Am I developing (or do I already have) a eating disorder?
So last year wasn't a great one for me. My confidence was at an all-time low because I had gained a whole lot of weight and didn't like how I was looking at all. I didn't really notice myself eating more than usual, but I guess I most likely was because I'm not sure how else I'd have gained so much weight otherwise.
Anyways, so this year swung around and like most people do I had a new years' resolution to lose weight and get fit again. At first for around the first 2 or 3 months I was in the gym, but that didn't really make me lose any weight at all and if anything just made me gain muscle while still keeping all the same fat (and maybe even gaining some more). Then something clicked in my head, I thought 'if I just stop eating as much, I'll lose weight.' so I did. I stopped eating. Whenever I felt that usual hunger pang in my stomach, I didn't reach straight for some food to satisfy it. I just let myself starve. It's gotten to a point where I eat only 2 meals a day and some snacks here and there. I find myself going to work feeling super hungry a lot of the time, and it's not unusual for me to feel very hungry most days but just ignore the urge to eat. I've dropped weight now so I am back within my 'healthy' BMI but I'm worried that if I continue like this I'll continue to lose weight and maybe even become underweight.
Food isn't repulsive to me or anything, I can still eat it whenever I feel hungry no problems, it's just that I don't want to eat a lot of the time because I really don't want to become overweight again and stoop back into the depression I had last year because of my weight issues. I find myself feeling really hungry for hours and hours most days, usually to the point where I just stop feeling hungry because my body realizes I'm not going to eat. It's not very pleasant but I don't really know of any other way to lose weight, and I'm worried that if I go back to my usual 3 meals a day routine that I'll just pack on all that extra weight that I've lost this year.
I don't know what to think.
Does anyone have any advice?
Thank you if you've read this far, I appreciate you.
hello and welcome to the forums.
I am not sure I can give you much good advice (not trained in this area) but ...
my father, now elderly, was overweight based on the bmi measurements, except he was mostly muscle. Another person I know who was a healthy weight based on bmi was not. This does not mean that bmi scores are no good, except need to take everything into consideration.
now, if you are starving yourself to reach your desired weight may shows results in the short term, what are the costs in the long term?
I am also aware there are many diets people can go on. My own views (stupid as they are) is that real change takes time. And maybe that mean having a chat with your go about your concerns...
which are perfectly valid if it did not work before. There are also many other factors though that can play a part. For example, my wife cannot eat pasta or starchy food, but does exercise a lot. But she also has a thyroid condition that impacts on weight.
Anyway, I hope some of this helps. And if you want to chat some more...
Sorry I've just seen your post now and while I of course can't diagnose a mental health condition, I would suggest that skipping meals and having a preoccupation with weight or shape is a sign of an eating disorder.
Treatment works best if it's caught early so I would suggest talking to your GP about an Eating Disorder Care Plan.
You might want to try find yourself a psychologist who specialises in eating disorders.
I'm really glad that you decided to post as weight loss and body image can sometimes be a really slippery slope and it's good that you're recognising that maybe this isn't healthy.
Nobody here can make a diagnosis but I can tell you that a big part of eating disorders are restrictive eating and fear of gaining weight even if someone is in a healthy BMI. So it's definitely worth having a chat to your GP.
I also agree with smallwolf in the costs of a diet. Our bodies need food to survive. Which means there is a chance that you will gain weight- but, there are also ways to lose weight that are sustainable, healthy and long-term. I hope you'll bring this up with your GP.
As someone who have previously suffered from and still experiences relapses into an ED, this post definitely resonated with me.
Something that helped me with recovery was doing some research into how healthy looks different for everyone - some people may look one way while others look a complete different way and neither of them could be unhealthy. We have so many preconceived ideas of what healthy and 'ideal' looks like but those ideals change on a decade-basis. Trying to change your own body's structure to keep up with this is useless.
If it makes you feel comfortable, seeing a dietitian to help you come up with a healthy, balanced diet could help with ensuring that you are eating enough for your activity levels while also taking the pressure of you to choose what to eat. Food can be extremely tricky though so only do this if you feel comfortable with it.
You should see a professional for some help with getting a diagnosis and also with seeking some strategies to help you with acceptance and building a healthy relationship with food and your body.
I hope this helps and please keep well!