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View Full Version : I'm becoming anorectic. If not already.



Buttercup
2011-Dec-17, 05:20 PM
Just shaming myself here.

I've developed a real eating disorder. Going on about a year now.

I probably consume 800 calories per day, and by day's end I think "I've eaten way too much."

So I need to admit this and stop it.

Will begin keeping track of what I do eat, to ensure am getting enough minerals, vitamins, and nutrients.

Perikles
2011-Dec-17, 05:31 PM
I've never seen it spelled that way before, but that's unimportant. Right now I am trying to deal with a good friend who is getting to a stage of anorexia which is very dangerous to her survival. She is absolutely obsessed with physical health, vitamins, and diet, yet eats almost nothing, smokes like a chimney, and looks increasingly haggard. She admits this makes no sense. What is absolutely clear is that no matter how well intentioned friends are, they are incapable of providing support without very special training, because the mechanisms are totally illogical and counter-intuitive.

Specialist advice is vital, and the longer you leave it, the more difficult it will be to deal with it. Good luck.

Buttercup
2011-Dec-17, 05:39 PM
Thanks!

I can get by (easily) on 800 calories per day. With my slow metabolism, it's actually ideal.

It's the "wow...I ate too much" which is the red flag. I realized last week I've taken to thinking that at day's end. And it's NOT true. Found myself wittling down on food intake even more, before I caught that line of thought.

I honestly am not hungry most of the time, but need to maintain health.

Nowhere Man
2011-Dec-17, 05:50 PM
What Perikles said. Get yourself to a doctor, nutritionist, maybe even a psychologist. 800 calories sounds (to this non-specialist) too low unless you're very small or very sedentary.

Fred

Nicolas
2011-Dec-17, 07:38 PM
You'll be fine Buttercup, since you realize what's going on and what's wrong. But you have to take actions now and find some advice/help from a professional to set out a good path for you. You'll be alright, it just requires some changes in daily habbits from where you are now. The biggest step is behind you (realizing what's going on).

Buttercup
2011-Dec-17, 08:00 PM
Thanks for the feedback/replies so far.

Am working on steps to naturally stimulate my appetite a bit. I have lost nearly 3 clothing sizes in the last 2 years, but I'm not skinny.

I'm also not overly sedentary. I don't have a formal exercise regimen, but do walk briskly at least 4 times a week, for 30 to 45 minutes.

Another factor in this (which I recognized) was beginning to play a game/challenge with myself of how much less can I eat today?, and taking satisfaction over increased control of intake. I have also stopped doing this.

Was overweight as kid and teenager, so this was unique to me and I began "having fun" with it. But it's not fun anymore; it could become dangerous. Never figured I'd be dealing with anorexia, but life is full of surprises...

marsbug
2011-Dec-17, 08:02 PM
I'm in no no position to offer the kind of advice and support you need from behind my laptop, so I will simply say good luck and get well soon. Well done for admitting that there is a problem.

Romanus
2011-Dec-17, 08:38 PM
Can only echo Nowhere Man: Go to a doctor or therapist. I hate to say it, but there are probably a lot of anorexics who breathed their last thinking, "I've got this under control..."

In any event, best of luck to you, and please be careful.

Noclevername
2011-Dec-17, 09:39 PM
Ditto what everyone else said.

Buttercup
2011-Dec-17, 09:51 PM
I hate to say it, but there are probably a lot of anorexics who breathed their last thinking, "I've got this under control..."

I'm glad you did, because that was like a (needed) little slap. Didn't occur to me, though should have I suppose. Lots of people probably think "I won't ever develop (fill in blank: morbid obesity, severe anorexia, other extreme vice)..." and do go on. :(

Already I'm thinking (mid-afternoon) I've had enough to eat today. Maybe an apple later, but that's it. And I've only consumed approximately 500 calories so far.

Also am noticing a resistance (in the back of my mind) to actually eating more, despite knowing I should.

Will check in with my personal M.D.

Admitting this at forum, today, has been a big help: Making myself actually face the situation with no rationalizations or going back into denial.

Donnie B.
2011-Dec-17, 11:36 PM
You know, in retrospect, you've been giving us clues to your condition right along. Your posts in the "what's for dinner" thread showed a consistent pattern. You would list a yummy meal that your hubby ate, then describe a glorified snack that you yourself ate.

