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Posts by scrunchy10

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Forum Topic Date Replies
Health & Support What comes first.. Jan 09 2012
21:45 (UTC)

It's incredibly unlikely to be one gene - hardly any genetically influence diseases are. It's likely to be a combination of different genes all working off one another. This makes any sort of gene therapy incredibly difficult to develop. That doesn't mean there's no hope of effective drug treatment in the future, just nothing right now.

Basically, people with anorexia tend to biologically respond to starvation differently from other people. It tends to give us more energy, calm us down and feel kinda nice in the short term, whereas for most people they get tired and grumpy. There are lots of reasons for this. However, like addiction, as it develops, it takes more extreme behaviours to achieve the original effects.

Eating disorders have been around for a long time. There are records of Saints in the middle ages starving themselves to get closer to God and people in non-weight conscious societies also get anorexia, but tend to associate their need to be small with other things as well. The eating disorder is the same, what ever the reason behind it. The behaviours, the effects etc - they are the same throughout time and across the globe. It's how we narrate it and experience it that changes. And of course with the "thin is in" society we live in and lots of people dieting, more and more people susceptable to EDs are being triggered to develop them.

I hope I'm making sense x.

Health & Support How did you challenge your ED today? Jan 08 2012
22:12 (UTC)

This is really really small and stupid but today I ate a very small amount (1.5tsp) of mince pie ice cream. However, I didn't way it and I've not added it to my calorie total. This is not something I ever do. Ever.


Health & Support What comes first.. Jan 08 2012
21:55 (UTC)

That's how it started for me too, but if it wasn't for genetics, it would have just been a crash diet that happens to a lot of people. Plenty of people have unhealthy weight loss goals and restrict to starvation amounts to achieve them, but the vast majority cannot sustain this and eventually go back to old eating habits.

If weight loss and anorexic behaviours caused eating disorders, they would be a lot more common. Plenty of people try to lose weight in so many ways. What makes it an eating disorder is when you literally cannot stop, which isn't the reaction of the majority of the population. Severe restriction isn't sustainable in most people. You have to have the right (actually wrong) combination of genes to develop anorexia.

Genetics loads the gun, environment pulls the trigger x.

Health & Support What comes first.. Jan 08 2012
21:36 (UTC)

Difficult question to answer.

Basically I think it's both. Current scientific research suggests that people who develop anorexia are genetically predisposed to biologically react to malnoutrition in a certain way. This does not mean you will develop an ED, just that you are more likely to.

Environmental factors play a role in triggering the ED itself. After all, you can't react to malnutrition if you aren't malnourished. Therefore weight loss (for whatever reason, intentional or accidental) is nescessary to get the anorexia started. From there biological processes take over.

Does that make sense x.

Health & Support positives of recovery Jan 08 2012
21:31 (UTC)

O my gosh yes!

After a lapse, when I upped my calories again I swelled up like a balloon. Mixture of bloating, slow digestion and water retention. My stomach and thighs and ankels and wrists all hurt to touch so much and my skin felt like it was being stretched all over me. It was horrible.

But I drank lots of water and peppermint tea, kept my calories up and cut back on fibre a little and within a week it stopped hurting, two weeks and it went away.

Keep going and it'll be fine x.

Health & Support positives of recovery Jan 08 2012
19:50 (UTC)

I really like how it completely changed the way I think of my body. Sure I'm not overly keen on my recovery body to look at (I'm not recovered yet!) but I love how much my body works!

-My digestion is that of a normal person. Eating does not lead to me feeling rubbish for hours anymore. And I hardly bloat anymore. So good.

-I need to eat far more food than I thought it was possible for my body just to maintain my weight because I have a metabolism!

-I swear my fingernails have never been this strong. Opening soda cans = no problem!

-I don't get cold. Ever. My blood actually circulates normally and my metabolism is up and running so I just don't get cold.

-I have energy for things. Sometimes, I even have the energy to dance to my headphones like I did when I was a teenager. So much fun.

-I'm stronger. Like a lot stronger. This is particularly important to me due to PTSD. Although I'm still not strong enough, I'm not as defenseless as I have been in the past. And the good bit is, I'll only get stronger still.

