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I need to lose weight, but I have an ED history

(19 Posts)
GraceMarks Wed 17-Apr-19 18:53:54

That's basically my dilemma!

To give a bit more background, I'm 40 years old and have suffered from bulimia since I was at uni. I was never exactly slim, but I also kept within a "healthy" BMI, so the problem went mostly undetected.

About three years ago, I managed to kick the purging habit, but I never really got into a normal eating pattern and I still have times when I binge. As a result, I'm about three stone overweight.

To answer a question I imagine some people will ask - yes, I really am overweight, and I don't really suffer from body dysmorphia. And although I do have concerns about my health, I would be lying if I said that I didn't care about how I look too.

I hate being fat. I hate going out looking for something nice to wear and coming back empty-handed because nice clothes look awful on me. I hate feeling hot and uncomfortable when the weather warms up. I really do want to lose some weight, but I'm scared of being triggered and ending up with my bad, disordered habits coming back.

So does anyone know of any diet plans (for want of a better term) which work, but which aren't very regimented and don't rely on obsessive counting of points or calories, or having to weigh everything you eat?

After years of binging and purging, my metabolism is pretty knackered and I am also perimenopausal, so crash diets are an extremely bad idea.


OP’s posts: |
kateandme Wed 17-Apr-19 23:24:33

do you think it is your diet plan that is the problem or the binges.
do you manage to exercise.
are there certain triggers foods.
sorry for all the questions.i too don't want to trigger you with silly suggestions
its hard.because on the one hand im wary to say diet because an ed when you still suffering will spiral if it manages to trap you wont it.
would a meal plan help even if for two or three days a week help.possibly seeing it as a presciprtion eveyr week to do instead of regimented behaviour.
looking at portion sizes instead of calories?but still not cm by cm sizes more guidance.

Foreverlexicon Thu 18-Apr-19 06:57:28

I also have a history of bulimia and anorexia.

For me; I know how to eat. I just don’t always do it and go through periods of binge eating if my mental health is poor.

So I just focus on eating ‘better’. I say to myself I’m going to make ‘better choices’. That mindset seems to work. I also find focusing on making really nice food that I enjoy eating that also happens to be healthy and lower calorie helps prevent me from binging as I really look forward to my meals then.

It’s hard though and I still fall into the trap of emotional eating which has led to massive weight gain this winter but I’m working on it!

Foreverlexicon Thu 18-Apr-19 06:58:10

Will add, the moment I feel restricted, it’s a trigger for me and I will binge.

So I never ever say I can’t have something, I just try and choose a better alternative.

JellySlice Thu 18-Apr-19 07:34:01

I don't have experience of bulimia, but I am a binger, especially in times of stress, when my eating can become extremely disordered. So, while I'm hesitant to say "this is good for someone with an ED", I know what has helped me.

I think that there are two factors here that need to be addressed at the same time.

1) Learning to love yourself. I know the feeling of returning empty-handed "because nice clothes look awful on me". But whose opinion is that? I know so many women with tummies who wear clingy garments, with batwing arms who wear sleeveless garments, with thick ankles who wear ankle-grazer trousers, and yet look well-dressed and comfortable in themselves. And it's that comfortable in themselves that matters. I have had CBT for depression, and it made a huge difference in how I perceive myself. Now, if I binge or put on too much weight, I forgive myself and now that I'll deal with it when I'm ready. I don't judge how I look by what I think others see, but by whether I like what I see. And if I return home from clothes-shopping empty-handed, so be it. I'm fussy and that's OK. And I now have some lovely clothes that don't necessarily look 'slim' on me, but I wear them with pleasure and feel good in them.

2) A diet that is based on feeling good and not on restriction. A diet that gently and happily changes your relationship with food. For that I cannot recommend LowCarbHighFat highly enough. Have a look at the LCHF and BootCamp threads on the MN diet boards. This is a diet that is easy to maintain once you've got the hang of it, has very few rules to worry about, allows you to eat many foods that are otherwise restricted and keeps you satisfied.

When I eat LCHF my overall blood cholesterol drops and my LD/HD cholesterol ratio improves. My mood is more level so I don't get the swings that often lead to binges.

gotmychocolateimgood Thu 18-Apr-19 07:42:06

There's some very dodgy, bad science chat going on in Castle's fb diet group. Talk of cleansing with aloe gel which absorbs toxins from the body and makes you clean inside. Ugh.

MoniqueTonique Thu 18-Apr-19 07:42:54

If you're looking for a plan that helps you address your relationship with food without being a strict formal diet, I'd recommend you have a look at NoS.
No snacks, no sweets, no seconds except for days beginning with S. So basically Mon - Fri you have three sensible meals a day and no snacks or sugar, then at the weekend you can have treats.

gotmychocolateimgood Thu 18-Apr-19 07:43:41

One of the new recruits is asking if you can add anything to the aloe gel to make it taste better 😂

cathyandclare Thu 18-Apr-19 07:47:34

I found that low carb greatly reduced the urge to binge with me. It's tough for the first couple of weeks but after that I found it easy- having said that I really can't have sugary stuff at all now, they're like crack cocaine for me! I can have dark choc/ nuts etc without getting bingey though.

GraceMarks Thu 18-Apr-19 08:32:56

Hi everyone, thanks for all your replies.

kateandme trigger foods are anything sweet and, to some extent, crunchy things like crisps and crackers. For that reason, I'm interested in the low carb thing some other pp have mentioned. Portion sizes are the issue more than the type of food I eat, but a binge will typically consist of crap, sugary stuff. Exercise is tricky because I have arthritis but I really ought to try to swim more, it's just a matter of trying not to care what I look like in a cossie...

