Anorexia Bulimia Care
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Anorexia recovery

I've recently been diagnosed with Anorexia and am really trying to recover and put the weight on but im really struggling. The doctor said to try to make my meals more regular so have 3 meals and 3 snacks, but I'm finding the snacks really difficult and portion sizes hard to grasp too as I don't know what's too much or not enough. I've got it into my head that snacking is bad and as I don't eat an awful lot for breakfast and lunch a normal 'snack' sometimes feels like more of a meal? I've been told there may be a possibility of seeing a dietician but that's not for at least a month so just wondering if anyone could give a guideline of what I should be eating or a meal plan to maintain/ gain weight? I put off going to the doctor's for so long as I didn't think I was 'bad enough' and didn't deserve the help, and I'm still by no means a severe case and still feel this way often and still feel quilty. They also didn't specify how much excersise I should be doing. I find myself doing quite a lot of excersise in my bedroom in secret especially more if I have had a snack in the day. I'm 5"6 and 44.3kg with a fairly active lifestyle. Any advise would be really appreciated! 💜

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Hey Phoebe, first of all well done for realizing you have a problem !! Big step already. I was once in your position too and had no clue what to eat or when to eat as my brain had just forgotten. I would suggest eating your meals with somebody or maybe with your family so you can become more familiar with portion sizes. But please know that at this point you have to eat a lot more than a non-anorexic would. Just because someone else didn’t finish their meal does not mean you have to leave some too.

As for snacking it took me a while to learn that they are not meals. I used to think just because I ate one biscuit or a banana I couldn’t have lunch. Eat as many snacks as you wish, it is necessary for YOU at this moment whether it is loadsss of chocolate or a sandwich or ice cream. Eat whatever you want, whenever you want and how much ever you want. Make sure you have at least around 3,000 calories but don’t count because it could lead to restricting, just have a rough idea. Sorry it’s so long but best of luck Xx

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Thanks so much for all that help Sophie! I feel a bit incapable of upping my calorie intake too quickly, both mentally and physically but I know I need to. I eat breakfast (small bowl of cereal and have just started adding yogurt) and dinner with my parents and usually lunch (salad and 3/4 slice bread) on my own, but I tend to find I feel guilty and like I have failed (the anorexic part of my brain haha) if I finish a meal. My brain and body just feel so out of touch I find it difficult to tell when I'm hungry or full at the moment! Xxx

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I totally get you!! You can start off upping it slowly which can also help avoiding refeeding syndrome. I can relate to you about the finishing meals guilt because I still get it sometimes but we just have to fight through it. You mention that you have a small bowl of cereal, perhaps try using a bigger bowl or just add as much cereal as your body wants. I know what it feels like to not know when your hungry or full but when in doubt EAT!! Mental hunger counts too xxx

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I just get worried I'll add more and more cereal and never stop and then want to purge! 😭😂

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Aw don’t worry that’s just the ED voice telling you that. The only way to beat it is opposite actions !! So if the voice is telling you not to add more cereal, then add more cereal and beat that voice.

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Hi Phoebe My daughter has just turned 18 & is in recovery from Anorexia. You mention your parents so I wonder how much input they have in your recovery. We still prepare all our daughters meals & snacks .We also always make sure we eat together too & eat /drink something with her . We know we need to lessen the support going forward but for now it works for her. It takes away her having to make decisions & I think that when she is struggling she can say to ED voice- it's not me that's making me eat it it's them.

She has 3 meal & 3 snacks a day. She has a smoothie for morning snack , latte (made with sachets you buy in supermarkets) & 2 choc digestive thins for afternoon snack & homemade rice pud for eve snack. Sometimes she has a muller rice if we have run out of homemade .She is still a healthy weight . I suppose I want to say to you that your body needs the energy & nourishment. I know it is scary having to eat heaps more than you are used to but your body really does need it . In regards to exercise, my daughter now has a 25 min walk every day, sometimes on her own but often with one of us or with her sister.This has built up from 10 min walk that she was allowed when she was an inpatient 2 years ago. The walk calms her down when she is anxious . She also likes to listen to music to quieten the voice after dinner.I wish you all the best & feel free to ask anything further .You deserve to live a life without an ED ,with love xxx

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Thanks so much for the reply! Really helpful ideas! Can I ask what sort of thing your daughter now has for meals? I usually eat breakfast and dinner with my parents!

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Know how hard it is - I found adding things slowly helped me - didn't seem such a mountain to climb - started with 3 small snacks then the following week increased each a little - gave myself time to adjust then upped again eg half a biscuit became a whole biscuit, half a banana became whole banana etc. You are lucky its only 1 month wait for dietician - I'm still waiting after 7 months and still not been given a date - I hope you find them helpful - ask for a guide to portion sizes - take a food diary of what you currently have - and a note of the things you really enjoy eating - might help focus the meeting? Good luck

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Thanks that's really helpful! I'm finding half portion sizes always make me feel better about situation, at the moment I'm still sticking to fruit/veg as snacks though. The dietician appointment isn't guaranteed but I'm just hoping it does happen as I feel it would really help to know exactly what I should be eating!

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