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Thread: Calling any recovered EDs - I need som help with binge-fast-binge cycle

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  1. #1
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    Calling any recovered EDs - I need som help with binge-fast-binge cycle

    I'd really like some help from any forum members who have recovered from, or are recovering from an Eating Disorder. I'm struggling here with a non-stop cycle of binging, fasting to counter act the binge, then binging again.

    There are a lot of threads on here (one current) about binging and they have been helpful, but I want to hear some hope and inspiration from people who have been anorexic or bulimic and have used primal to help them move on.

    My background is anorexic for about 24 years with some long gaps of recovery. Current episode has been nearly 2 years now and the only one where I haven't been underweight, my BMI is about 19 I think. I have been fully primal for 7 months, I see a Psychiatrist and I attend regular meetings of Overeaters Anonymous and am working that program with my OA sponsor.

    But I cannot seem to stop binging. I hate it, it's like a switch goes off and I can't stop. It happens 95% of the time in the evenings after dinner. I try to binge only on Primal food, but it invariably involves lots of dried fruit and nuts. Last night I had sugar and grains and was ill all night long. It's a perpetual self-sabotage and I have had more than enough of it. I'm at my wits end, I hate living like this. I embrace Primal and mostly have a good head on my shoulders dealing with this very difficult recovery, but I think it's time now to reach out directly to anybody who's been there and got through it.

    I've put on about 2kg since being Primal (I know, muscle, fat loss and all that) but it does my head in. I'm still obsessed with the scales. I have stopped counting calories though which is progress. After a binge I IF for a week or two (missing breakfast) but then the binge comes back, or I start thinking I've lost a bit of weight and I can have a handful of almonds. Sadly it seems I cannot just have a handful of anything. I have a food plan for each day wihch does help, but I still binge. I've had 4 binges this week and the FEAR of weight gain gives me suicidal thoughts.

    I need some help, advice and support. Anyone once anorexic and recovered with a primal diet? Please help me. I'm desperate.

  2. #2
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    Personally, I eat once a day myself. I go all day and then eat anywhere between 1,600 - 2,200 calories in my one meal of the day. I've been having great results, keep getting leaner all the time, love how I feel during and after fasted workouts, have great energy levels...

    So I would say that once a day "gorging" can be healthy. I'm living proof.

    But if you have any eating disorders, I know that this kind of eating style becomes a bit more risky as it can lead to relapses. Even shorter IFs pose a risk. If you find that IFing makes THINK that you can afford to binge and you don't seem to be able top coontrol your urges, then I would not attempt it. You might just have to say to yourself that you won't IF anymore so that you aren't tempted at all to binge and then, likely, overdo it.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drumroll View Post
    Personally, I eat once a day myself. I go all day and then eat anywhere between 1,600 - 2,200 calories in my one meal of the day. I've been having great results, keep getting leaner all the time


    You might just have to say to yourself that you won't IF anymore so that you aren't tempted at all to binge and then, likely, overdo it.
    I'm very lean (body fat recently measured at 19%) I;m not IFing for that, it's a response to the ED cycle. I don't know how to get out of it.

  4. #4
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    Don't have experience with ED's, but I commend you on your efforts & direction.
    I imagine trying to listen to your body's signals and silence the disagreements that are going on in your head urging you to either fast or binge. I think a regular routine of meals and planning like you have done, but even planning out snacks to avoid the emotional argument with yourself, suppose it is a bit like alcohol with AA's, "just one drink" is just like "just one binge", so set your calorie intake for the day and split it between as many meals & snacks as you like, but that's it.

    Have you tried any types of meditation or anything like that, when we sit quiet and just observe the conversations in our head we realise there is a crowded room in our head and the chatter is constant, it takes a while, but just by observing the conversations and not attaching to any of them, good or bad, they slowly quieten, by denying them the emotional energy of fear, dread, pleasure etc. they eventually fall back to their respective places and stop overwhelming everything.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Omni View Post
    Don't have experience with ED's, but I commend you on your efforts & direction.
    I imagine trying to listen to your body's signals and silence the disagreements that are going on in your head urging you to either fast or binge. I think a regular routine of meals and planning like you have done, but even planning out snacks to avoid the emotional argument with yourself, suppose it is a bit like alcohol with AA's, "just one drink" is just like "just one binge", so set your calorie intake for the day and split it between as many meals & snacks as you like, but that's it.

    Have you tried any types of meditation or anything like that, when we sit quiet and just observe the conversations in our head we realise there is a crowded room in our head and the chatter is constant, it takes a while, but just by observing the conversations and not attaching to any of them, good or bad, they slowly quieten, by denying them the emotional energy of fear, dread, pleasure etc. they eventually fall back to their respective places and stop overwhelming everything.
    Thanks Omni. I hear what you say about 3 set meals and that is what OA recommends too. But if I eat breakfast when I'm not hungry that itself can trigger me too, it's such a delicate balance. I don't think I can snack either as this sends me off the wall.

    Listening to myself is super important, becasue I don't and I think I use food to block out the noise. Journalling might be good, I'd like to do it everyday, I'll need to find the time. I do take medication and Goodness knows where I'd be without it.

  6. #6
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    I have been binge free for almost 3 weeks. Check out the book "brain over binge"

    Amazon.com: Brain over Binge: Why I Was Bulimic, Why Conventional Therapy Didn't Work, and How I Recovered for Good (9780984481705): Kathryn Hansen: Books

    It is great and I don't think I will go back to bingeing any time soon. Primal might not be the best diet for you though. I could not stop myself from bingeing on primal. The best way to do it is to not restrict any foods, even "trigger foods," just eat them in moderation and control yourself.

