Disordered Eating Support Thread

Discussion in 'Diet, Nutrition and Supplements' started by BigDog, Jan 30, 2009.

  1. jamistar77

    jamistar77 Well-Known Member

    Strict dieting for sure IS a trigger. I have found this over the years. Some people think that having a meal plan is the answer to the problem, but, in all actuality it creates the problem. I used to NEVER be this way, with food issues.. Until I got super strict with food. Guilt with eating too much of this or that. Having a cheat meal, which ends up being a binge?? Then having to rid of it.. Yep. Sucks. How in the hell can you reverse the problem? If its not in the house? You'll go get it or make it.. Compulsions suck! :sad:
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2012
  2. theANNAmal

    theANNAmal Member

    Hi there. I wanted to share with you all a blog that I wrote in May of this year, two weeks before an NPC show I had been prepping (and killing myself) for. Here it is:


    Not too sure how or where to begin...

    So I'm just going to say it.

    I have decided to no longer compete in the NPC. At least not this year.

    There. I said it.

    There are so many reasons why I have come to this decision-- injury being the final deal breaker.

    I have been fighting a pretty bad ankle injury for at least the past 4-6 weeks. It got so bad last week that I finally took myself to the doctor. Come to find out that I have a high ankle sprain and severe tendonitis. A high ankle sprain is no regular “twisting” of the ankle. A high ankle sprain is when the ligaments that connect your tibia and fibula (the two bones in your lower leg) are basically stretched to the point of tearing and ripping. High ankle sprains can become so severe that the ligaments tear completely, leaving your bones to scrape against each other. The only way to treat a high ankle sprain this severe is with surgery, where they go in and place a screw in your leg that connects the tibia and fibula until the ligament heals back around it. Luckily, my sprain has not gotten to this point of severity. However, doc said if I don't stay off of it and let it heal, it will only get worse, and I will eventually be doomed to go under the needle... Then deal with an even longer recovery time of possibly several months. When this all really set in, I knew right away I had to listen to my body. I had been ignoring it for too long, taking heavy doses of ibuprofen several times a day, telling myself I was tough, and that I would push through the pain. But I realized how serious this really was. I had to draw out of the competition.

    Now it wasn't just my injury that was an influencing factor of my decision. I realized I am no longer having fun doing this. I simply just do not enjoy contest preparation like I used to. In fact, I'm miserable in every aspect. I am suffering in almost every realm of my life right now-- school, work, family, my relationship, my mental, emotional, psychological, and now even my physical health.

    While I'm in contest-prep mode, I don't dedicate nearly enough time to my school work, if any at all. I have always been a straight 'A' student, taking advanced courses since middle school, and I was in the top of my class, always. Until recently. I find myself slacking in school big time. Missing class to do cardio. Missing class because I'm just too drained from dieting. And when I do go to class, recently I've been so miserably carb-depleted that I could not tell you a single thing any one of my teachers said for all the hours I sat in class.

    I am working hard with Perky Jerky, but I know I am not working to my full potential. Working in sales is a field of which you need to be lively, passionate, excited, and personable. Being so drained, mentally and physically, I find myself slacking here as well.

    As for my friends and family, I never spend time with my best friends, my mom, sister, niece, nephew, or aunt and uncle any more. And I used to see all of them once a week, at minimum. Now, because I am constantly on the go with school, work, cardio twice a day, lifting once a day, endless hours of meal preparation, when, or if I get a single minute of free time, all I want to do is go to sleep. I don't want to be social or go to any kind of event, outing, party, etc. because I honestly cannot keep myself together being around all the party foods. I know it sounds silly, but I will literally have a mental breakdown-- trust me, it already happened once, and it ended with me crying in the bathroom. Over food. Food that I couldn't eat. How ridiculous is that? It shouldn't be that big of a deal. I was choosing to diet; nobody was forcing me. But why did I make that choice?

    This is something I've spent a very long time debating and pondering over in my head the past few months. Why do I do this? Why do I chose to compete? At first, it was because I wanted to challenge myself. I have always been into fitness, clean eating, and working out, and I wanted a goal to work for-- something that was going to push me to my uppermost limits. So I did it. And I loved every second of it. Obviously it wasn't easy-- it involved some of the hardest, most extreme discipline I've ever put myself through. And I have the utmost respect for any competitor for it. I seriously am taken back by, and am extremely inspired by the amazing physiques of all the competitive athletes (both pro and amateur) that I follow on facebook and in magazines, articles, etc. Nonetheless, they all seem to find a balance between their lives and their competitions. This is something that I have really come to struggle with.

