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Old 11-11-2002, 11:42 AM   #1  
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Default Can you really call it anorexia when you weigh 240 pounds?

I just read Sandy's post on 100 pound club. I found myself identifying with her, but not from the overeating standpoint. Have you ever woken up in the morning, looked down, and been surprised by your body? Surely this mis-shapen blob with all it's lines and wrinkles and saggy skin and cottage cheese and stretch marks can't be the one I've been living in all these years! Sure, I'm tall, I carry my wieght well, but you can't hide from your naked reflection in the mirror. Most of us would be depressed, turn to food for comfort. Some of us would be driven by the sight to do something to improve it. I would like to think I'm in the second category.

I'm not. I don't exercise nearly enough, there are a million excuses but none that make any sense. I make poor food choices all day long. I don't binge on ice cream or eat a bag of chips. I just don't eat anything. I don't do it on purpose, I just don't have an appetite. I don't eat breakfast, it makes me nauseous to think of eating early in the morning. By one or two o'clock, I should be starving, but I'm not. I rarely eat lunch, or even a snack at work. When I get home from work around six I still have not fed myself. Dinner for mama and dd makes me tired, it doesn't look appealing and it doesn't tempt me. Usually around eight or so I force myself to eat something with protein in it, because I know that I'll be weak and sick tomorrow if I don't. Then I go to bed, wake up the next morning, and start the vicious cycle all over again.

Only recently have I discovered that I have an eating disorder. I think I'm scared to eat anything because I only find myself getting bigger and bigger despite my efforts to lose wieght. Self esteem is in the toilet, and my metabolism must be in my shoes by now. We all watched those films in health class, the girls who weigh 80 pounds and are all bones and angles, sunken cheeks and pale skin. I am not her. So why? Why is it that everyone around me can eat all manner of foods and never gain an ounce, and I eat barely anything and just get bigger?

Logically I know that when you don't eat, your body holds onto its fat with all its might, starvation mode. That is me. Logically I know that if I increase my calories I will improve my metabolism, my quality of life, and generally feel like a human again. Tell that to my stomach, every time I feed it, it rebels. Logically I know that there is therapy available for people who have this problem, steps that can be taken to overcome it. Except I can't possibly have this problem. Can I? Nah, no way! I'm a fat girl, nobody looks at me and says, hey, she's starving herself!

My doctor thinks I have an obsession with chocolate cake, that I sit around all day and do nothing but eat. I try to tell him about my appetite, or lack thereof, and he just shrugs it off, tells me I must have a little stomach bug and it will clear up on its own in a few days. "And you know as well as I do, the best way to lose weight is to be active." Remember the other day, I went out to eat with my girlfriend at the Mexican restaurant. I ate 5 tortilla chips, half a chicken breast, and 2 bites of rice. I felt I was going to bust.

I'm sorry if this is sounding like a poor little me story, I'm not looking for sympathy here. I need advice. Anyone ever been in the same boat, how did you deal with it? Does it ever get better on its own? Do I really need couch time? And thank you all for your concern!
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Old 11-11-2002, 12:08 PM   #2  
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Gee Sherrie,

I wish I had an answer for you. I know that eating one meal late in the evening is not a good thing, or a healthy one either. If that is all you are eating than I don't see why you are at the weight that you are. It is a complete mystery to me and I hope someone a heck of a lot smarter comes along to help you.

On the starvation mode: I heard about it. Read about it. Have heard others experience it BUT for me, if I cut way back on my calories I lose weight. I know I am fluffy because I can not seem to sustain a long and life time regiment of portion control.

I hate that.

Could you concentrate on eating healthy through out the day? Spreading your calories through out the day? You may find that you feel better.

Well, my friend....that about shoots my wad on the subject (pretty graphic eh?)....smarter chicks are on the way but I wanted to give you a {{{{{{{{{HUG}}}}}}}}}}

love ya,
ps....consider my couch, Sherry, I just got new throw pillows and throw quilt. AND Yes, I will move the dinosaurs off of it!
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Old 11-11-2002, 12:15 PM   #3  
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Hey there,
I don't really know how to answer your question, but I think that if you are eating so little and not losing, your body is definetly in starvation mode. I understand the guilt about eating anything when you feel you need to lose. But the problem is that if you don't eat, you won't lose and you won't feel physically good.

