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Scared of diets


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This is my first post here but I'm kinda worried and not sure what to do.  I will bring this up at my ED group on Wednesday, but in the meantime maybe someone can suggest something.

I'm 46 and have an ED, have had it since childhood.  I guess I used to be what you'd call an exercise bulimic, along with plenty of bingeing & fasting behaviors.  Terrible body image problems.  Now I'm not sure what I am; I do therapy and an ED group.  About 5 years ago started taking Depakote for BP, which lowered my energy (less compulsive exercise) and my metabolism & screwed with my hormones.  I gained about 35 pounds over 5 years.

Last summer we figured out depakote was causing polycystic ovaries which made any kind of natural weight management impossible because of physical hunger.  In finding a new mood stabilizer I went through a crushing depression and months of weirdness that caused more bingeing and I almost stopped exercising altogether. I'm now on Lamictal, and for the first time ever I don't force myself to eat everything on the plate.  But I'm still eating too much, still too much chocolate, too much dense fatty food.

Because of the ED treatment I don't own a scale anymore.  The last time I was weighed I was about 175, but I'm guessing I'm now around 185, maybe more.  I'm 5'3".  I'm getting nervous that my physical self, like my heart and organs, are getting damaged by weight gain and neglect.  I can't afford to keep buying bigger clothes ever few months.  Sure, I don't like the way my body looks nekkid, but I mostly don't like the feeling of not being able to drag myself around or fit into most of my professional clothes.

However, I'm afraid to diet or exercise because I've been so compulsive and sick about it my whole life.  I won't do weight watchers because of the embarassment of the weekly weigh-in.  Dieticians make me anxious with their all-or-nothing idealistic eating plans (the last one wanted me to do this stringent no sugar, no meat, no dairy, no refined anything, no this, no that plan that made me want to binge just reading the plan!). 

Maybe I'm just posting this to whine and see this all in black and white for myself.  But has anyone managed to get at high-weight-related health issues and not made their ED worse?  Or do I have to just stick it out until somehow all this treatment results in not eating as much?

(other meds: tegretol (tapering off), wellbutrin, 2 thyroid meds, glucophage, progesterone)

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it sounds like you broke all the unhealthy ED habits (weighing yourself, excessively exercising) without building new healthy habits to replace them, and now you're in a bad spot.

i take glucophage too, for pre-diabetes.  i absolutely hate hate hate diets:  i hate being told what to do, when to do so being told what and how much and when to eat really chaps my cheeks.

so instead, i concentrate on eating very healthfully.  i follow a plan (saw it in Prevention, also saw my Dad using it very successfully) where you divide your plate in half and 2 fourths.  One half is all your veggies, salad, fruits, one fourth is your meat/protein, one fourth is your starch.  my Dad and i do it by eating our salad first, then 2 servings veggies, then meat then starch (more or less).  we deliberately make sure we get a full 2 or 3 servings of veg first, then basically we say "we can eat whatever we want now".  of course, by that time, we're halfway full AND we have gone a long way to healthy eating.

maybe you might want to consider something like that?

and for exercise, find something fun  and convince yourself it's for fun, not to 'see results'.

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Gosh, that sounds so, so, so sensible! B)

You're right.  My doctors kept telling me that at some point I'd spontaneously start losing weight because my hormones would get straightened out and my food insanity would disappear.  Two years of treatment have passed and it's not working yet, so I think I need to just grow up and learn how to eat like an adult instead of a hungry kid.

It's funny how my mind just shuts down when I get scared.  I've been afraid to do anything that sounds anything like controlling my eating for fear of reverting back to my old crazy self.  After all, there's an overweight woman in my ED group who does OA and keeps talking about abstinence, which sounds like more insanity.  But I should have more faith in the progress I've made.  And maybe I need to say something at group about the abstinence talk.

I also hurt my hand last month, which put a stop to the exercise tapes I'd started doing a few times a week.  I do so badly with heat that I haven't even been walking.  But it's starting to cool down, so I'm going to try 20-30 minutes of walking every day.  I do like being outside, walking cheers me up, and it's hard to get all hysterical about walking the neighborhood.  If I even did that 4 days a week I'd feel way better.