    I recently learned in school about food addiction, yes, food addiction. It is very similar to drug addiction in the way it chemically affects and alters the brain. Food releases dopamine and serotonin into the brain, giving you feelings of happiness, comfort, and content, just like a drug would. And when you have been so restricted of that “drug” for so long, the dopamine and serotonin receptors in your brain become down-regulated, meaning they basically malfunction and almost shut down completely. Thus, causing your body to need more and more of your drug of choice in order to get that same chemical release. This is why drug addicts eventually build up a tolerance to their substance, and continue to need more and more of it to feel that same feeling of happiness. Also why most competitors, after the big competition, are able to eat to the point where their bellies are extended and they are physically ill from all the food; they need more of their "dope" (aka food) to get that chemical release of happiness.

    I swear, any competitor could also train for competitive eating. Anyways, what I'm trying to get to, is that during my contest prep, I found myself beginning to cheat and slip up on my diet. But it wasn't like I simply ate an extra rice cake. It wasn't even like I ate just one cookie. It would start with one rice cake, then one cookie, then the next thing you know, I've torn through the entire kitchen ravenging like a wild animal to get my hands on any and every food I could find. I would consume ungodly amounts of food in a very short period of time. I felt as if I lost complete control. Like an animal had taken over. I literally felt like a dog-- not knowing when to stop until I was way past full and wanted to vomit. This is classified as a “binge.” This is a characteristic of disordered eating.

    After a binge, I would feel extreme guilt, sadness, anger, depression even. I would consider doing extra cardio or cutting more carbs to punish myself for all the food I just ate. I would put myself through such negative self-talk. Then for the next few days, or sometimes the whole week, I would stick to my diet and training regimen and get back on track. Then, not long after, I would slip up again. It was such an vicious cycle; such an emotional and physical roller coaster. I realized that I actually was experiencing disordered eating, bipolar disorder, and depression. No wonder some days I was on top of the world, happy, excited, ready to conquer my show, and the next day I would be absolutely miserable, could literally cry at the drop of a hat.

    I was so mentally unstable. Extremely irritable. A downright crazy b***h. And my poor boyfriend got the brute of it all. I just want to say that I am seriously the luckiest girl alive to have someone who still loves and supports me after my extreme mood swings and b***h fits I threw. He stood by my side through all of this and always had, and will continue to have, my best interest in mind. Him, my mom, sister, coach, and girlfriends have been such angels to me through this very dark time in my life. I am so grateful to have them by my side.

    So with everything I just laid out on the table, my injury was really the final straw in my decision to not compete this year. I had a very successful offseason, put on some lean muscle, and now am in the best shape I have ever been in, and I honestly believe that I could have had a great chance in winning my show. Yes, I could have won, but I lost myself in the process. I need to learn how to find balance and "win" in all aspects of my life. I need to re-prioritize. I need to put my mental and physical health first. I need to put more effort into my school and work. I need to reestablish my relationships with my friends, family, and boyfriend. I am actually seeking professional help through a specialized eating disorder clinic, and hoping to establish a better relationship with food as well. I don't plan to stop working out (aside from letting my ankle heal), eating clean, or living a healthy lifestyle; I just need to take a step back from the extreme.

    Wow... this blog turned into a novel. I hope I didn't offend anybody who does compete-- all the more power to you! You guys are the ones who inspired me in the first place. But unfortunately, this sport just is not for me. At least not at this point in my life.

    Thanks for reading.

