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How can I make gaining weight less mentally painful?


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Old 14th September 2017, 8:33 PM   #1
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How can I fix a distorted body image?

First, I'm typing this up on my phone, so please forgive my poor grammar.

I've been living with Anorexia Nervosa for three years now (and yes, I am a male), and it frankly can be difficult at times. I ALWAYS have an intense fear of gaining weight, I always think I'm fat, and I always perceive my body as being fat. When I look in the mirror, my first thought is "What a fat slob I am."

I also happen to teach at a local high school, and today one of the students stopped me in the hallway and asked me how much I weigh, as I'm very thin and appear to have lost weight. I know that sounds odd, but this school is known for behavioral issues and students are known for simply saying whatever is on their mind.

This tells me that my perception of my own body is likely wrong, as an unbiased person with no reason to really take notice of my body has commented on my weight loss. This worries me greatly, as I'll always think I'm fat regardless, and this thought process and fear makes it hard to eat.

Any advice?
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Old 14th September 2017, 8:48 PM   #2
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I'm sorry you have this PKrueger.

Anorexia is a very complex disease. Are you seeing a psychologist who specialises in this field?
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Old 14th September 2017, 9:32 PM   #3
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Do you remember a time when you weren't worried about your weight? Or what was going on when you first started to have this fear of fat?
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Old 15th September 2017, 1:08 AM   #4
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Counseling. Find a therapist who specializes in anxiety and eating disorders.

You can work through this and gain your self confidence back, you can re train your brain and rid of the negative thoughts and distorted images you believe right now.
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Old 15th September 2017, 8:48 AM   #5
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Face Reality

First step how tall are you?

Second how much do you weigh?
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Old 15th September 2017, 10:33 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by road View Post
Face Reality

First step how tall are you?

Second how much do you weigh?
Um....do you know ANYTHING about anorexia?????
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Old 15th September 2017, 3:27 PM   #7
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Get professional help - I am sure there are some experienced doctors or health professionals which can treat you.
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“Now I see that I will never find the light unless like a candle, I am my own fuel”
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Old 27th September 2017, 7:38 PM   #8
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Is there any way to recover from anorexia?

I'm a male anorexic who has been living with the illness for over three years now. I went to therapy once and I was doing Better, but I then relapsed and have been too scared to seek help since. I know that sounds stupid, but I'm just terrified of going for more therapy. I ALWAYS think I'm fat and I'm scared of weight gain, and while it's frustrating, I don't know how to get out of it. I have moments where I think "You know, I've just gotta push my hardest to beat this and be healthy," but then I'll just feel so fat that I go back to restricting my eating.

I teach at a local high school which goes from Grades 7 to 11. I actually heard a couple of my Grade 7 students talk about how skinny I am and that I'm actually "scary" to look at. I dunno, but when a bunch of 12 year olds think I'm too skinny and even I can't see it, I know I have a problem....and yet I feel so fat and I'm almost too ashamed of my body to finish my dinner.

Is there any way to recover from anorexia?

P.S. Please excuse my poor grammar....I am typing on my phone and it's kind of hard lol.
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Old 27th September 2017, 8:25 PM   #9
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Yes, of course there is a way to recover. People are able to get control of their eating disorders every day.

But they don't do it on their own.

I know, I know change is scary, the road to recovery is hard....

But an eating disorder is a SYMPTOM of something else going on. You must treat the underying issues in order to get rid of the symptom.

It's often about feelings of control or a lack there of. Feelings of unworthiness etc - which aren't founded in reality, but simply sometimes we have unaddressed pain that manifest in damaging ways. Not much different than a substance addict, or a drug addict etc - your "fix" is controlling what you do - or don't eat.

All I can say, is please from the bottom of my heart, reach out and find that help. You need a professional, a counselor you can connect with and will help you understand WHY you act out this way, so that you can then develop tools to manage it.

My sister is a bulimic. I would say "was" a bulimic, but honestly it's a life long thing, just like someone is never not an alcoholic once they become one..

But like an alcoholic, she is a RECOVERED bulimic.

She got help... A hospital stay, and therapy. It saved her life - and she was a lucky one, no long term physical damage. Others were not so lucky, heart conditions etc at young ages. Eating disorders can and will kill you when left untreated.

