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My story: anorexia recovery
11-21-2015, 04:43 AM
Post: #1
My story: anorexia recovery
I've been lurking on this website for a while now and it's provided a great source of comfort in a time of uncertainty. I struggled with anorexia for 5 years, eating around 700 calories a day and hitting a BMI of 12.5. At the end of my second year of uni my body simu couldn't take it any more and I was hospitalised. I then went through a few months of 'reactive eating', 'binging' once or twice a week and then trying to compensate for it by restricting even more the rest of the time. I wasn't ready to gain weight but my body had other ideas and I gained around 10kg. I then spent the last year in quasi-recovery, where the binging stopped after I increased my daily intake to 1200-1500, exercising for 2 hours a day. I wasn't a healthy weight but wasn't far off and honestly thought I was "recovered". I honestly maintained my weight on this amount. 2 months ago I realised something right and after talking to my dietician, we established that I need about 2000 calories a day to maintain my weight. I've increased gradually, averaging around 1700 calories a day (with exercise, though slightly less). I've gained a fair amount and 8 weeks in, am still gaining! I've hit a BMI of 18.5 now and really don't want to gain any more - but I also want to fix my metabolism for good. My body image is awful and the temptation to restrict is so strong. I'm yet to even reach 2000 consistently, but am terrified to gain any more because with my history I know that dieting back down isn't an option. I feel stuffed and huge all the time. How long will it be before my body adjusts? After 2 months I thought this would be getting easier!
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11-21-2015, 04:35 PM
Post: #2
RE: My story: anorexia recovery
First of all, welcome! So glad you decided to join us!

You have to remember, you are recovering from 5 YEARS of severe restriction and disordered eating patterns. Combine this with 2 hours of exercise a day and you are most certainly dealing with a damaged metabolism (no secret there). With such a long history I would not expect your body to fully "trust" the increased intake for a while. After coming from a point where you were surviving on 700 calories a day and most likely exercising on top of than, you were forcing your body to break down not only fat but also muscle, cartilage, ligaments, bone, and yes, even brain tissue to survive. Some of the "weight" that you gain will be this body matter simply recovering itself. Some fat will most likely be gained as well, only because the body will be "preparing" itself for another potential starvation phase.

As depressing as this all sounds, it is not all doom and gloom. As you begin to fuel your body properly, systems will begin to replenish themselves and your metabolism should gradually return to normal. Just continue to take it slow and allow your body (and mind) time to adapt. Have you gotten a chance to read the Metabolism Reset Guide? If not, I would highly recommend it, as it will give you a good idea of what to expect. You can find it on our Home Page under the Start Here tab.

Please feel free to start a Personal Journal of your own here in the Forums. It is a great place to record your journey as well as to interact with others who are going through the exact same thing... Again, welcome!

Anitra Soto
Team EM2WL
ISSA Certified Fitness Trainer
ISSA Certified Specialist in Senior Fitness

My EM2WL Journey: http://eatmore2weighless.com/never-too-old-anitra/
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11-22-2015, 04:32 PM
Post: #3
RE: My story: anorexia recovery
(11-21-2015 04:35 PM)AnitraSoto Wrote:  First of all, welcome! So glad you decided to join us!

You have to remember, you are recovering from 5 YEARS of severe restriction and disordered eating patterns. Combine this with 2 hours of exercise a day and you are most certainly dealing with a damaged metabolism (no secret there). With such a long history I would not expect your body to fully "trust" the increased intake for a while. After coming from a point where you were surviving on 700 calories a day and most likely exercising on top of than, you were forcing your body to break down not only fat but also muscle, cartilage, ligaments, bone, and yes, even brain tissue to survive. Some of the "weight" that you gain will be this body matter simply recovering itself. Some fat will most likely be gained as well, only because the body will be "preparing" itself for another potential starvation phase.

As depressing as this all sounds, it is not all doom and gloom. As you begin to fuel your body properly, systems will begin to replenish themselves and your metabolism should gradually return to normal. Just continue to take it slow and allow your body (and mind) time to adapt. Have you gotten a chance to read the Metabolism Reset Guide? If not, I would highly recommend it, as it will give you a good idea of what to expect. You can find it on our Home Page under the Start Here tab.

Please feel free to start a Personal Journal of your own here in the Forums. It is a great place to record your journey as well as to interact with others who are going through the exact same thing... Again, welcome!


Thanks so much for your support. I've read the Metabolism Reset Guide...it all makes sense on paper but when trying to apply it to my body it's a whole other story! It simply feels like my body doesn't need much - I feel good when I et less, eating to my TDEE takes a lot of physical strength most days (although I have the odd hungry day). I rarely feel tired or lacking energy when eating under my TDEE, if I did that would make this process much easier. I'm determined to keep going but it's taking a lot of trust and strength, particularly as I see my abs gradually disappear and my thighs begin to touch. I worry that maybe I don't need a reset and maybe I just don't need that much food! Even after a 30min run and 45minutes of lifting and walking round all day, my body really isn't wanting to go last 1300 - and this is 2 months into reset!
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11-22-2015, 08:05 PM
Post: #4
RE: My story: anorexia recovery
The thing is, after years of under-eating we actually lose those hunger cues and sensations of wanting or needing to eat. Just keep on taking it really slowly and give your body the time it needs to adapt and adjust. And, even more importantly, give your mind time to adjust. As your metabolism gets revved back up, eventually you will start to feel that hunger again, just take it slow. You have all the time in the world..

Anitra Soto
Team EM2WL
ISSA Certified Fitness Trainer
ISSA Certified Specialist in Senior Fitness

My EM2WL Journey: http://eatmore2weighless.com/never-too-old-anitra/
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11-25-2015, 07:32 AM
Post: #5
RE: My story: anorexia recovery
Are you also talking to a therapist? If you can, it will be very helpful. If you can't, shoot me a message and I'll give you a bunch of resources (I'm a CBT Therapist).
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12-26-2015, 04:06 PM
Post: #6
RE: My story: anorexia recovery
(11-25-2015 07:32 AM)mrsukyankee Wrote:  Are you also talking to a therapist? If you can, it will be very helpful. If you can't, shoot me a message and I'll give you a bunch of resources (I'm a CBT Therapist).

Thank you so much for your response, sorry I've taken so long to repond - I locked myself out of the account :') I have had one session with a counsellor but am finding it hard to actually get adequate help in terms of therapy & ED specialist dieticians, as I refused all help until I was already weight restored so it is harder to be taken seriously. Some resources would be amazing - my head is honestly screaming at me 24/7, although I continue to feed myself in spite of it. I feel very lost and frustrated with my body. I hope you had a wonderful christmas!
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12-26-2015, 10:09 PM
Post: #7
RE: My story: anorexia recovery
Well, please come here and vent whenever you need to and we will be happy to try to help you and answer any questions you may have. Even for those without an ED history, the mental part of this journey is truly the hardest part....

Hope you had a wonderful Christmas too, and please know we are here for you : )

Anitra Soto
Team EM2WL
ISSA Certified Fitness Trainer
ISSA Certified Specialist in Senior Fitness

My EM2WL Journey: http://eatmore2weighless.com/never-too-old-anitra/
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