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Relearning to eat properly/losing weight without counting


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I'm in recovery from bulimia..In this 2 year or so cycle I have completly lost track of how to eat - I've had "disordered|" thoughts for 5 years (since I was 12) and full blown bulimia for about 2 years. I've started treatment and stuff so hopefully I'm on my way to recovery (I've gotten from binging and purging 6 times a day to doing it every 2/3 days but its very easy to slip up and do it daily)

 

I'm DESPRATE to lose a little bit of weight - about 7 pounds because then I'd be back to my 'normal' weight - when I realised I had a problem and tried to recover alone I managed to stop the purging but not the binging so gained that weight. I'm now right at the top of my BMI healthy, and I'm just about going up a clothes size and I'm NOT happy with it, infact it terrifies me and I just feel disgusted with myself all the time.

 

I think I'm okay with exercise - I have 2 horses so ride for at least an hour a day plus care duties so I am active for a good few hours a day anyway. I've also recently started cycling with a friend for 1-2 hours every Tuesday and swim for an hour on Saturdays..so I am already pretty active.

 

So my problem is eating. I'm trying to avoid counting calories or restricting majorly as I'm scared I'll get obsessive and back to my old ways.

 

I was just really wondering how long it takes for these healthy eating patterns to become natural/instinctive. I'm happy to lose weight slowly so for example if I really want a chocolate bar I want to be able to have it (worried restricting will lead to binging/purging) but I just can't seem to get into any habits. I don't have any "typical" eating patterns, it varies so much and I just want to become normal again.

 

Help please? Any ideas would be brilliant

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I would think you'd need to finish your recovery before you engaged in any diets, but then again I am no doctor.

I think in your situation, working with a doctor or nutritionist to develop a healthy & normal eating plan would be a lot more beneficial to you than getting recommendations from strangers on the web. They can work with you daily, and can have a much better idea of how your history plays a part in your future.

#3  
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Hello,

it took me about a year (maybe 2ish) for healthy eating habits to become instinctual (and enjoyable!!!).  It really is a gradual process.

I too get obsessive if I start counting or restricting so instead I just substitute.  

For example, if I want chocolate, I have yoghurt with cocoa and apple slices mixed in.

I still get food cravings, only I crave the healthy alternatives now since my body is accustomed to them.

I eat small portion meals frequently, for example tea and a piece of multigrain toast with peanut butter, or soup with a slice multigrain bread and milk.   I never wait more than 4 hours between meals and never let myself go hungry (i keep a protein bar with me just in case)

Im by no means a professional anything, this is just what works for me.  

Im 5'2 and 110-115 lbs.

 

Recovery could last a lifetime with an ED..only a third of people ever recover, but thats precisly why I'm not counting or restricting..my question is more based around forming habits.

As part of my recovery I'm seeing counsellors & nutrionists but I had to cancel my last arranged (and what would have been the first) nutrionist appointment and a new 1 hasn't yet been arranged so I'm sort of hoping for advice to tide me over meanwhile..

 

2 years?? Blimeeey :S

 

Thansk tho lol

I'd say give yourself a year or so just to let yourself be and your body find it's own rhythm AND to really develop healthy habits/behaviors.

I have a similar track record to you, I've been recovering a little longer though (3 years). Wait until you don't need to purge anymore (even if you've binged -- and those will get smaller as you get healthier). I really gave myself a year to let my body just be, I was able to accept myself (not easy) at a heavier weight and then move on in a way where I was being healthy and active in order to feel strong again (I've always been athletic and I missed not feeling healthy, during and after the bulimia).

I'm finally at a point where my eating is "normal" and I haven't purged in almost a year and any binges are more like a big meal for a non-ED person and I recognize the behavior and the trigger and try to deal with it in a healthy manner.

It is hard, but the weight gain will go away, just don't rush it or obsess, it really sets you up for unhealthy thinking. Once you are able, concentrate on nutrition and give yourself plenty of space and keep away from rigid thinking (food wise).

Even purging 2-3 times a week is still a lot, but that is okay, it is something that takes work and time. I never thought I would be at a place where I'd never want to do it again, but I'm here. Kind of nice. Be kind to yourself. I think as far as addictions go, recovering from an ED is like telling a recovering alcoholic they have to have a drink every day to survive, but they can't get drunk . . . it would be easier if you just didn't ever have to deal with food again! lol. Oh well.  Take care!

so i've never been bulimic but i have been bingeing/overexercising and severely restricting for a year or 2 now, and have as of lately been trying to become a normal person again. i started calorie counting with the website early this year, and i think it just made things worse b/c i would eat alot less that i should b/c the numbers would scare me and im very active so i need alot of calories.

anyway, i've managed to recover a little several times during these past 2 years but would then decide that i want to lose a few pounds and end up starving, which lead to bingeing again. i've decided im done for good this time and although at first i found it difficult, i'm doing much better now. i never restrict now, and my binges have gotten wayyyyy smaller and less frequent, i never eat to the point of feeling sick anymore, jsut more overeat when i "mess up". i'm trying to just eat when im hungry and stop when im full. of course for the frist few weeks my cues were messed up. i'd get hungry sometimes after i just ate, or just not get full. however, after a few weeks i have noticed a significant improvement.

my big thing is trying to get over being afraid of food. food is just food. its not good or bad. if you want it, eat it. if you don't, don't. also, i am trying not to let food/eating/losing weight consume my life. im also 5'2 and 110 lbs so i don't need to lose but i always think i do. i'm trying to get over that and love myself more.

so its going to be a long slow process, but i think after just a few weeks you will start to feel hungry/full more normally. try not to beat yourself up if you do bad, its really not the end of the world (although i know it feels like it sometimes!) i think if you listen to your body and let it recover, the weight will eventually come off. i am trying to make one easy healthy change each week. this week's goal is merely to make a piece of fruit the first thing i eat every day. it may sound simple and stupid, but i feel good about it b/c i am doing something good for myself without going overboard. so i know this isn't what you really want to hear right now b/c ive been there, but be patient, just like any other ailment, your body will heal with time! i would focus on first getting your E.D. under control, get rid of the scale, try to make healthy choices and keep active. once thats under control, you can maybe focus on portion sizes and stuff. but life's too short to be anything but happy so make sure you are happy no matter what! sorry this is so long i just feel your pain haha.

#7  
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i private msged u =)

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