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Question
Posted by: anon | 2010/09/22

can you help...

I have been following a healthy eating plan which is a huge achievement for me. But it is not easy, now that i am not binging, instead of being happy, i am sad because I have nothing except an intense, overwhelming, longing for something other than food. When I look at food, i actually get nauseous (a first for me!) and a fear starts building up inside.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageEating Disorders Expert

Hello Anon,
Yes, it is a great achievement that you are following your meal plan. Well done on that! The fact that it leaves you feeling sad is quite normal, as you are no longer pushing your feelings down with food, which has been serving as your "addictive" behaviour. I suggest that you learn to work creatively with your feelings. As I have mentioned so often in response to other questions before this one, the feeling "sadness" always indicates a loss of some sort. Try to explore what your losses are (other than your eating disorder) and try to resolve such losses. Try to work creatively with all your feelings, both comfortable and uncomfotable. Be careful to not cross addict, that is, turn your destructive behaviour across to something like excessive alcolhol or drugs, or even piling yourself under loads of work. Excessive shopping (retail therapy) very often becomes a cross addiction to watch out for. The emptiness in your life that the eating disorder was hiding still needs to be replaced by something healthy. Work creatively towards living a full and healthy lifestyle. Are you in therapy, as this would be helpful in guiding you towards replacing your eating disorder with a new and more meaningful lifestyle? Good luck. Regards, Graham

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1
Our users say:
Posted by: Eating Disorders and Obesity Expert | 2010/09/25

Hello Anon,
Yes, it is a great achievement that you are following your meal plan. Well done on that! The fact that it leaves you feeling sad is quite normal, as you are no longer pushing your feelings down with food, which has been serving as your "addictive" behaviour. I suggest that you learn to work creatively with your feelings. As I have mentioned so often in response to other questions before this one, the feeling "sadness" always indicates a loss of some sort. Try to explore what your losses are (other than your eating disorder) and try to resolve such losses. Try to work creatively with all your feelings, both comfortable and uncomfotable. Be careful to not cross addict, that is, turn your destructive behaviour across to something like excessive alcolhol or drugs, or even piling yourself under loads of work. Excessive shopping (retail therapy) very often becomes a cross addiction to watch out for. The emptiness in your life that the eating disorder was hiding still needs to be replaced by something healthy. Work creatively towards living a full and healthy lifestyle. Are you in therapy, as this would be helpful in guiding you towards replacing your eating disorder with a new and more meaningful lifestyle? Good luck. Regards, Graham

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