Do I have anorexia?

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Do I have anorexia?

Postby poppypink » Sun Sep 25, 2011 1:19 pm

Hi there,
I think I may have a problem that I need some help with as it seems to be controlling my life.

I got married in July, and did the whole 'lose weight for your big day thing' as most brides do! I lost a stone and a half, and although I wasn't very big in the first place (8 and a half stone), I am really pleased with my new figure and am glad that I put went through the pain and suffering to get to my new weight!

I had to try and keep some weight on so that my wedding dress wasn't too big, but since the wedding I have managed to lose more and last week I weighed in at my lightest (7st), which I was chuffed about.

The thing is, I am now obsessed with trying not to put weight on. It's driving me insane. I am constantly hungry and because of that, I over eat at the weekend and then feel completely guilty. I basically try to keep each meal to under 200 cals and I completely scrutinise everything I put in my mouth. I check food labels before putting anything in my trolley at the supermarket and, during the week, I never eat anything naughty as I have the most overwhelming guilty feeling that plays on my mind constantly.

My husband and family have expressed concern and, although I want a normal life of eating, like I used to, I am terrified of putting any weight on.

I go to the gym 3 times a week and run when I can. Sometimes I run when I don't even feel like it because I've maybe eaten a biscuit or something.

On Friday night, my husband’s sister came up and I made fajitas (grilled chicken, brown wraps, weight watchers nachos)and I feel so guilty about having 2 fajita wraps as I avoid bread. Then I ate biscuits and sweets all night (and of course wine!). Last night, my family came up and we went for a meal. I thought, sod it! I'm eating what I want, and my gosh I did! I ate a starter and a main, garlic bread, white bread, cake, chocolate, chips... washed down with lots of wine... everything naughty! But today I could cry I feel so bad about it that I can't bring myself to eat anything today. I made everyone bacon butties and toast and I watched them eating eat - starving hungry... but can't bring myself to let anything that bad pass my lips.

I know I will need my tea tonight, so I've found the lowest calorie curry (as hubby fancied a curry) made up of butternut squash and tomatoes (no meat today!) and I'm even terrified about having the rice!

My cupboards are full of health foods (oatcakes, brown rice, vegetables and salad) and I avoid fats like the plague. I live off salad and cottage cheese and I weigh everything that goes on my plate.

I weigh myself every day and am dreading tomorrow morning when I know I will have put on a few pounds after this weekend of eating rubbish! I get so depressed about it. I want to eat MacDonald’s and cake and sausage butties, etc, but I just can't bring myself to do it.

How can I get back to eating normally without putting on the weight? I deny myself everything and it causes me to binge at weekends and feel really guilty about it. I ate 2500 cals yesterday (I count every calorie I eat using an app on my iphone) and I feel so depressed about it today

I am a freak and more and more people are noticing it.

Thank you for listening
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Re: Do I have anorexia?

Postby Ticktock » Sun Sep 25, 2011 2:26 pm

You are certainly heading down that route, but the fact you recognise something is wrong is good.

What is driving this controlling of your food intake, what are you afraid will happen if you move back to a more normal diet?
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Re: Do I have anorexia?

Postby poppypink » Sun Sep 25, 2011 2:39 pm

Thanks for the reply.

I am afraid that I will put the weight back on and undo all the hard work that it took to lose the weight.

I can't stand the thought of putting it all back on again :(
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Re: Do I have anorexia?

Postby Ticktock » Mon Sep 26, 2011 3:08 pm

I suspect there are deeper reasons than that...

At the moment, assuming you are an average woman, you are eating less than half your recommended calories intake during the week. Combined with the fact that at seven stone you will have virtually no fat reserves then you risk serious health complications, and I am talking in the short term not long...

Go see your doctor and get referred to a professional dietician who can allow you to maintain your weight without this destructive cycle of starvation and bingeing, it will destroy your health.

You aren't a freak, but you are afraid of more than gaining weight. I will take a wild guess that the closeness of you getting married to this has something to do with it. Are you feeling overwhelmed by being married, trying to be the perfect wife and not quite succeeding?
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Re: Do I have anorexia?

Postby Jonaslove » Tue Sep 27, 2011 10:02 pm

I think that if you are not already anorexic then you have developed behaviours that will only get worse and lead you to anorexia.
I also have always had a bad relationship with food, and recently when to a hypnotherapist and since then I've felt fantastic!
She released all of my bad associations with food and told me that I should eat whatever I want instead of craving things such and chocolate and thinking its bad as the more you do that the more you want it, which then leads to a full on binge! She also told me that I should eat only when I was physically hungry (for example if I wasnt hungry at lunch time then dont eat at lunch time but then became hungry at 4 o'clock, eat at 4 o'clock!) and stop immediately when Im full.
This helped me to re-establish a good relationship with food and I actually feel so much more confident around it.

