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Gaining control of eating disorder? (May be triggering)

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Old 04-04-2013, 01:50 AM   #1
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Default Gaining control of eating disorder? (May be triggering)

I have struggled with weight all my life- from age 10.
I gain, I lose, I never maintain. I never feel "regular"

About a year ago I lost weight and got to a weight that I like (133) but it was unsustainable. To stay at that weight I began chewing and spitting (tasting food and then spitting it out) which is disgusting, wasteful, harmful to my teeth, etc.
That cost me upwards of $500. extra dollars a month in food and has destroyed my teeth. It also made my heart race weirdly and I felt absolutely compelled to do it as much as I could. I think it became a way to self soothe.

More recently I began to purge. Again, harmful, horrible, etc. I know. I am working with a Dr. on depression medication and a therapist. I know why I do it, (I think... childhood abuse)

Lately it's too much- I don't even know why I'm still trying to lose weight. I just feel so stupid- even now, even when my brain is in a constant state of food panic I'm trying to lose what? 10 pounds? To the detriment of my physical and mental health? I know that it is not right to sit for hours and just chew through bags and bags of food or to eat normally and then throw up.


I'm at 145 pounds, I'm 5'5 and I'm just now just today really, realizing that weight loss shouldn't be my priority right now. I don't know why I'm so stupid.

I think I should try to maintain my weight but I've never done that! I've been on a diet for over 15 years (25 now) and I'm just lost. I don't know how many calories to eat, what to eat, what to do with myself when I'm not eating or dieting.
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Old 04-04-2013, 07:00 AM   #2
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I can certainly empathize, we all can. Most of us really don't know what drives us to disordered eating. I know myself I'm either dieting or binging. I'm either being "good" or I'm being "bad." My goal is to find the middle ground, where I don't have to hate myself when I'm eating off plan because often that line of thinking gets me over to the deep end. The truth is that if I'm going to work really hard to not hate myself when I'm bad I'm also going to have to do the opposite... which means not reward myself or pat myself too much on the back when I'm eating right. It's a ying and yang balance.

I'm not a psychologist and cannot pretend like I've got any answer for you. But from reading your post I surmise that you're spending a lot of time not eating food by chewing and spitting out or actually purging. Instead of focusing on dieting (I know that's hard), focus on enjoying eating. Put some food out for yourself and actually eat it, savor each bite, do it slowly and without distraction. Turn off the tv, sit by yourself and put a mirror up in front of you. Look at your food, and write down what it looks like, if it's appetizing or not, how it smells, what you envision the texture to be like. Take a bite, chew and watch yourself, swallow. Write down what it tasted like, what it felt like, and how wonderful it was. You need to address your relationship with food, it's not your enemy and right now you're treating it as if it is.

PS - how has chewing food ruined your teeth?
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"Binging is a descent into a world where every restriction... is cut loose. At its core is a feeling of deprivation.. a feeling you can never get enough. Binges do not signify a lack of willpower or inability to care for yourself. On the contrary, binges are a urgent attempt to care for yourself when you feel uncared for. They are the voice of survival. Binges are the mark of the self that says, 'I am tired of feeling deprived, of being told I am wrong, that I am bad." - Geneen Roth
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Old 04-04-2013, 11:22 AM   #3
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Thanks for responding, wannabeskinny- and thanks for your advice.
I think it's true that despite how much food I've been thinking about/buying/chewing etc. I haven't actually been eating much.

I think it's the sheer volume of food that I was chewing and spitting- literally a cartful. At first my jaw and teeth would just ache and be sore, then I noticed that one has a new crack- went to the dentist and I need 7 cavities filled (that will be a struggle to afford (almost all of them are at the base of my teeth) There have also been a few times where the chewing has misaligned my jaw or something causing my teeth to stop "sitting" together right and to instead smack into eachother everytime I open/close my mouth. Painful.
The chewing and spitting also always makes me feel a little hungover/cloudy/slow somehow. Not to mention my constantly puffy face and chipmunk cheeks aren't attractive../ I can't speak against it enough.
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Old 04-04-2013, 12:28 PM   #4
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Eating disorder recovery is much more important than losing weight. Do not diet or try to diet while also trying to recover! I hope your work with your doctor and therapist is proving helpful.
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Old 04-04-2013, 03:57 PM   #5
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Kaala, you sound like you have my exact story. We are about the same weight now, similar age, similar highest weight, the binging (though I don't chew/spit) and have past childhood abuse.

I too am either under eating or over eating and no amount of therapy nor antidepressants have helped. Admitting you have a problem with family and friends worked the best for me. I can't shake the counting calories and carbs.... as much as I'd like to! I wish I wasn't so preoccupied with foods and would like to be "normal."

What was explained to me in therapy is that the child abuse causes people to not feel in control of their own lives. Child abuse victims are the most common type to develop eating disorders.

Best of luck to you. Please write me if you would like.
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Old 04-04-2013, 11:46 PM   #6
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I think what helped me the most was when I realized being free from the food and diet obsession was more important than what the scale said. I would rather be fat and at peace than skinny and tortured.
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