Peeling back the onion to find out why you are plagued with this complusion is difficult and uncomfortable - but living with an out of control addiction is worse.

Reaching out here is a first step - do you want to talk about, try to explore why the idea of therapy scares you?

For me, talking about my feelings and trying to understand WHY I feel them, even if I don't think they are "right" or rational really helps.
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Old 27th September 2017, 9:06 PM   #10
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Anorexia is not about weight. It's about control. You starve yourself because something else is your life is making you crazy.


I was anorexic in college. When somebody clued me about the meaning behind my bizarre eating habits I decided to eat. Yes, there is more to it then that but for me making that profound decision helped.


It also comes from overly critical parents. that was something I recently learned but it was eye opening.


Educate yourself about food / nutrition & proper BMI. Focus on tone not just weight. I'm 5'7. In college I weighed about 100 - 105 lbs. Waaaay too skinny. I brought it up to 120 -125 for most of my adult life which is still on the lean side but it felt "normal" / "right" to me. Now in middle age I'm pushing 150 & really troubled because like you I have a skewed perception of my own body. I'm still not fat by any objective standard but when I have to wear a certain size clothes it makes me nutty. I dieted last year on a reasonable 1200 calorie per day plan but felt myself slipping back into old bad habits & only consuming 600- 800 calories per day including a 150 calorie soda. So I had to stop calorie counting again to stop the obsessive behaviors.


Also think about the example you are setting for the kids.

Last edited by d0nnivain; 27th September 2017 at 9:10 PM..
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Old 3rd October 2017, 7:42 PM   #11
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Go back to therapy and don't be scared. It can help you! You know it helped once before and just because you relapsed doesn't mean you can be well again.

Find someone you connect with who specializes in eating disorders and anxiety.

Therapy is hard work but well worth it!
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Old 12th October 2017, 4:51 PM   #12
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How can I make gaining weight less mentally painful?

Me again, the male anorexic who has been living with this vile illness for three years. As always, not to be pathetic, but I'm so sick of this crap. It's pure hell and I wish I could just kick this problem once and for all, but no such luck.

The only free treatment centre in my city has a waiting period of at least 6 months and up to a year, so it's going to be a while before I can see anyone, and I can't afford to pay for treatment. Everyone from my students to my family tells me I look sick and that I'm horribly thin, but I always feel fat. I know I need to gain weight, but I'm scared of becoming overweight. And the problem is, I can't see my body correctly, so whereas everyone else sees this emaciated little man, I see a fat slob.

I'm going to try to force myself to eat until I can find some other professional help. I have been tempted to buy a scale and just use it as proof that I'm gaining weight at healthy levels, but I'm scared I'll just become obsessed with it and my plan will backfire.

I'm sorry for rambling. I'm so frustrated with myself right now, but I just don't see any way out of this. So I mean....do you think I should buy a scale? And is there any way to make weight gain a little less painful?
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Old 12th October 2017, 5:00 PM   #13
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What country do you live in? Thats a shame that treatment isn't available sooner - this is honestly a life threatening condition.

I do know that a scale would be the best bet - your problem is that you are obsessive and do not have a proper perspective.

Perhaps an eating journal would be better... Or an app to track what you eat.

You need to increase what you consume. Do you think logging what you eat, with having goals to reach would be helpful?

Ie eating a minimum number of calories, grams of protein a day etc? That way you could track and see if you are reaching your daily goals for HEALTHY eat everyday.

This isn't about the scale, it's about your health. Right now your mental health is affecting your physical health.
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Old 12th October 2017, 5:02 PM   #14
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I wouldn't begin to really know where to advise you about this, but have you ever used a calorie tracking app? I wonder if that would help to assure you that you are at least not over eating, but you're still ingesting enough calories to stay alive.
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Old 12th October 2017, 5:04 PM   #15
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Here are some Apps that may be useful to you.

https://www.healthline.com/health/to...-Up-+-Recover8

Something like this one may help you:

Recovery Record - Eating Disorder Management

"Recovery Record is a comprehensive resource that focuses on key approaches to promote recovery and positive body image. Keep a record of the meals you eat and how they made you feel when you ate them through this app. Read reflections and affirmations along your recovery journey, collect “jigsaw pieces” for positive behaviors, and complete questionnaires that’ll help you track your progress over time. You can also link your app to your treatment team so they can provide encouragement and feedback."
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