I'm not going to tell you to get on the couch, but I do think that therapy might help. Rather than losing weight, I think you should strive towards not gaining and eating a varied diet of foods and eating enough. Also increase exercise and water. In other words, I don't think losing weight should be a priority for you right now, I don't care how much you weigh. You need to get to a place where food is not your enemy. And then you can start to think about losing. Until you get your body into balance you won't lose anyway.

Not eating can also increase feelings of depression. Physically, you are not giving yourself enough fuel and brain food. When you start eating enough and have the energy to move around and exercise, you will start to feel better.

I hope this didn't sound preachy. I used to have tremendous issues around food - for years. Now I feel good about my relationship with food and when I gain it is because I get sloppy, not because I binge. I know several people who have been helped by OA so you might want to try that.
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Old 11-11-2002, 12:25 PM   #4  
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Sherrie, I think a lot of us are all screwed up in our heads about food, which is why we get to this place. What I'm trying to do is become conscious of what I'm doing, what I'm putting in my mouth and why. I think you may have some deeper reasons as to why you don't feel like you deserve food. You need to look closer at why you have gained weight, emotionally, and why you feel like you need to starve yourself now. You have to work on building your self esteem and identify the positive things about you and the positive things you do for yourself.

I know you don't feel like exercising. I didn't either. I started at doing just 2 1/2 min. a day. I thought I'd fall over from exhaustion. I started with the abdoer, I didn't want to get on the floor and I couldn't get on the floor. I'm up to between 30 min and 1 hour a day now. I do a variety of different things now. I feel good doing it and I feel better about myself for doing it. Rather than setting unattainable goals, just set some that you can do. If you have an exercise machine that you've bought in the past, try that for a few min. Or do 1 sit up, one lunge, one whatever. The next day, increase it ever so slightly to maybe 2. Set small daily goals and bigger weekly goals, when you meet those goals you feel good for accomplishing that. Keep a little log of your progress. When you feel like your going no where, you can look back a few weeks or a month and see that you are going some place and you have a right to be proud of yourself.

I can't eat breakfast either, I can barely face it in the morning. I've started to drink Atkins shakes so I know I'm getting some protein and nutrients in me to start the day with. I know real food is better, but it's all I can do for now.

You do need to get some help with this, you do deserve to be helped. I wish you the best of luck and I'll be thinking of you, Nikki
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Old 11-11-2002, 12:28 PM   #5  
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Sherrie, boy am I ever there with you! I also have an all or nothing relationship with food. These days I'm in the "all" category as I just binged on 3 bags of Christmas toffees. When I'm OP, you have to convince me to eat! I don't think it's the size you are that matters, it's all about how we relate to our food. I think you're seeing all food as bad and that is what isn't healthy. There are foods that are healthy, try eating more veggies--force yourself if you have to--get a take out salad at work if you have to but eat it. For the first while it will be like sawdust down your throat since you've convinced yourself that food is evil and has caused you to be this way. I have a news flash--it isn't the food that made you this way, it's your attitude to the food. Eating it is just the side effect. I'm not saying I have all the answers (if I did I'd be a size 2 and look like Heather Locklear!) but I have gathered this pearl of wisdom trying to slog my way through my own weight issues. I am trying really hard myself to get to "the other side", to allow myself to eat the things I should be eating without viewing it as a punishment from God for the years of gorging on chips and chocolate. Life is about balance, but the journey to get balanced is very hard and treacherous. So hold our hands and we can get through this together
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Old 11-11-2002, 01:54 PM   #6  
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Why is it we can be so level-headed and totally sane in almost all the other areas of our lives but we have all these hang-ups about food?
Sherrie, you are not crazy. Food has you traumatized and you are fighting back the only way you know how...avoidance. Your body is fooling you by being very economical with the few calories it is getting and is storing them away like crazy.
Your doctor doesn't sound very knowledgeable or sympathetic. I think you probably should see a really good nutritionist. Your doctor is not listening to you and what he does hear, he doesn't believe so he is virtually useless to you. Perhaps you should let your fingers do the walking through the yellow pages and phone several nutritionists to find one that is sympathetic and experienced with your kind of problem.
I always thought I would like to have no appetite, but hearing your story makes me rethink that wish. How horrible to be eating next to nothing and still gaining weight. Sorry I couldn't give you better advice.
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Old 11-11-2002, 02:37 PM   #7  
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Sherrie, I'm NOT one of the wise chicks peachie was talking about, I just wanted to give you a cyber hug.

