Struggling with weight gain:(

I'm really finding it hard to accept that I now have to gain weight, I see the eating disorder nurse weekly and last week I didn't gain anything (she said if she was to be picky I had lost 0.1kg), and when I think about gaining the weight I fill up with fear and dread! This week if I don't gain she's either going to decrease my activity or increase my calorie intake, but I already seem to be eating way to much already!

Has anyone got any tips or advice to coping with this? I just want to cry and restricting felt better and less stressful. :( x

16 Replies

  • This is the guidelines for my meal plan-

    Daily: 200-300ml of milk (not skimmed) for tea and coffees.

    Breakfast:1 portion of fruit/ fruit juice.

    30g-50g of breakfast cereal ( frosties, coco pops, etc),

    2 slices of thick bread with butter/ margarine and jam or similar spread.

    Mid morning: 1 portion of fruit/ 2 plain biscuits (rich tea, any digestives,etc) or similar.

    Lunch: 2 slices of thick bread.

    Meat/fish/cheese/beans/nuts/seeds or eggs.

    Vegetables or salad.

    1 carton of full fat yoghurt and 1 portion of fruit.

    Mid afternoon: 1 portion of fruit/ 2 plain biscuits/a cereal bar/ scone/ teacake.

    Dinner: 50-75g rice, pasta,couscous/ 4-5egg sized potatoes/chips/200-250g jacket potato OR 2 scoops of mash.

    Meat/fish/cheese/beans/nuts/seeds or eggs.

    Vegetable or salad.

    Dessert: 1 portion of fruit and a full fat yoghurt/ small slice of cake/ small tin of rice pudding/ individual dessert pots (no diet types)/ 50g chocolate bar OR 2 scoops of icecream.

    Supper: 1 slice of bread/crumpet/muffin with butter/ 2 plain biscuits PLUS a milky drink.

  • Hi you sound like my daughter.She is going through similar issues as you.The eating disorder nurse who we have to see twice a week was disappointed when D had lost 200g and said again that she is close to having to be admitted to hospital which I really do not want to happen.She was advised to stop all physical activity so she does not take part in P.E lessons and I take her to school & back instead of her walking (it is a mile away).So last weigh in on Fri she had put on 400g and the nurse was happier about that but of course D wasn't.

    She was very down that night and didn't want to eat much for dinner.

    I know that I am perhaps not the best person to be trying to help you as I am only the carer watching this happen.

    I have tried to comfort D and say that this is what has to happen for her to recover & we do not want her to go to hospital.

    I am sure you don't either & I know it is very difficult when you are being told to put on weight but the anorexia bully ( because that is what it is) is telling you you need to lose weight.

    I have read a mantra from another sufferer recently- "eat it to beat it".I have said this to D and while I think she thought I am just spouting from this forum or the self help books I will continue to use it because this is the first step to beating this bully.

    I hope you have people around you to support you.Tell them how you are feeling.It doesn't change that you have to put on the weight but I really think that letting people know what you are feeling helps.

    Good luck xx

  • Hello

    Firstly what is your current bmi? That plan is similar to one I had once I had not a hope in hell of managing it. I am well on my way now but it has been a long and painful journey the coping with eating was just the tip of the iceberg and in many ways training for all the hard and painful stuff that has been uncovered along the way. It is a Double whammy - you need to fight through eating and weight gain difficulties/fear/pain (major understatement there!!! ) to learn to tolerate what is underlying and you have to eat to uncover it- get to the therapy point.

    There is no quick fix and maybe you are not ready for change. Ask yourself... I was quite happy at times with my ed and looking back it saved me in many ways- ironic as in was also the potential death of me. People are quick to judge- tell you an ed is wrong and bad for you but I needed it it was a solution to me and for a loooooong time. I hope you recover Sooner than I and I do have suggestions but it could require dicsussions with your nurse to see if you could try it.

    I assume that plan is highly deviant from what the ed dictates you to have- which meal is easier/time of day to eat. Which of those meals or Snacks is closest to something the ed might allow? Anything?

    Hope that helps


  • Thankyou for your reply:) my bmi is currently 17, i went for a mental health assesment and they wanted to admit me into a gerenal psychiatric ward untill a space was Avaliable on a eating disorder unit, but thankfully, they agreed to let the crisis team come around my house 2 times a week for quite a few weeks. I'm being treated as an outpatient now.

