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ED relapse around the corner?

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Because I was working a job that meant I was walking around for 44 hours a week I lost a bit of weight, and I was really happy. I dropped a dress size, I can fit my wardrobe again, I felt amazing. 


Now I've lost my job I'm terrified of putting it back on.


I've been using food intolerance excuses to avoid eating out, it means I can't 'snack' and I'm now paranoid that because I can't walk for 44 hours a week I'm going to put some weight on. I can't find anything to eat today because I just cannot make the decision as to what to fill up on, I don;t even want to eat that shit in my cupboard.


Terrified of turning into the monster I was before.


Could this just be my anxiety? Or could it be ED related? I have been what I would consider recovered for over a year, I have slip ups but I've been at a healthy weight. I was classed as overweight almost a year ago and I joined WW, lost loads of weight and then stopped because I was so triggered with counting numbers BUT I wasn't underweight, sort of in the middle range of normal for my height. I've been on and off dieting since, not eating then eating and exercising loads. But nothing shifted the weight like two months at JLP warehouse did. 


Help me. I'm probably too heavy to be even considered ED'd again. And this is possibly just my anxiety. I don't even know anymore. 

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Sounds like you are having a rough patch with anxiety and ED thoughts. Oh boy do I ever know what that's like.

I too had a very, very active job. Lifting, moving, carrying, pushing, walking, FAST walking, stairs, etc. I was at a healthy weight. I'm now overweight because I had to stop working. I miss the job and miss being so active. I literally had to run around half the huge department store for 8 hours. With one 30 min break. I was in such good shape. Now I'm not ugh.

However, I have started exercising again. It has really helped boost my self esteem and has made it so I feel "safe" to eat a normal amount of food daily. I haven't lost much weight, but my clothes still fit better because I have lost inches. I can wear jeans that I couldn't fit into last year.


And I agree that WW would be triggery. It would trigger me for sure! That's why I don't count calories. I step on the scale quite a bit (I wish I could cut back on this). But doing a food diary and counting calories really is bad news for me. They say it's a good thing to do, but it just triggers horrible ED thoughts and behaviors for me. So I understand that all too well.


And just because you aren't underweight doesn't mean that you can't have an ED. It happens.


Can you find another active job that you will enjoy? Like working at a large department store? You would be around better people I think and also would be very active.


Or can you start some light and slow-moderate exercise? Like a brisk walk 3 or so times a week? Maybe you could join a gym? (if you can afford it, I know they are expensive)


But mainly and most importantly you need nutrition and healthy foods. Don't skip meals, just eat healthy. And a treat once and a while is OK, it will not ruin your body. Everything in moderation. If you starve yourself your metabolism will slow way down and stop working properly. Then you will find it next to impossible to lose any weight at all or even maintain.


I think you should talk to a tdoc about this. You can have a goal to maintain your current weight! Just eat right and get some light exercise to maintain and also improve your health. I am able to maintain my weight like this.


I hope you feel better about eating soon.

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Nobody is too heavy to struggle with disordered eating.  If you have been down the ED road before, then I think it is good you posted and are keeping an eye on the thoughts and anxiety. 


Can you plan out some snacks and meals that would feel healthy and safe for you?  Restricting might be tempting, but it certainly spells big trouble in the long run, as you know.


Realistically, you are not going to suddenly gain a bunch of weight due to a decrease in activity level.  I understnad that the ED part of your mind might tell you otherwise, though.  I believe there is a balance to be found, and that you will find it once you get used to a new schedule.  If it would help, maybe plan some walking on your own as light exercise.  Listening to your body, if possible, sounds key right now.

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But doing a food diary and counting calories really is bad news for me. They say it's a good thing to do, but it just triggers horrible ED thoughts and behaviors for me. So I understand that all too well.


I do a food diary but don't measure or count calories because I will get obsessed with numbers too.  But just writing down what I ate and at what time of the day helps me.


I would bring your concerns up with your pdoc and/or tdoc;  it sounds like you are really struggling and could use their support.

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Thank you for the replies!


You're all absolutely right, I struggle so much with actual logic and ED logic, some days I can see issue and I can tackle it and other days I just seem to be an oblivious mess. I still can't shake the feeling that not having to walk 11 hours a day will make me gain although I know that so long as I don't start eating a mountain every day I should be fine, I just can't seem to put that into action.


I will have to start doing some form of light exercise, if only to keep me sane. I don't think writing in a diary would help me because I would be too tempted to write calories, and to be honest after 5 years of an ED I know the rough kcal of about 90% of the foods I eat every day. My ED hasn't left me very adventurous food wise. I can't even escape that when I'm having an ED showdown. I think I will start off writing in a diary the times to eat and possibly trying to hit food groups?  My diet isn't what I would call balanced. If I don't eat breakfast my brain wants to turn it into a game to see how long I can go for. Breakfast is key. I hate breakfast. We shall start with breakfast.  :wall:  


I will mention it when I go today, thank you all for listening! 

Edited by Paperskyscraper
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  • 2 weeks later...

That could help. Keeping a healthy, balanced diet is good. Scheduling times is an idea, but don't beat yourself up. Keep healthy foods around, good snacks. Fruits, veggies. Stuff you like. A food diary is used for losing weight, generally, not necessary. Remember, it's not bad to treat yourself to something once in a while. You know, ice cream, or a chocolate bar or something. Or I'll go out for all you can eat sushi for lunch as an extra special treat. It's not a crime, just don't go overboard!


