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Weight Gain
Moderators: chrissy1988, autopilotfrank193, nycgirl, bierorama

I need help... ED? Gaining? Discomfort!

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I am twenty-four, female, five foot four and now about one hundred and two lbs (it fluctuates; never really sure where it "lands"). Clearly, this is low. I lost fifteen pounds in the last year and a half. Mind you, I also started with a personal trainer who was supposed to tone me up (which he did, and then some...clearly)

I am having troubles eating correctly because I feel like when I get the calories I need, I then feel bloated. Not physically distended or anything, but I just feel full. I will even still feel a little hungry sometimes but know that eating will be uncomfortable. I take flax and also Citrucel to try to balance this out.

I went to a nutritionist who put me on a Gluten Free diet for fear I might be Celiac. After a month, I didn't feel much better... all I knew was that I finally had self control (because I had to!) and didn't feel the need to grab or binge on cookies, breads, cereals, etc. That was a positive, but I still was constipated constantly and had a painless cramp on my right side that never seemed to subside.

She sent me to a GI doc, who scoffed at the GF diet idea and basically wanted to listen to NOTHING I had to say. He did a gluten test on my blood and found I wasn't Celiac after all (but... isn't that possibly inaccurate because I was GF for a month??) and advised me to take Citrucel twice a day.

I admit, the Citrucel helps... but now I almost feel like it's a form of purging, right?

So this is where my ED thoughts come in. I know I'm not anorexic, and I don't throw up. However, my eating is disordered. If I have one day of eating, say, a cheeseburger and some chips at a cookout, I just feel "off" the next day (assuming I ate other normal sized meals). The next day, I will make up for it by just not eating much at all or waiting all day to eat because eating will be uncomfortable. Then I will feel better, be balanced for a few days...

...and then I will WOLF down food as if the few days of thinking I was balancing, were actually days of deficit. I will eat five heaping bowls of cereal (loaded with pb spoonfuls and chocolate chips) straight, for example, and sit in my pain and think about how I'm going to make up for it the next day by doing more intense cardio or weight lifting a little longer.

While I don't do anything totally insane like tour fast food restaurants for a binge, or exercise for four hours, I don't understand why I can't balance out my eating. Why can't it ever feel normal? Why do I cycle through overeating, undereating? I feel like I can never just have a night out where I can have a couple slices of pizza with friends without it resulting in crazy, detrimental results on my diet. The pizza would feel so awful in my stomach that I wouldn't feel normal for days.

I realize at this point I am underweight and need to gain. I am finding it harder than ever to sleep, my hair falls out faster than ever, and I'm always extremely cold. However, I don't think I can eat the recommended weight-gaining calories a day without wanting to cry. It's so uncomfortable.

I always think about food. Constantly. My days revolve around it. If I have dinner plans, I'm excited and also nervous for the days before. On vacations, all I can think about is where my next meal is and how to time it so I'm not overeating. I constantly live in fear of having this full, gross feeling even when my calories aren't up there.

How do I cope and recover? I know the tricks, more oils/nuts/avacado, etc so you don't feel as full... but still. Those don't cut it for me!

In all honesty, I would probably be scared to see the scale go up :(

Finally, I work out probably four times a week. I try not to really do cardio anymore and focus just on weights and HIIT training. I can elaborate more, but this is so long! <!-- / message --> <!-- controls -->


13 Replies (last)

i totally know what you are going threw. i have gone threw the same thing but my anxiety would also come from thinking about if the meal is healthy enough. for the longest time i would get extremely anxious if i had to eat something i didnt make myself. BUT that wasnt too long ago and now i am a lot more "chill" about food. i understand where your at with the relationship with food. it sucks, and when i was at that point those were the worst days of my life. but it all started to go away (and continues to go away) since i started gaining weight. i have educated my self quite a bit about nutrition as well. and u cant beat the facts. i used to be so affraid of eating foods i deemed "unhealthy" but i now realise it isnt a big deal as long as it fits into my macros for the day. its a form of balanceing out but its more healthy.

i would binge a lot too. espeically when i first started to gain. it got to the point where it was so uncontrollable that i would wake up at night, every night, and binge on peanut butter and cottage cheese. i would wake up in the morning feeling disgusting and hate myself, so i would try to make up for it the next day by eating less or exercising more but then by the time evening hit i would be so hungry that i would binge again! its an aweful cycle.

honestly, what you need to do is try your best to eat normally... by that i says just try not to binge and get all your calories at one time. this will put you at peace of mind. just make sure you are eating enough to gain. but if you do binge try to forget that you did and continue on normally. remember, you want to gain weight anyway so binging doesnt really matter.... it might even be best just to give into the binging completely (liek i did) until you gain the weight. eventually you wont even want to overeat. the constant thought of food eventually goes away but you have to try make an effort to gain the weight and keep your body away from thinking about food. the constant thoughts of food comes from yur body being hungry.. onc ei started to feed my body i found i stoped thinking about how hungry/full i was all the time.

i still do have issues with eating. im not all better but i am a little better. i totally know what your going threw and it sucks but you just need to know it can go away. but it doesnt go away overnight. is your profile picture recent? are you lighter now than you were in that picture?

