I've been following this community for a while now, but I never actively took part because I don't have anything insightful to say (I was mentally preparing my « Thank you FB » thread, but now is definitely not the time, as you can guess from the title) ; also, I'm French, so sorry beforehand about the mistakes.
Before I get to the point, I just want you all to know that you are wonderful people, always ready to help ; I've been watching this from afar and I'm in awe, really.
I'm in deep trouble right now. I think my eating disorders are coming back and I don't know what to do. I'm so afraid to gain weight, and yet I feel like this is out of my control.
For a bit of background :
I'm a 27 year old girl, I'm a speech therapist in my own practice and I hate every second of my job (I'm currently taking a course to become a web content writer, but I'm kind of trapped by my practice's social contributions and I'm afraid I'll never be able to quit speech therapy, so it's a stressful situation). I'm not a people person, so yeah, my job is a daily torture haha.
(I wish I could earn a living from music, but that's another story.)
I've always struggled with depression and anxiety and tried to see a few therapists without any success. I also have a history of being destructive to my body (eating disorders, self harm, failed liposuccion).
I thought I had successfully conquered my bulimia when I managed to survive on vegetables, oatmeal, chicken breast and zero fat cottage cheese for four years (2011-2015). During this time, I didn't exercise at all because I was afraid of muscles, and my legs, which I desperately wanted to be thin, were naturally muscular already (if anyone wants quads, take mine, please).
I know it was stupid ^^
I was a size 38 at the time (UK 10, US 6) and my weight was something like 65 kg for 164 cm. I was deeply disgusted by my body (that's when I had the botched liposuccion, biggest mistake in my whole life, ugh – I had just started working and I guess I shouldn't have been let alone with money in my banck account).
Moreover, I was slowly gaining fat despite my restrictive diet ; I panicked and went to a dietetician who put me...on another restrictive diet, hahaha. Sure, I was reintroducing carbs into my life, but the quantities were drastically smaller than what I was used to, and I couldn't have more than 1200 kcal a day.
I lost a bit of fat, but in the process I also lost the semblance of control I thought I had around my eating. See, there is a huge candy box in my office for my little patients. The thought of having one had never once crossed my mind. But this restrictive diet (added to my 4 year self inflicted starvation) led me to do something I didn't even know existed : chewing and spitting candy >.< Yay, a new ED. I don't even like candy by the way.
Around that time, I discovered Cassey Ho / Blogilates through of a « thigh gap » workout video. I did this workout over, over and over again until I figured « hey, maybe that wouldn't be a bad idea to try some other workouts », and that's how I finally discovered HIIT.
HIIT introduced me to muscular definition, which I grew to enjoy in the mirror (although deep down, to that day, I still want to be a poor fragile little skinny thing).
I also increased my quantities a little bit (I don't usually count calories but I did once, out of curiosity ; it was something like 1700 kcal) and miraculously stopped the chewing and spitting thing.
This time I really thought I was cured. I was hungry all the time, always thinking about food, and spending my free time trying to find new ways to get even healthier – so no, wait, I wasn't cured, I was orthorexic - , but at least I had regained control over my life, and I finally was a size 36 (UK 8, US 4).
Cassey quickly got on my nerves (why is she so happy ? why doesn't she struggle through the workouts like the rest of us ? why can't she choose good music ?), and that's when I discovered Fitness Blender – for all the wrong reasons, I'm afraid. I really loved the search system which allowed me to select the hardest, most calorie-burning HIIT workouts. I did them 4 days/7, then 5, then 6. I always chose Daniel at first, because I was really jealous of Kelli and I thought « of course that's easy for you, stop taunting me with your perfect body » (sorry Kelli ^^). Of course I felt so stupid when I watched her emotional vlog about eating disorders, and now she's my idol. Anyway. Love you Kelli :)
Alongside this ED background, I think I need to mention that I suffer from a stress-induced colopathy, which means my belly hurts all. the. time. It bloats so much that I look like I'm 7 months pregnant, and it feels like I swallowed a thousand needles. The more stress I have in my life, the more it hurts. The only thing that relieves me is being full – like really full. (So for dinner, I developped the habit of cooking myself a huuuuuge salad bowl full of healthy things + an awful lot of lettuce in order to keep me full until I go to sleep.)
Even though every doctor I saw told me it was all about stress, I still tried to remove some things from my diet, half expecting a miracle : first dairy, then raw fruit and vegetables, then meat, then eggs, and finally, this summer, gluten.
And I think that's what finally broke me. Bread is my favourite thing in life, and those three months of yet another restrictive diet (gluten free) took a toll on me. When I was sure it didn't work (my belly still hurt every day), last September, I had my first binge in years.
September to December has been a cycle of bingeing – restricting. Christmas was an unspeakable caloric monstruosity.
On the 26th of December, I vowed to go back to healthy habits. I ordered a set of Powerblocks (Sports 24, I love them) with my Christmas money and purchased FB programs : first FB Burn, Burn 2, and then Sweat. I religiously followed them, woke up at 6 AM every day to complete them, did the hardest versions of the workouts, and all of the extra-credit videos. There were a few binges here and there, so I added 1000 calorie workouts on top of the programs to make up for them, and I mostly felt accomplished.
Accomplished... and exhausted. I got a stress fracture on my right foot (which didn't stop me from working out). I'm seeing stars. My body aches all over. I'm fighting hunger all day long (well, not these last few days, obviously).
I just started Strong in order to take a little break from all the jumping (I'm starting week 2 today).
But my binges are getting worse. It got from once every two weeks to once a week, then twice, and this week it's been almost everyday. Two days ago, I even had to cancel my afternoon appointments because I had binged during meal time and felt so sick I couldn't possibly go on with the rest of my day. I'm actually so ashamed to write this. I thought that would be a wake-up call since I can't afford to lose money like that, but it wasn't ; yesterday I binged three times, and this morning my breakfast turned into a pancake binge (my only victory was saying no to Nutella). Now it's nearly 2 PM and I'm waiting for the pancakes to settle down so that I can workout. Today is my day off from the office by the way (I scheduled it so that I could take the content-writing course from home), so don't worry, I didn't cancel the day so that I could binge. I'm not there yet.
So here I am. I'm so scared. The binges are catching up with me and I haven't been able to make up for the last four ones. If I can't snap out of it soon, I'll start gaining fat. Summer days are getting threateningly close.
What can I do ? :'(
(My psychiatrist hasn't been any help, she just makes me say horrible things out loud, and then tells me our time is up and sends me back to work crying. She doesn't seem to think I need medication.)
(Also, as much as I wish I could, I can't get triggering foods out of my house, my mum and brother live with me so that would be cruel to them).
It's kind of an emergency, I really can't afford to gain fat right now, I hate myself enough already. I've started reading « Brain over Binge », but I'm halfway throught the book and all I've learned for now is that the author was successful in saving herself and I'm not.
I'm considering buying the Calendar Meal Plan. Maybe the money investment could stop me from ruining my efforts with binges, and right now I could really use someone doing all the food-thinking for me.
Do you think that would be a good idea ?
Sorry about this long rant. You don't even have to answer, I already feel better just writing it (well, I'm crying on my laptop, but at least I was able to get it off my chest).