Foreverlexicon yes, I'm the same. I know what a good diet does and doesn't look like, but I don't always want it. I binge for comfort sometimes and it's not easy to think of alternatives when you're in that moment.

Jellyslice it is, of course, in my opinion that nice clothes look awful on me, but unfortunately, in those situations, my opinion is the one that counts. I have tried therapy countless times over the years and I don't think I'm capable of liking myself when I'm at this weight. For now, trying to slim down in a healthy way is the only route I can see to self-acceptance. I will check out LCHF, thank you for the hint.

Gotmychocolate don't worry, I'm pretty woo-proof. I'm sure aloe juice would taste much better if you ate some chocolate digestives with it.

Monique I'll have a look at that, thanks. It sounds like it could work alongside LCHF anyway?

cathyandclare thank you, I'm planning to look at that today.

OP’s posts: |
Steala Thu 18-Apr-19 09:26:31

I'm similar to JellySlice in that I don't have an ED but very disordered eating. Bingeing, starving, comfort eating. I've been trying No S for a month now and I feel like a different person.

It's so simple: no snacks, sweets or seconds except on S days: Saturdays, Sundays and special days. The first weekend, I went a bit mad but haven't since. If I can't snack, have sweets or seconds, I can't binge and I don't feel TOO restricted because I can have it on Saturday. I'm also never physically hungry, because I can eat what I want for meals.

I'm also not weighing for a month. I've never done this before - I normally weigh several times a day.

I feel free. The first few days were so hard though. I felt like I'd lost a limb and had no idea how to fill the void that food left. But now I'm using that time to do more interesting things than eat and I didn't think that was possible!

cricketmum84 Thu 18-Apr-19 10:21:34

I'm sorry to hear you feel so down about your weight. I'm hugely overweight and can totally understand those feelings sad

I think slimming world would work quite well for you, no pointing or weighing unless its your syns and it pushes you towards healthier eating. Might be worth a look?

I'm on ww and doing it online but I do have to be very strict and regimented about tracking everything. I'm prone to a binge and struggled with bulimia in my teens although haven't purged in a long time. I do find that having to be accountable for everything I eat makes me a lot less likely to binge but I know this doesn't work for everyone especially if, as you say, you don't want to have to weight and point everything!

scaredofthecity Thu 18-Apr-19 10:31:47

I've got a long history with bulimia and I find most diets triggering eventually. The worst being those that make me hungry especially the 5:2.

I tried slimming world, but the competitive nature and constant thinking about food is also triggering for me.

Recently I've been low carbing in an attempt to lose my baby weight and I'm doing ok at the moment. I've realised that bread makes me hungry and so more likely to bp. Eating salads and soups ect is surprisingly filling and I've not cracked yet grin.

For me its really important not to deny myself treats, as I'm more likely to binge.

I realised I've never lost weight without purging, so if I can carry on this time without doing it I'm going to be pretty proud of myself.

Good luck, I hate how it hangs over you. I don't think I'll ever be free of it completely. But I hope it stays in the background of my thoughts.

birdflyinghigh Thu 18-Apr-19 10:49:30

Would having all the meals 'done' for you help? If so, and it is in your price range, you could try one of the mail order diets that are available.

Otherwise you could maybe try cooking set meals with set portions and freezing any extra portions for further meals. Limiting carbs and sugar is good for ensuring you feels full. So is allowing yourself plenty of unsweetened tea and coffee plus drinking lots of water.

GraceMarks Thu 18-Apr-19 11:07:26

Looking into the two options people have mentioned, I feel like the LCHF plan would be a bit too restrictive. I also have high cholesterol and the idea of "high fat" is not something I can get my head around just now. But the No S looks very doable, actually. I'm not sure if it would result in the sort of weight loss I need, but perhaps as a way of resetting my eating habits initially so I can then consider something stricter if I am less disordered?

SW didn't work for me because it relies on you being able to stop when you're full and not overeat the 'free' foods. Basically, if you tell me I can eat unlimited potatoes and pasta, I'm gonna do it!

I don't have the money for things like Diet Chef, unfortunately.

OP’s posts: |
MoniqueTonique Thu 18-Apr-19 12:14:17

No S is very slow weight loss but is more about adjusting your relationship with food. I did lose 2 stone though over a year or so. Its the most realistic plan I've ever followed. There's good support on the discussion forum too. Unfortunately I am battling my own issues with food and have put it all back on, but that's a whole other thread! Good luck OP.

birdflyinghigh Thu 18-Apr-19 15:05:44

Oh and apart from diet, running is very good for losing fat. I started this style of running after undergoing cancer treatment so was pretty unfit and quite overweight.

It is a really easy introduction to running. It raises VO2, improves fitness and circulation and is good for mental health.

GraceMarks Thu 18-Apr-19 15:36:56

Thanks bird but I can't do high impact exercise because of arthritis and hypermobility in my hip joints - also, two herniated lumbar discs. I used to enjoy running, actually, so it's annoying that I can't get back into it.

OP’s posts: |
notatwork Thu 18-Apr-19 15:42:21

Start small and see how you go:
concentrate of drinking at least 2 litres of water every day and eating 5 portions of veggies.
Apart from that carry on as before. Try to stop eating when you are full.
After a month see if you have lost weight and re-evaluate from there.
No need to put yourself on a 'think about everything you eat' plan if it will trigger you or cause you problems.

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