GI discomfort probably comes from under eating (maybe) i think you might find that a lot of your problems will go away once you start to nurish your body. also, your muscles are probably depleted from glycogen from all that HIIT. so if you load up on carbs your strength should go up a bunch..

i hope this helps, please feel free to ask me anything.

Thank you so much for your post. It really made me feel like someone understands, though I know many people on this site do. How did you get the point beyond eating past discomfort? That is where all the guilt comes from... like my body is saying it's stuffed when it's really a normal amount of food, and I can't get over the bloat feeling. I am knowledgeable on nutrition but can't seem to use it the way I should...

My profile picture is very recent. I wanted to show that I am, indeed, fit. That's where I get confused... I have muscle, so I know that I must be retaining something... but can you still have a good deal of muscle and be underweight? I feel like if you were that underweight,  your muscle would be diminished first. I don't know... I'm very confused!

I'd love to load up on carbs... but that's where I REALLY get uncomfortable. I'm still not 100% convinced I'm not Celiac or have a gluten intolerance. Carbs as far as fruits and veggies are fine, but obviously that's not going to bulk and that's probably not what you meant! :)

no veggies dont count as carbs, haha. they do have some carbs but its so few that you really cant count them. and shouldnt if your trying to gain weight. they are mostly fiber. and fruits arnt very good as a carb source as well. you should be eating grains like oats, quinoa, kamut flakes... and starchy things like pasta and sweet potatos. and beans! beans are probably the best food for gaining weight. high in fiber, protein, carbs and some beans (such as chick peas) even have a decent amount of fat.

basically i have always been a 3 meals a day type of person. but my disordered eating started when i thought i needed to eat 5-6 meals a day to build muscle (which is flat out not true) so i went from eating big which is natural for me to eating small which just screwed up my stomach and  how much food i thought i was eating. i ended up under eating like crazy and exercising way too much. i was eating frequently but not nearly enough. my thoughts on food which were similar to yours right now happened once i realize i had a problem. and i didnt really do much to fix it for a long time until i finally said screw it and went balls to the walls and just ate A LOT of food for a while. so for the first 3 weeks of eating a lot more food i did feel pretty bloated most of the time but that goes away soon and you feel more normal.

you need to evaluate your goals and what you know you are actually able to accomplish.  as your self these:

do i want to gain weight?

do i care about gaining fat?

does it matter if i care about gaining fat? cuz in all honesty i know i need some more body fat to be healthy.


thats what i had to think about. for the longest time i didnt gain weight cuz i didnt want to gain weight in fat i just wanted to gain weight in muscle which is impossible.. i also realized that i needed the body fat for my hormones to start working again. so i was okay with the weight that i was gaining cuz i knew it was 100% necessary. so i gained weight as fast as i could. but now im gaining slower cuz i dont need more fat on me, my hormones are coming back. but i still want to gain more muscle so i am still bulking

you can just aim to gain weight slowly .5-1 pound a week if you want to put on less fat and more so muscle. but that takes patiance and is for someone who is healthy. if your not healthy right now and you need more weight then you nee dto put on fat. so dont worry about eating too much cuz it doesnt matter how fats u put ont he weight when just aiming to put on solid mass to your frame.


 i know where your at with dealing with eating but you really need to think about the well being of yourself and think if it is worth it to continue doing things the way you are doing them or to make a change. for me, i knew i needed to make a change. i know the facts. i know a lot about nutrition and fitness and biology so i couldnt deny the science. you need fat for proper hormone production. so i was then okay with it.


i hope this is helpful in some way and i hope i didnt digress too bad from what you are wanting to know. but please ask more questions if you have any

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maybe read these: y-is-bingeing-not-bingeing-when-you-are-recov ering-from-re.html -i-need-2500-calories.html


I struggle on both ends. My hormones are really messed up now and I'm worried. But don't feel badly for the "binging".

I don't even exercise anymore. Hope that is okay??.. Its been years and years just doing short walks and otherwise sedentary...and I've tried to give up eating only "healthy". Like I eat dark chocolate nearly every night, have increased grains, etc (fats and proteins are "safe" for me). But my hormones are whacked, ammenorheic for ages and ages and starting to show disturbing effects from that and am now extremely worried.

