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Eating disorder recovery & reducing weight - anyone else?

(19 Posts)
MrsMargoLeadbetter Sun 27-Dec-15 06:54:22

I finally admitted I have a 25 year old eating disorder about a year a go - Binge Eating Disorder. It is 'like' bullimia but without the purging/excessive exercise/laxatives.

I was lucky enough to go to an NHS CBT group. It was based on Fairburn's book on Overcoming Binge Eating. It has helped me understand my 'triggers'.

The focus of Fairburn is v much on restricting (ie dieting) contributes to the ED.

However, I am now seeing a ED specialist counsellor as I still have work to do and I need to reduce my weight - 8 stone blush. She has suggested a 1500 cal a day target.

I am feeling a bit confused as the past year has all been about not restricting, but logically I know I cannot just eat what I want all the time and get down to a healthier weight.

I do post on a BED support in the Eating Disorder section, but I just wondered if there is anyone on here that is in a similar position?

Have you been able to combine calorie counting with recovery with recovery?


lampshady Sun 27-Dec-15 07:47:38

I started a meal replacement diet as I had such an issue with food I needed the option taken completely out of my hands. It was a relief to mot have to think about portions or measuring, almost comforting to not have to think about food. Just make my milkshakes and don't think about anything else!

It's quite extreme but worked for me, although appreciate it's not for everyone.

Bonnie152 Sun 27-Dec-15 07:48:53

Hi Margo! I have the exact same problem (I've posted on the BED support thread too occasionally). Still on the waiting list for my CBT but am in the same dilemma. I feel like I'm getting more and more overweight at the moment and desperate to lose it without it triggering my BED. (Ideally need to lose about 4 stone for a start).
In the new year I plan on eating more balanced and sensibly - not cutting anything completely or being too strict on myself but a lot healthier and a lot more mindfully. Also having a big push on getting more active, lots of waking, park with the kids etc. I'm hoping this combo will help me to gradually lose the weight with minimal binging.

It's so tricky isn't it but I know i can't carry on this way! Would be really interested to hear others' ideas too. Good luck, I really do empathise with you!

MrsMargoLeadbetter Sun 27-Dec-15 08:14:04

Thanks for the replies.

Glad you have found a way that works for you lamp.

Hi bonnie nice to see you again. Thanks for sharing. Your plan sounds good. Hope the CBT is offered soon - did they give an estimation?

I think I need to do the same - a balanced approach but I know I will find that difficult.

I am finding the whole idea of reducing triggering, but I need to find a way to do it.

I have upped my exercise over the past month as I am feeling low and want to try to combat with seratonin (sp) rather than ADs. I do feel a bit better.

We need to get more active as a family too. We made an effort a while back, but it has been lots of car trips and TV of recent.

Here is to a good 2016.brew

IMustEatMoreVeg Sun 27-Dec-15 08:49:13

I think I have binge eating disorder too. I did post on the support thread a few times last year but I found it extremely triggering.

In the last 5 months I have lost 3 stone by calories counting. I have found this the best way I have tried for weight loss because no food is banned. Part of my BED involved cutting out food groups for a while then something snaps and I eat everything to excess. With this calorie counting I haven't really done that. I know it is early days and I definitely don't count myself as cured but I have had a few binge days and managed to draw a line and carry on the weight loss afterwards.

IMustEatMoreVeg Sun 27-Dec-15 08:50:47

OP are you sure you don't want ADS? I think fluoxetine is indicated for the treatment of BED? Why not try it?

Tinseleverywhere Sun 27-Dec-15 09:00:25

Have you looked into low carb or paleo ? That way you wouldn't have to restrict the amount of food and many people find restricting carbs helps to control their appetite and desire to overeat. There are quite a few different types of low carb approaches now so you may like to see which suits you best. I don't know anything about BED so just a suggestion for you to look in to if you want.

MrsMargoLeadbetter Sun 27-Dec-15 13:08:34

Imust - so good to hear it can be done. Well done on the work you have put in.

I think 'simple' calorie counting - and low key, so not telling all - is going to be the way for me.

I have such bad memories of organised things like WW/SW. Trying hard to lose the weight but binging getting in the way and not really understanding it/myself. At least I understand now.

Sorry to hear that you found the thread triggering. I guess one person's support is another's trigger...

I love your thought that cal counting means no banned foods. Have never thought about it like that. I need to come terms with the idea that I need to achieve a balance and make choices.

I have been on fluxotine for PND and I think it helped a little but it didn't get rid of the issues, so not sure if it is the answer.

Thanks Tinsel I think low carb is prob too restrictive for me, but thanks anyway.

