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Can you be overweight and have an ED?


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I ask because I looked through my hospital records with my previous therapist this summer, and some of them said "Bulimia Nervosa". First of all, I had to ask Christine, my therapist, what that meant... When I found out, I said, that can't be me! But I do eat until I am sick, or eat a shit ton then eat nothing at all for a while to make up for it. 

 

The only problem is, I am not a healthy weight, or underweight, I am a bit overweight, and I didn't think you could have an ED and be overweight. I see a dietitian now, and she says I have "disordered eating characteristics" and need to build a better relationship with food, whatever the heck that means. I thought it was just the meds, particularly the APs, not an eating disorder... My mom has Anorexia, and if she ever found out that Bulimia was on my records, she would freak out..

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It's actually common for bulimics to be a normal weight or above. One of the terribly damaging misconceptions about eating disorders is that they always manifest themselves as pure underweightedness. It's a lie. It's a very dangerous lie - people die in their quest to prove to their care providers that they are ill enough to need treatment. 

An eating disorder is based on the thoughts and whether or not you act on them. Disordered thinking is the thoughts alone. An eating disorder is whether you act on them or not. Physical appearance can be a by-product, but not always. Bodies don't like it when their eating patterns are too disordered and they can react in a variety of ways. One of those is losing weight. Another of those is gaining weight. Another of those is a panoply of health problems. Sometimes, like me, you get the health problems and no real other outward sign.

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Thanks everyone, for the replies. I just recently started seeing the dietitian, so she doesn't know me very well yet, but she says the Bulimia diagnosis may still be correct. She wants to set me up with some sort of therapy to help me build a better relationship with food, even if it's just the two of us working together to make that happen.

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Bucket, my fellow minion-loving friend, I was told to do that. She gave me "food diaries" but I unfortunately think I lost them. I have also been playing phone tag with her receptionist... I can't seem to get a hold of her! to make my next appointment with the dietitian. Oh well, all I know is, I am NOT drinking those Ensures she recommended for when I feel like I cannot eat.

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your nutritionist is not there to judge you and if they do then find another one ASAP. i don't mean that they shouldn't be honest - like if you eat crap all the time then its their job to guide you to better food choices, but you should never feel like you've done or are doing wrong. they're there to help you become a healthier person - both physically and mentally, and shaming has no place in that. most people, whether they have EDs or not, or are overweight are not, do not maintain an ideal diet. ideally, your relationship with your nutritionist should be an educational/therapeutic process and not a punitive one.

 

here are some templates you might like:

 

http://www.personal-nutrition-guide.com/support-files/food_mood_journal.pdf

http://www.samplewords.com/food-diary/

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-7tdyoSIEr0Y/USZRg7FdRNI/AAAAAAAAAEk/VVG0YBa72kw/s1600/food+journal2.jpg

http://www.personal-nutrition-guide.com/support-files/food_group_journal.pdf

http://www.personal-nutrition-guide.com/support-files/weekly_food_diary.pdf

http://www.personal-nutrition-guide.com/support-files/free_food_diary.pdf

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It's good to see a nutritionist or dietitian and they don't judge.

Like many other MI out there, ED's don't discriminate on weight. We don't use numbers on the ED boards, but Rosie has some really good points.

 

You could get a notebook and keep a food journal, and decorate it the way you want it, make it yours. You don't have to show the professionals unless you're comfortable.I hope you can get in and see someone, dealing with receptionists and appointments is a huge pain in the ass. 

 

I admire that you see specialists. That takes a lot of strength. Don't be embarrassed about what you bring in. They aren't going to judge you. They can't, it's their job. If you had perfect eating habits, you wouldn't be seeing someone, so don't ever be ashamed.

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Yes you can be overweight and bulimic, i was underweight and bulimic, but not all are like this,

 

You can also have an eating disorder, Binge Eating Disorder or Compulsive Over Eating and be overweight.

 

I didn't know that you could not purge and still be diagnosed as bulimic, makes me think am i really recovered if that's the case.

Edited by cady
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I kept my food diaries in notebooks. I just drew lines with a ruler to make columns for what I needed to track. I usually wrote down things like what I ate, how much, what time, etc. You'd want to change that according to your own needs though.

 

If you can't or don't want to drink the Ensure shakes, maybe talk to your dietitian about making your own shakes at home. You can put in things like flax, protein powders, various fruits, etc., and it helps you get some calories and nutrition if it's too hard to eat. I do that sometimes.

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I don't know if others would agree here or not... but the biggest things about anorexia and bulimia isn't weight, but the way you intake food and the thoughts around that.

 

A bulimic eats a lot and purges to get rid of the added weight.

An anorexic eats less than a healthy calorie amount to get rid of the existing weight/ or eats little to maintain being underweight.

 

You can have both, but it's usually the anorexic that is underweight.

 

Putting these dx's in terms of weight is very outdated IMO.  It's the action that defines the condition.

 

Notebooks can be good... but if you're not keeping track of calories to begin with, I debate the practicality of starting if it's from an ED perspective.

 

Portion rationing (from a bulimic perspective) would be better. (Along with addressing psych issues)

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Thanks for the replies, again :)  My dietitian called yesterday to make another appointment with me, so I have one set up for the 16th of October (a week from Thursday). She told me at our last appointment, that she feels it's very important I start to "build a healthy relationship with food", otherwise I am probably going to make my Schizoaffective disorder worse by not eating well too. I have no idea how true that is...

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