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I want to escape bulimia without becoming overweight or unfit Watch

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    POSSIBLY TRIGGERING!!!!!!! EXIT IF YOU MIGHT BE AFFECTED!!!!!!!!

    (Another heads up: I'm an old crusty lady of 23 so I'm probably a bit older than most of you guys on here. This is a pretty heavy post and I appreciate that it's unlikely to be something y'all can advise on. Nonetheless, I shall vent into the void and in return gain catharsis if nothing else

    Again, please refrain from scrolling down if you might be triggered.)





    Hey guys. I wonder if anyone with a similar experience might be able to help? Basically, I have bulimia and I want out. I've annihilated my social life and my familial life isn't much better. I haven't had a period in over a year and my heart rate is 34bpm, and all the appointments I'm having to attend to address these issues overlap heavily with my working hours (which has put my position under threat). Needless to say, it's the lynch pin around which my entire life revolves.

    Now, since my BMI dipped below 18.5 a few weeks ago (bodyfat% around 13), I've been physically unable to carry out my workout to my previous standards. I simply lack the energy and strength. None of this comes as a surprise, obviously, because science etc. Unfortunately, this predicament doesn't align well with my bulimia because my main purging method is exercise (purely cardio: 7-8km run every day. Might not sound excessive to some of you but the doctor said it was when assessing it alongside my diet :dontknow: The other methods are strictly last resorts.

    So my question is, if I temporarily cut back on the exercise until I've gained a kilogram or two, will my lost fitness return? How likely is it that these feelings of depletion have been caused by low bodyweight as opposed to something else? The last thing I want is to gain some weight and not notice any positive change. That's what I'm afraid of: gaining fat that comes with no perks and leaves me with an even worse body image... How can I regain fitness without losing control?
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    Sorry to hear about your condition.

    (Not going to advise re Bulimia as have no experience with that)

    To answer your questions:

    You won't lose fitness that quickly. Around 3% a week or something. I don't see why you can't do a small walk during the day (minimal calorie burn)

    Yes, your lack of energy will almost certainly be due to your low bodyfat and lack of food intake. You will be fitter and stronger if you eat and gain a bit of weight. You will only be weaker if your body can't function due to insufficient calories.
    Don't get hospitalised, that would not help you achieve your goals.


    I would give you a big speech about how weight training etc could improve your body so much and give you such a more positive body image...

    (There are actually two well known female youtubers who lift that i know had eating disorders and used weight training to change their situation)

    .... However, i tried to get an ex of mine who had an ED to weight train and she took my advice on excessively. She used it as a thing to keep her happy, making sure she'd never get fat etc and this led to hospitalisation etc. I obviously blamed myself for that.

    So i'm not sure what to advise you. Weight training would improve your body image. Being fit (as you will be) will also help.

    However:

    You're running everyday and this isn't good

    Your bmi is obviously v low, so you MUST get that up. I urge you to but i have an idea what having an ED is like (got an insight anyway) and therefore realise this will be hard.


    Hope this reply helps. Try and not be so obsessive. I think this is my main point.

    I broke my leg and couldn't run for more than 15 mins at football. By week 3/4 of playing football once a week (i just did some walking at the weekend) i could run for the 60. Your fitness will rapidly come back, take a few weeks off and get yourself feeling better.


    Good luck
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    (Original post by Unistudent77)
    Sorry to hear about your condition.

    (Not going to advise re Bulimia as have no experience with that)

    To answer your questions:

    You won't lose fitness that quickly. Around 3% a week or something. I don't see why you can't do a small walk during the day (minimal calorie burn)

    Yes, your lack of energy will almost certainly be due to your low bodyfat and lack of food intake. You will be fitter and stronger if you eat and gain a bit of weight. You will only be weaker if your body can't function due to insufficient calories.
    Don't get hospitalised, that would not help you achieve your goals.


    I would give you a big speech about how weight training etc could improve your body so much and give you such a more positive body image...

    (There are actually two well known female youtubers who lift that i know has Eating disorders and used weight training to change their situation)

    .... However, i tried to get an ex of mine who had an ED to weight train and she took my advice on excessively. She used it as a thing to keep her happy, making sure she'd never get fat etc and this led to hospitalisation etc. I obviously blamed myself for that.

    So i'm not sure what to advise you. Weight training would improve your body image. Being fit (as you will be) will also help.

