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Donkey's journey to deal with disordered eating and lose 6 stone!

Discussion in 'Slimming World - Weight Loss Diary' started by donkeysaurusrex, 28 July 2014 Social URL.

  1. donkeysaurusrex

    donkeysaurusrex Full Member

    Bonsoir all!

    Super long post ahead!

    So I've been on SW since Wednesday and my first WI is tomorrow at 5.30. I've been on here quite a bit in that time to keep inspired and to learn as much as I can but I feel like since this is going to take quite a while for me, I should start a diary to look over and track things :)
    It's not going to be interesting to anyone else I'd imagine but it might help me, so I'm going to write a long first post trying to explain how I got here, at the biggest I've ever been. It's an attempt at being honest with myself.

    It really is very long but hopefully if I'm struggling I can look back and see what it is I'm trying to conquer.

    I have been overweight since about the age of 8. In fact I remember weighing myself and 'dieting' at around 7. I ate adult portions and gradually became more obsessed with food as time went on. I think I used it as a means of control - I had none as a child so I would sneak food and try to cover the evidence. My Grandmother's friend saw me out with her with an ice cream in the middle of summer and said every time she saw me I was eating. Another of her friends said I looked 6 months pregnant. I was bullied right up to year 6 for my weight even though I wasn't huge by any means and then went to a girls' school where I actually got on ok for the most part since the girls weren't a nasty bunch at all. I still had problems at home though and the increased freedom of buying your own food at school and just getting older generally meant I put on a whole lot of weight and was deeply unhappy. I had no confidence at all and the times when I did get picked on for my size were out of school, walking home for instance I would be yelled at by groups of boys and a few times by older guys, maybe 19-20 who drove past and called me names. Fortunately for me, I was never the biggest kid in school, nor in my class, and that meant that I wasn't always the obvious target (I sound horrible here but I was good friends with the biggest girl and she was a major source of inspiration to me in later years).

    I actually put on the most significant weight between 1st and 2nd year of secondary, when I broke my ankle badly and was too embarrassed to leave the house on my crutches - I was convinced people were looking. I'd sit inside and just eat - my parents would buy me ready meals and I might go through 2 before they got home and then eat dinner on top. It was pure emotional and boredom eating. I also have a mother who really added to the problems in many many ways and in her rages would often call me awful names and tell me all I did was waddle round getting to the size of a house, without offering any support. I still have problems with her now, I can't confide in her because things will come back to bite me when her mood changes and she uses it as ammo against me. She never really tried to help me lose weight as a kid and I wish my parents had just not given me adult portions so young and shaped the attitude I came to have round food as it would have made things much easier now.

    By the time I was in year 11 I was pushing the 15stone mark I think, judging from the school photo I hate to this day. Around this time though I discovered fasting. Through my gcses I was eating tiny amounts and getting away with not eating dinner at home while running at least an hour on the treadmill a day. I lost a lot of weight and even though, from remarks she's made now, I think mum knew I was starving myself, she heaped praise on me for the first time over how I looked. It has always been 'if only you lost weight you'd be pretty', so I was finally gaining a little confidence.

    Then I went through 6th form and eventually ended up just over 15 stone, even with starving and binging. I was deeply unhappy at this time, away at boarding school and incredibly depressed. The friend who I mentioned earlier had been on the cambridge diet from age around 17 and had lost about 9 stone. She looked amazing. We talked and it gave me hope. I rang home and mum agreed I could do it, so the end of term came, I went home and embarked on CD for a few months. I lost a lot of weight and got down to about 12 1/2 stone, which isn't a healthy BMI but you wouldn't have known on me. How did I do it quite so quickly? I stopped eating the packs. Some days I would have only one, others none. Mum realised the first week when she found unused packs and went craaaaaazy, screaming and me and saying she was going to tell the counsellor blah blah -all threats, no recognition that I was struggling badly with what was really an eating disorder. She never mentioned it to the counsellor anyway and sung my praises while I was on the diet, right up to when I ended up in hospital for something completely unrelated - turned out to be the start of a chronic neurological condition and she suddenly changed her tune to 'I knew it was no good, I kept saying it was doing you harm'. Basically, my mum always has to be right :rolleyes:

    Fast forward, I kept my weight relatively stable and got my first job which I was in for 2 years - I kept putting uni off. In this time I yoyoed badly, always returning to cambridge and abusing the system to get back down. People still made comments - one angry customer stormed off when we didn't have something in stock and yelled 'fat pig!' over her shoulder in front of everyone. I started abusing laxatives. Turns out years later from a time when my mum was screaming at me over something that she knew, having been through my drawers, had told my dad that he shouldn't take me to cd anymore - not out of concern, but out of spite, because apparently me having an eating disorder somehow offended her or something and I shouldn't be allowed to lose weight. Totally illogical and when I found out years later I felt so betrayed. Not once did she ever offer help or try to talk to me about it - she only yelled at me.

    I started uni and my depression got so bad. I hated myself for how I looked so I never went out and made friends. I still had the occasional comment from groups of boys commenting on how ugly I was. So I used CD as a kick start for a starvation period, would go home in the holidays and put weight on, then starve again at uni. The longest I went without eating was 3 weeks. I was both ecstatic at passing my previous lowest weight and in a black depression. I wasn't going to classes and I met someone very similar to me - scarily similar, in so many ways, especially eating. Happy that I'd found someone I could be that close to who understood my issues, I ate freely and didn't monitor the food. More scarily, having someone with the near exact same eating problems - we enabled eachother - and things started to seem entirely normal. Even so, my weight never really passed the 15 stone mark.

    I had to go abroad as part of my course and veeeery long story short, I ate too much crap every day, never went to class and hated it, ending up passing the 15 mark easily. I came back and got a job, taking a year out from study. In this time I managed, through starving, to lose about 2 stone. I tried healthy eating but it was so all or nothing with me - one small loss and I'd lose hope. When I returned to uni last September it didn't take long to put on another 2 stone.

    I knew I was getting bigger. I wanted to do something about it, so I started to get ready to starve - this meant last suppers. The difference this time round was that I had been kicked out by my mum, my dad was secretly helping me financially and telling me he disagreed with her behaviour and he'd leave her if he could (but don't I dare tell anyone) and my grandmother and great uncle had just died. I spent christmas day alone and sobbing. Food was my only comfort and my only friend. I couldn't let it go. So on the weight went. I could feel clothes getting tighter, I could see the stretch marks but I couldn't stop. I didn't really acknowledge the gain until, once my Dad had forced me to issue an apology ('I know you aren't the one who should be apologising but she never will and I have to live with her, so just do it') grovelling over what an awful daughter I was to my mother and she had let me visit while he was in hospital. Very nastily she snapped at me 'I didn't recognise you when you walked in, Dad said it too - everyone else is pussyfooting around you but I'm NOT'. I'm still not sure what that meant - are your family meant to bombard you with comments telling you what a fat monster you've become? The 2nd time was more of a 'you can't be healthy at your size' comment and I kind of listened, more out of sheer embarrassment at the idea she was probably bringing my weight up to everyone in my family.

    I got back to uni, where I live permanently with a lot of secret financial help from Dad and decided to starve again. I got some scales and yep, the figure was terrifying. To think I'd been convinced I was a monster at 14 stone! I'd love to be there now. But it failed.
    Then I was looking through some pictures of my niece and nephew taken at home and found one of me. It actually made my heart skip a beat - I looked huge. I was mortified. I printed it out and put copies on the fridge and cupboards and didn't eat for several days. Until, predictably, I did.

    A girl I went to uni with and who had always been bigger than me started a charity slim last year. She seemed to have the same restrict/binge issues as I did, so when I saw that she'd reached her target weight (with less to lose than me at this point) and looked amazing, it made me think. She'd done it through slimming world. I'd always dismissed 'normal' diets as not working for me -my obsessions made points at WW a nightmare and general healthy eating went to pot - I couldn't restrict sizes and one 'bad' thing like chocolate would end my attempt at losing weight the conventional way.
    But I knew something had to change. Nothing had worked for me. Time after time I had the same results and I was getting bigger and bigger. I think the sheer timescale of losing weight healthily scared me off. But I realised that I could either take my time losing weight like this girl had healthily and stand a chance of a. getting there in the first place and b. keeping it off, or be utterly miserable trying to starve, failing and getting dangerously big in that time instead. I had also started to accept that I was huge - and be sort of ok with it rather than try to change - it was as if I was helpless and that seemed a very bad direction to head in.