    With Love,

    PS- below is a picture of me 3 weeks out from the show I was going to do. Although I looked incredible on the outside, I was suffering on the inside. My next journey is going to be finding out how to maintain a relatively lean and muscular look (probably not AS lean as the picture, but hopefully close), without extreme dieting or exercise.
  3. Angabel

    Angabel Member

    Anna- thank you so much for sharing that. I can completely relate to so much of what you wrote. I used to think I wanted to compete, but because of struggles I have had with disordered eating I have decided that it wouldn't be the right choice for me.
  4. runningjoy

    runningjoy Member

    Anna, all i can say is wow. thank you so much for sharing. you are definately not alone in your struggles/battles. it takes a tremenduous amount of courage to recognize the cycle and want to do something about it. i hope here you can learn and heal. for so long we do this -->:icanthearyou: to our bodies. when really we just need to listen.

    heres to your new journey :yayconfetti:

  5. theANNAmal

    theANNAmal Member

    I completely agree. It wasn't until I was exposed to the so-called "standard" contest prep diet that I started having issues with binge eating and food addiction. But nonetheless, it is an extremely difficult mental and physical battle. What helped me reverse the cycle was to simply NOT diet. That means NO measuring, no calorie or carb counting, and absolutely NO "bad" or "restricted" foods. It sounds scary... f*ck, it was scary as hell. I was literally afraid of cheese. I won't even go into detail of how scared I was of carbs. Not gonna lie, I ate everything in sight for a while, and my body showed it. Think about it, after coming off of a basic semi-starvation, your body is anxious and ready to hold on to any and every calorie it can get its hands on in case it goes into a state of "famine" again. But you know what, eventually my body weight plateaued, and I started wanting to eat healthy again. Suddenly the sugary, fatty, so-called "forbidden" foods no longer sounded appetizing. I wanted to nourish my body by feeding it with proper fuel. Sure, I ate a little more carbs, fats, and even sugars (natural though) than before, but my love for fitness and overall health finally returned (I had begun hating it during my competition prep). The whole restriction idea is ass-backwards. At least it was for me. I was like a child who, when told not to do something, I instantly wanted to do it more (in regards to food). The whole process really was just that, childish. But for some reason, as soon as I allowed myself to have whatever I wanted, it no longer was desireable. Stay strong, you're not alone.

    Of course. I like to think I shared what so many competitors go through, but so few choose to talk about. However, if you are thinking about competing with Erik or Amy as your coach, I definitely think that the whole cycle of restriction/bingeing can be avoided. The way that they coach is unlike anything I have ever experienced. It is smart training. And I don't know if you've seen some of their clients' pictures, but they don't rebound. I highly attribute that to their philosophy of being able to eat an adequate amount of calories, carbs, and nutrients in general, and not having to kill yourself with 2-a-day cardio sessions. Also, their post-workout philosophy is extremely helpful in creating dietary compliance (at least it is for me). If you want to compete, then you are definitely capable of it, you just need to make sure you research your coaching and train SMART.

    Thank you for your kind words and support; that truly means a lot to me. I am proud to say that I no longer struggle with disordered eating, and I have a healthy relationship with food again. Actually, I am "healthy" in all aspects of my life again. It is so liberating. I just started working with Erik about 2 weeks ago and have never felt better mentally.

    I just wish that someone would have warned me before I got myself eye-deep in metabolic damage, as well as injury and depression that I was basically doing it to myself in my style of training and dieting. I wish more people would open their eyes, or at least research this stuff before putting themselves through hell. So really that is why I posted this blog in the first place; to educate people. To warn people. To let people know some of the nasty consequences that can happen when you overtrain and undereat. I would never wish what I went through upon anyone, so I try to forewarn people whenever I can.
  6. Natt

    Natt Member

    Thank you so much for posting this. I can relate to so much of what you have written. After my comp in October last year my weight spiraled out of control. I too went on a binge straight after comp, it was like I could not satisfy my hunger ...and man, I can put away some food.
    I have always had self esteem issues and always been in some sort of diet/eating plan , but always went good and then binged, and repeat ! Etc etc
    I think, actually, I know, that company prep was the icing on the cake (excuse the pun). It sent me into an outa control food frenzy and now, 12 months later, the weight gain has settled.
    I, like you, am so glad to have found Erik, it only day 2 for me, but I am excited to be re-training myself so I can maintain this lifestyle.
    I honestly wish you all the best with your "recovery" and look forward to following your progress
  7. TLynn1

    TLynn1 Member

    Anna-AMAZZZZZZZZING POST! THANK YOU for sharing! I am new to this group and LBC but not to dieting, the competing industry OR the world of eating disorders. It is so empowering to read your story and experience and also the responses to those that support and understand as much. I can also relate to many of the things you talk about- what I find hard is HOW lonely one can feel this space! I believe so much in that the best of us usually comes from the worst times. I am glad that I came across this post and looking forward to hearing more from you. I am always open to talks/conversations with ANYONE who struggles with disordered eating!!! I will post my story at some point. XOXO
  8. tbakken319

    tbakken319 New Member

    Thank you for your kind words and support; that truly means a lot to me. I am proud to say that I no longer struggle with disordered eating, and I have a healthy relationship with food again. Actually, I am "healthy" in all aspects of my life again. It is so liberating. I just started working with Erik about 2 weeks ago and have never felt better mentally.

