Hello everyone I’m fairly new to this site and have been suffering from a restrictive ED for almost 6 years. Ive finally come out to my GP and family and trying to get help. Im still on the waiting list due to only ED nurse in my area. I currently weigh 7 stone 3 and my husband took me out last night for an easter 3 course meal. This stressed me out due to the amount of food plus the fact there was dessert. Today I’m restricting myself to compensate for last night. I need to get better so i can conceive on my 4th cycle of ivf having 3 failed but this illness wont go away. Please help me are anyone else in my situation or recovered from it. I keep thunking I’m going to gain loads of weight xx
Restrictive eating disorder - Anorexia Bulimia ...
Well done for seeking help and taking those first difficult and tentative steps towards recovery. It’s a huge deal to admit you need help and want to change your behaviour. I suffered from severe anorexia athletica and recovering was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but so worth it.
I completely understand your fear and stress over the 3 course meal as that amount of food can seem overly daunting, but you know what when you feel that stress and anxiety it’s your ED talking, it’s not you and it’s not the situation, you know that 1, 3 course meal isn’t going to mean putting on excess weight. You brain has developed these ideas and now uses them as your default thinking, unfortunately the only way to stop this from being the norm is the pushback and force yourself to face the uncomfortable feelings, From personal experience i can tell you that it’s awful to start with and it will make you feel on edge but as you gain weight and nourish your body your mind clears and evening gets better, it’s like this horrible fog just lifts and everything seems happier, easier and the food obsessions start to dissipate.
I am sorry to hear you are struggling to concieve but like you said getting better is key to giving you the best odds. I’ve been revcovered for 3+ years and still don’t have my period back, unfortunately these disorders have serious health consequences so the quicker you can heal yourself the better. If your IVF does work then your incentive to get better can be the baby, you need to be happy and healthy to be the best Mum you can be and that’s the best kind of motivation.
When I was recovering this website (http://tabithafarrar.com) and the podcasts really helped me, it explains everything in black and white and also fully explains why it’s ok to gain weight and all the things that go along with recovery. You can defeat this, the way I tackled it was to take that same determination I put in to my ED & started putting it in to recovery. If you start small by adding a few hundred more calories a day you can build from there. Do something everyday that makes you feel uncomfortable e.g If you fear chocolate, then set a goal to have a mini chocolate bar or even just once piece of chocolate.
It seems impossible, but you have all the tools you need to recover, if you have a supportive family then lean on them and tell them how you’re feeling, being open and honest can force you to be more truthful with yourself.
Know there will be slip ups, don’t be too hard on yourself and remember that tomorrow is a brand new day to start again.
Good luck with your recovery and good luck with the IVF, I hope everything works out for you. x
Thank you so much for your positive comments they really have helped. Your idea of having something i fear daily sounds a good idea. Its easy for me to say but im going to give that a go hopefully that will help. Im so pleased you have recovered and in time your periods will come back. Mine are hit and miss at the moment and the ED does have a major effect on our health in many ways.
I will try my best to take on board what you have said and i will have a look at those websites you have given me. Thank you again and keep up the good work with the recovery. Its hard going so a very well done to you xx
That’s brilliant that you’re willing to try facing your fears! Recovery isn’t easy and it’s not linear either so there will be times when you fall off the path or feel like you’ve let yourself down, but just know that you haven’t.
If you can start by facing even tiny little fear foods, the pride you will feel will start to overpower the ED voice, it’s all about breathing through the anxiety before eating the fear foods and getting to the other side. Start small and go from there, you don’t have to start by having a whole chocolate cake but can start by say having 2 pieces of toast if you only usually have 1. before recovery I would only eat 1 weatabix until dinner & one day decided enough was enough and I was bloody starving!! I went out with my husband and bought a pot of soup, a bread roll, a cereal bar & some rice cakes & ate the lot! It made me want to cry and my mind screamed at me not too but it was the best meal ever!! To most people that’s a normal lunch but to me it was like conquering Everest’. It’s all about setting goals for yourself that don’t overwhelm you, you can do this, 100% I believe recovery is possible for everyone, even when it seems like it can’t be done.
Could you ask your husband for help? Or talk through your anxieties with him or a close friend? Sometimes it helps to have someone to one share your feelings with.
You’ve got this!! x.
I do understand and I know exactly how you feel - but amazingly I've found from experience that 1 3 course meal doesn't actually have any effect at all - and even a week away eating "holiday portions" - often only causes a slight weight increase and it often drops away once you return to normal. EDs are powerful mind controllers which feel so real and dominate all your thoughts around food. Glad you're going to get help as its vital to get treatment to recover. Focus on your desire to conceive and tell the ED to shut up - that you need to nourish yourself - that you are worth something and deserve to enjoy life - including food - and above all - talk to others when you feel like this - explain your anxieties - they may not understand but I found just talking things through really helped and with support I manage now not to restrict to compensate - why should I and actually - what's the point of being thin, starving my body - and so preventing the happiness that could be mine and yours?
I totally empathise with the idea of restriction after feeling as though we've eaten too much (especially on occasions like Easter) but one of the best statements that I heard in early recovery was that food fluctuations are completely normal: somedays one might eat too little and somedays one might eat a little more than needed. But biologically there is no effect!
Part of the joy of recovery is being able to accept that and not feel guilty either way - I still find it difficult!
I also sympathise with the IVF - I am a product of IVF and my mum's attempts to conceive were horrendous (but for different reasons.) Unfortunately, the truth of the matter is that you're body is in NO SHAPE to create a new life because it is only just keeping you alive. That is the beauty of our bodies; bodies won't bring another body into the world unless they feel as though they are being taken care of.
Pushing yourself a little everyday is the perfect idea. I would recommend a book called "The Reading Cure: How books restored my appetite." It helped me ridiculously!
Good luck xx