I actually wondered a bit at that. I assumed you were on a diet but didn't imagine it might be a more serious problem.

Like the previous commenters, I wish you luck in dealing with it, and echo the suggestion that you find a professional to help.

Torsten
2011-Dec-18, 01:04 AM
I have lost nearly 3 clothing sizes in the last 2 years, but I'm not skinny.

Another voice in the crowd...

I have a recollection of hearing that part of anorexia may include a false perception of one's own appearance. You need to look at your weight as revealed by a scale. And you need that doctor's opinion of it. I'm happy that you've told us you'll be seeing one.

Best of luck to you.

Perikles
2011-Dec-18, 09:25 AM
I have a recollection of hearing that part of anorexia may include a false perception of one's own appearance. You need to look at your weight as revealed by a scale. And you need that doctor's opinion of it. I'm happy that you've told us you'll be seeing one..That's a good point. You should weigh yourself, say, once or twice a week. Your actual weight is not an issue as much as the rate at which you are losing it, so regular weight loss is very significant. You should also calculate your Body Mass Index (http://www.nhlbisupport.com/bmi/) to get an idea of how 'normal' you are, although I repeat, it is your rate of weight loss which is more important.

closetgeek
2011-Dec-18, 03:21 PM
Thanks for the feedback/replies so far.

Am working on steps to naturally stimulate my appetite a bit. I have lost nearly 3 clothing sizes in the last 2 years, but I'm not skinny.

I'm also not overly sedentary. I don't have a formal exercise regimen, but do walk briskly at least 4 times a week, for 30 to 45 minutes.

Another factor in this (which I recognized) was beginning to play a game/challenge with myself of how much less can I eat today?, and taking satisfaction over increased control of intake. I have also stopped doing this.

Was overweight as kid and teenager, so this was unique to me and I began "having fun" with it. But it's not fun anymore; it could become dangerous. Never figured I'd be dealing with anorexia, but life is full of surprises...

Initial weightloss is the most common trigger for anorexia. Typically, lack of control situations are another stressor, such as some of the situations you've shared with us over the past year or so. From personal experience, if you have the means to see professional help, do so. Typically anorexia is merely a side effect of an underlying physical or mental disorder. It's not something that you can just say, "okay, I am going to eat better." You can admit to yourself one day that you have a problem and resolve to make better decisions but once your weight starts to fluctuate, you start regressing and rationalizing bad behaviors.

jokergirl
2011-Dec-19, 10:23 AM
Please go see a doctor or therapist and talk to them about it.

As an ex-anorectic* I urge you to do so for your own safety. We on the internet can't judge it, not knowing your history, but you are worried and quite clearly distressed. If just to get peace of mind, please ask your doctor.

*hugs*

*(I won't go into detail here but you can message me if you want to.)

Buttercup
2011-Dec-19, 03:12 PM
Thanks closetgeek and jokergirl! :)


Typically, lack of control situations are another stressor

That's it, yes. Started around 4 years ago with a serious setback, then loss of a loved one, etc. There was a very unpleasant "double whammy" in all that as well. I genuinely lost my appetite (still isn't back to normal), and it went downhill from there. Prior to all that I was an over-eater and rather chubby (it's like being a very different person now).

I'm going to visit physician. Until that appointment happens, am making sure to consume at least 1,000 calories per day (nutritious food), continue taking multivitamin, etc. Also keeping tabs on my thoughts about food (avoidance); checking them with positive thoughts.

Perikles
2011-Dec-19, 03:39 PM
I genuinely lost my appetite (still isn't back to normal), and it went downhill from there. .I'm no expert, but anorexics do not generally lose appetite. They are hungry, but need the control, and don't eat. If there are emotional reasons which you can identify as being a start, then just possibly it could be a form of depression, not anorexia. Just an uneducated guess. See a doctor, and good luck.

jokergirl
2011-Dec-19, 05:28 PM
You can lose the hunger feeling. Not appetite, but hunger.
This also goes together with a very physical decrease in time/capacity before you feel "full". So you will stop eating earlier.

Anorexia IS a form of depression (or at least an expression of it, is how it was explaines to me). And yes, a very common cause is the feeling of lack of control.

