Okay, I'm so so frustrated and scared and about ready to cry...
I ate at least 5000 calories today (if not more!) and my complete lack of self control is really starting to scare me. A few months ago i lost 15 pounds and am at about 119 at 5'6.5 and I'm fine with that weight, the problem is my appetite has gone through the roof these last 2 months and I'm ALWAYS thinking about food. For months i was eating healthy - no sugar, no carbs, very little sodium - and I was fairly content with small salads and fruit and veggies.. But now...oh good lord, I eat anything and everything on sight. :(
Nothing I do seems to work. i'm ALWAYS thinking about food, i even dream about it.
I've tried planning out my meals so they arent so "spontaneous" but i always end up swapping the healthy food for a high-caloric, carb-licious food. it's like i've become super resistant to healthy food now, i've gotten so sick and tired of saying "no" to the unhealthy stuff that I go ahead and eat as much unhealthy food as I can - even when my stomach is in so much physical pain.
I have this crazy obsession with food now, to the point that I'm never satisfied with one meal - i want to taste every flavor, every entree, every dessert...just everything. I resist the urge until it gets the point that i can't concentrate on anything else......And so i then go ahead and indulge.. :(
"i'm ALWAYS thinking about food, i even dream about it."
^This sounds very EDish. You say you've "eating healthy" and restricting carbs, sugar, sodium, etc. It seems very logical that your body is craving those foods now! The key to health is balance. I think it's a bad idea to completely restrict a food group, such as carbs or fats. These are healthy in moderation.
Also, you didn't mention how many calories you've been eating. Your reaction sounds typical of someone who has been restricting calories to an unhealthy level. Are you sure you're eating enough on a daily basis?
You are at the very low end of the "healthy" bmi range. You are happy at this weight, but maybe your body isn't. Very few people can easily maintain such a low bmi without feeling deprived/hungry.
My advice? Listen to your body. Eat when you're hungry and stop eating when you aren't hungry. If you don't deprive yourself, you won't be as likely to binge. Eat a healthy and balanced diet. And this may mean gaining a couple pounds if your body isn't naturally happy at this weight. You won't balloon up, but you'll probably feel a lot happier and less obsessed with food.
I agree with Adrienne.....you have a BMI of18.6 O_o. Sometimes your body gives you warning signs. If you crave carbs/ect that badly, your body may be trying to tell you something more serious....by all means, with your BMI, go ahead and have a few carbs....Why are you so scared that you want to cry? also, some medications cause an appetite such as, steroids and multivitamins.
You could get a hobby? it will distract you, if you truly enjoy it. >_>
In retrospect, I do agree that I probably was too restrictive in the type of food I allowed myself to eat, and yet, I honestly didn't really crave all that unhealthy food at the time- i was really perfectly content with fruits and *prefered* the taste of a good salad over a piece of chocolate cake, for example. So although I was restrictive with what i ate, it's not like i was unhappy about it...at least, not until christmas rolled around, and that's when i forsook the restrictive eating for pleasure eating.
I've been eating about 1500-2000calories a day, sometimes more, and usually it ends up being about 1800. You are right that I wasn't eating enough before - I was eating about 1000calories a day, sometimes less, and my weight dropped to 110 at my lowest (that weight really scared me, which is part of the reason why i started eating a lot), but that was 2 months ago, and i've gained 9 whole pounds since then...so why would my body still think it's not getting enough?
"why would my body still think it's not getting enough?"
Because it's not.
At 110 lbs, your bmi was 17.5 (which is right at the threshold for anorexia, to put things in perspective). You have since gained to (barely) a healthy weight--and this is a good thing! But due to your previous starvation-level of calories, your body is crying out for more food! It needs calories to repair any damage done during restriction, and it will probably keep craving calories until you're at a somewhat higher weight.
Did you lose your period? Most people who are recovering from an ED should gain to a bmi of 20-21 to regain their period and prevent relapse.
When I was gaining weight in recovery, I really wanted to maintain a bmi of 18.5. But it turns out that my body wasn't happy there. I was ravenous all the time, which led to binges, and I put on weight very easily. I still felt kind of weak and cold. I have since gained to a bmi of 20-21 (it fluctuates). I think my body is a lot happier here. I feel strong and warm and energetic. My metabolism is faster--I can eat 2500+ calories per day and maintain my weight. I don't feel hungry and deprived.
To be honest, I liked the way I looked better when I was a little thinner. But I like the way I feel a lot better now. I feel HEALTHY! And besides, everyone else says I looked much too thin at my minimum "healthy" bmi and look a lot better now, so I know my image of myself is somewhat distorted.
Ruthie, I agree that 110 for 5'6" is too low. Your body is begging for nutrients. Also, Christmas is a perfect time to fall into emotional eating. What were your stressors?
