Hello everyone! I have just found this post in my drafts which I never published. I wanted to publish it for you now, as I hope it may help some people. This was written quite a while ago and I would say I am a lot better now, however I still hope this may be helpful :)
If you read my depression post, I briefly mentioned that I had a slight eating disorder in the past. I was asked to write a post a little more in detail about this and I hope some people find it helpful.
I never had treatment specifically for my eating problems. They seemed to be due to my depression, so I was treated for that and once my mood improved, so did my eating. I became very obsessive with calorie counting. I would not eat anything without knowing exactly how many calories it was. I used an app on my phone to track calories throughout the day and set my limit to about 800. Some days I wouldn't reach that and would eat about 500 calories, however I would never let myself go over.
I remember one day trying to work out what I would eat for lunch and dinner. Something I wanted would have taken me over by 30 calories, so I wouldn't let myself eat it. I sat at home for ages trying to work out what foods I could eat that wouldn't take me over, crying my eyes out and eventually just not eating anything because it was too stressful. If I went out for meals, I would look through the menu and just pick the lowest calorie food. Some restaurants didn't have calories on the menu, so I would sit on my phone trying to find it on their website. I literally would not eat anything unless I knew the exact calories. If I was at someone's house and they gave me food, I would sneak into their kitchen and look for it in the cupboards or a wrapper in the bin so I could know the calories.
I never suffered with bulimia, however I remember once trying to make myself sick. I think I may have waited too long since eating, but for some reason I just couldn't be sick. I sat by the toilet for ages crying my eyes out and trying to be sick and I couldn't. This made me feel so much worse because I was so obsessive and controlling over food and my weight, and not being able to be sick made me feel like I wasn't in control and I was a failure.
A normal BMI ranges from 18.5 to 24.9. When I was at my lowest weight, it dropped below 17 which caused my periods to stop for a year. I wasn't healthy. I could easily lose about a pound per day which I did for a while. I was always quite small anyway, so losing this much just made me unhealthy.
Like I said before, I was never specifically treated for an eating disorder. I was treated for my depression as that affected my eating too. My Doctor has recently told me how extremely concerned she was about me when I had eating problems. If you feel similar to how I did, I would highly suggest talking to someone and seeing your GP.
My BMI now is 20.8 so I am in the healthy range and chuffed! I have put on about a stone and a half since my lowest weight and am currently the heaviest I have ever been. I am still not 100% over all of this, however I am better at controlling it. I don't count calories anymore, which was the hardest thing to stop doing as I felt I wasn't in control anymore. If I start counting them again, I can tell when I am becoming too obsessive and can stop myself immediately - plus I have deleted the phone app.
I still think I look fat sometimes and I would like to lose a little bit of weight, however the difference now is that I want to be healthy. I want to lose weight by exercising and eating healthy - not by eating 500 calories per day. Before any eating problems, I was about a size 8/10. During my lowest weight I was a 4 and now I am a 6/8, which I am happy with.
I don't have a solution to putting on weight. My way of thinking just changed as I became better and I gradually increased my calories. I wouldn't be able to just stop counting them overnight. I gradually increased my daily allowance to 1000, 1100 and then 1200. Once I started eating about 1200 per day, I got used to how much and what type of food that was. Now I don't count calories and am not obsessed with them, but I still have a rough idea of how much I am eating.
Some days I go mad and probably eat about 2500 calories or something. I am addicted to chocolate so it's not hard! I just try and be sensible so if that happens, the next day I will just eat healthier. Before, if I ate anything that I considered 'bad', I would think about it for days after, worrying about it and stopping myself eating as much because I hated myself for eating that bad food. I really like the quote above, as it helps me just think of each day as new. I don't worry as much about what I ate yesterday or the day before.
If anyone would like to chat to me about anything specific, then please comment or email me. I may not be able to help but I am happy to listen and be supportive.