    I just wish that someone would have warned me before I got myself eye-deep in metabolic damage, as well as injury and depression that I was basically doing it to myself in my style of training and dieting. I wish more people would open their eyes, or at least research this stuff before putting themselves through hell. So really that is why I posted this blog in the first place; to educate people. To warn people. To let people know some of the nasty consequences that can happen when you overtrain and undereat. I would never wish what I went through upon anyone, so I try to forewarn people whenever I can.[/QUOTE]

    Thank you so much for all this information and for sharing your story! I am no where near the competing lifestyle, but I am definitely a food binger and your stories of devulging through the kitchen stuffing food into your mouth are much like mine. I focus so hard on trying to NOT eat certain things that once a week or so I find myself completely uncontrollable, eating as much as I can possibly stuff in my face. And then the serious onset of depression, feeling worthless, fat, gross, and on and on. I just wish I could really remind myself how horribly terrible I will feel BEFORE the binge!!
    Your story really has helped me to know that there are others out there, that we can help support one another, and to hear it first hand that STYLE of contest prep is NOT right. I just want to lean out and tone up! And I'm finally realizing the hours of cardio are not working!!
  9. laurawd

    laurawd Well-Known Member

    This is a great read, Thanks! Just wondering - how are you handling the return to measuring/weighing, etc.? I assume that if you're working with Erik, you're back on a specific plan.
  10. schofka

    schofka New Member

    Thank you both for sharing your struggles.
  11. jamistar77

    jamistar77 Well-Known Member

    Anna, thank you so much for the reply to my post. Thank you thank you! The 'out of control' feeling needs to stop, and I'll do what you suggest. Not measuring, or weighing sounds totally insane! LOL YIKES! But, something has to give here, and if its the scale then so be it. I've never competed before... I'm sure I would be a disaster though a contest prep too. Take care, and thanks again.
  12. mrstrone

    mrstrone New Member

    It's reassuring to know that I'm not alone. I just came off contest prep and the binging while on diet was a constant thought. I of course was on a all fish (eww) diet and now that I have variety back the prevalence of binge thoughts/actions have really subsided. It got to be such a struggle I thought about seeking help.
  13. Pam Peeke MD

    Pam Peeke MD New Member

    Hey, BigDog --

    Stress is a clinically proven cause of both weight gain and overeating. Worse, brand-new research shows direct evidence of lasting and fundamental injuries to a part of the brain that helps us regulate our food intake. Within three days of being placed on a high-fat diet, a rat’s hypothalamus shows increased inflammation; within a week, researchers see evidence of permanent scarring and neuron injury in an area of the brain crucial for weight control. Brain scans of obese men and women show this exact pattern as well.

    The good news -- and there IS good news -- is that a program of foods high in dopamine- and serotonin-boosting chemicals, along with numerous brain-amping activities (from simple exercise to listening to music) can regrow those receptors and bring the confidence of fulfillment and health.

    You might want to check out some of the research and published literature on the subject of food addiction -- and in the meantime, focus on activities that calm you down.

    Best of luck --
  14. Aerie

    Aerie New Member

    Glad you find this a safe place to discuss. I found figuring out what my triggers were was the first and best step.
    I go the grocery store as little as possible to reduce my exposure to my triggers.
    If I do buy something, I buy as small of container as possible so I eat the smallest amount possible.
    I also realize that my trigger is when my work or personal relationships are stressful and unpredictable.
    If it is my personal relationship, I tell my friend that I need to chat, (not about binging, no one knows about that) but just need to feel closer. I hope you are able to identify your triggers and make an action plan to help build your relisiency as well. My life has been better, I don't think I will ever be 'cured' but I feel stronger and the urges are less often and less intense as the months pass.
  15. Patricia

    Patricia Well-Known Member

    Hey people,
    It' s been a while since I've posted in this thread and a lot of you newer lbf'ers probably don't know me :wave:.