So maybe this may help you have a more healthy relationship with food again as well? Maybe something for you to try!

If you dont think you would be able to do this, maybe then you should think about getting professional help from your doctor. Best of luck!
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Re: Do I have anorexia?

Postby poppypink » Wed Oct 12, 2011 8:44 pm

Sorry for the late reply!

I honestly don't know where this has stemmed from? I've had a few life changing things happen over the past year: moving away from my friends, family and work collegues to a new area, buying a new house, getting a new job, getting married, etc. But apart from the upset i felt when i moved from my mum, i think ive coped quit well with it all.

I can't go on like this though. This week I weigh 6 stone 13 and I STILL can't bring myself to ear over 1200 calories a day. I've eaten more today than I have all week and my daily calorie intake is still only 1148. Thing is, I feel physically guilty about the fact that I feel full because in my eyes, that means I've eaten too much. I found it hard to sleep last night as I knew we were having spaghetti today and I've not had pasta in about 6 months because I avoid anything that high in calories. I made myself have it as I know I need to vary my diet and up my calories, but I wonder if the guilt I feel after eating it is worth it?! I've made myself a tuna salad for my lunch tomorrow and usually I would only have half a tin but I made myself put the whole lot on (100g), which I already feel guilty about as that is 105 calories and I wouldn't normally eat that for lunch along with a piece of fruit.

I feel stressed and anxious all the time. The thing is, I'm feeling it on my heart now. Over the last 2-3 weeks I've been experiencing a heavy feeling on my heart and I've noticed that when I wear my heart rate monitor at the gym, my heart rate is much lower than it used to be. Usually my heart rate was around 70 after being on my feet all day at work, but now it's more like 50. I burn as little as 180 calories during my step class now. I enjoy exercising but get very disappointed with that, causing me to become even more stressed and depressed.

My food intake today is as follows:

Breakfast: 50g porridge with 20g dried fruit and 0% fat Greek yoghurt and half a grapefruit.

Snack: 1/2 small scone that someone brought in the staffroom (I couldn't bring myself to eat any more than that and still feel really bad about eating it).

Lunch: Baxters cock-a-leekie soup (lowest calorie soup I can find with 88 calories in a tin). 2 oatcakes and an apple.

Snack: Apple

Dinner: 25g wholewheat spaghetti with a large spoonful of homemade bolognaise with lettuce and cucumber.

Snack: 2 rich tea fingers (lowest calorie biscuits I could find at 22 calories).

Shopping is horrendous. Eating out is horrendous. Getting through the day with an empty stomach is horrendous. You'd think with that with all that I eat for breakfast that it would keep me going until ku grime, but it doesn't. I NEVER have that full feeling anymore, no matter how much I eat. Even at weekends when I eat the same portion as my husband (and sometimes more!), it just doesn't make me full. Where I used to leave what i couldn't eat, these days I finish the whole lot and practically lick the plate clean! I never used to be able to fit a desert in when we went for meals, but now I feel as though I could eat 2. Is it possible that my stomach wants to play catch up at weekends and takes some filling due to constantly being hungry during the week?

All i know is that I'm losing sleep and I'm becoming more and more anxious and upset about it. I don't want to be ill. I've never been physically or mentally ill. Now I feel I'm both and at 27 I can't understand why it has come about now?

Thank you for your help.
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Re: Do I have anorexia?

Postby Ticktock » Wed Oct 12, 2011 9:11 pm

Have you told your husband?

No-one wants to be ill, but it happens and the sooner you have a proper diagnosis and can face what is really wrong, rather than what you suspect and a few random strangers tell you on a website, the sooner you can free yourself from this destructive cycle.

The lowered heart rate is from an electrolyte imbalance caused by what looks like a far from balanced diet. Think back when did the anxiety about food start, was it after the start of your wedding diet, there are a number of studies which link mental illness to poor diet...
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Re: Do I have anorexia?

Postby poppypink » Wed Oct 12, 2011 11:07 pm

Yes, it was definitely after the wedding diet. I ate normally (well, not so healthily!) before that. I've got to admit, that I rarely ate fruit before my wedding diet and never ate breakfast. I used to snack a lot during the day but always had a good lunch and dinner and never ever counted calories, checked nutritional information on packets or even thought about the amount I ate in a day. If I fancied a snack after dinner, I ate one. If I fancied a mcdonalds breakfast at weekend or a take away, I thought nothing into getting in my car and getting one. I loved take aways, junk food, treats! I still do! But now I can't bring myself to eat them. I could sometimes kill for a take away pizza, but then I whip something up with fresh veg and eat that instead.

It's all just changed in a year. I'm not put off food... In fact, I dream of it! Literally! I think of all the things that never did anything for me, like cake, chocolate, pies, milk shakes, etc and almost salivate at the thought of them.