    I went to my first slimming world meeting last Tuesday. I'd text the consultant at the weekend and her kind words gave me confidence and a smile so when I did walk in, I wasn't too nervous. I paid for a 12 week countdown straight away to make sure I gave it a chance and didn't fall into past traps. No way would I sabotage if I was getting weighed every week - I needed accountability.
    Then I asked if I could not know my starting weight. I felt it would discourage me too much and also if I knew exactly the figure, I feel like I'd suddenly lose the little bit of self confidence I have. My counsellor was absolutely fine with this. She text me mid week to say I should be proud for taking the first steps and I honestly feel like I have a chance on this plan. I keep looking back at the photos of my friend on facebook and think well, she did it - maybe I can too. I have to try.

    I have found it pretty simple this week in terms of what I can have, how much and syns. What I have struggled with is the urge to limit what I eat and what types of food I eat in order to speed loss up. Fortunately it hasn't been overwhelming and I haven't fallen into my usual trap. I haven't really eaten much meat - in fact, looking at the diary the only time I have eaten meat is when it's been in something pre prepared. I don't like preparing foods - not a laziness thing I don't think, but something about it signifying a 'real' meal - which I again struggle with. I pick and snack, but meals are an effort. I have 2 a day though - breakfast is something to work on, and I have not been hungry at all through snacking on fruit and eating so much veg. Not had any chocolate or 'treats' though - feels too early to work on that. I can't have these things in the house or they will be eaten in one go, and going out to buy an ice cream or whatever still seems like it might trigger a binge. Best left until later on to deal with perhaps.

    I've noticed already that I am less fatigued and my eczema has improved. I assume that eating all home made food and no processed junk has helped! I already drink a huge amount of water, about 5-6 litres a day for a medical issue, so the way I've been eating has complimented it.

    Tomorrow is my first weigh in. I have to be honest and say I'd like to see 4 pounds lost and that it seems doable given that it's the first week and my size - but I have talked to myself about what happens if it's not. The answer is that it's ok - I'm still on SW for another 11 weeks, I'm committed, so I don't have the option of doing what I've always done and giving up quickly. I know healthy and sustainable loss takes time and I really want to sort my head out - but I do have the nagging voices still. I think it boils down to the fact that, if I lose 2 pounds a week, it's going to take a year or so. If I don't, and I get those natural plateaus and slowing downs, the losses of half a pound - that's even longer. Can I keep going through this is what I wonder I suppose. I will want to binge, and binge on chocolate at that when I am down - but this is exactly what I want to change.

    I know I have an eating disorder and I know it's not normal. I know it will make things more difficult but I can't deal with how much time and energy it takes up. Food, eating and weight has been pretty much my life until now and I can't bear the thought of being this way for the rest of my life. That is why I'm going to give sw my all for these 12 weeks, so I can have a chance at having my life back.

    And I need to remember this when things get tough!! :)
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  3. Rae Rae

    Rae Rae Gold Member

    Hey donkey, found you. You are so brave for posting you're story,a lot of it definitely made sense to me but I'm so sorry you've never had any support from your mum, that must be tough. Have you ever spoken about it to your GP? Mine was very unhelpful (think he didn't understand ED) but agreed to refer me. I still struggled with therapy to begin with as was still counting calories, the highest I would have would be 1000 and that's when I thought I was on the road to recovery, how silly. I was obsessed with calories and especially carbs.....that's what CD does to you. It's the only diet that got me slim BUT it's the diet that screwed my head even more and definitely made the binges worse which resulted in massive weight gain. I'm coming out the other side now and truly believe that's down to sw.