    Just wanted to add that I binged for years. Years. It started before I competed and continued after. Not during prep at all, well, twice in 2 preps. I guess that's not too bad...

    Anyway, 2009-2010 I binged my way from 120ish lbs to 148 lbs. I am just shy of 5 feet tall. Wasn't cute. I spent NYE going into 2010 at home with a box of cookies and a bag of Skor bars. I ended up starting back up with Erik late 2010. Then met my current boyfriend. And really have had very few binges since.

    My current boyfriend has made me happier than anyone before him and he has completely turned my world upside down- in a good way. Although I drink more now (wine) and we go out to eat more I never have a binge urge. Even when I have set a meal plan for myself, or now with the plan from my good friend Amy, I don't feel the urge to binge at all. Sure, I over eat at times. You bet. It's hard to not eat too much at a meal out or treat/cheat and I doubt that will ever change. But those days of literally eating everything in the pantry I shouldn't are long passed.

    I'm thinking, for me, it has something to do with the feeling of being complete- in my love life, my school and work, and supported 100%. Which I totally am now. My sig other is my #1 fan no matter what I choose to do.

    Anyway, just wanted to share my story of coming out on the other side.
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2012
  16. Inatic

    Inatic Ya Gotta Wanna! Moderator

    that's awesome Patricia! :hug:
    • Like Like x 1
  17. Patricia

    Patricia Well-Known Member

    Thanks Ileen. :). At one point I thought I'd be binging forever. It's nice to have a more normal relationship with food. I think my boyfriend has really balanced me. We can definitely pig out together don't get me wrong :piggie:, but those crazy urges don't present themselves like they used to. Also they aren't as strong.

    I'd also recommend the book "brain over binge". Very insightful.
  18. pavermama

    pavermama Rut Row!

    Thanks for sharing Patricia!! I've realized over the last yr or so that I mindlessly binge. I've gotten better control of it because I make myself STOP and THINK about what I'm doing. Before I just mindlessly ate and couldn't quit for days or WEEKS! And turned into months sometimes. I feel like I'm in another world when I'm in that binge state. I've noticed that I can pull myself outta that state now and look at myself and ask myself, "what are you doing!" STOP before it gets outta control. I think of the consequences of how I'm going to feel physically and mentally when it's all over with and I tell myself, it's not worth it. I've never been able to get to that point of control before and it is an ongoing battle. I can relate to your feelings of having more of a normal relationship with food. It's a good feeling! I'm not outta the woods and I won't let my guard down, but knowing you have somewhat of control over it makes you see some light at the end of the tunnel! Good for you!
  19. Blondell

    Blondell Former Postwhore

  20. Isabella

    Isabella New Member

    My turn ...

    Hi guys. Well, I guess it’s my time to be honest. I haven’t really told anyone HOW bad it really is, and it might just be me who thinks this is bad. I binge, and it’s been happening a lot lately. Just to sum up; I got anorexia 7 years ago, and all these years I’ve been dieting on and off. The binges I’ve had in the past were simply because I was starving myself, but that’s not the case anymore ..

    I’ve been asking myself why this happens, and when. Well, it usually sets in at night, when I’m alone. I’ve been “watching” myself for a while now, and something I noticed is that I’m always so stressed out when I’m eating. Every time someone wants to grab a bite to eat with me I kind of freak out! Food is just a huge stressor for me. Even at home, I feel like I have to eat really fast and get rid of the food, I simply can’t enjoy it. The binges at night usually occur because I get bored and feel alone, but I don’t want to move in with someone just to stop the binges. I think I need to learn to feel well in my own company, I can’t be around people at all times.

    I think the fear of being alone started when I was a kid, my dad cheated on my mom and left us. Then, in March this year, my boyfriend left me.

    My … this look chaotic, just rambling here … One thing is that these binges hinders my results, and my body fat has def gone up the last couple of months (not comfortable with that at all!), but the most important thing is how I feel. I eat a solid meal at night, and feel full, but still I feel the need to eat more, and more .. Even though I only eat healthy foods, I still feel awful about it .. :sadcry:

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