    I am finding eating this my ED doesn't like/allow a big challenge, it seems like as time goes on my ED is taking more control of my food:(

    I am eating, fruit,veg,salad and I will have a sandwich but I freak when people suggest putting butter on it:( or like if we are having dinner I won't eat mash potato etc.-_- xx

  • Weight gain is not a constant. I am sorry to say that your nurse is treating you like a child and without the respect you deserve. Losing 0.1 kg is nothing and it is not indictitive of relapse. Every persons weight fluctuates every single day. Also when getting weighed by the practice nurse etc it must always be the with the same weight scales. From what you have said, your nurse is treating you in a punitive manner. You haven't don't anything wrong, on the contrary, your desire to recover is admirable.

    I have radical views about the treatment of eating disorders and these are based on my own academic, professional and personal experiences. In my experience the process of continually weighing a recovering anorexic is not helpful to the client/ Patient. But this may well be a hoop one has to jump through in order to continuing receiving "treatment"

    There isn't a such a thing in reality as a target weight, or minimum requirements for weekly weight gain. These are arbitrary measures that have no place in providing meaningful treatment.

    You are doing well and please try not to be scared by your nurses approach. Finding yourself is all part of the recovery process. In many ways, weight gain is the least important element of recovery. It is my contention that if we find peace with ourselves then weight gain will naturally occur at a pace the sufferer chooses for themselves and on their own terms.

    Good luck and take care


  • Wow what a brilliant reply Mark. I totally agree with u. I am doing recovery myself and do everything the way I can and what I can manage. I don't use any of their 'targets' or up ridiculous measures. Their treatment never helped me and I'm doing the best I have ever done out of their patronising hands. Of course I can't say that's for everyone. It's just my own personal experience as u say urs is to and although it's hard it was the best thing I ever did. Doing it my way I mean. It wasn't my post lol but wanted to tell u how refreshing it is to hear such a different view; a view similar to mine. Thanks n

  • I am in the recovery journey as you are and can really understand your feelings - amazingly my weight had done the same as yours by exactly the same amount - and I go the same reaction from the counsellor. Its so hard to accept that its a more food and less exercise - as the ED "head" voice continually tells you your OK - that eating more and/or exercising less is wrong - and its incredibly hard to shut out that voice - but as my counsellor said - at some point if you want to recover - you have to allow the professionals to tell you what's right as your ED has such a powerful hold - and almost treat the food as medicine - what you need right now.

    I do understand your terror, and your feelings and can truly say that I feel like screaming at times - but for both us its decision time - do we really want to get better - which means weight gain - or do we want to stay in this ED "hell" for the rest of our lives - we really are between a rock and a hard place - but the choice is ours!! Good luck - with great understanding and sympathy.

  • Hi :)

    I am in exactly the same boat - seeing the ED nurse weekly and struggling to cope with the idea of increasing by enough to gain anything at all.

    Your meal plan is virtually identical to mine too. I am supposed to increase by 200 kcal a day every week but I can never bring myself to do it and as a result keep losing in 0.1 increments. But it's getting to the point where if I don't do something I will end up being re admitted. So this week I am having a major push and doing my increases - it's going to be awful but I am trying to take the attitude that I will just do it and then see what happens to my weight; it might not be as bad as I think.

    It's hard to know what to say other than that you aren't the only one going through this and we can do it together :) xxx

  • Thankyou for your reply:) I am struggling more and more each day, it seems the more my family try to get me to eat more the more I eat less and eat my safer food:( at the moment I have increased- I went from eating 400calories to 1000 to now eating 1500-1700calories a day.

    It's actually nice to have people that understands what I'm going through xx

  • Weight is important- it isn't the whole story but without regular food intake you will be unable ti think clearly and you can't see the real issues until you let go of the distraction of full on food, weight and eating focus/behaviours of the ed. You don't develop it over night and wont over come it quickly either. I suppose you could view the nurse as unhelpful but she is focussing on weight and eating as you do but trying to fight the ed part of you. That food weight part will not relent without months/yrs of learning to eat and look after yourself until it become less fearful and that is the first hurdle I can honestly say food weight and eating were terrifying parts of recovery but absolutely nothing in comparison to what it protected me from that was underlying. It is a slow and gradual process and takes the support of someone you are blessed to meet that is all about timing.

