never felt this anxious or so determined to restrict and lose weight once my family leaves. I have been trying to purge too, which well I usually am not successful at, but lately i have been a little more successful. it scares me. I hate it. I just want to like myself at any weight. and I want to just be healthy. but I am scared.

eghall
EDs love to steal

I'm sorry to hear that Ed is stealing the joy of being with your family, but, as we all know, Ed loves to take and hates to give. It's hard to imagine a day where you will be with your family and be truly present instead of being with Ed, but it's possible. I want you to know this joy through recovery. I want to see you live without all this fear. Any more thoughts on talking with someone?

missy33
I am talking to someone about

I am talking to someone about it all. But the problem is that I am too scared to get better or be normal, because I am scared to gain weight. I looked at the scale today and I just see the number growing to back to where it was. And I don't want that. So I am kinda just lost.

michael26
A Light for Guidance

Hi missy!

I'm so sorry that you are having difficulty! Have you been able to find anything fun to do to help you calm down during the tough moments? It could be watching nature or writing poems...really anything that can bring some sunshine into your day?

As far as your fears, I know how hard those feelings are to overcome. In my path I haven't really found a way to "erase" thoughts about weight. I tend to believe that recovery is so much more than numbers. It is ok to want better things for your life, my question for you is this: what is the motivation for this change? Is it to have a certain physical appearance? If so, do you truly know that following your eating disorder wil bring you satisfaction in that area?

I completely want to validate you by saying that your desires in life are true and valued. However, it is the motive that changes a person's health. Would you be able to come up with any other reasons why you want recovery, besides stating rules regarding weight or food? For instance, when I was in residential I wrote a list of all the things I had never done in life that I knew my ED would always keeping me from doing. On the list were things like confidence all the way to visiting Antarctica. My point is, these motivations can be a "guiding light" of sorts in our journey. When ED thoughts or fears creep in we don't have to be lost in the dark because we can still hold onto these other desires for our life.

What do you think? Can you name a couple of mtoivations like I listed?

missy33
With my family here I have

With my family here I have noticed there are more times when I am happy and not thinking about food which is great. But on the other hand we eat a lot and I eat more when I'm with them so then I get more stressed than ever. But other than hanging out with them nothing seems to make me happy. The week prior to this was horrible and I'm scared once my family leaves things will be hard again. The things I do enjoy part of then always bring up emotions which then leads me to handling stress with food. O and my parents are coming to counseling tomorrow. Still don't know if that's smart.
And I don't know why I want to get skinnier. I guess it is for physical appearance so I can achieve something in life other than just school. I just want to be good at something again. And I know ill never be happy even once I reach my goal weight but I still think its worth a try.

And as for motivations well I know of things I want to do and accomplish but they still don't push me to get better. I think its because I don't think my ed is taking over my life. I can still function normally and such just mentally I'm miserable but that won't stop me at least not now. But I guess 1 thing id like to do is eat normal not undereat and not overeat at least once when with my family. But that still wouldn't be a huge accomplishment. So I really don't know what would motivate me. I still feel I need 2 hit my goal weight and then become motivated to get better. I dont know if that makes sense though. I really thank you for all your advice. It really means a lot to me for you helping me and giving me ideas as to how to get better. Thank you.

michael26
Truth Means More...

I'm glad that you're family is helping you feel somewhat happy! Yes, I think your parents coming to a therapy session is a great idea! You can share some of your observations with them and they might be able to support you more effectively this way.

As far as the weight goal, I don't want to be judgmental. I can remember when that was the focal point for my recovery... It is something that is really hard to process and work through, but it is definitely worth it. Ask yourself, "What is what I (not ED) want for my body?". Hopefully your response will be this truth: To have a functioning body that supports me physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Isn't this truth worth more than any weight number?

I can still remember how my thinking about recovery changed, and it certainly happened when I realized I was not functioning or living normally. My heart doesn't want you to be in such pain and distressed, and I hope that you are getting a sense of how life could be different without these rules about our weight, appearance, etc...

It's no problem at all to give you advice! I'm just giving to you what others have provided to me.

