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I feel fine so I don't care


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Things have been a little bit rough for the past week. I got overwhelmed / upset and I didn't eat for three days. It wasn't on purpose, it was more that I felt really bad and I have trouble eating when I'm sad. My throat feels all clogged up and it's hell force feeding myself, so I didn't. I felt better (emotionally) on the fourth day when I woke up.  Then my brain reminded me that I felt just fine, good even so there was no need to bother with food. It's been about six days and I've only really had liquid calories in the form of soy milk in coffee. I know that this is bad of me, and I should make more of an effort. But the thing is my weight is fine, I could even stand to lose a fair amount of weight before I was in any physical danger. I find it hard to muster up the fucks to give when my weight is fine, and I feel good, why mess with it. I've been weighing myself and been pleasantly surprised in the morning. The irrational part of my mind is kinda pleased how this has panned out, and I'm finding myself thinking thoughts about how much of a rewarding challenge it would be to look good again. I've been there before and I was happy, but only for a little bit. I know that this is disordered but I can't make myself care enough. Does this happen to anybody else? Like it feels perfectly safe to do this stuff / think these thoughts when my weight is fine?

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What motivates me to keep eating is knowing that, even if your weight is fine, restricting takes a toll on your body. It acts quickly, too. We can die of dehydration in a matter of weeks. Your weight will still seem fine... but your heart will not be. So, while the scale and your pants size may be telling you "it's fine, you don't need to eat today" you still really do. Eating is mandatory every day for a reason. Because without it we don't get the nutrition that we need to keep going through the day. Without that nutrition our brains starve and go even crazier (I'm sure that you know of the Minnesota starvation study) and it can happen quickly. Within weeks, again. Since you've already not eaten for a week, you're now in weeks territory, so your health will be affected. You don't deserve that.

 

If eating solids is too hard, and making your throat feel like its closing up, do you have other options? Things like soups, stews, smoothies, even Ensure or Boost (or whatever) can go a long way to making up the deficit. We cannot live on coffee and other non-caloric liquids alone.

 

Here is a llittle urban legend about hummingbirds. Hummingbirds require something like 3500kcal daily because they put so much energy into flying. So, when you have a hummingbird feeder, you need to use a lot of sugar so that it's worth it for the birds to come to your feeder. There was someone who took the dire warnings about sugar too seriously and was feeding the hummingbirds some diet substitute. Maybe it was Splenda or something. Anyway, the hummingbirds in the area all died of starvation, even though they were eating, and even though things appeared fine.

 

You may feel that things are fine, like the hummingbirds. But really, they're not. Can you work with your care provider(s) to help you to feel up to eating again? Can you mention to your silly tdoc that your sleep isn't that great not because of sleep hygiene, but because you're restricting? Restricting can lead to insomnia, so maybe the tie-in will help her to take you more seriously.

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Very valid points Rosie.

 

I know I should go get some kind of food that contains nutrients, but I'm having bad anxiety about the grocery store and I don't know why. Like the people at the store are going to judge what I buy. Mostly that they'll think I'm buying a weird combination of food or too much for one person. But maybe if I go and buy one thing only it won't be so bad. The throat closing thing is an emotional response I think. I've never really pushed at it because I feel greedy eating when I'm not hungry. 

 

I did not know that about the humming birds, those poor things. 

 

You read my blog! If she stops going on about sleep long enough for me to divert the subject I would. But I feel kinda dumb because I'm healthy and that's all they care about. 

 But you've reminded me that I should try. I'll check in tomorrow and see if I braved a visit to the store. Fingers crossed.

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No one is judging you at the grocery store. I promise. How do they know how many people you're buying food for? In fact, how are they to know that you're even buying the food for you?
If it helps, pretend that you're a caregiver (either for a grandma, or a daycare) and that you're buying food for them. What would you buy?

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I've been in this same spot and it's really hard to get yourself to eat when you get into this mindset. I agree with getting some soups, Ensure, etc. When I stop eating i get my favorite healthy foods. It's easier for me to eat when it's something that i love and it isn't something unhealthy. For instance, I get a favorite prepared salad that has spinach, other veggies, seeds, fruit and low cal (but substantial) dressing. As for grocery store judgement, I speak from experience-i worked in a grocery store for 11 years. We're not judging! :)

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I rarely don't eat however if something really, really bad happens I forget to eat. Just not interested, no one really notices and I guess it makes me feel more in control but it's not something I do on purpose and I think it can be a normal stress reaction. 

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Thanks guys. Irrational fear of the grocery store is lame.

I made a panicky dash through the store and got bananas, more soy milk and some protein powder stuff, oatmeal and  soy yoghurt. I ate half banana, so progress. I have to go a babysitting gig tonight, I'll bring some yoghurt (the kids are fed a  diet of hot dogs / fish fingers/ and cheeseburgers) so I can't eat that stuff.

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I'm glad you picked up some groceries.  (As an aside, I've worked as a checker at a grocery store, and I promise you that I didn't pay attention to what people purchased or make judgments.  Smile, scan items, take money, repeat.)

 

I can relate to the calorie restriction issue.  My weight is normal and healthy, so it is sometimes easy to rationalize restricting my intake.  In the short run, it seems fine and dandy, right?  The reality is that it is dangerous and can potentially become a life-threatening pattern.

 

For me, it helps to remind myself that my brain needs fuel, too.  If you are in school, have a job, or even just want to be able to drive a car safely, you need to feed your mind.  Reminding myself of academic or work-related goals helps me resist the temptation to restrict.  Nobody thinks clearly when starving. 

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I will second that the cashiers really don't care what you buy. I used to work at a grocery store and it really is sort of like lather, rinse, and repeat. I cared more about whether the customer was nice or not.

As for getting the food in, if I didn't have much of an appetite I sometimes will grab a handful of something (cereal, pretzels, etc) or fruit. Yogurt or a smoothie of some kind. Nothing big, just enough to say yes, I fed myself today. I find that it's easier to pack my lunch for work if I pretend I am making it for my daughter, for example.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Gah I completely know this feeling! It's like I've cycled it on purpose, but not consciously on purpose haha. I lose a bunch of weight, gain 20lbs, lose weight, ect, Since the birth of my baby I've been breastfeeding and so I havent been losing weight for a while (I lost the pregnancy weight other than the bit that took me from underweight to healthy). 

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I know how this feels. I am quite a bit overweight at 225lbs - I should be around 160 lbs - and I go through phases where I will eat anything and everything in sight for a few weeks then I eat hardly anything for a few weeks. I have learned from my last little hunger strike that:

 

1. You can lose 30 pounds pretty easily by not eating, but it won't make you feel better, you will feel like you're 225 lbs and starving to death - not just hungry, but dying from lack of nutrition.

 

2. You can still starve on Boost.

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I'm glad you got something to eat. I can relate to your post.

 

Since I was 14 I struggled with this and I still get nervous about the grocery store. I love going to the grovery store for my friend that is ill but not for me. I get confused, I'm in there forever but this comes and goes.

 

Little by little it will get better.

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Eating doesn't make you a failure. It means that your body decided that it wants to live.

That's the problem with restriction - at some point body goes "I'm dying! Feed me!" And so it eats. Better to circumvent that and eat in advance of it forcing you, I think. Although I know it's very hard.

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