EDNOS recovery

Hello! I'll be calorie counting and following Dr. Christopher Fairburn's "Overcoming Binge Eating" book to help me get back down to a healthy bmi after a 6 month binge cycle. I decided to join this site, since VLCDs weren't allowed here last time I joined, and I really hope that rule will give me the incentive I need to stick to a healthy calorie limit while I lose the weight, rather than falling back into the pits of anorexia. I'm not sure how active I'll be as I really need to ease myself into this, but once I step back on the scale, I'll start logging here 😊

The BED recovery program (in summary) is as follows:

Weigh yourself once a week. This rule aims to prevent obsessive weighing, but also prevents avoidance, both of which are key behaviours in enabling binge/restrict behaviours and cycles. Each step should take about a week to complete, but don't rush yourself- take more time to complete each step if necessary. The goal is recovery and permanent change, which cannot be rushed.

Step 1: Log food intake, but don't change eating habits. Record what time you ate, where, in what context, and how you felt. Make a note of any disordered eating behaviours (i.e. binge eating, purging, etc.).

Step 2: Establish a regular eating pattern. Aim to eat 3 meals and snacks a day, 2-3 hours apart. Don't skip meals, and don't eat between planned meal/snack times- hunger cues are distorted in people with eating disorders, so this is designed to rectify that disturbance. This method of logging will last for the duration of the program.

Step 3: Alternatives to binge eating. This can be started at the same time as Step 2- it involves finding other activities to do that don't involve eating, to help distract you from binge urges and avoid eating outside of the designated times.

Step 4: Problem solving. This chapter's a bit too lengthy to summarise and will always be personal, but the gist is that binges rarely occur at random, so identifying triggers and coming up with solutions is an important part of the recovery process.

Step 5: Taking stock. This step should be done no earlier than 5 weeks into the program. It involves assessing whether or not the program is appropriate for you, and whether you want to keep going with the program or quit, or if you need to slow down and repeat some of the previous steps.

Step 6: Maintaining progress and dealing with setbacks. Deciding which parts of the program are most helpful, and which parts you don't need anymore, then continuing to use the skills you've learned to maintain a healthy eating pattern and avoid relapse. Repeat any steps as and when needed.
Well, I finally managed to weigh myself! I'm not too happy about how far I let myself go this time, but what's done is done. The important thing to remember is that I'm taking action now, and that's the best I can do.

100ml sugar free pink lemonade, 3cal
Arla Protein strawberry flavoured quark, 142cal
Context, location, and feelings:
I feel sick and disgusted with myself tbh, I can't remember the last time I weighed this much, and it's really setting me off. I really want to just jump right in and start restricting right from the get go, but I know I have to avoid that if this attempt at recovery is going to work. I've never had quark before, I thought this was yoghurt when I ordered it. It's not really to my taste at all, so I don't think I'll be buying any more. Maybe it will grow on me, but 12g of sugar per pot makes me think that it isn't worth the 20g of protein when I can get it from other, more nutritious, sources. Due to my illnesses I have to just grab very quick food and eat it in bed, which makes it so easy for binge eating to creep back into my life, but I'm determined to find a workaround!

1 salted rice cake, 26cal
2 salt & vinegar rice cakes, 68cal
Context, location, & feelings:
Truth be told, I'm still trudging through that bloody quark. I feel so disinterested in it, it feels like a chore to eat. It kind of scares me, because this is how I felt when I was anorexic. This is why I let the binge eating get so out of control- I'm scared to go back to that, but every time I eat healthily, I either feel completely disinterested in the food and don't eat anything, or I feel a sense of euphoria and superiority from eating super clean. I just wish I could settle on an in between. Just for the record, my eating so far is absolutely not representative of how I've been eating the last few months; usually I would eat 1-3 takeaways a day, and gorge on junk food at home while I waited for the food to arrive. I'd wake up and just start eating, nonstop, until I slept. Logging my food forces me to be aware of it, though, which I think is why I'm eating so little so far.

5 fig rolls, 350cal
2 Tesco Snickers bars, 398cal
Context, location, & feelings:
Still in bed. Spotted these on my bedside table leftover from this past week of living off crisps, chocolate, biscuits, etc. and decided to get rid of them before they go to waste. At least this feels a little more representative of my eating habits over the last 6 months. I have plenty of those chocolate bars lying around still, but I'm not in the mood to gorge myself on them so that's a plus, at least. Saying that, this has just jumped my calorie intake from 239 to almost 1000. I think part of why I ate these is because I realised it was nearly 4pm and my intake so far was way too low. It's a catch 22- I'm scared of binge eating and getting fat, but being anorexic traumatised me so much that any whiff of restriction and I end up overeating out of self preservation. It'll be nice to start Step 2 next week.

200ml pink lemonade, 6cal
Context, location, & feelings:
Finally finished that bloody quark. I feel scared to go over 1000cal, not sure what I'm going to do with the rest of my day yet. We'll see, I suppose!

6 salt & vinegar rice cakes, 204cal
Context, location, & feelings:
This is a late update (now past 00:00), as I wasn't sure if I was going to end up binging or not. I didn't let myself eat for an hour as I had signed up for a clinical study and had to submit a saliva sample for genetic testing. As soon as that hour was up, I grabbed the nearest food I could, which was the rice cakes. As soon as I ate one, I knew I'd gone over 1000 calories, and it knocked me sick. I thought a few things. "Well I'm already over my limit anyway"; "Step 1 is about monitoring your existing eating habits- it wouldn't be honest if I didn't binge"; "I have a week to just eat however I please before I start step 2." But in the end, I thought there's no point binging if I CAN avoid it, and I managed to! Ultimately, I've been doing step 1 for the past couple of weeks, I just haven't been monitoring it. I'm going to sleep now, and fingers crossed I can avoid another binge tomorrow

Total: 1197cal
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4 chocolate rice cakes, 340cal
1 packet Space Raiders, 58cal
1 packet Nik Naks, 142cal
1 packet pretzels, 93cal
1 salt & vinegar rice cake, 34cal
200ml pink lemonade, 6cal
Context, location, & feelings:
Today is a very bad day. Luckily I have the psychiatrist tomorrow morning, so hopefully they can help me. I didn't feel hungry when i woke up at 1pm, so in the interests of following Step 1 and not changing my eating habits so I can analyse them, I didn't make myself eat. Big mistake. My mood began to crash even more, and when I did eventually feel hungry, I went right for the snacks. It feels bad right now, but this is still a good thing: it means I know that this is an issue for me, and it's something I can easily rectify. I think tomorrow, I will progress to Step 2 ahead of schedule, if only because I'm sick of binge eating, and I came too close today to another one. I'm glad I was able to stop at 673cal- this means I have room still for a meal or two before before bed, so I can eat something healthier than rice cakes and crisps. Breakfast is not a normal thing for me, but I think it's important to get off the junk food as fast as possible for the sake of all facets of my health and wellbeing.

Total: 673cal