-I'm gaining a real awareness into what my body needs in terms of fuel. I'm learning how different nutrients affect my hunger levels, how different foods make me feel physically, how to identify cravings, how to tell if I'm hungry or not. It's all good.

-My body can fix itself. Sure, I get sicker, but I get well again so quickly (I never got really sick during ED, I was just always a little bit ill. I think it's because more symptoms of colds/flus are caused by immune response to illness not the illness itself). Now I can actually fight disease! And my body heals so much quicker. Cuts and bruises no longer last for weeks and weeks.

I know mine are all distinctly physical effects, but there are psychological effects too, I just have problems identifying them right now due to complications with my mental health at the moment :( x.

Health & Support yoga in recovery request Jan 08 2012
18:58 (UTC)

I've had pretty similar thoughts on it to you. I got into yoga whilst deep in ED (this was in my back to back gym classes days) and actually think it helped get me more intune with my body. I'm quite flexible, so it showed me how weak my body was, but also how much I could achieve if I was stronger. And your right about how it's just not a caloire thing at all. It's more introspective I guess, but that comes with time. During ED my mind would still obsess over what foods I'd eaten and what I might eat in the future.

I was also thinking physically as well though. For me, it really helps me physically in recovery. I spend so long being anxious I tense up completely, but yoga helps relax my body. Also, it's really good in the early stages of refeeding - digestive yoga is a godsend. And I like how it stretches your belly out a bit so it feel less tight if you get me?

Also, I like how you can just do a little bit here and there on your own if your feeling physically or mentally tense. A couple of stretches of some breathing exercises do wonders sometimes.

Thanks though, I just wana get a comprehensive list together. And serious Adrienne, get on the yoga train. It's been so helpful to me in recovery.

Health & Support yoga in recovery request Jan 08 2012
16:25 (UTC)

bump x.

Health & Support I keep throwing up. what am i doing wrong ?! Jan 08 2012
12:40 (UTC)

depends on your age/height etc. If your having regular periods and are at a bmi of 20 (or equivelent if you're still a teen) then maintaining should be ok for you, but have you asked your doctor if ths is fine? If it is and your under 25, then around 2500 as a minimum. Somedays more somedays less but around there. Try and introduce a range - that's what my dietician is always telling me. If you're 25+ maybe 2,200 as a minimum. Sorry I don't have time to check through posts right now to look up your background so this is a bit vague. But you may well need more than this depending on your activity levels/genetics etc so experiment. Never let it slip below 2000 what ever you do right now. Not until you can intuitively eat.

Hope that helps x.

Edit: Seeing as you haven't been eating 3000kcals for very long, maybe stick above 2500 whatever for a while. It takes longer for your body to repair than it does for weight restoration so keep your calories up for a good few months. Don't worry if you over shoot your goal. Your body decides where it's healthy, not you x.

Health & Support I keep throwing up. what am i doing wrong ?! Jan 08 2012
11:17 (UTC)

For 3000kcals you'll have to eat more than that. Adding extra fats and carbs should help. Plus bear in mind that the protein and dairy is a minimum.

My dietician said that pb is a fat, which works for me as I don't count it towards my protein target so end up getting more of it if you get me. Up to you though. Plus I struggle to eat enough fats otherwise.

Hope it goes well for you x.

Health & Support No Counting By Christmas! Dec 16 2011
22:16 (UTC)

Hey guys! So I'm not entirely sure I won't be counting for christmas but I officially use portion sizes instead of weight now so things are less accurate. And I'm using exchanges instead of purely calories now as well so I'm pretty hopeful about Christmas not being a total bust.

Still - it terrifies me though... :S.

Hope everyone is well x.

Health & Support How did you challenge your ED today? Dec 16 2011
22:13 (UTC)

We had a special extra long (3 hour!) lecture today.

I ate my snack. Right in the middle of the discussion. It included an apple so was quite loud and I was self conscious.

But you know what? Other people were eating their sandwiches because we were there for ages. So I ate to. No one looked and stared. I wasn't being judged or looked down on. All of that is just disordered rubbish lies thoughts.