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Old 11-11-2002, 07:08 PM   #8  
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Hi Sherrie

I dont know where to start......but your not alone. I have been like this since my early 20's, I'm now 37. I never ate breakfast, had a very light lunch if any at all, then by supper I always made the wrong choices. So the weight just kept creeping on. Yup, Im a tall girl and carry my weight well. Most to look at me wouldnt guess that Im over 200lbs. But naked, Im this lumpy bumpy dimpled creature. Yes I hate it. But over the last few years Ive learned to deal with it.....and how to eat.

Now I eat because Im afraid of being hungry, and Im afraid of making the wrong food choices. Even when I was a kid, I wouldnt eat Im a 2 eggs with cheese in the morning person. Im NOT hungry when I eat this. But I know if I dont eat it and my planned lunch and supper, that I may become hungry, or my body may choose to hold onto what it has. Ive come too far to stop doing this.

My doctor wasnt any help at all, and when he asked me how I lost all the weight, (I was over 300lbs at one time) I told him I did research online and went to a naturalpath doctor. All these things said and done, I was able to figure out what was holding my weight. When I wasnt eating even close to 1000 cal a day and still gaining weight. I did the "Susan Powter" diet for 2 weeks and I was strict!! I gained 9 lbs!! Thats when I started my research.

Exercise.....I HATE doing it...but I also know it speeds up my weight loss. I started with a block at a time. Knowing that it would be over in 5 min. When you start to feel better, you take on the 2nd block, then the 3rd. It all takes time and it takes healing in your heart to know that your "o.k." accept who you are and dont let anyone else tell you different. Before you know it, you'll be walking miles, and even heading out in the rain because you didnt get your walk in that day.

I never thought it was true, until it happened to can gain weight when you dont eat! I wish you all the best Sherrie and I offer all the encouragement I can muster. Its a hard task to banish old ghosts. But we are strong women and we can do it!

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Old 11-11-2002, 08:37 PM   #9  
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Oh oney a huge cyber hug.

the good news is that you have enough self preservation to be actually eating some thing so you do not starve to death. that will be your saving grace here. as you have said you are not eating all day and you do not have the stomach to eat. when i started this diet i for a month ate little to nothing about a hot dog a day (when i ate that i almost puked for the pain it caused me then about 30 min later i would have to run to the bathroom as it was on it's way out from the other end mostly undigested sorry about the graphics) i lost 15 lbs before my self preservation kicked in and i started to eat, when i did it was low carb (my choice for a diet) and i then proceded to stop losing for a few weeks but i did not gain, then i started to lose very slowly after that. I just want to share with you that you are not alone in the feeling of self distress. (note i do not say self disgust as you are realizing you have a problem) your best bet is to see overeaters anomynous or some other program that does counceling for those with eating disorders. you do need help, you have as much of a problem as those with bolemia or anerexia. what you do need to do is slowly introduce foods that are light on the stomach as you start to eat eat a few crackers in the mid day. you must get your stomach to start to accept food. you are going to really start to put your body in shock if you continue like this. maybe a easy shake like a low carb shake or some thing like that.

but please you must start to eat for your health. a friend was telling me a story of her dancer friend that would not eat all day just a fruit or similar. she was a good dancer but just too heavy to actually make the big time. well she droped her dreams got married and had a few kids she is eating what she wants and when she wants and is thinner than she ever was with eating and NO exercise.