As for eating, I'm out the habit of eating veggies, and I know that's the one thing I can turn around.  None sound appetizing right now, but I sure used to wolf down a giant baby greens salad every night at the start of dinner.  I just need to get creative.

Thanks for the support & suggestions.  Maybe I'll pick up some greens on the way home tonight.

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Gosh, that sounds so, so, so sensible!
i am SUCH a Virgo.  i like walking too; if you walk in pleasant weather or pleasant conditions, it doesn't seem like 'exercise'.  of course, for me, i enjoy snowstorms and moonlit nights as much as traditional sunny days....

I've been afraid to do anything that sounds anything like controlling my eating for fear of reverting back to my old crazy self.

i honestly can't say i blame you.  EDs sound like absolute hell on earth to overcome; you had to have done a lot of very hard work, more than i can possible imagine, to get yours under control.  i really don't blame you for fearing a relapse.

stringent no sugar, no meat, no dairy, no refined anything, no this, no that plan that made me want to binge just reading the plan!

it does for me too.....dieticians...bleah.  we'd all be drinking blue milk and eating wheat germ and bean sprouts.

btw, i'm 5'3" and was 182 and now am 162-163.  i seem to be at a plateau right now; i need to lose more to beat the diabetes but know i need to be patient and just keep at it.  i guess slow and steady does it.

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Oh, I'm a pisces, and I love virgos.  They tend to balance out my spacy volatile watery nature.

Yep, it was giving up the compulsive exercising that really got to me.  I know I need to get a reasonable level of fitness to avoid all kinds of diseases, but it's very important that I stay away from trying to be a superwoman again.  I guess if I get all sporty that'd be OK, so long as it's fun and not driven.  Like you say, I just need to like doing what I'm doing, and still enjoy being in my body, whatever shape it's in.  And as much as I hate heat, I love being outside & moving around in bad weather.  My favorite weather for skiing was always right in the middle of a good storm.  All that nice soft snow, and the tourists hide indoors until the sun comes back out, leaving all the good snow for me.  <sigh>

When the therapist who leads the ED group first interviewed me, she asked what I wanted from the group, and I actually said "I want to be 5'7" with long blond hair and 125 pounds."  I was so surprised that she didn't find that funny.  Now I realize how sad it sounds.  I'm a curvy five two-and-a-half who pretends she's 5'3", and nothing's going to change that.

Anyhow, I'm giving up the idea of going back to the scale, the weighing, the measuring.  I think I can do 50-25-25 on my plate if I put forth a little effort. B) 

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I've started eating veggies in a spoiled-child sort of way--I bought Green Giant pouches of frozen veggies with sauces.  They're going to get unappetizing soon, but it's a start.  I can't cut things up because I've badly sprained one hand (you should see me type!), but I expect to stock up soon on pre-cut veggies to cook.  So I'm trying to just be a little conscious of my fat intake and eat a bit more roughage.

I saw my hormone nurse today (the one who's Rx-ing progesterone & glucophage) and she reminded me that I only started Glucophage a few months before changing meds, and it's only a few months since I got off Depakote.    Before the changes I had even lost a little.  I've been gaining, but mostly during my med-change depression.  We figured out that Depakote was messing everything up, and recently I even had a skin tag fall off. 

She wants me to wait and not to do anything drastic to activate my ED.  Sure, eat veggies, try to get outside and mosey around a bit, be moderate about sugar, but I'm also to increase the Glucophage and relax a bit.  I was supposed to increase the dose to 2250 months ago, but the other med change was making me so sick that I backed off.  Now I'm stable, so she gave me an Rx for 2000 (500's instead of 750's) to ramp up again.

I'm feeling calmer & less controlling about all this.  Thanks for being there, Reddog.  Your reasonable words kept me from spinning out about this.

