I am a recovering anorexic and I am very very scared to gain weight but I really want to let this illness go. I hope you will all be supportive and help me overcome this with any motivation facts anything. Thank you so much.
I had full blown anorexia for only about 3 quarters of my first college year. the first year I started at 5'1 3/4 at 160 pounds and lost to 110 in one quarter excercising and restricting. Second quarter I literally went to college everyday and ate nothing for the week and just ate 500 calories during the two weekend days and went to 80 pounds. I was dying. Then my parents threatened to put me in the hospital and so I forced myself to eat but the anxiety and everything led me to binge and stuff and i gained to 95 pounds during spring break on around 3000 calories. During spring quarter I got triggered by how other girls only ate one meal a day and stuff and how they were skinny ( but I have to admit they werent anorexic and they werent bony) but still I thought hey why do i have to gain weight when other girls dont even eat. So I lowered back to 1800 calories to maintain but noticed i was still losing weight. ( can someone explain this to me? it does not seem to make sense could i really be thinking of it as an advantage?) anyways I slowly lowered even more to 1600 calories and at least an hour of walking only. But I couldnt believe that i dont work out anymore and I am eating still and I went back down to 84 pounds. But now my heart rate beats 32 and bp is 69/44. I dont have menses and I have chest pains frequent urination even though not much urine and weird breath. I think i am close to death as anorexics sometimes have appetites they just ignore it but I dont have an appetite anymore I think that is a symptom of near death but my mothers tears changed me and i want to change
But just adding one ensure drink made me so full of energy i feel i could run 3 miles and i dont feel hungry at all. Do I still just need to eat even though I am not hungry? I feel it such a waste at some times because so many dieters wish to have no appetite as that is what prevents them from losing weight but to think i need to eat even when i am not hungry makes me sad but if i could have more information and support and personal experiences I think i can become more assured and motivated.
I truly thank anyone who gives me a reply. Thank you so much.
Could you also tell me when is a good time to stop gaining and how much i should probably be eating? Bmi doesnt seem to be a good primary indicator as everyone's body type is different and all. Is restoration of hr andbp and menses good enough?
Hey honey, it sounds like you've been through a lot of crap, and I commend you for coming on here for advice. You are at a very dangerous weight, are you seeing someone professionally? With a low heart rate things can get very serious, very quickly. That should be some inspiration to recover. <3 You need to be healthy again to live a happy life; becoming thin doesn't make you feel any happier (as I'm sure you know) I still don't have my menses either, and I remember the terrible chest pains and heart palpitations. I'm not sure about urination, but I know I also suffered from bad/ unusual breath (it still happens occasionally during recovery). They are all really scary and confusing side effects of anorexia, and they happen because your body is under a serious amount of stress. You sound like you are in critical condition, and I'm so sorry that you are in this position. Its so great you want to change, but you also need to change, and you need to start recovery asap! Don't think of these girls who only eat 1 meal a day, its typical that most people at college live off snacks & alcohol most of the time ;) You need to think of yourself and your health, and you deserve to be healthy!
The hunger is something I can relate to. I never felt hungry anymore & when I first started recovery I could eat an apple & a slice of toast and feel full for 5 hours. It was hard to force myself to eat, but you need to know that you are so full because your body is just adjusted to eating that little. Your stomach (and the rest of your vital organs) have shrunken and are not functioning right. You have to reefed yourself for your organs to recover and expand again, so you need to eat even if you feel full. Don't be scared of this, you may notice some bloating at the initial stage of recovery (something I have), but the bloating is just water retention that is protecting your vital organs (kidney's, stomach, heart) from further damage, and no one else will notice the bloating apart from you & it will eventually leave. It is not a waste of time for you to eat, you need to be eating at least 2,500 calories a day (or more) to gain true weight. This may seem insane to you, but its what you need to do to recover. I'm eating 2,800 calories now, and I've only gained 6 pounds after over 2 months of recovery... If you eat healthy, balanced meals and eat enough calories, you gain weight at a slow and healthy rate. I'm sure your mum would be so proud of you!
While you are at such a low weight, keep exercise very light or, even better, don't do any at all! You want to recover your body, not put it under more stress. Maybe take a nice walk in the evening, some yoga in the mornings or do a little bit of dancing! Something you enjoy that doesn't harm your body too much.
As for when you should stop gaining, I'd say for your height, a good place to consider maintaining would be anywhere between 115 pounds to 140 pounds. It really depends where you body feels most comfortable! You could maintain on more then this, it could be slightly less! Either way, it will be beautiful as long as its healthy & your happy! & I agree with you, BMI is not the best way to determine healthy weights!
I'd say that you must keep gaining until you get your period and heathy heart rates/bp, but you must also keep gaining until your feeling more energised, happy and positive. I promise once you start gaining weight, you will start feeling so much more alive! Sure, there are tough days, but its all about fighting through them for yourself & your family and friends! I'm wishing you the best, take care & keep strong! x
Thank you so much for putting this much time and effort to give me support. I had not starved myself so I am immediately going back up to 2500 calories and hope to let go of this illness forever. Thank you so much once again.
YES eat even if not hungry. You are going to have to make yourself eat, literally. I have not really been in your shoes exactly but I took some diet pills to help lose weight after having my second child and it made me hate food. My husband just took me out and said what will you eat and I will take you where that is. I started off little but I had to force myself and once I kept reassuring myself food is not bad then my appetite gradually got better. You can do it. Once you get your health on track I know you can have everything you want in life so don't miss out on life worrying over weight. I know it's easier said than done but I hope you get better.