I worked out that it was around this time last year that I begun my healthy eating regime. I call it that as I never set out to 'diet' as such; just cut down on the take aways and large portions and include more fruit, fibre, wholewheal, etc into my diet and exercise more. However, I injured my foot and couldn't run with my partner so became more conscious about what I ate. I really clamped down on my calorie intake after Christmas last year. I downloaded the Livestrong' app which recommended that, for me to lose a pound a week, I should follow a 1200 calorie daily intake. At first, that was painful and stressful as I wasn't used to being hungry or going without my favourite foods (cheese, burgers, chips, fish fingers, White bread, biscuits, etc) but now, 1200 is a breeze. In fact, it's got to the point (like tonight) that if I ate 1200 in a day, I would feel guilty. I probably only meet 2000 at the weekend and, although I'm always a couple of pounds heavier after the weekend, by Tuesday/Wednesday I'm back to my 'weekday weight.

I weighed 8 stone 9 this time last year. I now weigh 6 stone 13. It seems to have gotten worse after my honeymoon in august. We had 3 weeks in the states and I was so worried about putting all the weight on that I had lost that I asked for everything without cheese, salad dressings,etc. When hubby wanted burger king, I went in with him and pinched a couple of his chips, but didn't eat them myself. I picked all my meals off the low-carb menu and chose options that I didn't even want, like salmon salads instead of what I really fancied, like steak and chips. I visited the gym in all our hotels (we did a road trip) nearly every morning and swam where there was no gym. When I returned home, I was lighter than I had ever been. I had to keep a certain amount of weight in for the wedding to fit in my wedding dress, so after the wedding, it was like it didn't matter anymore. I could get smaller and smaller.

I got fitter in the 3 weeks I was away so started to visit the gym more an run for further. I was pleased with myself, until I started feeling unwell; weak, heavy heart, head aches, and mentally troubled with it all. The thing is, I don't want to bring my family into this. I want to, and need to deal with it alone. I am an hours drive from my family now and I don't want my mum and dad worrying about what I'm eating when there's nothing they can do about it because they aren't watching me 24/7. My husband doesn't understand. He blames me for my loss of periods. He says I've brought it all on myself. He thinks I can just wake up tomorrow, eat a fry-up, go to work and eat a full school dinner (like I used to!), come home and eat pizza and chips with a cheese cake chaser and all will be ok, but it's nit that easy.

I am on my own with this one. But I'm strong and i know I can get back in track. I think I just need information, words of wisdom, advice, etc to help me through it. Does that make sense?
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Re: Do I have anorexia?

Postby snail » Wed Oct 12, 2011 11:22 pm

It sounds like you've been through a great deal of upheaval in the last year, and this is how you're dealing with it - where you're 'placing' all that stress. The extent to which you know the details of the calorie content and grams of food you're eating in a day, and the fact that you've stopped menstruating, are genuinely frightening to read. Please, please, get professional help. Go and see your doctor TOMORROW. No one else in your family has to know.

And, if you can, please let us know how you get on.
These mountains that you are carrying, you were only supposed to climb.

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Re: Do I have anorexia?

Postby Ticktock » Thu Oct 13, 2011 12:10 am

The hiding it from others is part of the symptoms, I agree with Snail, doctors tomorrow. Anyway remember you aren't alone you still have us.

You have dropped enough hints to suggest you are a teacher, talk to your union rep as well, confidential support is available.

Your husband doesn't understand, he sees you eating normally at the weekend and thinks during the week is some crazy diet, he can't understand the guilt and self loathing you feel when you eat that much, and I would bet you haven't really told him yet. Seriously consider taking him with you to the doctor's, you need his support... Rather than try to persuade him just ask him to read this page, marriage is in sickness and in health and he needs to know how serious this is.
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Re: Do I have anorexia?

Postby poppypink » Thu Oct 20, 2011 8:10 am

Thank you all so much for your support.

Yes, I am a teacher and I am on PPA today so I am going to book into the doctors this morning and see what they say. I felt really bad about everything I ate on Sunday (even after going for a run) and although it looked as though I had put a pound on (which I was secretly a bit put out about) I weighed myself this morning and I am again 6 stone 13 pounds. Still no sign of my period either.

I thought it was time to bite the bullet and go and admit I have a problem to another human being face to face. Thing is, I have a really strong desire to run to the doctors and back seen as I have spare time (depending upon my appointment time). Are they going to want to monitor my heart rate, etc, as running before hand will give a different reading to my resting heart rate?

Do they offer councilling and dietitian support on the NHS?

I will let you know how I get on.
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Re: Do I have anorexia?

Postby snail » Thu Oct 20, 2011 11:09 am

Yes, I believe they offer both of those on the NHS, although I don't know what your own doctor will suggest. I think as much as anything it's important just to get your feet on the path where you're acknowledging that something's wrong and you're working to take better care of yourself.