Was never and am not anorexic. But stress, anxiety, weird digestive issues (still can't figure them out), some orthorexia, everything is a mess. Not sure what I need to do to make it "right " again.


oh thats a fantastic website. lots of good stuff there.

julie, as far as i know from my research and studies in biology and experience. hormones do come back. you just need to put on enough body dont loose hope

Jake: You have such a great outlook now and you sound just like me! Did you help yourself or did you seek out help professionally?

I know what I need to eat but it doesn't help the fact that I don't have an appetite some days.... Nuts even make me feel like I'm eating bricks sometimes.


I also want to gain weight only through muscle which, you're right, clearly doesn't work. When your hormones came back, is that when you started to get hungry at normal times at normal appetite levels?? I'm so out of whack that I can't fathom my body being back in rythm.



"Was never and am not anorexic. But stress, anxiety, weird digestive issues (still can't figure them out), some orthorexia, everything is a mess. Not sure what I need to do to make it "right " again."   --- EXACTLY. It's just a jumble of disordered eating, but something that can't be classified.


Awesome websites, by the way. Thank you!

"Was never and am not anorexic. But stress, anxiety, weird digestive issues (still can't figure them out), some orthorexia, everything is a mess. Not sure what I need to do to make it "right " again."   --- EXACTLY. It's just a jumble of disordered eating, but something that can't be classified.


Awesome websites, by the way. Thank you!

im glad i can help and im glad you checked out the website.

my appetite changed once i started eating more. i was able to eat larger meals and i have been struggling with "binging" i say it with quotations because binging isnt really binging when you are recovering. although i am in the very late stages of recovery and my "binging" seems to be more of emotional reasons (boredom, just wanting food beacuse its still what i think about 50% of the time).

the only hormones that have to do with appetite are leptin (as far as i know, that's the biggest one anyway). once you get to a good weight you will find the binging wills top. you wont feel the need to eat 3000 calories in 10 min anymore. im at that stage. i dont feel the need to... but i do anyway, whic is where i am strugglign the most. i am just trying to really control myself now. i have such a strange relationship with food. before the ED i was alwasy creative and semi interested in food but now cookign has become a hobby! which is okay, as long as i balance it out with other things i enjoy like music. and balance is ultimatly what i am trying to achieve now.

im still not 100% physically recovered although i am very close. mentally, i am getting pretty close but i think i have a little ways to go. but i know i will beat this. i basically have. and i know you will beat this too.

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You both can post questions or intros on the "Forums" on the websites. Get other's thoughts on your struggles or confusion or experiences , etc. You can even email Gwyneth herself.

My previous thread might be good to clear up my issues... if you want to read...

Anyway, I went to a doctor (well, a nutrition therapist) yesterday and was SO glad I did. She was funny, upbeat, and the absolute most fantastic listener!

Good news is that she said I have disordered eating but she doesn't really know or think it's an eating disorder necessarily.

I am being told to STOP going to the gym, not skip meals and not go four hours without eating, but making sure that I don't overeat in those meals. She said I will be very uncomfortable and bloated for a long time. 2200-2400 calories a day... :(

I also have to go to a doctor to get lab tests done as well as a thyroid panel, then return to the nutrition therapist with a food journal.

My biggest struggle is that I am not allowed to work out. Not allowed! I am going to go stir crazy... but I guess I have to do this for myself.

Report on Day one

I. Feel. DISGUSTING. I feel like I am force feeding myself and I'm so bloated I could pop. How do you get through this? How do you NOT exercise on top of it?? I can't stand just sitting around. I am keeping a food journal and so far, I'm way behind. I'nm only at 500 calories?! This is only day one and I can tell there will be many tears to come... Help!

i never stopped exercising. for a lot of the recovery i lied to my parents and others and worked out as much as i wanted. i did take 2 weeks off when i very fisrt discovered i had some problems and i was over training hardcore. unless you are over training i dont see why you need to stop exercising. but obviously its hard for you to eat so much extra food so working out would make eating even harder cuz you would have to eat enough to make up for the exercise.

but i promise you the more you continue to eat lots, everyday will get better and better. by the end of this week you will feel decently used to eating more.

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Your situation sounds like me. Digestion. Not "ed" but disordered in some weird ways. I stopped all exercise (except for walking) a LONG time ago (I kept doing it and BURNT is awful, I"m suffering now cause of it peeves me --sorry--when people complain about not exercising because all I do is walk. I am older than you, I need to gain about 20 lbs also. I'm also fed up and lost and just fed up.

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