I hope you know I am telling you all of this with a light heart and sincere attitude. I want to help you have hope!

missy33
I think I will have my

I think I will have my parents come. I am super nervous though about that. I just don't know if it'll make matters worse. But I wont know until I try.
I want to think that I want to be happy emotionally about myself at the weight I am at now, and that I want to be functioning properly, but I cant stop thinking that all I am is a number and need to be a certain number. but yes it would be nice to just be happy again, but I don't think I am ready yet; even though I want to be.
And I really do want to have hope. I just fear if I eat normal I will gain weight. I ate normal a few days ago and that is what scares me and is stopping me from progressing in listening to what everyone is telling me to do. But I am going to try to do what you have been telling me with thinking positive and making goals and everything. Thanks.

missy33
Bringing my family to therapy

Bringing my family to therapy today was actually extremely helpful. We got a lot out there, and while I do however know I am going to restrict until I hit my goal weight, I can see a positive outlook ahead which will eventually help me stop these negative eating behaviors.

eghall
Great job!

I am really glad to hear that it was helpful to have your family in therapy! Fighting EDs is a series of battles and you just won one! It's good to know you have that support as well. As for your goal weight, please keep in mind that your physical health could be compromised and that might need to be looked at before you reach your goal. It's also important to remember that with EDs, the goal weight may continue to change the closer you get to it. Imagine sticking out your arm to grab something and the object is right past your reach. So you stretch out your arm further to grab it and the object moves again to be slightly out of reach. No matter how much you try to grab this object, it keeps moving so it is still right past your fingertips. That is what a goal weight is like for ED sufferers. You reach a goal weight only to find out that your ED has pushed it further away. This keeps happening and there is no end in sight. My point here is for you to keep in mind that your ED may never be satisfied even if you reach your goal, so now may be as good a time as any to take advantage of your positive outlook and make more positive decisions.

Your decision to take your family to therapy is a positive step in the right direction. I am really proud of you for following through with that and I know you can do this!

missy33
Thanks! And yes, I realize

Thanks! And yes, I realize that I shouldn't keep going for a goal weight, because it may never be reached and that may just become more unhealthy, but I still feel like even though I had a positive thing happen with my family, I still feel I can't just change my behaviors and be better. I am going to try to stop bingeing, so I guess that is positive, but then restricting still occurs. But I am trying to be positive to get through this. Thanks again!

eghall
Stay positive!!

Your positivity is a huge step in the right direction! Baby steps like these will go a long way. Recovery doesn't need to be about big leaps. You can get to recovery all the same with small changes. Those small changes are actually big decisions, so pat yourself on the back for that! I'm proud of you for your commitment to trying to stay positive! Way to go!!!

missy33
Thank you very much. That

Thank you very much. That means a lot to me! :)

nanzhu
You're going in the right direction!

missy33,
I'm so glad you're sharing your story with us here! Maintaining a positive attitude is definitely one of the hardest parts of recovery, but also one of the most important so I'm proud of you for realizing that fact and pushing through difficult times and setbacks. Recovering is a bumpy road filled with obstacles and peaks and valleys, but you're already doing so much by talking to your family and reaching out! You are strong and WILL get through this with persistence and support!
Wishing you all the best,
Nan

missy33
Thank you so much! I am

Thank you so much! I am really trying. This week was rocky, but I was at a social event yesterday and wasn't even tempted by food. however I can see my restricting taking over, and I cant seem to stop that. Thank you for the support. It means a lot to me! :)

nanzhu
Keep going!

It's great that you are acknowledging when you can feel ED behaviors coming on. Realizing that and then working on strategies that you can use in the long-term will help you with your recovery - even if it takes some trial and error. I'm glad you had a good experience at your social event, and working through these types of rocky weeks is what will make you stronger in the end! Keep on going!

missy33
Thanks so much!

Thanks so much!

missy33
So, I have had long week of

So, I have had long week of restricting, but the good news is I have gone a full week without bingeing. But with all the restricting I come to realize once again that I must lose weight, and until I do I won't stop. This happened about 3-6 months ago as well. I get a mind-set in me and can't stop. While I am getting counseling I woke up today and liked the dropping number on the scale. I was happy, so I think, but the number still wasn't enough. And I realize I want to get help, but I think a big part of me wants help just to vent about my e.d. So I guess I am just confused a bit as to if it is really worth me going to counseling if I am just venting, but not listening about the food stuff or trying to change my eating habits? Thanks.

eghall
Small steps are just as important as big ones

Even if all you are doing is venting about your ED, it's worth going! That still means you are talking about it and that is a good thing. You may find that venting will help lead you to wanting to make a change Patience is key. Change doesn't happen overnight, even when we are in therapy. Your ED is what is having you doubt therapy, not your own common sense. Stick with it! You may not even realize the things from therapy that are staying with you until later. Keep it up!

missy33
Ok, I will try to continue

Ok, I will try to continue going; it just seems like I am wasting everyone's time. But Thanks very much.

eghall
Proud of you

You are not wasting anyone's time. Your ED wants you to think that but I know you are smarter than that. You are so wise and supportive of others - try talking to yourself in the same way! You are so worthy of the same kind words and wisdom!! I'm happy to hear you will continue with therapy. Consider that a win!

missy33
Thank you very much. I will

Thank you very much. I will try to be positive and helpful with myself and be proud that I will at least stay in therapy. I know that isn't going to change my behaviors, but at least it is still a step in the right direction. Thanks again!

michael26
Checking In

Hey Missy!

