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Anorexia

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Any femanons here who had anorexia and can help me understand it?

My little sister is currently institutionalized with it and it's heartbreaking to see her waste away, but I can't help her if I don't understand what she's going through. Do people with anorexia genuinely think they're overweight? Or are they well aware that they're slowly killing themselves, and the anorexia is a way of self-harming to deal with depression or something like that? The latter would make sense because her anorexia was triggered after our family went through a very bad time. Also, what tends to trigger recovery? Medication, therapy, or something else? How important is it for them to admit to themselves that they are ill? She still maintains that there's nothing wrong with her, even though she was not far away from being too weak to live when she was admitted to the ward.
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>>18438728
/adv/ is hugely uneducated about eating disorders, unfortunately. I've asked for some help with mine, and seen some other people post, and the threads are kind of ridiculously ignorant.
Eating disorders are hugely varied. All of your possibilities could be true. I could tell you a bit about my psyche about it if you want some perspective.
Yes, she's going to want to recover if she's going to recover. There aren't going to be people monitoring her intake 3 times a day for the rest of her life. She needs to learn how to do it on her own, unfortunately.
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>>18438743
Please do share some of your insight, anything will be useful.
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>>18438728
I had a gf with anorexia once. Or had been treated for anorexia before at an institution.

We just did lots of drugs, and I'm pretty sure the majority of her calories came from alcohol. Sometimes she'd let me take her out for hotwings. I did nothing therapeutic or positive for her, except fuck her. I probably made her a lot worse off in the end. Don't take my advice
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>>18438757
Alright. I'll try not to ramble too much.

>Do people with anorexia genuinely think they're overweight?
So for me, I don't think other people view me as overweight. I think and have thought that I look average at worst and thin at best. I've never really been able to see myself as "skinny". I think I'd need to get low enough that my muscles started atrophying before I could really say that.
I honestly do like my body, usually. I just would like to be thinner.
I've realized recently that I really do have a hard time seeing my body for what it is. It was a big wake up call when used calipers to measure my body fat percentage and I was 12%. 21%+ is considered healthy, and 10%-13% is the bare minimum that a woman's body needs to function. I didn't think that I was THAT low, at 100lbs 5'4" bmi 17.2. At the time, I was aiming for 93 lbs.

>Or are they well aware that they're slowly killing themselves, and the anorexia is a way of self-harming to deal with depression or something like that?
There are times where I used restriction for self harm, but for the majority of the time, it wasn't, I think. When I used it for self-harm, it would be because I didn't think I deserved to eat or that I didn't deserve that money spent on me. At the worst of times, it was related to my suicidal ideation, wanting to just fade away. I never really believed that it would work, though. I honestly don't believe that my eating disorder would kill me. It's possible that I'm in denial. But I have a hard time admitting that I'm "that bad." Plus, I haven't been actively suicidal in years. It's dwindled to passive fantasies. Suicide is not why I restrict.

I have other goals. I'll go into them in my next post
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>>18438728
It's a form of control over ones action. There's something she felt like she had no control of in her life so she turned to this to fill that void of no control. It could be the way your parents were raising her or something else. But that's my guess.
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>>18438770

Same. I made her lunch everyday until she got to a healthy weight. That is until she broke up with me to do drugs with other guys in alleyways. Our lives really suck anon
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>>18438757
>>18438805
For one, I like accomplishing something. I sometimes tell myself that it's "the world's stupidest hobby." I feel satisfied and proud of myself after I restrict. I get excited when I see the numbers go down on the scale. When so many people struggle with being overweight, I feel haughty knowing that I can "control" myself. After a certain amount of restriction, I don't really feel hungry any more. I get a bit of a high, actually. It self perpetuates rather easily, because I know that if I let myself have a little snack, that I'll break this numb feeling and feel even hungrier.
There's the extra desire to fight back when I break a restriction and binge. I hate binging. I lose all control of myself, it feels like I'm on the outside looking in. It's awful. So I want to compensate for the extra food, and punish myself. But restriction just makes binging more likely. The cycles continues....

