Posted by: TB | 2011-02-28

Healthy but scared

Hi there, i have had my stint with anorexia and bulimia, but have been healthy for the past 14 years. I am an athlete who takes health and wellnes very seriously and am very scared of becoming ill with one or both of the above again.

I have had a good relationship with food for the past 14 years, BUT was always able to exercise. I am now injured (not from overuse!) and cannot run for 6-9 months. I can cycle and walk, but its not the same. I am now, for the first time in years PARANOID. The biokineticist i am with has suggested that I go onto a healthy eating plan so that i can get rid of the guilt through documenting my eating and so seeing that i am not overdoing it. I have decided on weight watchers. I think it is a phenomenal eating plan as you can eat exactly what the family is eating without weighing etc.

So, whats the problem? How do i face overweight people in a room when they look at me like an idiot - they will think i dont need to be there (not that i normally care what others think, but this is WAY different)? I dont need to lose weight, but i also dont want to lose my sanity.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageEating Disorders Expert

Hi TB,
You seem to be caught in a sort of purgatory. You want to actively attend to your dietary intake in light of your disorders eating history, but you also anticipate that you are going to be viewed by others at the Weight Watchers classes as unique and strange. Well, first, I suspect that there are a number of other clients at Weight Watchers thast are not decidedly overweight and want to maybe just shed a few excess kilograms. If you want to enter the Weight Watchers programme in order to ensure that you comply with a responsible dietary intake, then I say that you must permit yourself to place this important factor ahead of anticipating that you will be persecuted by a gang of morbidly obese thugs. I, personally agree with you that the Weight Watchers programme is one of the favourable commenrcial weight control programmes, as it endorces a healthy intake without encouraging rapid weight loss and does not encourage restrictive dieting. I also like that it encourages that you maintain eating the widest variety of food, thus, maintaning a normal relationship with food. I'll say no more, before it appears that I am a Weight Watchers shareholder. TB, I suggest that you place your health first, rather than concerning yourself too much in advance by what you think others might think about you in the group. You may even want to say in your first meeting that you are there to gain help to maintain your normal weight and you may want to share, if you feel comfortable to do so, that you have ba previous history of eating disorders, which you have very successfully controlled. Well done!

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 | 2011-03-02


Congratulations for staying healthy. Recovery is not easy and I know this because I''m in recovery. I don''t think you should panic because that''s the old eating disorder voice speaking to you. You can be sensible and still do mild forms of exercise. You need to keep fuelling your body.

I don''t think all trainers/people we interact with REALLY understand the dangers and difficulties of having an eating disorder. I would avoid Weight Watchers! This is all about measuring and it will trigger you. You are going to be surrounded by people who you would consider " fat"  and this is probably unhealthy for you as you will probably start to become influenced by your own critical voice.

I would advise that you personally see a dietician and perhaps go to a psychologist so that you can discuss your concerns and that you''re able to manage these fears. I''m seeing a team of professionals and it''s the best way to go. The fact that I''m seeing a dietician and that she has put me on a meal plan that I trust where I''m healthy has had such a positive influence in my life. I don''t need to be around other people who have unhealthy thoughts/behaviours around food. This will just make me vulnerable.

Rather spend your money focusing on your needs and personally go and seek nutritional advice. It''s the right forum to discuss all your concerns and you will be able to talk about your past without feeling judged.

Good luck and get better soon.

Reply to Tracy

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