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Trying to stay strong.. going on 6 weeks now ED free on my own. please help:)


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Hey Everyone:)

I am brand new to being apart of an online community/support group, but have been searching for one for ages! It's such a relief to have others who can relate.

So here's the story..I am a 20 year old college student who got married/ divorced within the last year and a half. I've had weird dieting/eating habits since i was 15, where i would starve myself all day and binge at night. The overeating quickly led to guilt and purging became my only way out. That was until my parents heard me one time, and set me up with a therapist who didnt seem to understand what i was going through at all, but regardless i continued to see him every week for my parents.

A few months later at school i met a guy in one of my classes and he asked me out. I couldnt believe that someone found me attractive, and I was soon caught up in the vulnerabilities of my ED and young love. 

Only a few weeks after our first date, i was really taken aback when he tried to take advantage of me. Especially because we talked how i wanted to wait until marriage.

I told him to stop, but he tried again a different time and me being stupid and insecure, i was afraid id lose him and gave in. In spite of that, things were great for a while and i felt so lucky to have someone who helped me make a full recovery with my ED. He was my rock. 

Anyways.. Ill cut to the chase-we fell in love, he proposed, we had a beautiful wedding, i was 18, he was 19(stupid, i know,) 5 months later i found out he had an affair, he refused to get counseling, we divorced.

AND NOW, i am trying my very best, to handle the stress of it all in a healthy way.

But ill back up a bit.. right after the split i started restricting to about 700 cal/ day. I wanted to be pretty and thin and just have FUN for once. I got down to my skinniest weight ever, im 5' 5" and was 105. I was confident and had the time of my life for a solid two or three months. But once the reality of the divorce set in and i realized the reality of what my life had come to, i turned to food for comfort. and thus the binge/purge cycle.

 

I continued this disgusting habit for about 6 months and gained about 20 lbs, but once the new year hit this year, i decided i wanted to stop once and for all. I struggled for a while but now its been a month and a half of no purging and it feels amazing:) the only thing is that i've been starting to restrict again.. only 1300 cal/day and am running 5+ miles on top of that 6 days a week. 

Any tips on how to transition to a healthy caloric intake each day without gaining weight? 

Also is it possible for my metabolism to make a full recovery, after being drastically slowed down from the ED?

 

I could really use the moral support during recovery and am more than willing to offer my support in return:) 

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Hi Renee,

Welcome to the forum. This is a great place to get good advice and support. As you say it is a relief just to talk with people who understand, I don't have anyone in my life who understands my eating disorder so it is good to spend some time here.

I am so sorry to hear about your divorce, you are very young to have had to go through all of that. It is absolutely no wonder that you are struggling right now, in fact you sound very positive and upbeat for a person who is going through such a horrible time. Marriage and divorce are up there with losing a parent or spouse in terms of stress and distress. Now would be a very good time to seek counselling.

As for the bingeing, it sounds like this is more a response to the restriction than purely to stress. 105lbs is underweight for your height and most likely very unhealthy for you. Your body is demanding more food in response to this in order to use the additional energy to heal and rebuild tissues it will have been forced to break down including organ tissue and muscle.

Restricting and overexercising now is understandable in terms as a coping mechanism however is going to make you feel worse over time.

Upping your daily calorie intake and making sure that you are eating a well balanced diet including fats, proteins and carbohydrates, perhaps taking vitamin supplements in case you are running any deficits would be the best thing that you can do. Take it gradually, maybe an extra 100 cals every few days until you are somewhere in the range of 2000-2500 cals (you are running alot so you should be able to maintain easily on these amounts). You will put on weight initially as your body replenishes its glycogen stores, your body may also lay down some fat stores around your organs in response to the starvation and may hold onto to quite a bit of water at first but these are all temporary effects. To be honest the best thing you can do is stop weighing yourself.

Your metabolism will adjust, the body is an awesome adaptive machine, just let it do what it needs to do and it will regain full health. You'll feel alot better for it too. The best things you can do to support your metabolism are eat regularly and consistently and perhaps exercise a little more smartly, say run every other day and add in some weight training / toning to build muscle. It is muscle mass which raises the metabolism. If you over exercise and starve then you run the risk of losing muscle mass which will certainly slow your metabolism. Make sure you eating enough protein to enhance muscle building.

If you are really struggling to implement any of these things then I would advise that you enlist the support of an eating disorder unit team. It is very difficult to recover on your own and having yourself accountable to others can help you struggle on when the going gets tough.

I would definately advise you to seek counselling. Your obsession with eating/exercising will be distracting you from and blunting your emotions but the emotions aren't going to go away without you actively seeking to heal.

Anyways, I am certainly here to support you if you like.

Love Suzi xx

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