I also want to be lithe and prepubescent. I've had a hard time adjusting to being an adult with responsibilities and also being looked at as a sexual creature. I wasn't very sexual for a long time, so I enjoyed being stick-like.

>The latter would make sense because her anorexia was triggered after our family went through a very bad time.
All these desires definitely ramp up in times of stress. Plus, when I'm stressed, sometimes I lose my appetite completely. Which makes it all that easier.
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>>18438757
>>18438837
>Also, what tends to trigger recovery? Medication, therapy, or something else?
I started being serious about recovery around March of this year. My trigger was from realizing my relapse. I have no idea how long I was in denial. I realized it in preparation of moving in with my boyfriend, and trying to think of meal plans for the two of us. I was struggling and decided to just write what I had been eating lately. I was shocked at how little it was.

I wanted to recover because don't want to use this comfort any more. My life is going well. I'm learning new coping mechanisms, I'm in a better relationship, I'm learning how to take care of myself. I want to be healthy. So I guess I have to eat healthy too.
I knew that it would make my boyfriend happy if I was healthy. I had been excusing my health because it's enough to get by- I didn't care about the light headedness, going blind when I stood up, the hangriness, my low stamina. I've been underweight for so long that I don't really have a "healthy" me to compare to, so I could blame it on unrelated health issues. But I want to be able to join my boyfriend on hikes. I don't want to be hangry with him. I don't want to scare him when I grab for support every time I stand up. So I decided to try and fix myself.

I started with the idea of just maintaining my weight. It's not sustainable to be in a restricting and binging cycle, so I thought I should just steady out to maintenance levels. I started calorie counting for the first time. I cut out binges with keto, which made me not want to restrict. But stress came my way, and the extra control of not binging was so delicious, that I lowered my intake. I got so excited to get so low. I started to convince myself that I wanted to get low enough that my boyfriend would say something, so that he would be worried. Because if he's worried, that means he really does "care" about me. (I realize that this is very stupid) Then I got drunk and broke ketosis.
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>>18438728
I wonder if you have any fears? Things you just wont do for whatever reason?

Anorexics dont always think theyre overweight. Sometimes its just the fear of gaining weight.

Anyway if you want to know what shes going through try to think of that. Fears where your body just takes over and wont let you do something. The point its not entirely a conscious decision.

If you cant think od anything go turn your burner on then try to touch it and feel the apprehension and feel your body try to stop you.

Thats how she feels towards food.

I was dating an anorexic girl once. She even knew she had to eat, knew the damage she was causing herself, and she knew she wouldnt gain weight.

But she just could not bring herself to eat and fears of gaining weight would pop in her head immediately.

She was cured eventually. Shes a healthy weight now and legit proud of it. Still it was never an actual conscious decision for her.
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>>18438757
>>18438849
I'm rambling. Oh well. After so many years of being secretive I've been excited to tell my story. Hopefully it helps.

Anyway, after I broke ketosis, I binged fucking hard.
I decided to try something different. Before, I tried to get to maintenance by not binging, which would make me not restrict. This time, I decided to get to maintenance by not restricting, which would hopefully make me not binge anymore.
So I binged for 3-4 weeks. I gained 10 pounds, so I'm now 110 lbs 5'4" bmi 18.9. I haven't checked my body fat percentage.

That ended about a week or two ago. Now, nothing is appetizing. If I cook for myself, I'll usually eat it, but food doesn't excite me in the orgasmic way it did during my binge. I'm trying to force myself to eat three square meals a day. I stopped calorie counting. I'm trying not to let myself lose weight. It's so so very tempting, though. I'm trying to use my body dysmorphia to my advantage - I really don't see much difference in my body from 100 lbs to 110 lbs. So what's the point?

Plus, being sexually attracted to my boyfriend and having a good sex life is making me more comfortable with the idea of looking sexualized. I'm also getting comfortable with my adult responsibilities. I don't feel the need to look like a little kid any more.

