I am in recovery for anorexia and have been for some years. I am alot better than i used to be as i do eat now and dont consently starve myself and i do want to be happy now. Bu anyway, I am MAJOURLY struggling with an issue that I can not seem to reason myself with and i have been struggling with it for many years.
When i was at a low point in 2008 i was sent to an eating dissorders home where i was there for about 6 months. I have always struggled with exervise and always fe;t the need to be doing some sort everyday before i ate. Anyway, in this home they gave you set walks based on your bmi progress, as your bmi went up they increased your walk and you got 2 per day everyday. I worked my way up to two 20 minute walks a day so in total i was allowed a 40 minute walk put together. As i had a issue with exericise this helped to relieve some of the tension of not doing any at all. So at the time it way very helpfull to me but now it is a different story!!!
Since leaving the home i have continued to do the 2 20 minute walks per day as i thought that if i was doing them in an eating dissorder homw where they just let you do the bare minimum then it would only be lazy and inactive of me to do any less! So now i feel that every single day i have to do 2 twenty minute walks at least or something of the equivalent or else i cant sleep! i cant eat! and i can not be at ease.
It has gone from a helpfull thing in the home to a chore to do now i am trying to live life. If for example i am having a long day in uni and i can not fit any walks or any type of exercise/movment into the day, then i would have to do a long 40 minute minimun walk at the end of the day just to fit it in. I can not go a day with missing it and it is awfull to live with.
I am now suffering from anxiety and i feel that this obsession is not helping as i am some days just going for the walks becuase i fell i have to even if i do not really want to go. But i can not argue back to myself because i always end up coming back to 'well if they gave you this walk in hospital then any less is sedentary and just inactive, you are doing less than an eating dissorder paitent in a home!!!!!' I find this really hard to challenge because it is not even me that came up with the 2 20 minute walsk so its not like i made it a rule for myslelf out of thin air.
But at the same time it just rules my life and sometimes it gets in the way of me doing fun stuff. Like for example i could not just have a day of doing nothing all day, sitting in watching movies ect because i feel that I have to to t least 2 20 minute walks a day as i would be in the home and that was when i was ment to be gaining weight And when i left i was maintaining with the 2 walks so i am scared if i dont do them i will gain weight as i just maintain when i do them.
It is very, very hard to explain and i hope i have managed to get most of how i feel across and make sense. I do really want help on this but i just can not see a way out of it.
Thank you for your time, i hope people can relate to this and help.
I dont think i could contact them and if I tell some other qualified person, im sort of scared they might think i am not doing as well as i am and make my care stricter which i can not do and i really dont want to do as i am doing well and have come so far.
I just wonderd if anyone else had had similar issues like this and can help?
Thank you for replying.
I have never struggled with anorexia to that degree, but I know how it feels to restrictively diet. I pushed myself the hardest last semester at college, when I would run 7 miles a day (at about an 8mile per hour pace) meaning that i was burning about 800-900 calories. But then I would only eat about 1800 calories when my sedentary body requires 2100 if i was just sitting around all day (i am 5'8). Therefore I was ammassing a deficit of over a 1000 calories a day, and having extreme anxiety and the beginning signs of depression. I would be ready to go to bed at 5pm everyday, even though I woke up at 8am and got 8-9 hours of sleep every night. I didnt realize how restrictive I was being until I read a book which told me to start eating 2700 calories!! At first I was like you have got to be joking me. NEVER. But then over time, I increased my intake, like over several weeks. First I added only 150 cals a day for a week. Then the next week about 100 more. Etc.. It toke a while. Now I actually eat that much... and I realized that Ive never felt better. Also its been 2 months and I have not gained a single pound but instead lost the depression, fatigue and anxiety.
My point is this is what I realized: Food is fuel. I used to think I had to deserve food, like run first. Then I realized food is a requirement for good workouts. Although i eat that many calories its all healthy food. Healthy food makes you feell awesome and you don't have to feel guilty about eating it. While other people snack on chips and pretzels I snack on carrots with hummus, apples with raw almond butter... list goes on. I also fit in a square of dark chocolate every day and a half cup of ice cream every other day!
I would recommend Nancy Clark's sports nutrition book, it caters too not only intense athletes but also normal people too. You can do the EXACT math for how may calories you need based on the day. For example I know that if it is a day for me not doing anything active whatsoever i need 2100. If i walk alot one day, i need 2250ish. If I run 7 miles i need 2700, if i do 10 miles or more i need 3000 cals. You would like it. I think you should start by figuring out how many calories your body needs based on your activity and slowly work your way to that. In addition, keep doing your walks, and then slowly up the amount of minutes you do. But be sure that you are supporting the exercise you are doing!!! It is soooo important and I made that mistake!