    However:

    You're running everyday and this isn't good

    Your bmi is obviously v low, so you MUST get that up. I urge you to but i have an idea what having an ED is like (got an insight anyway) and therefore realise this will be hard.


    Hope this reply helps. Try and not be so obsessive. I think this is my main point.

    I broke my leg and couldn't run for more than 15 mins at football. By week 3/4 of playing football once a week (i just did some walking at the weekend) i could run for the 60. You're fitness will rapidly come back, take a few weeks off and get yourself feeling better.


    Good luck
    Thanks mate, great advice!
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    I've struggled with eating disorders too (diagnosed as AN and BN at various points) so here's my advice from my experience

    honestly - if you stop working out completely until you've gained weight you may have a tough week or two as you regain fitness but your body has been fit before so it will return very fast. I would say that running every day isn't really necessary and when I was in treatment I was advised that working out 3-5 days per week is better as it gives you more flexibility and stops that 'you MUST work out today' feeling a bit. You could in theory gain weight while continuing to exercise (assuming your GP gives you the all clear, I'd guess with a HR in the 30s that will be a no) but it's far far better to take a bit of time off to break the obsessive habit and so that when you return to exercise you can try and approach it with a healthier mindset (i.e. exercise is healthy and good for stress relief - not 'a 5k run burns X calories'/'I must run 10k today').

    As far as general weight gain - you need to face the fact you will have to put on body fat, 13 % is really low for a woman and in order to have a healthy body you probably want to look at at least 20-25%. I know some people on here might come back and say that athletic women can manage on 15-16% but you're not athletic you're bulimic and in order to show your body it doesn't need to panic you need to not be working with the bare minimum. If you try and stick at the lowest possible you increase your risk of relapse. It's gonna feel horrible and it's gonna feel uncomfortable. It's going to stay that way for a while. Your physical health won't improve overnight. You need to ride through it and eventually you will get used to your body again and your health (both mental and physical) will improve.

    As for your target - gaining 'a kilogram or two' isn't going to fix this. If you're in ED treatment the minimum BMI is 20 unless you can demonstrate a healthy adult weight below that. As I said before, you need to gain some body fat. You also need to treat your body right for a long enough period of time that it gets chance to recover. You say your period has been gone for a year - that shows you're causing serious and long term damage to your body and it's going to take time to fix that. That means time eating 2000+ calories, exercising in moderation, maintaining a BMI of 20+ and not taking any other weight control measures. You're not feeling worse because your BMI dipped below 18.5, you're feeling worse because it's more and mroe months of malnutrition, exhaustion etc all adding up.
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    (Original post by doodle_333)
    I've struggled with eating disorders too (diagnosed as AN and BN at various points) so here's my advice from my experience

    honestly - if you stop working out completely until you've gained weight you may have a tough week or two as you regain fitness but your body has been fit before so it will return very fast. I would say that running every day isn't really necessary and when I was in treatment I was advised that working out 3-5 days per week is better as it gives you more flexibility and stops that 'you MUST work out today' feeling a bit. You could in theory gain weight while continuing to exercise (assuming your GP gives you the all clear, I'd guess with a HR in the 30s that will be a no) but it's far far better to take a bit of time off to break the obsessive habit and so that when you return to exercise you can try and approach it with a healthier mindset (i.e. exercise is healthy and good for stress relief - not 'a 5k run burns X calories'/'I must run 10k today'.

    As far as general weight gain - you need to face the fact you will have to put on body fat, 13 % is really low for a woman and in order to have a healthy body you probably want to look at at least 20-25%. I know some people on here might come back and say that athletic women can manage on 15-16% but you're not athletic you're bulimic and in order to show your body it doesn't need to panic you need to not be working with the bare minimum. If you try and stick at the lowest possible you increase your risk of relapse. It's gonna feel horrible and it's gonna feel uncomfortable. It's going to stay that way for a while. Your physical health won't improve overnight. You need to ride through it and eventually you will get used to your body again and your health (both mental and physical) will improve.

    As for your target - gaining 'a kilogram or two' isn't going to fix this. If you're in ED treatment the minimum BMI is 20 unless you can demonstrate a healthy adult weight below that. As I said before, you need to gain some body fat. You also need to treat your body right for a long enough period of time that it gets chance to recover. You say your period has been gone for a year - that shows you're causing serious and long term damage to your body and it's going to take time to fix that. That means time eating 2000+ calories, exercising in moderation, maintaining a BMI of 20+ and not taking any other weight control measures. You're not feeling worse because your BMI dipped below 18.5, you're feeling worse because it's more and mroe months of malnutrition, exhaustion etc all adding up.
    Hey there, doodle_333. Thank you for taking the time to share such brilliant advice!! You're clearly a lot more clued up on this than I am. I'm sorry to hear that you've also suffered with EDs. How are you doing now?