It's been a bit since we were able to chat... I've been reading over some of your more recent posts and I wanted to check in to see how you're feeling? Is there anything I can help with?

missy33
Hey thanks for checking in.

Hey thanks for checking in. How are you doing?! And as for me it has been a downward slope. I haven't been healthy at all lately and therapy is getting a little bit more intense since I have been restricting more. I am at a complete loss. I do want to get better, but I just see it all going downhill and really can't get myself back up. I can see the pros and cons of what I am doing and know I don't want to go further down this road at all, but the thought of food, normal portioned and tasty food scares me more.

michael26
Here for you!

Hi Missy!

Sorry that things have been getting more difficult... Remember the oak tree, though?? You're getting those roots down deeper, creating a better grip on recovery. I know it may feel like the ed will never go away, but if we change our perspective, we can truly change a lot. Yes, it is true that there are times that we have more behaviors, and we certainly want to stop behaviors to reclaim our lives. However, while we are in the midst of the behaviors, we can feel how we are when we are with ed. Doesn't it feel awful?? We are like the migratory birds in the sky. When winter comes around, we feel the chill and know how it feels. But, do we stay with the cold? No, we can fly to warmth, where we feel safe and healthy. We are like the birds because we can both feel the chill of the ed, and be able to fly away from it. Do migratory birds travel alone? Most times they travel in flocks. I think we can learn to do the same. Have you considered finding a group therapy opportunity? Certainly, aspects of treatment at higher levels already involve this, but at the outpatient level, I think it is really important to find some people to be able to communicate with and be with in a physical manner.

NEDA can help you find a group as well! Have you tried this link before?

http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/find-treatment/support-groups-res...

I'm doing well, just wishing that I could spend more time outside!

Is there anything else I can help you with or walk alongside you about? I'm proud of you!!! You are strong! I know it!

missy33
Thanks so much. I definately

Thanks so much. I definately remember and appreciate all you've said Michael. I try to think that things will get better, but then I see how things are getting so much more intense in therapy because I haven't been eating enough and while I thought that would scare me it doesn't. It just makes me mad that I can't control another aspect of my life. I went once to a group therapy meeting but stopped. Maybe eventually ill try again. I still do have hope for myself but honestly each day each minute it gets smaller and smaller. I just feel bad always complaining about it yet I don't change it. But thanks again so much for the kind and supportive words.
I am glad you are doing well! It is getting to be so nice outside where I am. I'm so glad the summer sun is finally coming through:)

eghall
I believe in you

The thought of recovery is a scary one, no doubt! Every recovered person once felt that same way. Although you are scared about getting rid of your ED, I am hopeful when I hear that you don't want to keep going down this abusive path. As we've discussed before, baby steps are just as important as big leaps! And don’t forget that the NEDA helpline is always there if you want to talk with someone!

missy33
Thank you very much. And I

Thank you very much. And I know baby steps are always good, but after yesterday I just realize how much I need to change, but feel like I can't. But I am still trying.

nanzhu
It's okay to be scared

missy33,
It's okay to be scared. Don't let self-doubt and fear get the best of you though! You are stronger than your ED - even if it bumps and bruises you, YOU are the one who ultimately has control over your own life. What matters is not that you feel scared, but how you deal with that and what actions you take in response. Realizing you don't want to continue the road you go down is an important state of mind to start in. Remember, life isn't just a stable line - it's more of a squiggly with peaks and valleys, ups and downs. Even if you're feeling like you're in a low place now, that just means there's room to go up! Don't lose sight of the power of support too! Talking to people and being honest can help you conquer your fears. I know you can do it!
Nan

missy33
Thanks s much for the support

Thanks s much for the support nanzhu. I do want to have control and decide my future in a positive way and come up from the squiggly lows. So I am going to try to move forward even though I can't get myself too. but I know I need to try, and I will. Thanks.