Did you calculate your calories for maintaining your healthiest weight? Stay within the range for maintenance. Get back on plan and follow your calories daily. Eat sensibly and control those cravings. Remember - Hunger is not an emergency (it may be a craving) and it will pass. BE STRONG - SAY "NO" to yourself. Wait for the craving to pass - get away from food at this time. Eat at specified times if possible and eat on plan.
What you are experiencing is VERY normal and common; it happens to the VAST MAJORITY of the adult population when their BMI drops to 20 and below.
People become fixated on food and feel insatiable when they are too thin for what is healthy for their bodies; yes, many people LOOK good at low weights, however, unfortunately people can be UNHEALTHy while at the same time looking good.
Personally, I have experienced this hazard; Like a previous poster described, I love the way I look at about BMI 18 - 18.5; what's more, is that other people agree with me... every one tells me I have a GREAT body at BMI 18.
Unfortunately, I am not healthy at that weight. Unlike most people, I do not have to restrict calories or over exercise to maintain that weight, although I had to over exercise to get there.
Once I am at BMI 18 I could even maintain it by eating and exercising normally, AND I looked " healthy" according to others. Even so, I still suffered insomnia, and lacked focus and concentration, and was very easily irritated.
The bad news: you cannot be healthy at the weight u, and posible SOME people, THINK looks " the best" on you. The GOOD news, is that u can still LIKE the way u look at a slightly higher weight, even if it isnt your FAVOURITE weight on you.. u can still LIKE it, without liking it AS MUCH as a lower weight lol.
I definitly do nto HATE my body at a higher weight, even though I do prefer how I look slightly thinner. The best thing is that I can havea much better life and FEEl FAR healthier at a higher weight.
Liking the way my body looks a little less than when I was thinner is WORTH being able to study, function properly, sleep, and have a NORMAL LIFE.
Honestly, your problem has been repeated MANY MAN MAAAAAAAAAAAANy times on calorie count!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SOOOO Many people have come and asked the SAME questions u have asked, and described the SAME PROBLEM a syou have!
The reason why so many people have come on to thsi website and made VERY SIMILAR posts as you have, is because a lot of women losse too much weight, and then wonder why they are hungry and their bodies are not happy at a low weight.
You are one of the many women who have this problem, and the only sollution is to eat a bit more, until the symptoms of constant hunger dissipate.
I agree with all of the other posters, you have to love and appreciate your body at a bmi of 20-21. Guess what... that's still thin. I think balance is the key for everyone. It seems you've gone from one extreme to the other. I think you need to step back when you're faced with a craving and make a concious decision whether to eat it or not. I LOVE potato chips and dip, and I allow myself to eat them, just differently than I used to. I used to load a chip with dip, shove it in my mouth and be loading the next one and shoving it in even before the first was chewed. Now, I dip and eat one without touching the next until the first is swallowed. It's not healthy food but I'm making a choice to treat myself and eating it slowly like this makes me mindful of what I am sticking in my mouth and I feel satisfied after eating fewer chips. Then I also don't have the guilt because it wasn't a binge, just a treat.
Don't be so hard on yourself, you just need to re-focus and you're already working on that, that's progress.
To everyone: thank you a million for your responses, I definitely am relieved that my food obsession is a NORMAL reaction to too much restricting...
I don't feel as guilty and confused, I understand now that my body simply wants nutrients I've denied it.
I am not going to restrict myself anymore, I will simply listen to my body and eat reasonable-sized portions of what I want and simply stop when Im full.
This morning I woke up and thought "I want a bowl of fruit and a breakfast sandwich" so I just went ahead and ate that along with a glass of milk. And it truly satisfied me and I wasn't craving anything else!
I've not felt this "sane" towards food in a long time...
Normally I'd take hours just debating whether or not that's truly what I wanted to eat and I'd try to cut the calories by skipping the glass of milk or cutting the sandwich in half, and I would still be left unsatisfied and craving more food, more flavors.
SO, i feel really hopeful already. But there's still a really big part of me that wants to be really self-controlled and stay at this weight since I worked so hard to get here. It's not really about the weight itself as much as just wanting to be self-disciplined and in control of my appetite. I can't help but feel this way, I worked really uber hard to arrive at 119, I've only been at this weight for a few months, and so it would be absolutely demoralizing to arrive back at where I was previously (136). And it's not really because I can't stand the thought of being at that weight as much as i can't stand seein all my efforts at something completely fall apart.
"Also, Christmas is a perfect time to fall into emotional eating. What were your stressors?"