    While your bmi is so low you can't focus on the real issues. To beat an eating disorder you have to do the things that scare you the most and slowly learn to adapt and change and grow and give life a chance in Every sense. Maybe that is down ti age and timing too.

    There are suggestions but you have to really want to eat and change and face fears and real issues. That takes a lot if courage but if I were you I would do it now and not wait 24yrs like me as then other life stuff makes it harder


  • I also found that if I lost too much weight I would get sat down and bullied to eat. ..well they forced me to eat anyway. I was almost conditioned to eat with others and I put on an act that I was ok which meant any time alone I avoided food and eating completely to compensate. This normalised my behaviour I guess. Not sure of my point but I think it is about trying to get you to be more active in feeding yourself and not the ed. Eating bits and increasing because you feel worthy of life and living and not cos your parents or a nurse have told you or are stood over you. Take the power back slowly and gradually and fight. Slow increasing is better abd safer and in your Hands :)


  • I have my weigh in today, ive been eating everything on my meal plan since my last weigh in so I'm hoping I haven't lost more weight!, I find that when ever a medical professional mentions my weight my dad will make me eat something, like yesterday, I had to see a shoulder specialist and he mentioned I needed to gain weight, so on the way home my dad made me eat a mcflurry, it was so hard but I guess I have to get better in order for all of them to back off, xxx

  • Like I say...timing...

    If my dad forced me to eat now I would throw it in his face. If I eat now it is because I want to because I want to be better and take responsibility for it. Equally if I want to not eat and undo all my hard work I could just like that.

    For me food control started at a very very young age 2/3 it was the only thing I could control I suppose. It then helped me deal with one thing after another. It covered up my relationship with my family. I was who they wanted me to be and such conditioning started so young I guess it took a long time for me to see I wasn't really me and that the food control was me that was my voice when I didn't have one. My family in some ways actively encouraged my behaviours but get too thin and all hell broke loose. Guess they didn't want anyone looking at thier skelatal daughter thinking there is something wrong in that family! I just saw fat so couldn't see how it might appear to others and nor did I care either. Now I know just how bad things were but only from learning yo eat again and give my brain a chance to wake up and reveal what was deeply buried by my entrenched ed ways. I don't see my parents much and don't speak to my dad...mum calls but only cares about herself and although I forgive them because it wasn't their fault ultimately I keep contact minimal and only for the sake if my children. In controlling me I lost myself with only the ed to cling on to as the real me-it became me and me it- my indentity. This left me vulnerable in other relationships to be controlled and manipulated. It took a long time to see I had a problem and meeting someone my gut instinct told me to trust against my fears of letting go of my ed. Letting them help me break down my walls to reveal a blank canvas a new me who can be free of negative people and situations and be me! Really me!!! I am old though. Took a long time to get here. Start your journey. And do it for you real recovery only starts when you eat for you for your future even if at first it goes against every bone and thought in your body. Your potential is unlimited find an indentity that is yours not an ed or your families idea of what they want you to be. Hope that helps


  • I didn't gain anything on Wednesday, so I've had another increase:( no longer allowed biscuits for my AM/PM snack, I have to have a 250kcals snack in the morning and a 150+kcal snack in the afternoon. If I don't gain this week, she's stopping all actitives and I have to just sit down all day, everyday. -_- I can't see myself just sitting there the more I am eating the more urges I have to go and walk e more etc! Argh so hard. Xx

  • My therapist got picky too because I also started losing weight again, from december 'til now I've lost 4 kgs, I'm on a healthy weight yet, but she told me "I don't want to see you lose not even a single pound more". The thing is, I was happy losing weight, I was satisfaced, and knew it was wrong and did stop myself, I haven't lost more weight, but yet I can't find the way to stay healthy because of myself or for myself, and my therapist also tells me to "look inside of myself instead of the outside"..but if I'm still sick inside, what whould I look for?...

  • For your soul...for who you really are or who you could become :)


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