Posted by: Lin | 2011-03-08



I have been battling with anorexia for the past 8 years and am only now slowly making a recovery. I am now able to eat more ''normal'' food and not feel as bad about it as in the past.

The fact that I met a wonderful man 2 years ago and got married a month ago, has made a big difference. The problem is, in the past year I have gained about 5kgs. I am 1.72m and now weigh more or less 47kg. This scares me a lot, because I don''t overeat and try to remain active.

I still stay away from fatty food, mainly eat yogurt for breakfast and lunch and vegetables for dinner. I eat about 10 jellybeans a day and a bit of dried fruit and a rice cake at about 20:00 as my ''treat''. I don''t eat red meat and only sushi very occasionaly.

A further problem is that I sometimes pick as I''m making my husband''s lunch box or dinner. I think this has mainly lead to my weight gain.

I attend a cardio flex class twice a week, try to do at least 15min on the elliptical trainer every day and walk as much as possible.

Sorry for the long explanation, but the point is, I''m afraid of gaining more weight. I know I should probably gain more if I want to have a baby sometime (in 2 years time or so), but I DON''T WANT to gain more weight. Luckily (doesn''t always feel this way) I don''t have so much ''determination'' to starve myself, but the ''voice'' inside me still want to lose weight.

The one side of me wants to stay the way I am (I look ''healthy'' - fat to myself), because I''m happy, but the other side of me desperately wants to lose weight. I don''t know what to do...

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageEating Disorders Expert

Hello Lin,
My apologies for such a late response. I have been offline for a month. However, congratulations on your recent marriage. It’s an exciting time in your life and a new chapter for both of you. However, the picture you paint is one of you still remaining very entrenched within your anorexic eating disorder. You remain significantly underweight and stand little, if any, chance of falling pregnant at your current weight. I assume that if you are menstruating it is due to you being on contraceptive medication. This is, however, not preventing your bone density from further decreasing and putting you further at risk for osteoporosis, if you have not already developed that condition. I am not sure if you have ever entered into treatment for your eating disorder? Have you seen a psychologist or a psychiatrist? And have you ever seen a dietician to determine the amount of daily food you need to be eating to restore you weight to within normal levels and maintain it. As a guide, you shouldn’t be weighing anything less than mid-fifties. I am not sure whether your husband is yet aware of your problematic relationship with food and your body. Have you spoken with him and do you think that he will be able to support you in a compassionate way if you open up to him? Lin, I strongly suggest you confront this problem now. You shouldn’t be doing any exercise at all at your current weight and you need to undergo a full physical evaluation before anything else. Therapy, if you make good use of it, will help you find a path to recovery and then help you discovery the real source of your eating disorder. You are going to need to find the courage to confront these matters before they corrode your new life. Let me know if you need a referral to someone in your area by posting a new question.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

Our users say:
Posted by: Tracy | 2011-03-14

Hi Lin

It saddens me because I can see you''re still very much in the grips of your eating disorder. I know this because I was there. I''m in recovery - it''s been 70 days since I went into treatment. It''s not easy but you will not regret getting help. The path that you are on is dangerous and it''s a downward spiral.

You probably can''t rationalise right now - your brain is starved of nutrients and your eating disorder has taken over. I think a part of you posted this as a cry for help but the other part wanted to validate the eating disorder. You wanted people to confirm how thin you are and how little you eat - this is what keeps the eating disorder alive. It''s a very confusing place to be (hence the title of your post).

It''s ambiguous because you want to be well but you don''t want to gain weight. Just know that if you continue the way you have been, the end goal is not pretty nor is it glamorous. Your body will start shutting down on you and you will begin to lose thing that mean most to you! I''ve had an eating disorder for 16 years and I cannot tell you how much I''ve lost - in relationships, financially, emotionally... It is a VERY dark and lonely place and the further away you are from it, the more you will see how sad it is that you are doing this to yourself.

It''s never too late to get help but you probably can''t do this on your own. You need to be honest with yourself and your husband. I was not ready to get help - it''s never a good time. I was a newly wed, in the peak of my career and successful BUT I knew I had to do something otherwise my life was going to fall apart. Seeking treatment was the best thing I could ever have done!

You have to want to get better for you. You need to be realistic with yourself. You don''t have a future with your eating disorder. It will destroy you. If you need to chat, let me know and I''ll get hold of you but I''m don''t talk about weight and unhealthy behaviours. I can tell you my story though and offer encouragement and support. 16 years of anorexia is not fun - especially when you pay with a number of other illnesses years later...

Please get help. You''re not in recovery but you can be in it.


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