IMustEatMoreVeg Sun 27-Dec-15 13:48:50

Everyone is different but I ended up the biggest I have ever been following low carb. I had been eating vast amounts of the allowed food like double cream and butter and steak and ham and pork scratchings, and losing weight slowly. Then I fell off the wagon and continued with the butter and cream and meat and veg, but with potatoes and pasta and cereal and biscuits too!

IMustEatMoreVeg Sun 27-Dec-15 13:49:39

I know, triggers are funny things aren't they?!

MrAliBongo Sun 27-Dec-15 19:25:52

Coming out of lurking to reply. Yes, me.

I spent probably two years working out the shit that led me to binge eat, including a lot of work neutralising my feelings about "good foods" and "bad foods". When I was ready to start trying to lose weight (probably 7.5 stone), I opted for counting calories precisely because there's no implication that one type of food is superior to another. It's straightforward budgeting. And it's not all-or-nothing - I can overshoot my calorie aim a bit and still expect a loss, albeit a smaller one.

A major part of my bingeing was the idea that some food or other was taboo, so when I came across it, I would eat it like I'd never see it again, because my intention was that I never would see it again. I've learned that some of those foods were never as appealing as I built them up to be, while others can be healthily incorporated into my regular eating plan. I've lost more than 5 stone since May, and I've eaten peanut butter almost every day of it - that would have been completely unthinkable to my former self! I can't tell you how important it is to me to avoid falling back into the trap of thinking foods are intrinsically unhealthy, or fattening, or bad.

IMustEatMoreVeg Sun 27-Dec-15 21:48:17

MrAli we are very similar, I think.

MrsMargoLeadbetter Sun 27-Dec-15 23:04:25

MrAli what an inspiring post - thank you.

Great to hear of further stories of being able to reduce whilst not surcoming to the BED mental madness.

Can I ask you and Imust did/do you weigh yourself? I would prefer not too, because I don't want this to be a diet club approach but I can also understand it will help track things.

Thanks to you both. I feel more hopeful that I can approach this in a healthy way that won't hinder recovery. flowers

MrsMargoLeadbetter Sun 27-Dec-15 23:06:52

And MrAli I am now eating peanut butter - since starting 'my recovery' - after years of it being on the 'bad' list. And despite the fact I haven't gained xx stone, which was my concern.

futureme Sun 27-Dec-15 23:08:14

I've started with "beyond chocolate" which is anti diet and on relearning to be in tune with your body. Not fad enough in to see if I'm "losing* but already giving up on diets/restrictive eating/ " healthy eating" diet mentality and feeling a bit emotionally healthier for it.

IMustEatMoreVeg Mon 28-Dec-15 09:00:34

I do weigh myself. In fact I weigh every day. Every one is different of course and it might well be better for you to never weigh. But for me the whole point is that everything is transparent. I weigh myself every day. I weigh all my food. I enter every calorie in mfp. Even if I binge I do my best to enter the calories. This is because when my BED is bad I do the whole going into a trance eating thing and I never weigh myself. I go into denial about what my eating is doing to my body. So a huge part of my recovery is facing up to the consequences of what I have eaten the previous day or week.

MrAliBongo Mon 28-Dec-15 09:23:25

MoreVeg, me too! I weigh daily, but that was never a trigger for me, and I do recognise that it's not the right thing for everybody. In fact, with every little tool and technique I've come across (and I've borrowed heavily from various systems, including Beyond Chocolate), I have to stop and really analyse whether it's going to help me or harm me. I adopt some, and give others a very wide berth.

I totally agree with you about logging the binges. It's like I have some kind of weird double-think when I binge: denial, totally, but also that nightmarish amplification of remorse. Getting it out of my head and into cold, hard data strips the emotion out of it. Often it's nothing like as bad as I imagine it to be, and that makes me much less likely to repeat the incident the following day.

JaneHair Mon 28-Dec-15 09:48:47

Yes I'm a binge eater too and I have three stone to lose in the short term ( so I can start a second round of IVF) but 8 stone in total.

MrsMargoLeadbetter Mon 28-Dec-15 17:16:09

Thanks both, that is interesting and helpful.

I am not sure I can do daily but I do need to monitor if what I am doing is working. I understand the whole zonign out/not connectinf to what is happening.

Interestingly the ED service weighed us weekly. They wanted to show us that stopping binging could have a positive impact, which it did for a couple of weeks bit overall since I sought help I am larger.sad

I suppose I am wondering if I am ready for calorie counting, but I am not sure I'll ever get to a point where I'll think 'My food issues are gone, let the reduction commence'.

I think I need to try my way as you have yours.

Thanks again for sharing.

Sorry to hear you suffer too Jane. Having such an important reason to lose weight must be v difficult. Have you sought any help?

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