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Question
Posted by: Kasandra | 2011/02/14

Recovery

Hi Dr

Its great to see this forum open for discussion now, often wondered when it will happen.

I had an eating disorder and also don't know what you call it the obsession to eat ONLY healthy foods. I have made huge progress in excepting myself. Finding balance and moderation in the things I do and not to obsess about being perfect.

I have been maintaining my weight at 49/50 kg with height 1.52 for the last 5 years. I still however dont ENJOY food, its just something I have to do, sometimes I do go out and eat something really nice but if I have to eat the same kind of foods everyday it will not bug me.

I am not passionate about food and eat enough but still get a lot of comments on how little I eat, compared to other people. I still have the "control"  in me and will say NO to big portions, and some things I will also avoid eating like cheese and mayo high fat items.

Do you ever recover fully though? I have seen Black Swan recently and because I could relate so much to the main character it left me with a lot of emotions afterwards. The striving for perfection that can kill you ine the end.

The mirror is not an enemy anymore, but not friend either - although I have days when I look in the mirror and smile... cause I do like myself now.

I unfortunately have genetic cholestrol as well which is very high... so in a sense I have to watch what I eat since I don't want to go on cholestrol pills again.

I AM SO GLAD FOR THIS FORUM! it is such a struggle and the addictions comes out in so many forms.

(I've just had nicknacks and champers - I feel insecure and huge it's horrible......) I TRY so hard to feel secure and not needy. I encourage my husband to meet up with friends instead of me, but I don't know it's eating away at me, I just want to be strong.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageEating Disorders Expert

Hello Kasandra,
First, I agree with you that it is great that an Eating Disorders Forum has been started. I do my best to try and keep up to date, but I have faultered recently with a very busy practice and the birth of my first child. Busy, busy, busy. Anyway, you have done really well making the progress in your recovery to date. Your weight at present is perfect. Although you are in the normal weight range (very important to do that), you are weighing quite a bit less than the average person your age. I assume that you are older than 18 (being married). Nevertheless, it's fine for you to stay where you are. Just don't thy to lose weight. Being obsessed about eating in a so-called healthy way is commonly referred to as being "orthorexic". It's not a formal psychiatric diagnostic term, but more a layman term referring to an obsession with low-fat, all green, and a general obsession woith being health preoccupies. This is ironically unhealthy, because it is an obsession in itself, which distracts from the moderation you referred to in your question that is important to aspire to. The key is balance and moderation in everything from lifestyle, to food choices, to an ability to adjust to life changes. K, you must be patient with yourself and try and broaden your variety of foods. Try and be a little more adventurous and playful with food. I actually believe that one does make a full recovery from an eating disorder, as so many of our patients have reached there - now having completely normal and enjoyable relationships with food and themselves. So, keep going, as you are already in a so much better space. Just think back to where you were when you were in the depths of your eating disorder compared to where you are now. okay. Do watch out to not cross addict, as this is a risk. But, if you become increasingly emotionally connected, that risk will decrease.
Regards,
Graham

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1
Our users say:
Posted by: Eating Disorders and Obesity Expert | 2011/02/24

Hello Kasandra,
First, I agree with you that it is great that an Eating Disorders Forum has been started. I do my best to try and keep up to date, but I have faultered recently with a very busy practice and the birth of my first child. Busy, busy, busy. Anyway, you have done really well making the progress in your recovery to date. Your weight at present is perfect. Although you are in the normal weight range (very important to do that), you are weighing quite a bit less than the average person your age. I assume that you are older than 18 (being married). Nevertheless, it's fine for you to stay where you are. Just don't thy to lose weight. Being obsessed about eating in a so-called healthy way is commonly referred to as being "orthorexic". It's not a formal psychiatric diagnostic term, but more a layman term referring to an obsession with low-fat, all green, and a general obsession woith being health preoccupies. This is ironically unhealthy, because it is an obsession in itself, which distracts from the moderation you referred to in your question that is important to aspire to. The key is balance and moderation in everything from lifestyle, to food choices, to an ability to adjust to life changes. K, you must be patient with yourself and try and broaden your variety of foods. Try and be a little more adventurous and playful with food. I actually believe that one does make a full recovery from an eating disorder, as so many of our patients have reached there - now having completely normal and enjoyable relationships with food and themselves. So, keep going, as you are already in a so much better space. Just think back to where you were when you were in the depths of your eating disorder compared to where you are now. okay. Do watch out to not cross addict, as this is a risk. But, if you become increasingly emotionally connected, that risk will decrease.
Regards,
Graham

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