I have a gym membership, and I do things I like. No problem in exercise, it's good for you, boosts endorphins, you can do it at home, too. Just don't overdo that either!

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Thanks system, after I went on the recovery road I realised I had no idea how to eat properly, since my life had been so heavily based around calories and not nutrition. And I still struggle with balanced diet and portion sizes ect.


I feel like a baby, having to learn what is safe to eat without the guidance of a parent but not just safe food, but food that is necessary to keep healthy. What I consider a portion people think is too small, but then I follow what it says on the packets and stuff because it was the only way I could eat a meal. (I found I couldn't guess because I was eating too little, or I was actually piling more on and not being able to eat it and feeling like a failure).


so then I get confused and wonder if it's something to do with my ED and perhaps they're just saying that to make me eat more? But only a very small fraction of people I know actually know about my ED so I don't even understand haha.


I wish I could restart my brain, and teach it to eat right.

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I completely understand what you mean about not knowing the right portion sizes!  I have always struggled with that since I can remember.  What I do now is not measure anything, and I take a scoop/piece of this or that, and eat it.  If I get full before the food is gone, I'll stop.  I do have a hard time gauging when I am full or need more though, but it usually all works out.  Once in awhile I'll eat too much, but then I learn from that.


For me if I measure portions out it takes me back to the calorie-counting mentality of everything.  When I just take a little of this and that, I tend to not think about calories.

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I avoid weighing too, I try and use 'half a cup of rice' sort of measuring (I hate rice, I always think I need more than I see because it never looks like much and then BOOM rice mountain), and I was tempted to buy a gadget that measures spaghetti portions by width, but then I'm like just go with it, it's starting to get OCD.


When cooking from scratch it is getting easier to add this and that, going on taste and texture is so hit and miss with me haha

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1 year of recovery is really not alot, so you still in a fragile place, so I am so glad you are able to see the signs! And I'll be happy if in ten years time you still see the signs!

Its very common that unintentional weight loss (through work for example) is one of the hugest triggers! I know it kills me!


I had no idea how to eat properly, since my life had been so heavily based around calories and not nutrition. And I still struggle with balanced diet and portion sizes ect.


If it helps, I am a clinical dietician? For portion sizes, 1 fist should be your starch and a palm size of protein plus two different coloured veg? But if you very underweight i would half that and work up to that as your goal? Please pm me if you need help or even a diet plan? I don't mind?

Have you thought about a supplement?


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Thank you Ashdene, I think because I was underweight a few years ago and when trying to recover on my own my ED morphed from starving myself to bping and I ballooned because then I tried to stop purging (and succeeded) and then I was just binging. It was like no one took me seriously because they associated my ED with what I'd been like when I was underweight. They just thought I'd got better and seemed to just glaze over whatever I brought up. I totally agree with the never being too heavy thing, I do wonder how many ED cases are over looked because people just assume you have to be underweight to have a problem.


I went on weight watchers and hit a 'normal healthy weight' I'd been overweight for nearly a year and I'd been terrified of it getting out of hand, but I'm sure you know all about that stupid programme with it's measuring and points system and I was triggered really bad. I managed to make my head pretty balanced, left the programme and maintained a healthy weight and now I've just left a job that has caused me to lose weight and tone up without even trying and I'm just scared of going back to an uncontrollable mess that could starve themselves for a day but then spend the rest of the week breathing in crisps and cake like I was possessed.


Now I've found out I have a gluten intolerance! I'm so overwhelmed and at a loss. Thank you so much, I've sent you a PM ^_^

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Ok did you honestly have a gluten intolerence test and a c-scope to confirm? Look my BMI is 19 and feel guilty to say i have a problem, but one i now i have full controll of! people, one you have a stigma will always pick on you but you need to be strong enough to cope with it and more important know what you are doing is correct and healthy!!! I will respond to you pm asap! But proud of you xoox

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Ashdene - I had blood test (they tested everything from hormones to the IGg antibody hunt) I didn't have celiacs according to the result but the test did show sensitivity to gluten which coupled with my symptoms she labelled as a gluten intolerance.


However the nurse I saw initially about my gut issues told me to go home it was probably IBS which had been triggered by stress (never been diagnosed with IBS, but apparently that didn't matter to her) she suggested I eliminate gluten form my diet for a few weeks and if I felt better then to introduce barley into my diet, if I saw no change then add wheat. she was convinced it was a wheat intolerance and so that's what I did, but it made no difference, I was being ill eating foods that didn't contain wheat or barley but had the contains gluten label. In the end I cut it out completely again because I literally couldn't face the symptoms and I developed a fear of eating foods I knew weren't safe.


However the doctor I went to see next was livid because apparently going on a GF diet before having the blood tests can mess up the results, he recommended eating normally for a few weeks and then they would do the blood test (which was a couple of weeks ago). The results weren't high enough to indicate celiacs so I have been left with the intolerance diagnosis. He didn't talk about any other type of testing, but he did say he wanted me to go back in a few months as he was concerned because my mother has an auto immune disorder (she doesn't have celiacs).   

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