    Always here if you need a chat xx
  4. donkeysaurusrex

    donkeysaurusrex Full Member

    Hello! :wavey:
    Thanks, I'm amazed you read it lol. I figured that it needed to be out and written down and I can't be the only one.
    Ah, mum is an odd one. I personally believe she is both depressed and is either bipolar or narcissistic- she verges on both lol, but I'm not living with her now, so it might make a difference.
    The one time I spoke to my GP about weight I was about 2-3 stone lighter and all he said was that my medication really puts weight on and I should walk more. Yes, my meds are renowned for weight gain effects unfortunately, but I didn't have it in me to say I needed real help. I guess I'm just too ashamed :rolleyes:. Feel like I might have more luck with my current GP but I have to trust someone implicitly to tell them anything that is an actual problem in therapy unfortunately, I just can't seem to get past it.
    What kind of things do you do in therapy for ED? Do they understand you?
    Oh, CD. What a nightmare lol. You have said it exactly right! I still don't eat bread or pasta really - might have potatoes rarely but those bloody carbs and their CD ingrained evil ways poison my mind! :p Even the friend I mentioned who lost loads on it put it all back on plus some and has the exact same issues as we're talking about! I'm so glad though that you've come through the counting and obsession and that sw is helping you, it really just takes over your life doesn't it?

    My weigh in is later today so I'm looking forward to it and you know, for once it's not images of being slim that are keeping me going - it's hearing from people like you and knowing that I could have a much healthier way of thinking and not have to deal with an ED in every. single. area. of my life!

    Lightbulb moment! :stickdance:
  5. sewingbee

    sewingbee Full Member

    Hey Donkey!
    I read your post on the other thread and hot footed it over here to see if you had started a diary. I am so glad you did.
    This is the first time I've done Slimming world and its the best eating plan I've ever come across.
    Good luck on your journey, but you are not alone, we are all here with you through good times and bad!!
    Good luck tonight and whatever the number, it will be in the right direction.
  6. Rae Rae

    Rae Rae Gold Member

    Can you not change your meds? I always felt ashamed, people don't know about my ED apart from mini's. Feels like it happened to someone else now, I still have issues but nowhere near as bad. I got to the point where I couldn't carry on so asked for help. It really does take over everything. I was never into 'talking' about feelings so was a challenge for me but they give you different strategies to work on plus they made me do a time line of my life's events to see where it all stemmed from. Hope this helps.
  7. donkeysaurusrex

    donkeysaurusrex Full Member

    Aww thank you sewingbee! I'm just amazed anybody actually read that huge wall of text! This place is so full of nice people :) Even though nobody knows I've joined sw it's nice to have people to talk to about it here :) It seems like such a great plan you're right. Do you go to a group or online? I've never heard so much praise, positivity and clapping in one place before - I think group might save me!
  8. donkeysaurusrex

    donkeysaurusrex Full Member

    I have a couple of really quite rare and complex neurological issues and this one particular med controls part of it so well that it's asking for trouble to find another, especially given that I've been on about 12 others in a bid to find one that works! I used to be on one known as a miracle drug with the wonderful side effect that it made people lose a lot of weight, but it had awful side effects and I just couldn't function. I'm seeing my neurologist very soon though so I may be in for a change. My eventual hope is to have surgery and come off the meds altogether but it's not a common op so funding is very hard to come by on the nhs.

    That sounds good actually and it's clearly helping you - I'll give it a think, maybe it's something I can do once my exams are over. Uni eating issues groups never appealed to me - a disproportionate number of very very thin girls, sitting in a circle sharing thoughts. Not for me thanks! But what you describe sounds far less cringe worthy!
  9. donkeysaurusrex

    donkeysaurusrex Full Member

    Soo, my weigh in. I was utterly convinced that I felt heavier when I was walking over to group and that I felt wider somehow. And then I stepped on the scales and the lady went 'wow!' and told me I'd got my half stone certificate - bang on 7lbs! Hurray! I'm so so so pleased - a lot of faith in the diet went on today, and I've come away really confident :D I feel like I can achieve it now! I know the first week is a lot of water weight etc but I don't care - that's a big dent that I was convinced would take weeks!
    And I feel so healthy! My skin is glowing right now and my eczema is practically gone! I'm also a big fan of the shiny sticker :p

    And another thing that's big for me is that I got in starving (not eating dinner before I weigh in obviously but by 7.15ish when I'm home I'm ravenous!) and really wanted chips. So I did! Success one. Weighed them and worked out the syns, added veg and quorn sausages, then realised the sausages were also on syns, then really wanted sauce with it, which would take me to 14 syns today. That seemed reeeally high and I was about to back off because I've always absolutely had to come in under whatever amount of any food I'm 'allotted' and then said nope! Still within my syns, they're there to be used. And on went the sauce lol. Seems small, but it's a big difference for me!
  10. Sweethearts