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badly sprained one hand


try bird's eye instead of green giant, both my husband and i think they taste much better (and he is NOT a veggie eater...you can count the number of vegetables he will eat on both hands and have fingers left over.  but a man who thinks an onion ring counts as a vegetable, will sit down and have a nice big bowl of bird's eye.)

glad you're calmer & doing ok on your glucophage.  i found if i take my glucophage with some fiber supplements, i didn't get nauseous or have diarrhea.  now THAT was not pretty!

now *i* have to get over my plateau....fasting blood sugars are still not good (if i don't take the glucophage the night before) so i guess it's going to be more exercise and less sweets for me......i really don't want diabetes.  i really don't.  (sorry about my whine - that's my scary issue.  Diabetes.  ick.)

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Sorry to hear you're having a rough time @ it. I used to have wild weigh fluctuations since I was 20 years old. I'm now 45. I lost 80 pounds last year and I've been able to keep it off by counting calories. It takes a ton of discipline @ first but gradually gets easier as time goes by.

Simple. Look at the back of the package that contains your food and look at the calorie and serving size info. Lean toward eating the same types of food for awhile so you don't have to guess too much. Eventually you'll get the hang of it. Eat a good serving of fiber everyday, that helps alot (my choice is Fiber One).

I know it's probably hard w/ diabetes. My wife has the same problem. She has Type 1 diabetes induced by years of cortisteroid use.

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Thanks, but I'm a dieting expert.  Even though I stopped counting calories or weight watcher's points 18 months ago, I still know how many calories, fiber & fat grams are in the foods I commonly eat.  I still read labels for everything I eat, even though I make a decision not to let me life be ruled by fat grams.  If I decided to, I could tell you within a few calories or grams how much fiber, fat and calories I've had today.

I have an eating disorder.  That means I'm obsessive not only about food but everything about food, including knowing exactly how many calories I need to burn off and what type of exercise burns how many calories.  It's sick.  It makes me literally crazy; my weight can be the absolutely most important thing in my life.  And frankly, that's pretty pathetic.

I need balance.  I'm working towards balance.  So please, don't encourage an eating disordered woman like me to diet.

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NARS, I appreciate your sharing that!

I was so full of self-hate when I was fat and became very consumed (sorry, bad pun) with reading labels, etc.

Nothing extraordinary happened, but one day I just gave it all up. Decided if it wasn't "naturally grown" then I would not eat it. 'Course that left out a whole lot of crap that I didn't need anyway.

And the weight came off faster **for me** after I stopped Lex.

I'm within 15 lbs of my goal.  B)

and the damn things are sticking to me like glue! I'm so happy when I lose an ounce now


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Patience, love, patience.  You know the PCOS, hypothyroidism and hypoglycemia, etc are all conditions that would exacerbate the slowing of metabolism that goes along naturally with depakote. Now, of course, you're taking steps to correct those medical issues (or at least to control them), but it's not going to happen overnight.

My ex-GF had all of these issues as well, and she was loathe to bother keeping up with her meds-- never bothered to refill one of her diabetes meds at all, took the Glucophage XR so rarely it was like an event, and would put off getting labs done for her Synthroid, or getting a new prescription when the dosages changed. She figured none of the drugs were helping her lose weight like her internist had promised so-- fuck 'em.

But it's not like, an overnight thing.

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Thanks, guys.  I'm feeling more on my feet than I did last week.  I've increased the glucophage to 2000, and althought I'm very tired, I know that will wear off.  I was nauseous for a few days but that's better now.  I'll wait a few more days to go to 2250.

anafagodma, I've never been known for my patience, and I can't count the times I got impatient and just blew off taking care of myself.  Now that my BP is controlled (woo-hoo!), though, and after years of therapy, I'm learning new ways of caring about my health without getting all obsessive.  I still freak out, as I did on this thread, but these days I return to sanity as soon as either I or some compassionate soul points out that it might be more helpful to calm down and not give in to the fits of anxiety I still get.

I'm gently watching my food intake and taking the stairs and walking when I can.  At this point I can count 5 minutes across a parking lot towards my health.  One thing at a time.

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Sorry I got snarky there.  About the only thing that scares me these days is that panicky feeling I get when I think someone is talking about diets.  It's not you; it's me.  Food "discipline" to me means self-flagellation.

I'm doing so much better about bingeing, I'm already eating more fruits & veggies, and I do think the rest will follow.  Patience, patience...

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