It seems you're doing the right steps already, Buttercup. Make sure you are taken seriously with your worries at the doc - if it seems like he doesn't, find another!

IsaacKuo
2011-Dec-20, 03:38 PM
Since I have always struggled with my weight, and I also constantly think that I have eaten too much, I wanted to chime in. I've just not been sure what to say.

Everyone says I'm skinny, but I'm not really--I still have a bit of a belly. But it's different for men. No one really cares if a man has a bit of a belly, especially not someone my age. Also, I live in Louisiana, ground zero in the USA's obesity epidemic (it radiates outward from Mississipi and Louisiana).

Do others say you're skinny?

Buttercup
2011-Dec-20, 03:46 PM
Do others say you're skinny?

No. If you saw me, you'd see a woman who looks healthy, and of normal weight for height and bone structure. And that's not denial. You wouldn't know I have this problem, just to look at me.

When this began, I was overweight. So the resultant weight loss has been beneficial (obviously). But now the food avoidance and loss of appetite has become detrimental; it's chronic and going on too long. I'm maintaining my current weight.

closetgeek
2011-Dec-20, 04:30 PM
No. If you saw me, you'd see a woman who looks healthy, and of normal weight for height and bone structure. And that's not denial. You wouldn't know I have this problem, just to look at me.

When this began, I was overweight. So the resultant weight loss has been beneficial (obviously). But now the food avoidance and loss of appetite has become detrimental; it's chronic and going on too long. I'm maintaining my current weight.

Are you happy with the way you look? Do you look in the mirror and hyperfocus on some "trouble zone" that only you seem to notice or are you just trying to maintain your weight, at this point?

Buttercup
2011-Dec-20, 04:41 PM
Are you happy with the way you look?

Yes, for the most part.


Do you look in the mirror and hyperfocus on some "trouble zone" that only you seem to notice

Not really. I think I've got a rather good overall body image.


or are you just trying to maintain your weight, at this point?

I can maintain this weight, but to be honest would like to lose another 2 clothing sizes. But I'm not super-focused on it...because at the rate I've not been eating, it'll surely occur at some point.

I'm more worried about lack of nutrients, to be honest. And my energy levels aren't good. I've had troubles with anemia during this as well, but now take an iron supplement.

Perikles
2011-Dec-20, 05:38 PM
I can maintain this weight, but to be honest would like to lose another 2 clothing sizes.OK - what is your BMI? I posted a link to calculate it earlier. This index is a good starter to see how subjective your weight assessment is.

Edit: here (http://www.nhlbisupport.com/bmi/)

Buttercup
2011-Dec-20, 05:42 PM
OK - what is your BMI? I posted a link to calculate it earlier. This index is a good starter to see how subjective your weight assessment is.

Edit: here (http://www.nhlbisupport.com/bmi/)

Thanks! (Sorry I missed it the first time?).

I'll check it. But I won't share the results here. ;-p

Perikles
2011-Dec-20, 05:55 PM
I'll check it. But I won't share the results here. ;-pLook - the only reason someone would not share it here is that it is far too high. If you are to share the problem with us, you should provide this information as well. It helps in an assessment. 'Normal' is a BMI of 20-25, but these days, many are over that, and it does increase with age.

A slim teenage girl may well have a BMI as low as 18, and a professional long distance runner also. For the purposes of medical diagnosis, I don't think a serious stage of anorexia is reached until the BMI is around 18-16, which does look very slim indeed. Your call. :)

Buttercup
2011-Dec-20, 06:02 PM
Did it.

All I'll say is it's WELL into the 20s. So I'm safe this far.

IsaacKuo
2011-Dec-20, 10:17 PM
I don't think you should worry too much, if your weight is normal as well as steady. However, it may be a concern that you feel a lack of energy. When I was losing weight severely, I felt a lack of energy that was definitely a result of not consuming enough calories.

That said, since you have been overweight you will likely always need to eat less than other people in order to maintain a healthy body weight. 800 calories per day may be what you need to do to optimize your health.