    Sweethearts Gold Member

    Well done! 7lbs in your first week is amazing :D
  11. donkeysaurusrex

    donkeysaurusrex Full Member

    Thank you! Super pleased with it, especially as I was walking down the road on the way there so down and feeling so big that I had the Nelly the elephant song in my head
  12. Rae Rae

    Rae Rae Gold Member

    Congratulations again, that's fab. You can make sw chips you know so you don't have to use syns on them. Some people par boil potatoes but I don't, I cut a potato into chips, spray with fry light and whack in the oven :)
  13. donkeysaurusrex

    donkeysaurusrex Full Member

    Ooh, thanks I'll give that a go! I'm way too lazy to parboil so I'll use your method ;)

    Verging on a migraine right now, something I get a whole lot but I slept badly last night so that might be why. Think I'm going to give up on the essay I'm attempting to write and chill out in bed instead :)
  14. Rae Rae

    Rae Rae Gold Member

    Me too, taste just as nice I think. You should go bed otherwise you won't be able to concentrate properly. Good luck for week 2 xx
  15. sewingbee

    sewingbee Full Member

    Yay Donkey - Half a stone !! fantastic Well done you. That's your first target met!

    I don't go to a club but I do have all the books - the ones that new members get ,from ebay (from official SW site) except I don't have access to syns online, but I have been putting £5 away each week and when I get to target I am going to spend it all on lovely fabric and make some new clothes.

    With sw chips, I spray them with frylight, add seasoning (had fajita seasoning yesterday) and them whack them under the George Foreman Grill. They don't need turning and taste lovely.

    Have a lovely day today. xx
    Last edited: 30 July 2014
  16. donkeysaurusrex

    donkeysaurusrex Full Member

    Thanks! Onwards and downwards.

    Ooh I wish I had any creative ability, making clothes sounds fun!

    Took your fajita seasoning tip and applied it to a chicken breast tonight- nom! Definitely have to try the chips with it.
  17. TeePee

    TeePee Full Member

    Hi hun, you are doing fab! 7lbs in a week is an amazing acomplishment!
  18. donkeysaurusrex

    donkeysaurusrex Full Member

    Thank you :)
  19. donkeysaurusrex

    donkeysaurusrex Full Member

    My life is totally centred around the insane number of words for an essay and my dissertation I have to write by the 4th right now! Then it moves on to exams pretty quickly! Argh, the sooner my degree is finished the better, but it's a bit hit and miss as to whether I'm going to get the classification I need to go on to do what I want because I missed so much uni this year and it's stressing me out! I'm not getting out so the lack of exercise is probably not helping much but it is definitely much easier to concentrate eating how I am right now. I'm not getting the post food energy lulls so I can pretty much bounce back to doing work whenever I need to so long as my head is cooperating. I get chronic migraines so I'm appreciating the extra concentration that's available before one hits.

    Today I had a couple of rice cakes as my hexb around 2pm - I'm wheat intolerant and it comes under an alternative coeliac hexb option - with cottage cheese, peppers and cucumber and it filled me up far more than expected. I think my appetite is normalising a bit, which is good :)
    Munched on fruit through the day and had a nommy dinner of chicken breast in fajita spice mix, roasted courgette and onion and some coleslaw. Tasted really good and only took 20 minutes - super handy trying to fit it in round work.

    I was going to catch up the latest True Blood episode tonight while I was eating but it's not available for some reason so I guess I have no excuse but to go back to my essay.
  20. donkeysaurusrex

    donkeysaurusrex Full Member

    Stayed up all night doing an essay, got to 7am and my stomach was protesting. I don't eat breakfast -don't eat cereal, can't have milk, don't eat bread. But I do have some genius bread in, and then it occurred to me that I can have eggs, beans and toast totally free! Yay! Added a quorn sausage and that's the most substantial breakfast I've had in forever. Nom.
    And now I'm going to bed lol
  21. Sweethearts

    Sweethearts Gold Member

    And that's why we love SW ;)

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