Hi everybody, I'm new here and this is my first post! I am a binge eater and have struggled with BED for roughly the past five years. I have always been slightly overweight, as is my entire family, and we also have a history of yoyo-dieting and eating disorders in the family. My sister and brother were both nearly hospitalised as a result of anorexia, and I too went through a time on which I can now look back and say that I was anorexic and obsessed with exercise as a means to rid my body of what I had eaten. I am an opera singer, and while i was studying opera in 2012, I developed nodules on my vocal cords and had to withdraw from my course and all current and future engagements I had lined up. I was terribly depressed and anxious about what the future might hold, but mostly bored, and so I ate, and ate and ate. I gained and dropped weight over the next few years as food became a crutch for my anxiety--I tried to eat mainly salads and high protein meals, but whenever things went wrong and i felt chaotic and without a sense of centre, I would reach for food I didn't even really want. I would buy binge foods and eat them in secret in my room or in my car, or in (cringe) public bathrooms, and sometimes i would come to my senses half way through eating a supermarket bag full of food and go and throw the lot in the trash ( a huge waste). I went to see a CBT therapist who painstakingly tried to drag details of a tortured childhood (which i didn't have) from me, as a way to get to the bottom of it, and then gave me some mental exercises and an 'emotion wheel' worksheet to fill out at home whenever I felt a binge coming on. But I felt silly and like a pathetic child with a colouring book so I never really committed to that. Then phentermine (in the form of the pill duromine) came into my life, and I became addicted to it. I lost a ton of weight, and when it stopped working I doubled and then tripled the dose, making sure to fit in a bikram class, kickboxing class and 10km every single day on an almost empty stomach. I also became obsessed with the idea of intermittent fasting and would go days at a time not eating a thing. But i felt confident and happy and finally myself, free from the physical and emotional burden of extra weight. But of course, this rosy existence couldn't last for long. i knew I needed to stop taking phentermine because it was dangerous, and I was obtaining it illegally, and I had also noticed it was affecting my voice negatively and totally drying out my throat. I moved to scotland to study my masters in opera, and the first few months in this totally different environment, having to make friends and 'prove myself' as a singer in the international opera school there.. well, it was intimidating. And I ate, continuously and with reckless abandon, and gained weight. I was prescribed a combination of topirimate (starting at 25mg and worked up to 100mg every evening) and wellbutrin (150mg twice daily). Eventually I felt more settled, opened a gym contract and even got a lovely boyfriend who i eventually moved in with. i never really felt the medication made a difference, but I was feeling happier and more relaxed and so stopped taking it. I did continue to gain weight, and to eat foods that were previously 'forbidden', but I wasn't bingeing. Fast forward to now-- I have been living in Italy for a month and a half, taking a course in opera directing, and I would estimate I have binged on average 5 out of every 7 days I've been here. I don't know what is wrong with me, but I feel so isolated and anxious and unsettled and I cannot stop EATING. I always find it difficult getting used to a new place, and it is extra difficult when it is a foreign country, although I am semi-fluent in Italian. I do still have topamax and wellbutrin with me and have started to take it again. I think it is working and I don't feel nearly as hungry-- I don't feel that uncontrollable urge to binge-- But I am still bingeing. Why? I still feel like I HAVE to do it for some reason. The habit is so engrained. if there is food in the cupboard and the fridge, it must be eaten (even if it's something I don't like). I go to the supermarket, stand around for hours trying to make the 'right' decisions, end up making some slightly dubious ones, take it all home and eat the lot. I am unable to save things for later, or for instance, buy a slab of chocolate and consume a piece or two after dinner. I am still in the gym most days, and love to run, swim and lift weights--it makes me feel light and powerful and free--but I'm sabotaging myself every day with this terrible condition and I need to kick it.
I have binged as far as I can remember, eating in secret all type of food that was "not allowed", just because I could at that instant. If it was then needed to have two dinners, I did for nobosy to notice. Then I moved to eat as much as I could when I was alone. Finally, in the unciversity I crashed, and I got topiramate and fluoxetine for my anxiety and depresion. After that I got better, but I gained 30 kg that I haven't been able to lose (200 pounds, 5" height).