    May I ask you, though, why it's necessary for a recoverer to immediately aim for a BMI of 20? Surely 'one size fits all', so to speak? I mean, if the official healthy range extends below 20, why should that only apply to non-ED people? Won't the body get a 'surprise' if it heads in that direction too fast?
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    (Original post by raaachek)
    Hey there, doodle_333. Thank you for taking the time to share such brilliant advice!! You're clearly a lot more clued up on this than I am. I'm sorry to hear that you've also suffered with EDs. How are you doing now?

    May I ask you, though, why it's necessary for a recoverer to immediately aim for a BMI of 20? Surely 'one size fits all', so to speak? I mean, if the official healthy range extends below 20, why should that only apply to non-ED people? Won't the body get a 'surprise' if it heads in that direction too fast?
    well 20 isn't one size fits all, 20 is a minimum - actually rate of relapse are far lower the higher up the scale you go - so 22+ is considered really good if you can get there

    and generally as far as I know doctors prefer people to maintain a BMI of 20-25 than 18.5-20, statistics show very few people are naturally below a BMI of 20 (assuming you're not asian)... there's also the factor that people with EDs are unlikely to gain alittle weight and be 100% perfect for the rest of their lives so maintaining at least 20 means that if you get flu or you're stressed or you have a slip up you're not immediately slipping into being underweight

    your body won't get a surprise in any bad way - giving it nutrition and energy and a bit of body fat is not going to be anything but good for your body... I went from a BMI of 15 to 20 in recovery and had no negative consequences... you only see your body going into shock if your BMI is <13 or you've eating nothing at all for more than 7 days usually

    also, I initially went to 20 and tried to maintain there, it obviously was not my body's natural weight and it took a lot of effort and care to keep my BMI there while eating 'normally', I was constantly having 'slip ups' and still had 0 flexibility with food... in the end I stopped counting, ate what I wanted when I wanted it and exercised an amount I enjoyed and no more - I've gone up to a higher BMI than 20, I don't know whether it was the extra weight or the extra nutrition but my brain relaxed SO much once I'd gained more weight, I can now maintain this weight with no effort at all, which is a big bonus as continually calorie counting just feeds your ED

    things aren't perfect and I still have days where I don't want to eat or I can't find anything to wear which doesn't make me look like an ogre but 99% of the time I'm very happy and healthy
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    (Original post by doodle_333)
    well 20 isn't one size fits all, 20 is a minimum - actually rate of relapse are far lower the higher up the scale you go - so 22+ is considered really good if you can get there

    and generally as far as I know doctors prefer people to maintain a BMI of 20-25 than 18.5-20, statistics show very few people are naturally below a BMI of 20 (assuming you're not asian)... there's also the factor that people with EDs are unlikely to gain alittle weight and be 100% perfect for the rest of their lives so maintaining at least 20 means that if you get flu or you're stressed or you have a slip up you're not immediately slipping into being underweight

    your body won't get a surprise in any bad way - giving it nutrition and energy and a bit of body fat is not going to be anything but good for your body... I went from a BMI of 15 to 20 in recovery and had no negative consequences... you only see your body going into shock if your BMI is <13 or you've eating nothing at all for more than 7 days usually

    also, I initially went to 20 and tried to maintain there, it obviously was not my body's natural weight and it took a lot of effort and care to keep my BMI there while eating 'normally', I was constantly having 'slip ups' and still had 0 flexibility with food... in the end I stopped counting, ate what I wanted when I wanted it and exercised an amount I enjoyed and no more - I've gone up to a higher BMI than 20, I don't know whether it was the extra weight or the extra nutrition but my brain relaxed SO much once I'd gained more weight, I can now maintain this weight with no effort at all, which is a big bonus as continually calorie counting just feeds your ED

    things aren't perfect and I still have days where I don't want to eat or I can't find anything to wear which doesn't make me look like an ogre but 99% of the time I'm very happy and healthy
    Gosh, sounds like you've been through a shitload of craziness. I'm glad you overcame it all and blossomed into health. Good for you gurl! Thanks for educating me so much on this. You've given me some SERIOUS food for thought...
 
 
 
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