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my little ponderings, what do you think?


Full Member
So I’m a (now mostly inactive) member of a pro Anorexia forum. I’m recovered now, but many of the feelings are still there, as the girls on the pro forum say “Ana never leaves you.” That’s kind of why I joined here, the pro ana forum was so supportive, but BAD for me.

Anyway, I’ve been looking around here and have drawn some interesting comparisons (I think) and thought I’d share. Not really sure what you’ll make of this, but here goes…

The first thing I noticed is the weight loss trackers. The pro Ana forum (I’ll call it PT from here on, it’s an abbreviation of the sites name J) has these too, HW, CW, GW and, unlike here, LW (Low Weight) This is often used to show that someone has “recovered” only to fall back into the Ana lifestyle. The differences are obvious though: On here, GW is often around the high 100s, on PT, we’re looking at 70lbs for an UGW. Yet, the idea of tracking our weight is the same…

The next thing I noticed was the recipes, with either calories or points or whatever the system is for a diet plan. Interestingly, many of these recipes are VERY similar to the ones on PT. Egg whites and veggies feature frequently. Often, Anorexics have a list of safe foods including things like:
Sugar free jelly
Egg whites
Diet coke
Black Coffee
Home made soup
Rice cakes

I wonder how may people on here would consider these things to be “safe” or “good” diet foods? Again, this is something I’ve been surprised at, but in a good way, I think J

I’ve also noticed the fear of gaining weight. This is something which often defines the anorexic. A fear of gaining weight to the point of “purging” This can be done by vomiting, taking laxatives, or EXERCISING. How many people on here do extra exercise to burn of that cake you shouldn’t have eaten? And how many of you were driven to that exercise by the fear of gaining? Ok, most likely you didn’t run until you collapsed or do so many sit ups that you couldn’t move from the pain, but I bet most of you HAVE exercised “excessively” at some point.

Finally, I’ve noticed a similar feeling of low self esteem. Anorexics HATE themselves, looking in the mirror is quite frankly traumatic. Anyone feel a little like this? Feel horribly conspicuous when out and about? Hate trying on new clothes? Take comfort, that very thin girl in the next cubicle most likely feels the same, actually, she could feel worse - suicidal, in fact. All because of her body. She thinks she needs to lose another 2olbs or so. You think she should gain 20lbs.

IDK what I’m trying to say, I guess it’s that people say an eating disorder is a disease, but if psychologists were to look at some people who were overweight and dieting, they could catch potential Eating disorders before they become life threatening. But they don’t. They look at your BMI. Until its too low, it doesn’t matter to them.

I suppose as well that people who are overweight and on a diet, are perhaps not that distant from the anorexic, at least in mind. The Ana has a “voice” controlling her life though, at least someone “healthy” can reach a normal weight and move on. And that’s what I envy you for. I worry that when I get to my goal weight it won’t be enough, you’ll get there (and you will) and be so happy and proud and that will do you just fine. :)
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Silver Member

I find it very interesting what you've written, especially your last paragraph.

".... at least someone “healthy” can reach a normal weight and move on. And that’s what I envy you for. I worry that when I get to my goal weight it won’t be enough, you’ll get there (and you will) and be so happy and proud and that will do you just fine."

The problem with that is, I know too many people who have lost loads of weight and think that when they get to goal they'll be happy and stop and they end up carrying on and losing too much...dieting can become a way of life and when you reach goal - then what? That is the scary part...I've told people in the past that they've lost too much and now don't look good - they think I'm jealous - I'm not.

I guess it's another eating disorder disease but in reverse..We still see ourselves as fat because the last however many years we HAVE been fat and it takes time for our brains to register that actually we are now as we are supposed to be, slim and healthy...

I was hoping more people replied to this before I did :eek:

What you've said is definitely something to think about!

But I think that there's such a fine line between what's healthy and what's not. It's really only the person dieting who can know what they're thinking, and so I imagine it would be hugely difficult to predict who may/may not be heading towards an eating disorder, just because they're dieting (from a start point of an overweight BMI)

Mostly I just wanted to comment on the very last thing you said.

You don't need to envy any of us, you will be able to reach your target and I think that as you seem very aware of what your thinking and feeling I'm sure that you'll be just as glad to reach target and be happy with it as much as any one of us. You can stay in control, most of all you need to believe that you can!

Good luck!


Full Member
Hey, thanks for replying! Its really interesting that so many people have read and not replied. I was worried I had offended people :eek:

You both made some very interesting comments, and I'm glad I'm not the only one who wonders these things!

It scares me how often an eating disorder stems from a normal crash diet, or even something considered healthy by Dr's. It's addictive, losing weight, it gives us a high, be we 300lbs or 80lbs. I wonder what the statistics are for people developing an ED after successfully losing a significant amount of weight? It would be interesting to know, especially next to the figures for those who go on to regain. Will any of us EVER have a healthy relationship with food? And is there a reason for that? LOL, So many questions! :)

Thanks again for the reply and your kind words x
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Slim for Summer!
Alot of these comparisons are true. Eating disorders can stem from many things, but most of the time it truly is not about weight - which is where dieting differs. Most eating disordered individuals do not starve, binge/purge, overeat, ect due to weight influences, they do it because of other issues. Control, stress, factors that are completely incontrollable. Weight, is obviously a part of it, sometimes getting to 99lbs is the ultimate goal for these people, but they do it for destuctive/coping reasons, not to feel better about themselves like dieters do. People who have undergone extreme diets & lost weight can often become obsessed with their weight & end up with body dysmorphia (which is common in eating disordered individuals) & become close to starving themselves or even developing bulimic habits, but this can more often that not be fixed in these cases before it becomes a fully fledged eating disorder (via DSM criteria, not self-diagnosis). A lot of things are similar, but so very very different between eating disordered thinking & just plain dieting. And just so you know, I am mostly talking about Anorexia Nervosa here, not "Ana" which, in my opinion, is entirely different & sickening (sorry). I do get what you're saying though, I think some people who diet & lose weight are unfortunately succeptable to disordered thinking, but thankfully due to support networks/diets like Slimming World who focus on both healthy eating & healthy thinking, this is definitely on the decline. Like I said, there are a lot of similarities here, but thankfully they differ a lot too & when you get into it, they are almost completely different due to individual ways of thinking that dieters vs eating disordered people have.


