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Eating Disorders If you or someone close to you is struggling with an eating disorder, reach out here to ask questions or to receive support for recovery.

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rosepetal Offline
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can't eat normally - August 28th 2015, 05:06 PM

I've been struggling with eating properly/normally the past couple months. I seem to switch between making myself eat too much, more than I want to eat, and not eating enough.
I feel like it's getting worse. I keep thinking/feeling like I almost don't know what eating normally is like anymore, and I kind of feel like I don't know how to tell (or don't notice?) if I'm hungry or not anymore.
I don't really know how or why this started, I know I've been thinking really negatively about myself recently, including that I don't deserve food/I don't deserve to eat the right amount. I feel like it might be to do with control though, kind of like how self harm used to be. I felt like I didn't deserve food and struggled with eating properly a little bit last year when I was having a hard time but this has gotten way worse than that was. I've been feeling bad in general and struggling with uni (and everything) because I've been really anxious recently, I'm so controlled by feeling anxious.
I don't really know what to do. I've really vaguely told one friend, and I finally told my counsellor today but only briefly. I've been too scared to properly tell my close friends, mostly because I'm scared of them asking questions or of feeling awkward/them bringing it up next time I eat around them (which really wouldn't help), but I feel like I could tell them soon since I care less/feel less vulnerable about it now.
I know logically that this isn't good and I'm not eating normally at all, but since I'm in this state of mind I kind of just don't care and it doesn't faze me as much as it would my past self, and it's getting harder to try make myself eat when I know I should, it's gotten easier for me to be convinced that it's ok/I don't need to eat because I don't deserve it/that I don't need to think or worry about it.
I don't know what to do and I feel like I don't have the motivation to try to change it atm.
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Re: can't eat normally - August 31st 2015, 06:23 PM

You may feel like you lack to motivation to change, but making this thread and reaching out for help is the first step! I'm also really proud of you for at least mentioning it to your friend and counselor, I know it's not easy. I do think you should try and reach out to a close friend about it again, and just let them know you don't really want to talk about it. That way, they won't ask about it or keep bringing it up, but whenever you need to talk to someone about it you can ask them if you can vent. Your friends are there to support you and I promise they won't judge you, they probably want to help! You should definitely talk to your counselor about it some more too, they can give you professional advice and help you come up with a recovery plan that isn't too overwhelming and will help you ease into eating more normally.
The reason you are going back and forth between eating too much and not eating enough is because when you restrict your food and don't take in enough calories, your body gets cravings. It needs you to compensate and feed it so it can get nutrition and energy to keep you going. This is why working on eating a balanced diet and getting in enough nutrition is so important, not only is it healthier which will in turn make your body look better, it will keep you from binging on excess food.
Are there any foods you feel okay eating? Something healthy like fruits or vegetables? Try and make a list of foods you don't feel bad about eating after, and try and incorporate those in your diet more. Choosing healthy foods will help you feel better after eating. That is what you need to aim for when you have an eating disorder: being healthy, not just thin. If you want to look your best, you have to adopt a healthy lifestyle; diets never work. Instead of controlling how much food you put in, control what you put in.

And here you are living, despite it all.
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Re: can't eat normally - September 1st 2015, 02:51 PM


Like Nicole said, a possible reason you switch between eating too much and not enough could be entirely biological- when you don't eat enough, your body panics, tries to conserve everything you eat and gives you urges to eat more. It wants to keep you alive, and so if there's food around it wants you to eat it to prevent you becoming even more deprived of energy and nutrients. I'm really glad you're starting to talk about this now, because you need help and support and even just mentioning this in brief to people may be a way to get that (like your counselor, for example).

Anxiety may be a big reason why this started, since physical symptoms may just make you feel like not eating or you may get cravings for comfort food, and then you'll feel guilty if you overeat and then the cycle or not enough/too much can begin. Eating disorders can start in a variety of different ways, but this sure sounds like the start of a disordered relationship with food. I know you say you don't feel like you have the motivation to change this, but it's really really important you find that motivation before this takes over your life. At first it feels under your control, like you could just stop and eat normally again. But are those feelings of "I don't deserve it"- are they thoughts you control? I doubt it, no-one is going to deliberately make themselves think in a negative thought pattern, those thought patterns just kind of happen. I'm just trying to point out a small way in that this may already be becoming out of your control.

Most people already know the side effects of eating too much and a lot also know the side effects of eating too little. The difference is, you know side effects from medication? How there's a "chance" of them happening? A lot of the problems with eating disorders DO happen, there's not just a chance of your heart becoming weaker and under more strain/digestive problems/ sleep disturbances/insert horrible effect here. It's cause and effect. This can and will destroy your life if you fall far enough into it. And I know your reaction to that will be to think "but I'm not far into it, I can stop this, I'm not that bad" whatever. Most people do, and they don't realise until they're already stuck. The "wait, stop I didn't realise, I want to stop this now" moment often doesn't come until you're already stuck in patterns that get increasingly difficult to break. You're not superhuman. You need food, you deserve food. Yes, you're an amazingly unique human being with thoughts and feelings and a life that spirals around others like an intricate web. But that doesn't mean your body doesn't function the way every other person's on this planet does- you need food. Don't let your mind hurt you this way.

Reach out and seek help. I know you can get through this and I know you can emerge stronger. But it won't just happen, you need to be brave and challenge these thoughts and behaviors with the support of other people. Chin up <3

Take as long as you need.
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