Good luck!! And Trust me, I know its hard, I know the guilty feeling and the nervousness that result when it comes to eating, it never fully goes away, but it gets better!!!
i can tell you that i am stuck in exactly the same situation. I am desperatly trying to recover... i go to an ED unit twice a week (i was there 5days a week but they let me cut back to 2 as i was doing well) i am compliant, i eat (altho i still have fear foods) but i cannot get out of my head that i shoudl do two 30mins walks a day. it comes from a built in routine, where i do one in the morning as i walk to work (or the unit) and one in the afternoon (when i walk home) i cannot miss these and i get very frstrated if something comes up in the way and i then have to make up the minutes another time. i truly think that it is just such a routine or a habit that we can seem to break the trend. its silly cos even if someone said to me if you DONT do the walk, you can not eat the equivalent calories.... it wouldnt matter, id still feel like i had to do the walk!
Its damn hard to try and get out of this rut, but the only way i can see is to MAKE yourself avoid one or if possible BOTH walks and then sit with the horrible feelings. i see a pyschologist about it as part of my treatment at the unit and altho i thought "there must be some way to FIX it..." there isnt. its about re-wiring the brain to realise that its just a habit and its not something you HAVE to do unless you want to.
have you spoken to anyone about it?? do you have a team helping you with your recovery now that you are not in the eating disorders home??
Thanks for your reply and it is nice to hear from someone in the same situation as me. I have a nurse who i see once evey 4 months but she is not from that care home she is nothing to do with it but i dont want her to think that i am doing bad coz i am doing so well and if i tell her this she will think i have been lying to her wen i say i have been fine and nothing is wrong.
Have you had any advice/help with it at all????????? What i cant understand is WHY give us the walks EVERYDAY in the home if we should try and sit through the pain avoiding them when we could actually be doing them???
I would really aprechiate some advice ;-) thanks for replying.
I guess the reason they give them to you in the home, is cos usually in an ED unit, you wont be doing much other activity bsides going to groups and eating! altho it seems counter-productive (i think it is to be honest!) i suppose the intention was to make it easy for you to eat more and digest better? i dont know. from what ive heard most of the ip hospotals in the UK would recommend NO exercise until you were at a safe BMI and even then it would only be 15mins supervised walks or light yoga or something... this seems scary as anything (i know that on my BMI i would probs still be made to use a wheelchair indoors! crazy since i work a full-time job and manage ok!) But thats not to say i dont wish i could HAVE that imposed restriction. i hate that i feel i HAVE to walk lots. but its something i know im gonna need to change otherwise im just making it harder to gain and im not able to do the things i want to without worrying about having "banked" my walking amount over the day... it doesnt make me a very happy person!!!
anyways. i think the idea is that when you get out of the home, you are more active just in general day to day life. so you shouldnt HAVE to do that walking, cos you are probs far more active just by being in a normal environment not a hospital one.
ive only just started getting help for this as i founght and founght with my team to say that THIS was the area that was holding me back and i needed some help to get over it. but there isnt a "quick-fix" solution. its about re-adressing the need and the compuslion. figuring out WHY you need to do it (altho this is kindof pointless i found. i know why i do it... i just need to know how to stop!) but my physchologist says its a slow process. as far as i can see. its a case of just manning up and NOT DOING IT. sure its gonna feel like hell and you wont be happy about it but in time it will be less stresful and eventually it wont be a big deal (i hope, anyways!) i dont enjoy it anymore and i wonder why i am punishing myself to do something i dont like JUST because i worry what will happen to my body if i dont. well i wont ever know unless i try, right?! so now i just have to take that scary leap. are you ready to do that??
I feel that my life out of the home is not necessarily 'more active' in general life. Like somedays i have nothing to do and if i did not force myself to do the walks then i would not be getting out at all id just be at home on computer, tv ect.
I understand what you are saying and i wish i could just do it but the point to me is that why should I CHOOSE to do less than i can and was doing in a home??
I just cant justify it some how, it is like saying to me you can have a million pounds for nothing or you can just say no and not have a million pounds!!!
So very, very, very hard to reason with in my head. Surley if the hospital gave me 2 20 minutes walking everyday and i did do it everyday and it controlled my weight, then i should keep doing it???????????????????///
Hi again. Have you been able to work on this issue any further yet? I am still struggling and really wish i knew what to do to make myself feel ok about it.
I just CAN NOT reason with myself when i know that the hospital GAVE me the 2 20 minutes walks EVERYDAY and we could do them. We even had set times in the day when they were schedualed. Why stop if they said i could do it everyday???
Very hard position i have got myself into :-(
ohmygosh, i read your other post earlier and i thought, i really should message her to see how she is doing... but wasnt sure if youd remember that i posted before!!!
i am about to go out, but i will message you tomo?? im in the UK by the way.
is that ok?!
yeh, Thanks for remembering me. Im in the UK too. xxxxx