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Hello. I am a recovered anorexic - as a teenager - and during my adult life I have tried to keep weight gain to a minimum but I would be considered 'slight' or 'slim', not skinny. ( BMI 20 on a heavier day.) It meant eating carefully and feeling fatigued a lot; I am a teacher so my days are active and full and i need to keep going!
About two years ago I started to restrict and go back into my old behaviours and I sought a counsellor. It's been really successful and I feel genuinely healthy for the first time in ages. I still get tired but it's sorted by a night's sleep like everyone else.
The thing is, when I look at my body it's not that I don't like it. It's that I feel big. My torso is wider and I have more flesh on me these days. It seems that my happiness means I eat regularly and I love it. I don't over eat. I eat mindfully. But I've been having wobbles and the only way I deal with it is to not think too deeply about it. I don't examine my body either. I am so grateful to feel healthy. But I feel uncomfortably large. My brain knows I'm not. BMI in the 22s.
I wondered if anyone could help with tips and tricks to sustain my healthy approach. I'm reluctant to see the counsellor again. I'd rather not get really upset about reasons for (very much in the past but learnt behaviours and habits) I'd like to help myself but knowing other people's experiences would help me do that.
Thank you in advance.
Hello. I think by what you’ve said you are doing brilliantly. As an anorexic myself i think your ability to seek out help and recognise when you’re bad is really good.
Keep trying and telling yourself daily that your beautiful and healthy. You are keeping yourself well and that’s what matters the most. Maybe writing positive things like that on post-it notes and putting them around your house, like on your mirror or fridge or wherever. Maybe treat yourself to a shopping trip to buy clothes that make you feel good. Things like this might help. If you’re still struggling then I suggest you go back to your counsellor. It’s not a bad thing to need a counsellor. I had one for 6 years. Hope things are okay for you soon x
Thank you MousyArtist! I've been hoping someone will reply! I think my family will think I'm bonkers if I put post it notes around but I like the idea of affirmations. Thank you for saying I'm doing brilliantly!
Anxiety is a real trigger. It can be unrelated to food completely, perhaps about work, and if I dealt with it in a better way I wouldn't resort to restricting behaviours. Do you ever feel anxious? Do you have coping mechanisms for it?
I remember you!
Lovely to hear positive step forward
Reread your previous posts... how unhappy you were
Oh it IS nice to be remembered!
I am so much happier. Just heavier 🙄 I will have a read. Thank you for thinking of me! Xx
I think you're very strong of character, and fortunate to be able to have such insight into yourself that you can recognise when things are slipping back and doing something about it.
I don't have any experience with this particular type of eating disorder, but I do with counselling. I had a year's worth of sessions around 5 years ago and have recently decided to have some more, to try and further my own knowledge of myself and try and have better tools and techniques to help things going forward.
I wonder if, now you've gone through the really heavy stuff of your past with a counsellor, you would indeed benefit from seeing one again (or a psychotherapist) to go over the 'smaller' issues that were being eclipsed by the more severe things, and you can get some techniques to help you when you're feeling low like in CBT.
When I was having therapy my therapist said they normally start with the anxiety cycle side of things, but my depression was so intense and long-standing it overshadowed everything else and we had to tackle that.
Then after I felt my depression getting better I started noticing all the smaller anxiety problems I didn't realise I had at the time because the depression was so bad! So even though it helped tremendously it did throw up some other things to deal with.
I hope you can continue moving forward and feeling healthy inside and out.
Hi FennyBridges. Yeah, I have quite bad anxiety most of the time, generally about food and people being ill but anything can trigger it it seems (like I was tidying up and I had a panic attack ). My best ways to cope with it is doing something creative, as my name here suggests I am an artist and what works for me might not work for you. Have you tried those adult colouring books or something a bit like that? There are some funny ones out there. Or yoga, I’ve been meaning to try this one but not had the opportunity. Try looking at yoga videos on YouTube.
And then the obvious one of you have somebody you can talk to when you’re feeling anxious is probably the best remedy although not always possible. I don’t mind listening if you want someone to chat to
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