Um, so. That's my head.
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>>18438865
Thanks for sharing, appreciate reading about your experiences, not rambling at all. Hope your recovery continues to go well.
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>>18438888
Thank you! I wish the best for your sister. Eating disorders are usually something that we'll have to deal with for the rest of our lives. We can't avoid food and the consequences of it. It's essentially like an addiction. It's great that she's got someone like you who cares about her.

Side note: another thing you might not consider about eating disorders is the competitive nature of it. There are people who gloat about how little they eat and make it seem like restrictive eating disorders are only "real" if you eat less than X amount. There is gloating about who is the sickest. I know that I'm still envious of girls I see who are nearly literal skeletons.
There's also some gatekeeping within the medical recovery world- that you can only be admitted if you are less than X bmi.

It can be hard to admit that there's anything wrong with oneself when there are others who are "so much sicker". But any intake below your TDEE will make you lose weight and will wreck your body.

But, eating disorders are mental disorders. You can throw logic at the ED brain all you want, but our irrational fears will scream so very loud.
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>>18438986
Do you exercise?
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>>18439012
A bit. Walking and jogging my dog, morning yoga with pushups, pullups, and squats. I used to have a 30 minute one way uphill walking commute.
Why do you ask?
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>>18438728
Your sister just wants to be perfect. Stop ruining her life with your "help". Anorexia is beautiful.
Oh, and you can't cure it. Ana will follow her for the rest of her life.
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>>18439035
Obvious troll noted.

But in case someone believes this shit..

It can be cured. I have a friend that was cured.
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Shit, I might have a mild form as well.
When I went abroad, I ate less unconsciously, and felt proud when I came back home and looked at the scale - I had lost 3 kilos, in the United States even! (180cm, 58kg). I really enjoyed losing weight, and even now when I am gaining, I feel slightly guilty even though I am underweight.
I should eat more.
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>>18439214
Cured? I understand that the rest is trolly, but how were they cured?
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>>18439256

Much therapy and struggle.

Ill tl;dr this post>>18438854

She knew it was wrong and unhealthy and knew weight was ok. But it was just hardwired into her food = fat = undesirable and food in general scared her. Same way you couldnt bring yourself to hurt yourself. Its like a phobia, an irrational fear and the body fights you against your will.

But she was fighting for herself alongside the therapist.
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>>18439289
So how did she beat the phobia? What did she do with her therapist?
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>>18439310
Jeez i dunno it took years and a professional.

Im not a doctor, her doctor is a doctor.

If i could condense years of psychotherapy, mental exercises and small victories into a post id be the doctor.

Just get a therapist.
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>>18439031
i dont know i forgot lol it had something to do with your physique and building muscle
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>>18438728
I think its different person to person. Some have that body dysphoria that makes them legitimately see themselves as larger than they are. Some don't, I know I never had that. I can see how small/big I am, I can even appreciate sometimes that I look good/small enough. But the issue is it's not a lasting feeling. I always will fall back to "Yeah, I'm small, but not small enough."

I think deep down we all know we're harming ourselves, though I do think it's true that some might genuinely not know just how badly they're hurting themselves. I kind of fall into that realm. I don't see what I'm doing to myself as entirely the same as killing myself, but then again I also am not that far gone. Hell, even medically speaking I'm still considered a healthy weight currently. But I'm still on my down swing and desiring to be smaller. So maybe I will get that way soon, idk. But as long as I am at that "medically healthy weight" I don't consider my eating habits all that bad for me. Yeah, eating 400 calories a day is probably not great for me. But I genuinely don't know what that's doing to me. I don't really care to know either. It doesn't matter, because to me (and I'm sure a lot of people) the ends justify the means. I'd rather live a short, happy, skinny life, than a long miserable healthy one.