Good luck.
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Re: Do I have anorexia?

Postby poppypink » Thu Oct 20, 2011 2:55 pm

Ok, so I've been to the doctors today and burst out into tears. Poor man didn't know what to say!
Anyway, he said that he doesn't want to refer me to anyone yet as it makes it into a medical matter, which he said may be the way we need to go if I can't control it myself, but for now, I need to take control rather than getting anyone else involved. He said that I seem like an intelligent and strong individual who has put my mind to losing the weight, so I can put my mind to changing my own thinking and eating habits. I hope I can.

He questioned why I wanted to lose weight in the first place. He said my weight was ideal before I started to lose the weight and he couldn't understand why I had set out to lose so much weight. I told him that, what started as a healthy eating/trimming up regime, turned into an obsession and the more I lost, the more I wanted to push the weight target lower and lower.

He said that I have addressed that I have a problem and now need to work towards changing my thinking. The thing is, am I going to be able to do that as I see the pounds creep up and up on the scales? I WANT to view the weight gain as a positive thing and now a negative thing, but whether I can do that is another matter.
He has done blood tests to make sure that my chemical levels in my blood are normal and not all over the place. I suppose he may check for anaemia or other nutritional deficiencies? I've got to go back on Friday.

He basically told me that he wants me to get back to the weight I was before I started to lose weight I have a nice trim body, descovered that I love healthy food, began introducing more fruit, vegetables and fibre into my diet and have realised that I love exercise and have built up a really good fitness level. Has all that been wasted now that I need to get back to my old weight and my old ways??

I'm feeling a little confused about everything at the moment. I need to get back to 'normal' eating habits. The thing is, I don't know what 'normal' is anymore? I was thinking of starting a new thread to ask people to tell me what they have eaten that day for breakfast, lunch and tea just so I can see what 'normal' people are eating. I think this wuold be a good support for me? What do you think?
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Re: Do I have anorexia?

Postby Ticktock » Thu Oct 20, 2011 4:53 pm

I would probably view it as an opportunity to build the perfect body, you have the tools and so you just need to give your body the fuel to do so.

Sounds like you have a very good doctor, and he is right that if you can turn this around it is a lot easier.

Can't give my menu today as I in the middle of a fast (hindu thing for the kids) but yes it sounds like a good idea to see what we are eating, I will warn you it won't make pleasant reading (for us...).

Interestingly enough I mentioned this to my wife and she told me she had starved herself till her periods stopped. I was a bit shocked as she is trim and beautiful. The story was she had just been married to a man who was abusive (but his family was from the same village so it was fine!) and moved in with his parents who were strict vegetarians, whereas she came from a house where bacon sandwiches were the norm. She was utterly miserable and when she dipped below seven and a half stone her periods stopped, lucky for me she then found out she was pregnant and this made her start eating normally again.

Hope Friday goes well :)
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Re: Do I have anorexia?

Postby poppypink » Sat Oct 22, 2011 1:35 pm

Thanks for your support Tick Tock. That's very interesting about your wife. Did she get pregnant whilst not having a period? Or did he get her periods back before she found out she was pregnant? I can understand that being pregnant would make you start looking after yourself. I am hoping that I can do the same should I become pregnant soon.

You would be proud of me last night! I did go to the gym, but didn't work myself to death like I usually do and only worked out for 45 minutes as apose to an hour and half like usual. My husband decided that he fancied going out for a meal, which is usually an ordeal for me as I try to find the lowest calorie thing on the menu, regardless of whether it's actually what I want! I insisted that we walk, as it was a nice night (that makes me feel better!). When we arrived there, I was very tempted to order from the 'under 500 calorie' section, but then I stopped myself and decided to have exactly what I fancied! I went for a full chicken crown with sticky BBQ sauce, coleslaw and chips (that were clearly fried and not oven cooked!)! My husband couldn't believe it! I really, really enjoyed it as it was exactly what I fancied eating and I was so hungry that I ate the whole lot! And had a little taste of my husbands! Then I enjoyed a bit of chocolate when I got home!

I have got to admit, that I did have a slight guilty feeling this morning, but told myself that I deserved to eat what I fancied and I really enjoyed it so stuff it! (I did go for a little run to the post office today though, but felt so much better for it!). I know that my issues are very far from being resolved over night, and I know that it will take a long time of changing my thoughts about food so I am not anxious about eating what I want, but the fact that I could relax whilst having a meal, and not feel too bad today feels good to me.

I have had a bowl of porridge with blackcurrents and greek yogurt followed by half a grapefruit today. Usually after a 'guilty meal' the night before, I would run then have the bare minimum the next day, but I was determined not to do that today.

We're off to the pictures tonight and I am already a little anxious about the pick and mix I so desperately want and the cheesy nachos that my hubby will make me eat!
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