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What should I do? Please help?


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Warning: Huge wall of text. If you don't have time could you just read the first paragraph and give me some advice on what I should do x

I went to the doctor today and she says that I look healthy now and that I don't need to come back! My BMI is 19, she says it looks healthy on me, I'm eating properly and my bloods are fine so I can maintain my weight. The thing is, I was wearing a really baggy jumper which COMPLETELY covered the shape of my torso and I have very skinny arms, hips and waist which she couldn't see. I was wearing a vest top the last time I saw her and she said I was too thin even though I was only 2lbs lighter.

(My periods are very light and only last about 2 days but she says as long as they're happening its fine because I'm ovulating?)

She knows I have been very, very anxious about not recovering properly. I feel sick worrying that I am not the right weight and I'm not going to repair properly, so I think she was just trying to alleviate that so I can get on with my life.

I feel so alone now. There are no ED services where I live so I have been seeing my family GP once a month for the past 4 months. Since then I have been more miserable than I have ever been in my life. Over the past months I have let go of everything and spent 100% of my time worrying. I don't see anyone and am completely isolated. I was doing extremely well academically but I have completely given up and thrown everything away. It has gotten worse as I have learned more and more about EDs as I realise how little my doctor knows and I start feeling more and more impotent, because there's nothing I can DO, people need teams of proffessionals to monitor their health and help them recover, I can't do it alone.

 I have gotten to the point where worrying about recovery has become so debilitating that I might as well just maintain this BMI, whatever the consequences it is better than the  current situation. The main thing I worry about is my brain and that any damage caused by malnutrition won't be fully healed at this weight. But I don't want to gain 14lbs and feel insecure about my body  just IN CASE when this weight might be fine. And even if I gained I could never be certain if BMI 20 was enough or even 21.  I can never know, I might as well stay here where I am comfortable. It seems like I have 2 choices, either gain a lot of weight to completely eliminate the worry , or remain here and accept the uncertainty. 

I really envy people with treatment teams who help determine a weight that is healthy for them and monitor their physical health, help with meal plans ect. I mean if someone actually weighed me, checked me over physically, checked my vitals ect and told me this was a healthy weight for me, I would be absolutely fine and never give ED another though. That is what I want more than anything else in the world. Or even if they told me, you need to gain X amount or eat X amount I could bite the bullet and do it if I knew that meant I could be healthy and move on. 

What should I do? I would feel like such a fool going back and saying "sorry I had a jumper on the last time, could you take another look at me?"

I am sorry for this really long and rambling post. I don't expect anyone to read all of it, but it helped to type it out x

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#1  
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No one? :(  Fair enough. I wouldn't want to read all that either.

Well done on your progress so far! In my opinion I would go back and see your Doctor. Just explain although your have 'recovered' psychically you haven't mentally. You know your body best and Doctors do and can get it very wrong. Mine told me at a very very low weight to exercise for my insomnia although I was deep into Anorexia!

Don't ever feel stupid with your Doctor, that's what they are there for. I know it's hard with a team involved as I'm recovering without a ED team as the mental health services where I live are awful. Also, do you have a family member or friend you can confide in? A problem shared is a problem halved remember :)

Go and see your Doctor and good luck!

I think you've moved your obessive personality from food to recovery. I think you need to go out and find ways to be involved with life again. Maybe that's going to the library to begin studying again, maybe it's hanging out with a friend or a group of them once a week, maybe it's finding a hobby.

While managing your health is important, it is not healthy to ignore the multiple other aspects of your life. Find religion, books, socializing, volunteering, something other than your disorder because you are much more than it.

Original Post by teatoddy:

I think you've moved your obessive personality from food to recovery. I think you need to go out and find ways to be involved with life again. Maybe that's going to the library to begin studying again, maybe it's hanging out with a friend or a group of them once a week, maybe it's finding a hobby.

While managing your health is important, it is not healthy to ignore the multiple other aspects of your life. Find religion, books, socializing, volunteering, something other than your disorder because you are much more than it.


I think this is awesome advice. Keep an eye on your weight and how much you are eating, but you can probably just eat whatever you want now, and getting your life overall back to normal is most important so you can feel better about yourself

Exactly the previous answers. You are recovering so you can get the other aspects of your life back. I agree that it seems like your eating disorder and need for control and perfection (I assume) are creeping in to your recovery. Your life is so much more. You are becoming healthy and your are an amazing person!
#6  
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Wow I really appreciate people taking the time to read all that :') Thank you. I want so much to forget about everything ED related and get on with my life but it's hard when I don't know if I am recovered properly. Is 19 an ok BMI to maintain and enough to fully heal? 