and as for what will bring about recovery? The difficult part for the position you're in, is that there is NOTHING any of you can do to really help her. She has to decide she wants help first, and it's possible she may never get to that point before it kills her. Sorry to not sugar coat it or anything, but it's the truth. You can force her into hospitals and therapy sure, but unless she's willing to cooperate it will never be effective.
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>>18439513
My reason for becoming anorexic was as petty as a bad break up.
I loved him, I really really did and put everything into him. I gave everything I had to him. He dumped me, told me I was the practice pig, and went on to fuck dozens of girls a 4th of my size. I was overweight at the time, I had already felt undesirable, and when I thought he loved me, I felt like life was worth living. I thought "wow, someone can love me when I look like this"
After I got slammed with the reality check that no, nobody loves fatties, and nobody ever will, I decided with good intentions even to get in shape. But then I got in shape, and still nobody loved me. He wouldn't take me back even when I was a healthy 130 lbs.
Thats when it started for me, I convinced myself that "ok, this isn't enough weight loss. I need more" and more just became more, and more, and more.
I hit 110 at my lowest, gained a bunch back last year, and I hate myself for it.

So my cure? Someone to love me. When I can get back into a relationship, I'll know I'm skinny enough for love and happiness and don't need to continue, just maintain.

But that's the catch 22, because even I still know deep down is the psychosis and extreme mental issues that's repelling guys from me most.

But hey, when you're hot enough, it doesn't matter how crazy you are. So I know it'll equal out eventually.
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>>18439431
There's quite a few different approaches to recovering from eating disorders. Since your ex had such success, it'd be nice to know what method they used. CBT? Minniemaud? What?
Did she have a dietitian? Was she in or out patient? What center did she go to?
Saying "go to therapy" is really vague for this context.
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Anyone have any tips on being a better anorexic? I put on a few pounds on a binge and I'm having a hard time talking myself out of drinking bleach because of it.

I haven't mastered how to make myself throw up yet. I cram my finger down my throat all day but all I ever do is gag. I guzzle salt water and other gross concoctions trying to make me barf and I just keep it all down. Idk how to get ahold of that syrup shit now that they don't sell it over the counter.
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>>18439647
just calm down, go for a walk and don't eat anything. most people you know are fat shits their whole lives, you can have a little for a week or two, it won't stick
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>>18439669
Ugh but it does stick. I swear I can have one bad binge for an hour that will take me 2 months to work off because I'm already at a low enough weight that my body is desperately clinging on to everything I put in it for survival.

Haven't lost enough to lose my periods though, which is the cause of my torment. The fucking hormonal bullshit always sets me off on a binge because the cravings just become way too intense.
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>>18439686
Why do you care so much about what other people think?
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>>18439690
Because that's literally the most important thing in life. We're social creatures, we form packs. We need one another to survive. And the only thing I've ever wanted in life was to get married. I can't marry myself. I need the approval of a man to get married. The majority of men approve of beautiful skinny women.
I'm trying to improve my odds here, sure I can stay fat and ugly and wait around for one to take me as I am, but I might potentially wait forever. Plus, if you're not in first you're in last. If I'm not the most attractive woman he's ever seen, he'll move on to a better model when he finds one. I need to be the best.
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>>18439712
Thats completely stupid.

Some men like skinny women. Some would think you were disgusting if you were skinny.

Some men like fat women, some would think you were disgusting if you were fat. No matter what youre like a lot will hate you/love you for it.

Outside if that there are 7 billion people. You will have no problem socialising regardless of your weight.


I promise you this though. Anorexia is pretty stupid, and unnattractive. And i mean that. Youre actually greatly lowering your chances.

Get this shit through your head so you can start fighting that.

>if i dont look like a model hell leave me for a better looking women

Firstly you marry someone like that, thats your fault for poor choice.

Secondly Go check cheating statistics. For both men and women. Most of the time it isnt someone more attractive. Its someone they connect with in some meaningful way they arent connecting with their partner on.

Ill add my girlfriend was a 10 when i met her. Shes gained a lot of weight, barely tries anymore, and is a 7 at best 4 years later.

Still no urge to cheat. Thats my partner and i love her no matter what. In fact the most ugly thing she does is complain im going to leave her over her weight. Just whininess and baseless insecurity.
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