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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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eek! - November 4th 2010, 04:58 PM

So I've been going to a nutritionist, and I really like her. I'm working REALLY hard to follow her plan. I'm not perfect, so it doesn't work out every day, but I'm really trying. She's also been giving me "homework" assignments, like going out of my comfort zone once or twice a week. But this week she wants me to eat lunch (which is a really hard meal for me) in the DINING HALL at my university with a group of friends. So far I've just been eating in my room (a single).

I was wondering if anyone had any advice on how to make myself go there, and how to not have a panic attack with all the choices and people. I really don't want to let her down, but it just seems really intense and scary.
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Re: eek! - November 4th 2010, 08:10 PM

hey girly!!! omg what are some of the things to do that push you outside your comfort zone? what was ur eating disorder? anorexia? bulimia? what were ur habits? please tell! i bet were similarr!!!
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Re: eek! - November 4th 2010, 08:12 PM

Also I know how you feel. What if you go there with some friends who are weight conscious too? like skinny and they workout? That way them pigging out wont be so intimidating. You could also plan what you will eat. Look up what they will serve online? Then just talk talk talk and eat away! Maybe try sharing a dessert or entree with someone too if eating yours alone seems too risky. youll be great! I KNOW IT!!!!
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Re: eek! - November 5th 2010, 06:47 AM

Hey, congrats on the great effort! I know how very very hard it is to start eating in front of everyone. I am at highschool, and for a good few months I wouldn't eat anything in front of them! Now...I am eating MORE than some of them! Hehe!

Im not quite sure how your university works, so do you mean you buy your lunch, or get given a certain lunch? Or do you just bring your own packed lunch? If you have to bring your own, then it shouldn't be so bad, your first time may be hard so bring something that you are totally comfortable eating...even if it is because it is 'low calorie' like for example I started eating apples in front of my friends, then kept adding more. It just feels nice to feel normal eating anything in front of them.
IF you buy your lunch out of a range of choices, then sure, go ahead and look what you can buy beforehand, so you know exactly what you will buy. For me, that makes it not so hard. If I have to make a big choice, then I start having doubts about which one is better for me and start looking for better options, whereas if I choose what I will eat beforehand, then I will just get it.
If you get a set meal given to you, I understand that makes things a little more difficult, sometimes if a big plate of unknown stuff is put in front of you it can make you anxious. Remember, its a normal meal, its normal to eat it, there is nothing wrong with it, its just food. Who cares about food. Foods just such a normal thing Just try and think of it like that!
Also, if you can't eat it, don't get worked up about it. Its your first try and you said lunch is a hard meal for you. You will get there in the end!

Good luck Great job with recovery
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Re: eek! - November 5th 2010, 04:27 PM

thank you both! i was severely anorexic about four years ago, and i'm going through a rough point at the moment. mainly restricting, but a little bit of binging/purging too.

it's a cafeteria style dining hall. like, you go in, and there's almost a gymnasium size room with tons of different kitchens with ALL kinds of food. there are SO many choices!! i think i'm going to try and see if they have an online menu so i can choose beforehand. that seems like it would make it less scary.

how do you get the courage to eat in front of people though?
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Re: eek! - November 7th 2010, 05:57 AM

If your dining hall is anything like mine, you might have a buffet style bar? Those are best for getting food, especially if you have to eat with other people. I had, have, trouble eating with large groups of people, so I started by just eating with one close friend, someone who knew I had food issues, and we talked about everything but that while eating. Talking to people, gossiping even, can be helpful in distracting yourself. Just keep remaining yourself that the majority don't care what you eat. My Uni is pretty small, so even if it feels crowded there are never really that many people there. If you go to a larger uni, you could go at a time when many people don't. If you are worried about what's in the food, just ask the staff. I also work for my dining hall, so getting asked questions is really normal, and I know when I go in the cafe, I ask questions a lot.

You can do this, just try to have faith in yourself. Hang in there, Laura.

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