I enjoyed it


Health & Support Everytime I Fly I Fall, Without My Wings I Feel So Small (Also A Dose Of Reality! GET IN HERE EVERYONE!!!!) TW?! Dec 16 2011
21:30 (UTC)

First - your bloated because your eating too much fibre. A high fibre diet is around 30g a day. I had this exact problem - but since I've cut down (though still averaging around 35g a day :S) it has vastly imporved. This might mean you have to eat some processed carbs instead of wholegrains or eat less friuit and veg. I chose to swap carbs because I love fruit and veg. Processed carbs and sugars really aren't "crap" btw. The only difference is that they have less fibre and are thus digested quicker. They aren't good or bad - just different. And if your bloating badly it's probably best to cut down on whole grains. And drink peppermint tea.

2500kcals+ (3000 for you as your male) actually works. It works because if you eat less than that you essentially keep your metabolism suppressed. Basically, if you eat 2,500+ a day, and as a guy who doesn't need to gain weight you should be eating that anyway, your metabolism should start up again and your body can do more repairing. Your body is doing the best it can but you haven't eaten enough for repair and gain and this will slow both weight redistribution and the decline of psychological symptoms. Plus you don't want to eat suboptimal amounts forever. You only gained on that amount because your metabolism is supressed. Mine was supressed, I ate 2,500 a day, now I maintain on 2,200 and am still underweight and need to gain. I have to eat 2,700 to gain now.

Also I don't think you should be so harsh on people helping. Most of the people here know the science and the maths behind recovery well (because that's what it is - evidence based science) but I'm sure you know people struggle all the time in recovery. Just because someone struggles doesn't mean they don't understand evidence based facts and are unable to learn without experience. I'm sure in your life you've learnt about things you haven't experienced. I'm sure you could describe the north pole pretty accurately without having been. It's called leaning and then sharing knowledge. Most people do it every day. Don't judge people for it. As you should know - this is an illness and people don't pick and chose to suffer and stuggle.

It takes around a year of maintaining a healthy weight on an optimum amount of calories for full weight redistribution. If your body is still in starvation mode (as yours seems to be) it won't redistribute as it is staying prepared for the possiblity of starvation by keeping energy reserves in a place they are easy to access.

Energy comes back when you eat enough.

As said above, it goes to the stomach as that's where it's easiest to a) store fat and b) retrieve fat. Just the way it is. It'll dissipate if you can get your calories up and maintain your weight.


Weight Gain In Need Of Advice Dec 16 2011
19:46 (UTC)

Firstly - don't exercise at all. Exercise is conter productive when gaining weight and you don't want it to be a method of controlling your weight as exercising whilst underweight and not eating enough only suppresses your metabolism and can make it harder to maintain a healthy weight. Plus it can easily become compulsive.

I'm afraid you size 0 clothes will probably not fit you once your healthy but honestly, size 0 isn't a nice size to be - it's so much hard work and puts so much pressure on your body and often is only a symptom of severe mental distres. You need to gain weight to be healthy and that means new clothes. Treat yourself to new things when you gain and throw out everything that gets too small - it has no use to you.

As a teen, you need to be eating 3000+ calories a day. There are plenty of example meal plans on this board (especially in the weight gainers thread) so you can get an idea of what that looks like. If your not there yet, increase your intake by 200 calories every two days untill you hit that as your minimum. You need those calories for both weight restoration and repair to internal organs and bones and muscles. If you can get up to this amount, your metabolism will really get a boost and you should be able to maintain on around this amount once you hit your set weight (you don't chose this, your body does, and it's generally a bmi of 21+).

When it come to food anxieties - firstly you need fats in your diet and fats and sugars are great for giving you extra calories otherwise the sheer amounts of food needed to achieve a healthy weight you be pretty hard and leads to severe bloating (trust me I know, but it's so much easier now I have daily chocolate!). The anxieties only leave once you start challenging them - so start now! Have sweets and chocolate and anything else you want. You are able of eating without caring, but it takes time and practise so don't expect it to happen over night. Just keep working towards it.

I'd suggest keeping an eye on your calories right now until you hit your set point and can start eating intuitively. Split your calories into at least 6 meals a day (breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner, snack) and use calorie counting as a tool to make sure you hit 3000+ every day!