    But seriously, that book is great and the reviews speak for themselves.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimhensen View Post
    I have been binge free for almost 3 weeks. Check out the book "brain over binge"

    Amazon.com: Brain over Binge: Why I Was Bulimic, Why Conventional Therapy Didn't Work, and How I Recovered for Good (9780984481705): Kathryn Hansen: Books

    But seriously, that book is great and the reviews speak for themselves.
    Do you have an ED? Binging can be a little bit different from 'normal' eaters. I can binge with impunity when I'm not having an episode of anorexia, pick myself up and get on with life. But the anorexia brings with it obsessive thoughts about food and very compulsive food behaviour. This for me is worse than the binges as it's constant and sould destroying.
    It is great and I don't think I will go back to bingeing any time soon. Primal might not be the best diet for you though. I could not stop myself from bingeing on primal. The best way to do it is to not restrict any foods, even "trigger foods," just eat them in moderation and control yourself.

    Also, I would binge on any diet. Primal has nothing to do with it -why do you think it would?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dexy View Post
    Do you have an ED? Binging can be a little bit different from 'normal' eaters. I can binge with impunity when I'm not having an episode of anorexia, pick myself up and get on with life. But the anorexia brings with it obsessive thoughts about food and very compulsive food behaviour. This for me is worse than the binges as it's constant and sould destroying.
    It is great and I don't think I will go back to bingeing any time soon. Primal might not be the best diet for you though. I could not stop myself from bingeing on primal. The best way to do it is to not restrict any foods, even "trigger foods," just eat them in moderation and control yourself.

    Also, I would binge on any diet. Primal has nothing to do with it -why do you think it would?
    Being primal can cause bingeing because it restricts whole food groups...I have read opinions from different "experts" that restricting whole food groups causes you to fixate and binge on them, and I know it does for me. I eat everything I want, but in moderation.

    And I certainly am not anorexic but I can't imagine that I don't have binge eating disorder. I would eat until I was stuffed and eat more and more throughout the day. I have finally gotten a handle on it and it feels great. Brain over binge was a big part of that.

    To be honest thought binge eating disorder is completely different than anorexia and I have no idea how to deal with anorexia. I would think just forcing yourself to eat a normal diet would do it but I guess for some reason or another that is hard to do?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimhensen View Post
    Being primal can cause bingeing because it restricts whole food groups...I have read opinions from different "experts" that restricting whole food groups causes you to fixate and binge on them, and I know it does for me. I eat everything I want, but in moderation.
    I actually think the exact opposite of this is true - at least for me. I was a binge-eater decades before ever hearing about primal/paleo (I'm 33, and this has been an issue for me since childhood.) In fact, going paleo/primal was what allowed me to be able to 'reprogram' my brain and conquer my ED because it's a framework for making healthy lifestyle choices that offers a lot of flexibility (I'm thinking of macro flexibility here.)

    For me, having a deeper understanding of how modern, western processed foods negatively impact my physical and mental health has been invaluable in my commitment to improve my health. It's not that I CAN'T eat gluten, dairy, omega 6 crap oils, grains, etc... it's that I don't WANT to put those things in my body anymore.

  10. #10
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    I'm a former bulimic. Got that under control years ago, but my weight (and health) were not good for a long time (overweight; not healthy). Last summer, I found MDA and went primal in August, kept with it until the end of November, then hit the wall. Went back to SAD. Tried to rein it in once January rolled around, but then major work-related stress happened, and then something in my personal life completely derailed beginning at the end of February, keeping the tension at a murderous level until the end of April. Since then, I've been picking up the pieces. I've been dabbling with returning to primal since May, and even started the Whole 30 at the start of June.

    And here's where it ties into your thread.

    For the first two weeks of Whole 30, I was doing OK. Low-carb flu, low energy, but I stuck with it. I purposefully didn't log my calories (I had been doing LoseIt before TPB last year), but my weight basically didn't budge. I know I was overeating, but I was overeating healthy foods, so I thought that was OK -- first I'd get healthy, then I'd rein in the calories, you know? I experimented with IF, but usually by skipping breakfast, and then I'd overeat later in the day.

    Then I had the most painful menstrual cramps I've had in years. Years. Completely floored me. On top of that were horrific mood swings -- running the gamut from depression to mania. It was exhausting. I decided to stop doing Whole 30. All of last week, I've been overeating junk food. It's like I'm either binging on healthy food (Whole 30) or binging on junk food, with a half-hearted IF in between.

    So. Tomorrow is another week. I'm going back to logging my calories on LoseIt. I know that many folks here don't advocate counting calories on TPB, but I think I need to, at least for now. When I was doing TPB last year and logging, I lost weight, felt terrific, and all in all did great -- until I did the Whole 30. I think for me, becoming super restrictive (that is, doing Whole 30, with no chocolate, no wine, and no dairy, on top of the no grains, no added sugars, few PUFAs and minimal processed food) is the worst thing I can do for my mental state. I don't know why. But it seems like the more restrictive I get, the more likely it is that I'm going to crash hard and binge. A lot. My weight's back up (I don't want to get on the scale, but I feel it in my clothes and I see it on the tape measure), and I feel lousy.

    So I'll log my food/calories, and I'll aim for 80/20 eating primally. I'm also going to aim for bike riding outside for 30 minutes daily as my slow movement -- and, with luck, I'll be joining a new CrossFit gym near me this Wednesday, so I can begin LHT. And I won't get super restrictive. I've got my fingers crossed that this will work.

    (And I also left a message with a therapist. Sigh.)

    Anyway, I don't know if this will work for me, but I'm hopeful. Maybe logging your calories/food will help you too.

    Good luck.

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