Now I am in treatment again with lamictal, and waiting for therapy for the binge eating. i have got the different steps to start working on my own (diary the food, eat more meals, plan the meals ahead, etc.). But I just don't do it.
How can I be so stupid? I plan my meals but then I have a hamburguer instead. I pack to swim, or decide to walk but I just don't do it. It feels I fight against me, and I just gain more and more weight. I am starting to have problems to do the dayly things, I now I could die for this... But I do nothing.
I really don't know how to stop destroying myself.
If you have Binge Eating Disorder and have put on a significant amount of weight, this is the thread for you.
I'd like to give a shout out to Winter Rose for making this possible. She made a little niche for Weight Gain just for people like me. Thank you kindly dear.
My weight gain is not all because of my medicine. I ate and ate like it was my job. I have trouble controlling the impulse to eat. Because my meds have made me feel asexual for three decades, food became the thing that filled the void where my sex life used to be.
I weigh 300 pounds and was at one time about 12 pounds heavier than this. I am so used to being me that I don't really notice how big I am. Every once in a while I'll see my body's reflection out of the corner of my eye, perhaps reflected in a store window as I walk alongside it. It is only during these fleeting accidental encounters that I see my body and how enormous I am.
If I purposefully look in the mirror it's not the same thing. I have defense mechanisms that will kick in and make me not see how heavy I am.
I was never a fat kid. I was always thin. In fact when I was ages 14-16 I almost became anorexic. After that passed I realized how much more I could eat if I didn't starve myself and slow down my metabolism. I could eat truckloads and not gain any weight. A high metabolism runs in my family.
I relied on my lucky genes and body chemistry to see me through eating huge quantities of food. I started slowly gaining though. There was one year when I was 21 years old that I went on weight watchers and got down to a very slim physique. It only took me a few months. From there on, I was going to EAT even though at first I would eat so much that I'd involuntarily vomit perhaps several times a day. That was a mere brush with bulimia and it did not last very long. My tummy grew bigger in order to allow me to consume more food.
By the time my brother got married in 2008 I was already well-over 200 pounds. I was 27- almost 28. The most significant weigh gain happened between then and when I turned 31. I went from the 220's all the way to 300 and even beyond in less than 4 years. I've stayed at about 300 now for almost 4 years.
That is more or less a timeline of me and my weight gain.
I don't know if I have it within me to really change.
I never know if I feel normal, or if I even remember what normal feels like, or happiness even. When I was 12 years old, I was happy. I got bullied, I was fat, lazy, but I was happy. I had motivation and emotions. But I remember stumbling upon a bottle of xanax on top of my fridge, looking at it for weeks, contemplating taking one. I eventually took 1, and I remember feeling like everything was alright, none of my problems mattered. It started as a once a week thing. And then an every day thing. And then, I found a bottle of adderall, when I was 13 I think. Xanax and adderall, my life was perfect. I knew I had ADHD, because I learned about it when I was 10 or 11 and I knew I had it. Eventually my dad found out I was stealing his pills, my parents stopped trusting me, and shit went down. I turned to DXM, coricidin, triple Cs. I spent my entire 8th grade year tripping on DXM, and at this point I was being treated like a labrat being put on antipsychotics, SSRIs, etc. and I know for a fact I mixed prozac and DXM a few times. My band broke up, I lost all but one of my friends, and I was either high or in a chemical lobotoby all the time.
I never finished my freshmen year of high school, because I went in and out of treatment bullshit clinics, abusing the cotton from benzedrex inhalers (feels exactly like meth, but with more side effects). Ended up repeating the grade.
Sometime when I was 15 or 16, I ended up losing that one friend I had because he got me addicted to morphine and I got him addicted to klonopin, long and confusing story.
Dropped out of highschool when I was 16, have been mostly complient with psych meds for the past 4 years, minus a series of hospitalizations, but after that, I'm still almost completely complient.
But I just don't feel right. Sometimes I take a break from all meds, for a week, to see if I'll ever feel normal, but I just feel either doped out, stupid, tired, wired, or brain damaged.
Is there hope for me, to feel normal (I've been anhedonic and schizoid for years) if I just take my meds (focalin, neuroprotective) , (clonidine, cardioprotective), and lexapro (SSRIs possibly deplete receptors but they eventually grow back, or not, I don't know.).