Original Post by lgee228:

Wow I really appreciate people taking the time to read all that :') Thank you. I want so much to forget about everything ED related and get on with my life but it's hard when I don't know if I am recovered properly. Is 19 an ok BMI to maintain and enough to fully heal? 

Generally, no. One of my friends went to a BMI of 24 or so, but lost the weight slowly and naturally as the year went on. I think you need to continue eating, not counting calories. This disorder doesn't go away when you reach a goal weight or a BMI number. It "goes away" when you've accepted food as energy, exercise as healthy living, and have resumed a normal behavioral pattern both with food and the outside world. This could take a year. It could take you another 3 years. It's not only the time it takes, but how you go about getting there.

What was your weight before you developed an eating disorder? If your BMI was less than 25 and more than 20 when you were healthy and ed-less, you should aim to reach that weight again for optimal chance of complete recovery. Google search 'Julie O'Toole Setting a Goal Weight' if you would like to read more about this. I know when i got back to my original weight (which is around a BMI of 23) many of the anorexic thoughts lessened in strength. Yes they're still there, as teatoddy says it takes years to fully recover, but they did get less debilitating. 

My doctor insisted that I reach my pre-anorexia weight. I have gained around 45 pounds and gone from a BMI of 15 to 23. I was still in hospital at a BMI of 19. In my humble opinion (and remember none of us here are medical professionals) I think you should gain more weight. Or at least go to another doctor just to get a second opinion.

Also, the fact that your doctor deemed you able to maintain because of how she perceived you look is absolutely ridiculous!! Transitioning from weight gain to maintenance should be a decision made based on many factors, including physical and mental health, but certainly not what you look like!!!! I was once having an ECG done at BMI 15 and the nurse, who had no idea what my diagnosis was, said "Oh gosh aren't you lucky to have such a lovely figure" !!!!!!!!! What i'm trying to say (sorry it's turning into such an essay) is that people have very warped views of what's healthy body-wise. And if she's seen you underweight, you probably do look healthier than you have done in the past - although still not fully healthy.

Best of luck, thinking of you in this tricky situation. Good on you for wanting to recover properly!!

#9  
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I had spoken to a counsellor (about depression)  worries, he asked me is "So all you're looking for reassurance that your weight is ok?" So I think he wrote that on my  records, and that's why my doctor is saying I look healthy, because she thinks the mental suffering outweighs the physical side now.  As soon as I got over BMI 18 I think they kind of stopped paying attention/forgot I had an ED. I only went in once and month and they just talked about my anxiety and I think she forgot my weight was an issue. I wasn't really prepared for that, I kind of expected when at I was at my lowest weight that I would just have to go in and ask for help and they would take it out of my hands from there. 

I actually think as far as food goes I'm normal now, I probably eat around 2000 a day but don't really count. I eat 3 meals a day with snacks ect. So I feel like now its just between me and the BMI number. By "normal people" standards BMI 19 on 2000 is perfectly acceptable, but then I worry I have damage that can only be resolved by going higher because of what I've read about needing 20+ (Does that mean you can't heal on any less? Or is it just a precaution against relapse/becoming sick and losing weight?) I know there isn't a number where it magically goes away, but I worry there's a line where if you stay below it you can't recover or not s fully. 

It seems like the "real world" is telling me I'm fine now, my mum thinks my weight is fine and I'm worrying needlessly, and now my doctor is saying the same thing, and I don't really have a basis to argue with them. I'm not underweight, I'm eating enough, what's the prob? But then I read online about the complexity of recovery and that 20 is the minimum, gah >_<

 

#10  
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silverykiwi -

I don't really have a pre-ED weight to go by since it started at around 13-14, I think I was just under 5'5 with a small frame and around 8st 3 which for my age/build was slim but not skinny, I ate A LOT. I started restricting when I was just beginning to fill out so its hard to say where my weight would have ended up.  I "recovered" by myself and my periods came back but looking back I don't think I have ever been over a BMI of 20. 

Igee, I really get what you are saying. However, as others have said, you know your body. The physical aspect and mental aspect of recovery have to be properly balanced to be in full remission, at least in my opinion. You may be at a healthy weight, but if you're still thinking like this then it is clearly not a healthy weight for you. 

I am just now figuring this out for myself. I don't have to be a slave to diet and exercise if I don't want to. I'll exercise if I want to on MY terms. I'll have what I want to eat. It's taken me a little while to get here as well because of all the little things that we have to cope with during recovery. 

You are doing a great job, keep up the good work!

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