Anorexia Bulimia Care
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14 and anxious with Anorexia and exercise

I feel anxious. I have recently been told that if I don’t gain weight, I will have to be referred to inpatient and recovery. I don’t want that but I don’t want to gain weight either. My parents won’t let me exercise and I feel like if I don’t exercise, I will gain weight. I’m 14, 5 feet 1 inch and weight 39.4kg my BMI is 16.4. I know it’s an unhealthy BMI but I don’t know what to do. I feel like crying and even my parents are fed up trying to persuade me to eat. I feel anxious as I can’t exercise. What should I do? What if I become fat by not exercising?

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Hi Snigdha 123

Firstly, well done for reaching out and trying to find some answers, ED’s can be really overwhelming and are difficult to navigate. Unfortunately being 14, means if the Professionals want to hospitalise you then they can as you’re a minor so they would only need to seek the permission of your parents, I know this seems really scary and unfair, and I don’t want to scare you, but sadly that’s the truth of the situation. Inpatient treatment can be really good for some people and they find that not having control is really beneficial but it is a very intense experience, you won’t be allowed to exercise and will maybe even be allowed to do less than you do now, the rules are their to protect the patients but are very strict, and with such a low BMI you will Be under constant observation. You say you don’t think you have a problem but you also know that your BMI is far too low, the unhappiness you feel is because you know you’re suffering and being cotrolled by something bigger than you.

It’s verh normal to feel intense fear over giving up exercise but it’s 100% worth it!

I’m talking from personal experience here as I had severe anorexia athletica for 2/3 years and would exercise for no word of a lie 14 hours a day!! It nearly killed me, and I was MISSRABLE, but the fear of not exercising was so overwhelming that I couldn’t stop. But when I finally did stop and decided to choose recovery the word didn’t end, and after getting back to a healthy weight I didn’t get “fat” by not exercising, still to this day I don’t exercise and have maintained my healthy weight for 2 years, those thoughts that tell you that you’ll get fat are all a lie and you don’t need to listen to them. I’m better now but it takes its toll and you’re still so young, and you don’t want to live the rest of your life with the consequences of over exercising and the ED. Take it from someone who knows how bad these can be, it’s not worth it.

You can turn this around and not let this ED take your life from you, think of all the years you have ahead of you, and the potential then hold, your life is so much more than your size. Are you under the care of a therapist? If you are then it’s time to start being 100% honest with them about how much exercise you’ve been doing and then maybe they can help you work on overcoming this compulsion.

I’m sure you’re parents aren’t sick of it but they are probably just sick witn worry and want to help you but don’t know how , ED’s make your loved ones feel helpless and sometimes this bubbles up as frustration, pleas know that it’s not you they’re mad at it’s your ed.

Good luck, I wish you every success in finding the help you need to overcome this x xx

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Thank you so much. You have no idea how Your kind words mean to me. I normally do 5 miles of cardio aerobic workout. Do you think I need to stop doing it for personal recovery?

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Yes, stopping the exercise is the only solution for full recovery as it’s whats driving your ED compulsions, stopping now doesn’t mean you won’t be able to enjoy regular and normal levels of exercise in the future but if you continue on down this road then you’ll End up with side effects that are very hard to reverse and will effect you for the rest of your life. I personally have felt the effects and I was in my 20’s when I went t through it so I had stopped developing, you’re sill only 14 which means that your body is desperately trying to grow and develop whilst also trying to deal with the ED & the depletion in nutrition from the exercise. I don’t want to be alarmist but I have 2 dodgy knees, my feet are severely messed up to the point where I can’t ever find shoes to support them and I have weak hips, It’s also very unlikely that I’ll ever be able to have children and I’m only 28!! It’s very very difficult and I know how scared it’s probably making you feel and the anxiety it will cause but you need to fight as hard as you can to ignore the voice telling you to move, even if you have to sit crying because you’re so anxious it will soon pass and your body will thank you. When I first stopped exercising I just sat crying for hours but the world didn’t end & as I did this more and more it got so much easier and my mind actually cleared and became happy :) being thin doesn’t hold a patch on being happy. IF we all went blind tomorrow, none of us would care what we looked like, because it’s a cliche but what’s on the inside is so much more important.

Is there anyone who could help you not exercise? Maybe you could confide in your Mum or dad & ask them to do another activity with you when you feel the urge? Or a friend you could do things with rather than exercising.

I’d do anything to stop even 1 person from falling in to this ED trap as it’s hell on Earth and your life is worth so much more & you are so much more than the body you’re in. x x x x

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Thanks I will definitely try. As my GP appointment is next week, at my last appointment, my doctor didn’t provide me a proper meal plan to eat. Is it possible you could help me and maybe tell me a sample meal plan that I can eat in a day?

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Of course, I am more than willing to help you. I am however not a medical professional and can only advise based on what I ate during recovery. I’ll PM it to you on here if you prefer? Can I check first though that you’re ok to eat and aren’t at risk from refeeding syndrome? I’m sorry if it’s triggering but roughly how many calories do you eat at the moment on a daily basis? I purely need to know just for safety reasons :) x x x

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I roughly eat about 1200 calories a day I think. Also, yes I would prefer if you could kindly PM it to me here. Also, if I stop exercising, in about how long would I start gaining weight again?

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Thank you, I’m PM the answers to your questions x

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Thanks

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Heyy i just read this and would like to know if you could pm me a meal plan as well. I am lost on what to do (im 19) i was never diagnosed with anorexia but at my absolute worst i weighed only 80 lbs at 5’ 6” when i was 15 i think. I never counted calories, i just starved myself and would drink water to fill up. Also, i obsess about body image (having a nice hourglass figure). I would eat low calorie foods and avoid certain food groups. i’ve been feeling myself relapsing. i don’t know what to do. also, i used to be thick from over eating so then i got depressed and starved myself and then i tried to gain weight by exercising and eating protein etc to have muscle and now i just stopped caring about muscle and all that and i feel like not eating even though my stomach is empty. I think if i had a ‘plan’ to follow it’d be easier — at least i’d know im getting enough food.

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