Full Member
Interesting and very true, Millux! I have to say that weight watchers has forced me to reevaluate my own view on eating. When I was fully Anorexic, (I use "Ana" only as a shortened term, I to, find the personification of an illness disgusting) I would eat low calorie, high sugar foods (to temporarily boost my energy levels) It was very interesting to note the points values in many of my "safe" foods. I also still find it very difficult to remember to eat enough, dieting for me has always been about losing lots of weight very fast. Often spurred on my a feeling of panic, that, somehow, if the weight goes, everything will be "ok" (Theres the control thing you mentioned :) ) To be losing weight and yet not feeling hungry is an amazing revelation for me. So, yes, I would agree that Weight watchers and slimming world are a ray of light in a dark world of slimfast and other "crash diets" Which can often encourage disordered thinking around food.
Just been reading this post...3 months on hee hee

Its so wierd reading it but also thinking at the same time how right you are izzywizz, Im a 267lb beast at present and battle with so many things in my head when it comes to dieting that if I even told anyone out loud they would think im pathetic, I wont go into it but I think your first post on this subject is fab


Just Peachy

Slowly But Surely
I've just come across this too but this really hits home for me.

I had pretty serious eating disorders when I was a teenager. Nobody thought much of it or even noticed because I was not scary skinny and the weight came off gradually. I had always been big, but then I would just eat things with virtually no calories, about 300 calories a day or so and I would work out like a maniac, sit ups, push ups, bike, I would run for an hour every day. Yet, at my thinnest I was 190lbs, so nobody knew. Then, when I felt like it was all in vain (which it was, my body was completely starved), I would binge and eat probably 3000 calories in a sitting, easy. Then obviously puke it all out. So call it anorexia, bulemia, binge eating, whatever, it was really really not healthy and I'm so glad that's over.

But dieting properly for the first time in my life and seeing the weight go, it's really great but sometimes frightening. I catch myself in situations where I think things I used to think or have the same habits. I'm definitely one to be in a mood, so I'll eat something I shouldn't, then work it off like crazy. Hell, just this week I was really uspet, had cake and tried to make myself throw up but just started crying instead. Isn't it crazy? All of that for a pound or two a week? I'm generally really good about it, I never make myself sick but it's interesting that you should make those comparisons because I totally relate having been in both (not quite) situations.

I think society in general doesn't quite understand that obesity is just as much an illness as anything else yet. It doesn't have to be, but people have ridiculous stereotypes about it and think it's laziness or lack of education or what have you. I can't wait for the day where people will sympathise, and not judge or be disgusted. But it's probably going to be VERY long till that happens. Even I judge sometimes.

Sorry for the long, boring, life-telling story! lol Just thought it was relevant.
Just peachy, that wasnt boring at all, I find it so interesting that you say that, especially when you know your own head etc

It scares me what I sometimes think and do but then no-one worries as im 'fat' if anything im just always told to 'lose weight' which I know I need.

Not sure if that makes any sense hee hee
Hi izzywizz,

It's interesting to see all the foods that you class as 'safe'. They're all the same foods that I use either to fill myself up with meals or when I've used up all my calories for the day.

me too Tracey x

Just Peachy

Slowly But Surely
Tracey! Haven't seen you around in a while. How you doing? :)
I'm fine. Trying to get back on the diet properly. Hubby was evacuated from Nigeria and I've been thrown completely off track. He was skin and bone so I had to feed him up - not a good thing to do when you're dieting! I tried to stick to it as much as possible so I've only put a few pounds on.

It's very hot here now so I can swim everyday so I think maybe that's kept the weight down a bit.


Just Peachy

Slowly But Surely
Oh dear, how awful! I'm so sorry to hear that. I hope he's getting better. Must be difficult for you too.. You're not too far from goal tho so I'm sure you'll be fine, just a rough patch eh? :) x
Yep, Thank God I didn't say, 'sod it' and eat like mad otherwise I would have had it by now. It's surprising how difficult it is to get into the habit again of counting everything. I've not been too bad but I have been picking the odd thing up and eating it and not even realising until later. I've got to get used to writing it down of my sheet before it passes my lips otherwise it's to easy to slip my mind.

You're doing really well - just one more pound and you're 2/3 of the way there. Well done.


Just Peachy

Slowly But Surely
I know what you mean. I had been doing so much of that too. The daily journal went out the window on holiday, plus I felt so silly when my boyfriend found it and asked me about it. He gave me a big lecture, said I wasn't eating enough and that I should live a little. Then I explained to him how much this meant to me and that I was committed and this was finally working, etc etc and now understands and supports me. But yeah, it's so easy to get back into old habits!

Thanks :) I can't believe I've almost lost 40lbs. I've never been this slim in my life. I'm not sure I'll be content with 160, maybe another 5 or 10lbs but we'll see once we get there, shall we? :)

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