National Eating Disorders Association

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labelwatcher
Where do I even begin

I've been a binge eater over the past few years, but it was pretty infrequent and I've been into higher intensity fitness since high school so the binges were never really a hitch-up in my normal diet. Over the past year, the binge eating at night has gone has gotten worse, which has caused cutting meal sizes to occasional bulimia. I sustained a back injury almost two years ago, and with the stress of my final semester of grad school added in, I completely stopped working out and rehabbing at the gym in early November.
At that point I was a certain height and weight of lean muscle, as most of my rehab and workouts were down to just body weight exercises. In an attempt to look a certain way, I started taking “natural supplements. I found myself in a certain weight range before Christmas and that's where it really started to drag me down mentally as I realized I wasn't able to let myself taste and enjoy the rich and delicious foods of my favorite holiday season.

I know that I now look unhealthy and this is all extremely unhealthy, but I really don't know how to force myself to start eating normally again (seriously all i want in the world right now). I spent the day after Christmas in the emergency room accompanied by my worried sister and brother-in-law (both physicians), but all my tests and scans returned within healthy ranges. I claimed to have trouble digesting and having significant pain from my neck issue (which is true), but now I feel like i've just dodged the issue as some sort of gastrointestinal problem.

I know far too much about nutrition and constantly check nutrition labels to see exactly what is going into my body.
I really want to eat normally again, but have no idea where to start. In the back of my mind i'm even okay with not being "the fitness guy" and gaining some fluff (fatter people seem so much happier!), but every time I try to eat normally again I just fail to follow through. I eat a certain type of food groups which can only sustain me for so long…

_admin_moderator
Post Edited

Hi labelwatcher!

We are glad that you are finding support here on the NEDA forums. A portion of your post was edited and deleted due to the mention of specific behaviors and numbers that may be triggering to other forum members. Our community guidelines are always available to review here: http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/community-guidelines. In the event you need further assistance please call the NEDA helpline at 1-800-931-2237 (M-Th 9-9 F 9-5 EST).
Again, thank you for posting, and we hope you will continue to do so!

dropthemetaphor
Where do I even begin

Hey labelwatcher--welcome to the forums! I'm so glad you're reaching out here for support. Recognizing that you have a problem is a huge first step, so congratulations on that. I can really relate to that feeling of just wanting to be able to eat normally again, but having no idea where to start. I'm 3.5 years recovered now, but there was a time when I didn't think it would ever be possible to not at least subconsciously count calories constantly because it was such an automatic habit for me. [Bright side: It IS possible because here I am today! :) ]

I also wanted to reiterate that it's so good you're seeking support about this right now rather than later. Tests and scans can be pretty deceiving--at the peak of my ED, nobody could even tell I was sick because my weight was technically "healthy" based on my height. Some of the consequences of disordered eating and EDs manifest in ways that are impossible for routine tests and scans to detect, and height/weight charts are notoriously unreliable in terms of discerning what's "healthy" for ED sufferers and those in recovery. Beyond that, as you're already experiencing, the mental and emotional effects of EDs can be equally if not more damaging than the physical ones.

If I'm interpreting your post correctly, it sounds like you're not currently talking to anybody about your issues with food and body image. Is there anyone you can trust (maybe your sister or brother-in-law) whom you might be able to confide in? If not, how do you feel about seeking out a therapist? NEDA can be really helpful in that area if you're not sure where to start. Here are a few resources I hope you find helpful. And please keep us posted on your progress--we're here for you!

Basic info: https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/information-referral-helpline

ED screening: http://screening.mentalhealthscreening.org/NEDA

Treatment options: https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/find-treatment