I'm graduating from uni this semester and i guess i just don't know what's coming next,...i've been really stressed about that, lost alot of interest in my classes and was dreading getting my degree. I know, pathetic. I was so excited about the future and all before, but last semester I started feeling like everything in my life seemed really unpredictable and like there was no point, nothing was consistent. I think Im doing a little better now, i'm trying to think of graduation as a "break" rather than something to dread. I've found that thinking of it that way helps a lot.
ruthie, let me tell you from experience, life is unpredictable and uncontrolable a lot of the time. sometimes the roller coaster ride makes me sick to my stomach! it sounds like controlling food was your way of trying to feel in control of your life, when that food control slipped away you may have freaked out a bit. By the way, we ALL freak out sometimes! I am so glad to hear that you feel stronger today and more "sane" than you have in a while. You're just getting started in life and you're inevitabley going to face some ****. Being able to let go a little will help you in the long run and you seem to be doing a great job of figuring it out. When you need help, ask for it, here, your friends, family, whatever. Good luck girl!
Alright, so i just need to know if I'm doing this right...today I didn't restrict myself at all, just ate regular meals at regular times and I didn't count my calories at all until now, at the end of the day...I just tried to "trust" my body signals and eat what I wanted and it was a great relief to not have think thoughts like "how will i compensate for this or that, etc" but now after counting the calories i'm a little freaked out that maybe I did eat too much. I didn't think i was eating too much, i thought i was eating normally, but now im not so sure.
Is my calorie count correct? Am I eating too much? or did i eat normal meals?
aunt jemima griddlecake sandwich 400
1 cup coconut milk 100
bowl of fruit 250
Banana with peanut butter 350
Diet Hot Chocolate 60
2/3 carbonara pizza 300ish
2 apple churros 350
2 peanut butter cookies 400
1 diet mountain dew 0
1/2 italian panini sandwich 400?
1/2 brat (no bread or ketchup, just plain) 200?
2 spoonfuls cottage cheese 50
handful of grapes 20
2 spoonfuls wild rice 30
1/2 cup mello yello
2 spoonfuls ice cream with brownie and a spoonful each of m&ms, fruit sauce, and snickers topping.. 750?
1 cup fiber one 100
1 orange 100
Okay, i know I ate really unhealthy and need to work on portion sizes, but I was trying not to worry about that today and just eat like an average human being. But my estimate comes out to be around 4000, which is not "average" at all...so did i overeat again??
ugh...i really didn't think i was doing too badly! now i'm starting to doubt again that i can really "trust" my body to decide when it's hungry/full, etc.
The healthier your choices, the more you can eat. When you make unhealthy choices, you are going to be hungrier because their are tons of calories in small quantities of food, usually full of sugar and leaving you wanting more. But you already knew that.
replace the aunt jemima griddlecake sandwich with a bowl of oatmeal and save yourself 260 calories. How about 1/4 of a carbonara pizza and add a large salad, you get to eat the yummy stuff as well as fill up on the low cal healthy stuff. If you can't live without the apple churros and cookies, how about 1 churro or 1 cookie, another savings of 550 calories if you cut out the churros and eat only 1 peanut butter cookie. Since you already had cookies, skip desert this day or have a bowl of grapes and strawberries if you feel deprived without desert, add a spoonful of ice cream if that helps but cut out the brownie, m&m's, fruit sauce and snickers. I just easily cut 1500 calories from your 4000 calorie day and I don't think you can say that cutting out those things would have left you starving or feeling restricted.
I know none of this comes as a surprise to you. You can make smart choices without being restrictive, but you do have to have limits. Eat what you want, have the treats, just remember, they're not "treats" by definition if you eat as much as you want of them all of the time.
Maybe you need to work on knowing what hungry really feels like compared to just wanting to eat. Are you being honest with yourself? I think if you'd walked away from the dinner table without desert you would have been "full" enough without it. If not and you were still hungry, was desert the best choice to satisfy your hunger? I think you also know the answer to these questions.
You can do this, you just have to be honest with yourself.
Thank you for the feedback. I think you hit spot on that I wasn't being fully honest with myself about real hunger vs "tastebud hunger" .. I guess my problem is that "saying no to dessert"=restrictive eating=increased desire for dessert=binge on dessert.... I'm trying to figure a way around that, and i thought that maybe if i just had dessert (even tho i went a wee bit over the top today) i wouldn't later totally binge on it some other day. Same went with the griddlecake - i do normally have oatmeal in the morning, i just wanted to treat myself today to something different. Alas, I don't know how to say "no" to food (even it's just saying "no" to one insignificant food item) without feeling "deprived"....I can do it, i have often denied myself treats in the past, but i don't know how to prevent myself from the *feeling* of deprivation...since, in the end, that's what seems to determine whether i binge or restrict..
Well, at least tomorrow is a new day, with no mistakes in it......yet.