I know it is normal to eat reactively while in recovery from anorexia as the body works to repair all of the damage done by the disorder. I went through that already, and even after binges of upwards of 5000calories in a sitting (and the resulting painful stomach) I didn't allow myself to restrict afterwards. I wanted to be free of the hell I'd been living in for 5 years.
I recovered (or am actively recovering. There are still the disordered thoughts on occasion but I recognize them for what they are.) and gained to a healthy weight. I discovered other ways to cope with life and hardships and don't restrict foods from my diet any more.
The reactive eating went away as my body learned to trust me (and I learned to trust it), but after a month of 'normal eating' I'm now waking up at 2AM and binge eating.
I say binge eating because, although it isn't extreme like the days when I would eat basically a tub of peanut butter in a sitting, I am doing it in a mindless and almost zombie-like state. There is no thought and before I know it I'm three-quarters of the way through a giant peanut butter and nutella sandwich... which sucks as I recently discovered a mild gluten sensitivity/intolerance which leaves me in a very uncomfortable position the next morning (and the toilet probably isn't all that thrilled with me either).
I don't know what to do about this though? Do I just ride it out and hope it goes away? I'm afraid that if it continues the way it has this past week that I will gain to an unhealthy weight, but I'm afraid that compensating and restricting during the day will only make it even worse.
I'm at a complete loss as to what to do, and I'm scared...
And I don't know if it's needed but if so, my stats:
- 23 year old female
- 64 inches (5'4)
- 122 lbs (at last weigh in a few months ago)
- Running/jogging 8miles. 3x a week.
dude i feel your pain with this, although I guess I can't really provide an answer/solution I can just tell you I'm pretty much going through the same crapfest.
I'm 23 & 5'4 as well. I was approx 119lbs before ED kicked my arse...82 at my lowest...prob around 90 or above right now, don't have a scale anymore because I'm trying to recover and binging like a crazy woman! I've read countless times NOT TO RESTRICT and it'll help break the cycle and binge cravings but honestly (although it is not *quite* as bad) I still binge even when I don't restrict, and it's on a horrid amount of sweets from my local vegan bakery haha sometimes I'm not even mad at myself, I'm just impressed at how much I can eat without exploding.
So in conclusion, I bet this doesn't help you at all lol but you're not alone and I'm just going to hope that once my weight gets back to normal and my bod knows I won't starve it again that it'll pass and I think that'll happen for you too. Keep in mind though, *normal* people who don't have ED typically binge once in awhile (especially gals during their monthly gifts...which I personally haven't had in like half a year thanks to ED; eesh), so try not to beat yourself up over it if it happens every now and then...good luck :)
It's always nice to know you're not alone! c:
((Is it evil of me to say that? Being glad to hear another person is binge-eating their way through their pantry/local bakery? xD))
It would be a little less concerning if it wasn't happening most nights. Last night I woke up and had a bowlful of icecream (probably like 3-4 servings worth?), and the night prior I had a sandwich on a large kaiser bun with lots of peanut butter and jam, and then ate leftover homemade frosting from cupcakes I made for Canada Day, right out of a tub (probably 5-6 tablespoons worth). I just wake up, eat without thinking and go back to bed.
I've even had pop-tarts before, which upsets me because they aren't veg*n-friendly.
I wish you the best in your recovery though!! And I'm so jealous you have a vegan bakery close by! I'm out in the boonies and have to make my own crap if I have a craving lol.
If you find yourself "bingeing", it means that your body still needs those calories. It is part of the recovery process. You may find these articles interesting:
Hope this helps! :)
Sometimes binging occur because you need the calories, but sometimes also because you need the nutrition in the food that you eat. For instance, if you've (unknowingly) deprived yourself from protein all week, you might binge on protein rich foods. Maybe there is a connection between the things that you normally eat and the things that you usually binge on at night? If I go days without eating a lot of iron for instance I tend to binge on cereal and other iron rich foods. As said it could also just be that your body actually just need the extra calories.
Nomatter what the reason is, I would say that if you are in recovery, just relax. Just listen to your body and trust what it is telling you. After all it knows better what it needs than anyone else :)
do not be jealous of the vegan bakery lol, i just had a binge there that surpassed all binges! :(
ellevu; those articles made me feel better about my situation, thanks for posting them. i'm freaked out by what happened today but I guess I just have to keep going and hope for the best and NOT restrict (but like i said, even when i don't restrict, like AT ALL, i still end up binging most of the time, and it's almost always on freakin sweets..)
i just feel like this phase is lasting a long time, and i'm scared it'll never end, even once i reach a more normal weight for my height..and then i'll become huge and have to change my name to Big Bertha or something, hah. ugh.
@Ellevu: Thank you for those articles!! I have the first basically memorized as it kept me going when I first became serious about recovery.. Hedgren/Gwenyth has really been a life-saver for me. I hadn't seen the other two though, and they are definately what I needed to read! c:
@Laura: That's a good point, I never really considered that.. I guess there's a chance that with the increase in my running (from several short intervals to two 25-30minute intervals) that my body is looking for more carbs to fuel the exercise. That would certainly explain the extra indulgences in the processed, sugary carbs. Now if only it would choose something with a higher nutritional profile than a pastry, I'd be golden.
@Frendoks: If you're going to be Big Bertha, I call Large Marge! B: <
I wonder if the sugar binges are your body just trying to get as much energy as possible as quickly as it can..
It knows that pastries/baked goods are full of easily digested calories and that they aren't usually filling.. Therefor it will get even more needed energy once it has processed through what you just ate. Maybe?
I know I experienced the exact same thing when I was at my lowest around Christmas and it did go away (up until recently anyways. But looking at the equation all laid out, after adding in more exercise it only makes sense my body needs more carbohydrates to compensate what I burn. Yay science!). Just keep doing what you're doing and don't let that ED voice pull you back.
Well, just try to include more carbs in your diet then and see it that works. That way YOU get to chose what kind of carbs that goes into you, before your body gets desperate.
When you binge, is it because you're hungry and feel like your body needs the food, or is it a mental/emotional thing? If you ate that much because you were hungry you probably needed it. Anyway, think of it as calories put to good use and start afresh, 3 meals a day, snack in between and try and build healthy/normal habits.