Good luck hun


Health & Support Metabolism Experiences?? Dec 16 2011
19:32 (UTC)

I got my calories up to 2,500 a day and now, even though I'm still underweight, I can maintain on 2,200 a day with like 45 mins normal walking a day as my only exercise. Bare in mind that at my bmi it would be expected that I maintain on 1,770 and I lose weight on that amount. Recovery does that to you metabolism.

So yes. Metabolisms do increase and yes you will be able to maintain on a much higher amount than you think. No lie x.

Health & Support is this water weight or real? Dec 16 2011
19:26 (UTC)

Some of it might be real weight, but more of it will be food weight and water weight.

Honestly though, from looking at some of your last threads, you really need that food and those three pounds. Don't restrict at all and hope that you can keep this much needed weight on you. Water weight doesn't go down if you are dehydrated before hand (as those who severely restrict are) unless you restrict your diet or purposefully dehydrate.

Keep eating, get a weight gain amount of calories in you and don't restrict and real weight gain will catch up and your weight will settle.


Health & Support . Dec 16 2011
19:19 (UTC)

I'd say your still suffering from anorexia (note not "anorexic"). Recovery isn't just about weight resotration. Body dissatisfaction and actively struggling with ED thoughts means that you are still suffering from an eating disorder. It shouldn't feel like your punishing yourself with food. Anorexia is a psychological illness, with very physical symptoms. You may have fixed the physical side of the illness (which in itself is great) but the psychological side takes longer. Low mood could be depression as a seperate disorder, but it takes longer than weight restoration (around a year after maintaining a healthy weight and not going back into restriction) for your brain chemistry to fully normalise after a period of severe restriction so there really isn't a way to successfully know this yet. It could be a seperate condition, or it could be linked to the fact that you are still suffering (in biological and psychological terms) from the effects of starvation.

However, wanting to lose weight and viewing food as punishment are not generally associated with depression. They are typically eating disordered thoughts. So regardless of whether or not you do suffer from depression which isn't just tied to malnutrition, you are also suffering from ED thoughts. Thus still suffering from anorexia.

You might not fit the DSMV catagories of anorexia nervosa anymore, that is true, and you are doing well at your recovery, but if the eating disorder is still affecting your ability to live than it's still very much there. After all, you don't magically get an ED at a certain weight eating a certain amount of calories, it takes times to get to that point. And it takes time to recover.

You can recover, but for a lot of people, weight restoration is only the first essential part of a long process. It's really rubbish I know but this isn't unusal. It's difficult when thinking is still so damaged by anorexia, but yet to the outside world you look fine. You're not fine, but other people just don't see it anymore.

This is why therapy is useful after weight restoration (when your brain has just started to get itself going again).


Health & Support Are you an apple shaped woman? Dec 16 2011
18:59 (UTC)

Coming from the other side of this and gaining weight I can say that I have no waist, a bit of a belly and pretty small hips naturally. And you know what - all the time and effort I put into fixing that made no real difference. I worked out an obscene amount - both cardio and resistance. I dieted to an extreme level. I did get my waist down to 21 inches. But I still had a belly and no hips and my waist was in exactly the same proportion as it always was.

If I was you, I'd stop worrying about it. You're health is more important, not having a particular number as a goal. If you're weight is healthy and your exercising a little bit and eating a variety of foods, then why bother? Your genes are yours to keep. The risks attached to this body shape are not high when your at a healthy weight are pretty low and trying to achieve something that your genes won't want will only make you unhealthier and sadder. Keep moderately active and eat a wide variety and your giving yourself the best chance of health and happiness.


Health & Support Body shape...??? Dec 16 2011
18:52 (UTC)

I have forever been this shape - more belly than boob. I only had more boob then belly with a bmi under 15 so you know, looked bloody awful.

I think that there's not much you can do. Body shape is predominantly genetic and chances are your pre-ed shape with be your post-ed shape. You can work out to tone and stuff, and yes your weight will re-distribute, but it will only go to where your genes dictate. Your shape may change as you get older, but it may not. If you have genetically small breasts, they'll still be small and there isn't anything you can do.

But you know what? Bodies come in all different shapes and that's much better than all looking the same. The only time in my life I haven't got male attention is when I was severely underweight so tbh, I don't think our body shape is a problem to the rest of the world - only to super critical self judgement.

My only advice would be not to worry about it. You can't fight genetics so embrace what you've got.