Still, you need to watch out for is losing muscle. Even if your weight is steady, you could lose muscle in favor of fat if you don't strength train and eat properly (regular protein intake is a must, since your body can't store it for later). I'm having issues with this, and it's particularly hard because I haven't figured out a good way to measure how things are going.

closetgeek
2011-Dec-21, 12:39 AM
Yes, for the most part.



Not really. I think I've got a rather good overall body image.



I can maintain this weight, but to be honest would like to lose another 2 clothing sizes. But I'm not super-focused on it...because at the rate I've not been eating, it'll surely occur at some point.

I'm more worried about lack of nutrients, to be honest. And my energy levels aren't good. I've had troubles with anemia during this as well, but now take an iron supplement.

Did you make an appt yet? I think anyone with out a medical degree (myself included) should refrain from offering nutritional/health advice. Long term starvation can cause damage to multiple systems in the body and it might be safer for Buttercup to see a Dr. who can physically check her.

Noclevername
2011-Dec-21, 09:52 AM
Just shaming myself here.

There's no shame in it. Admitting there's a problem is, as they say, the first step.

Perikles
2011-Dec-21, 09:54 AM
All I'll say is it's WELL into the 20s. So I'm safe this far.Good. At least we know that there is nothing which needs to be done urgently. This is the real advantage of measuring something. But you need to consult a doctor and have all the usual parameters measured, because there could be all kinds of things which can be easily corrected. And monitor your weight on a regular basis, so that you can observe any longer term decrease in BMI.

Buttercup
2011-Dec-21, 02:22 PM
Thanks again for the thoughtful replies. :) Closetgeek, I do have an appointment set for Wednesday the 28th. My low-intake eating habits have become so engrained now that if I don't keep track of food/caloric intake (write it down), I won't get to 1,000 calories. So I'm keeping in check that way too, until seeing my doctor.

closetgeek
2011-Dec-21, 06:23 PM
Thanks again for the thoughtful replies. :) Closetgeek, I do have an appointment set for Wednesday the 28th. My low-intake eating habits have become so engrained now that if I don't keep track of food/caloric intake (write it down), I won't get to 1,000 calories. So I'm keeping in check that way too, until seeing my doctor.

I am very glad to hear that. This sounds weird saying it but I truly hope this is all mental because it is treatable.

Cougar
2011-Dec-21, 06:40 PM
I probably consume 800 calories per day...

That's not nearly enough. Plug your stats into this Daily Caloric Intake Calculator (http://www.freedieting.com/tools/calorie_calculator.htm) and see what it says.

I recently assisted in a case where a woman sued a jail because her son starved to death after being in that jail for 4 months. He went from 160 lbs to 77 lbs. Of course, he had serious mental issues, thinking people were trying to poison him, but jails can't just let people die when they're in custody, even when they're mental. Jail food may not be that great, but I learned that the contractor providing the prisoners' meals was contractually obligated to provide 2800 calories a day. I guess you know -- you've got to increase your caloric intake!

That case settled pretty quickly.

Buttercup
2011-Dec-21, 06:50 PM
This sounds weird saying it but I truly hope this is all mental because it is treatable.

I know how you mean that, and agree. This is a result of a series of unexpected and intense "life stressors" in the past 4 years.

Cougar, I probably need 1400 calories per day. Will go with doctor's recommendation definitely.

What snapped me out of this was realizing I was increasingly consuming less. The day prior to starting this thread, I probably had only 500 calories that day. And that was becoming the trend with me.

jokergirl
2011-Dec-21, 09:53 PM
The thing is that as strangers (friends over the net but still strangers) and as non-medical people we cannot judge if it's "normal" or isn't. And we certainly can't offer professional help. So I don't think anyone should offer advice here if they don't have a medical degree either(even if meant in the best intent possible).

I don't believe in BMI as a *reliable* unit of measurement. A good rule of thumb, but no scientific measure. Read up on its history to know why.

But I also think that it's really good that you are not denying it and that you are asking for help. I believe that you will be fine, and I wish you the best!

*hugs*

IsaacKuo
2011-Dec-25, 02:01 PM
I don't think that lack of a medical degree should preclude giving advice. I presume that Buttercup is smart enough to treat internet advice with as much or as little credibility as she feels it deserves.

HenrikOlsen
2011-Dec-25, 07:15 PM
As long as the advise is to seek professional help, you're right.