as for the exercise thing do not start. that will really put your body in shock.
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Old 11-11-2002, 10:19 PM   #10  
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sherrie, i've been thinking about this all day, and believe me, i know what **** it is to eat so little and to gain weight...

but there's something else going on here. not sure what it is, but remember how much blood you've lost... and you need certain vitamins and minerals to replace it. and you're waaayyy behind the 8-ball on this between your diet and the bleeding.

so, this is what i'm thinking... try getting some b complex capsules, like the b complex 50s. and take two a day for a month or two. and then reduce it to one a day.

now, be warned. you can't take them on an empty stomach, but even just a couple of crackers can help. and you will pee a weird yellow-orange, but it's ok.

when my b12 levels tanked a couple of months ago, and i started on the supplements, my weight loss really took off again. and then a number of years ago, i did this [on the orders of a chiropractor-nutritionist who has since died - car accident] witha few othervitamins and it worked great. and helped stabilize my weight for awhile.

see what happens. but for your overall health, you need to be replacing a whole long bunch of nutrients.
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Old 11-11-2002, 10:45 PM   #11  
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Sherry, Yes you can call it anorexia even if you weigh 240 pounds. And it's not a pretty picture. This happened to my SIL about 20 years ago, and she has been in terrible health ever since. She is very short, not even 5 ft. She had always been chuncky, but about 20 years ago she decided she was going to lose weight. To make a very long story short she ended up in the hospital, and has been on ss disability ever since. Within a year she was down to about 85 pounds and has stayed at that weight, but she was much healthier at 240. If your doctor will not pay attention to you and get you some help, find a new doctor. This is nothing to fool around with.

We all love you and want only the best in life for you. You have got to start eating, and if you are like my SIL it will be physically sickening to make yourself eat. But it is importiant. If you can't get over the sickness when eating on you own, Please do not hesitate to get professional help, either a mental doctor, or medical doctor, but someone who has the training to help.

Please keep us informed of what's going on with you.
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Old 11-12-2002, 07:19 AM   #12  
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Sherrie- the only thing that I can add to what all of these wise chicks have said is we are all here with love and support.... xoxoxox
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Old 11-12-2002, 07:54 AM   #13  
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Hi Sherri, I feel your pain. I went through periods of bulemia in my younger years. Even now the guilt of eating a meal that is too big will occassionally bring back old habits. Bulemia for me was a part of overeating, and not undereating as you do. However, both are unhealthy eating habits. Alcohol was also a demon for me, at least I can now do without that. Food, unfortunately is a neccessary evil. We have to learn how to eat food that makes us feel good.

I have no answers, just faith. I have given up smoking and alcohol, I can also find the strength to learn to control food.

I subscribe to cyberdiet, here is a link that may be helpful:

Luv, hugs, and best wishes to you and all of us who struggle with food issues.
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Old 11-12-2002, 04:57 PM   #14  
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I go from one extreme to the next. I am either obsessef with what my next meal will be.

Or obsessed with not eating.

It's scary, I understand.


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Old 11-12-2002, 09:03 PM   #15  
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Default Thanks everyone

I am glad of the advice. The thing with me is, I've never had this problem before. It's just started in the last few months, maybe since summer started, I can't really remember. I was starting to wonder if it was related to my health problems, Jiff, and I'll bring that up with my gyn while I ask for yet another referral from my pcp so I can see a nutritionist. Hmmmmm......he loves to tell me no.

I have been overweight my whole life, from baby all the way to adulthood. I'm sure I have issues with food, I just can't believe that I wait until now to start this one. Maybe in high school, but not now. However, I am having the heebie jeebies about turning 30 next year, so maybe that has something to do with it. A lot of soul searching has been going on as I read all your responses. Thank you all so much for sharing! Makes me feel less alone.

The good news is, I forced myself to eat breakfast this morning, and even as I choked it down I could tell it wanted to come out even faster! Then, I felt horrible all day, but still ate lunch with the same results. Dinner is still up in the air, I'm feeling really crappy (Sue, your graphic description is exactly on target! ) so I may hold off unless I feel starved. I have the knowledge to overcome this trial, too, thanks to you ladies! You chicks are wonderful!!
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