Everything is different

So I hate this. I don't know the calories of anything I eat because i'm at Uni and it turns me away from food. I just don't want to eat and it makes me scared and anxious when I do. I don't have a scale either (getting one this week) which makes me even more anxious because I can't see if i've gained or not. I didn't think it would be this hard but it is. I'm so used to having everything laid out in front of me and time to myself to kind of o what I want and think that it makes it really hard. I guess i'm just getting a little bit of anxiety about having such a huge change in my life right now. :) Sonrisas

I KNOW!!! I'm at college right now, too, and the dining hall is one of the most terrifying places ever. Right now I always opt for things that are pre-packaged and come complete with nutrition facts on the label (which basically leaves me eating cereal and yogurt every single time I go--which is no way to live). I know this isn't healthy, but it's going to take me a long time to break that deadly cycle. Just wanted to let you know that I relate, and that you're not alone in feeling that way. It's awful. But it's also an opportunity to combat those fears.

Also, although a lot of people here may disagree with me, I think getting a scale is a good idea. For me, it helps me check that I'm not dropping too LOW, and it helps me see that changes in my weight may be just normal fluctuations. I would just strongly suggest that you limit yourself to stepping on it only once a week or so. And you might also want to chart your weight, again to see that little gains and losses are not trends.

Hope some of that helps. :-)

Hi..I don't believe that getting a scale is the answer, but getting connected to the Health Center on Campus, and with a therapist there who could monitor your weight, would be a good way to keep yourself accountable, yet maybe help you not become obsessed about your weight. If you are working on recovery, you really could benefit from seeing a professional anyway. I realize that you cannot know the calorie counts of all foods there, but there are many that you can know. Many foods are easy to know, or are packaged and have counts on them. If you can commit yourself to this, please ask for help and use any support and people you have around you. Take care...Jan ♥

I just have to say you guys are amazing. I'm having a really hard time asking for help and i'm feeling every possible emotion about it that I can about it. I know I want to reach out but it's hard. I keep telling myself that getting help now is going to help me in the long run but come mealtime I have a really hard time. TrueImage, i'm happy that you can relate. It almost makes this issue more real for me that i'm not alone and people will think i'm crazy, but that there are other people feeling the same way. It helps sooooo much! Jan, like I said i'm struggling soo much right now with exactly what you're talking about. I'm at the stage where I feel like I'm not sick enough to get help or they won't know what to do with me or worse tell my parents. I'm having a good time at Uni which is nice but meals are just so hard right now. Thanks again your support is so incredible!! :) Sonrisas

sonnrisas..I do understand. It is very hard, especially when so many people, even professionals don't truly understand. BUT....how about approaching a counselor at the Uni about general emotional distress? You could start off that way, and maybe if you began to trust this person, you could let them 'in', so to speak? Just thinking....please try to take care of yourself, and keep writing!! HUGS...Jan ♥

Sonrisas,

Though I haven't experienced the same situation as you, I can sure understand how tough things can be for you.
BUT! This could be a very good learning experience....The first time I was trying to recover from my ED, I NEVER counted calories. It had never become a habit of mine, and I still gained fine. I just stuck to a well rounded meal plan that I had while in hospital (of course with more variation) and with advice from my dietitian too. And you know what? I gained just fine :) Everyone was proud of me and I never once counted my calorie intake. Just made sure my portions were a good size....if I wasn't gaining, I simply added more to my portions, or added in extras to meals. Still, no talk of calories.

Unfortunately, this relapse, I got into the habit. It's a hard one to break, but part of it also keeps me accountable for knowing I'm constantly reaching my goal. But as I come closer to maintenance, I realize that calorie counting isn't an everyday, normal thing. Many "normal" people, don't worry about their calorie intake. Some days they may eat more, some days they may eat less, or have more activities on certain days; and it all balances out. Granted weight gain does happen every once in a while, but when that happens, you simply look at your lifestyle to see little things that you can change....not restrict!!! But change slightly to be HEALTHY.

I think choosing foods in your caf would be the perfect opportunity for a step closer to letting go of old habits. I can't recall if you're still trying to gain or you're in maintenance, but regardless, you can make estimations if you feel the need. And if it so happens with your new experiment you start to loose, simply add more to your portions, and/or have more variety with things you eat. I'm sure after many years of struggling you have a good idea of nutrition (I know I do)...it's just a matter of going with that knowledge instead of your head.

As for the scale, I agree both with what TrueImage and Jan said. I myself recently bought a scale because I am no longer going to my counselor, and I just want to keep tabs on myself. But I know I can trust myself with the usage. However, if you feel that looking at that number will be triggering, reach out for help at your University. You'd be surprised at how many counselors there are aware of eating disorders. And just because you don't look sick doesn't mean you're still not struggling :) as for them telling your parents...that's a privacy breach. Those sessions are between you and the counselor. I'm sure they would only contact your parents if things really started to get out of control. But as long as you're staying on top of things (and it sounds like you are) then I'm sure they'd be MORE than happy to help you stay happy and healthy.
So I think the most important thing to ask yourself before you can buy a scale is if you can trust yourself to use it for the right reasons.

Hope that helps and hope you're still doing good :)
Paige xoxo

Ps. Keep snacks around your dorm too! And if you have a common fridge I'm sure you could keep some foods in labeled Tupperware if you find sometimes you're too busy to get all the way to the caf. You could even take leftovers from the caf and pack them up. Many possibilities :)

I know university food can be terrifying! I am there too. Does your school site have a place where they list the food counts? Just a thought. Maybe you could check because my school does that with most of your foods.

But if not, this is what I would do. Try not to freak out at the unknown numbers. First off, if need be, there is always guessing. Its especially easy when its only a few things together like a chicken sandwich- grilled chicken, bread, whatever else you put on it. Websites like calorieking could help keep the calories in check, at least to a general extent. But counting isn't always a need. I know its really hard to stay away from, but it is doable. Just try to make healthy choices :) Like when I don't know the calories I try to guess, but initially I make a healthy choice like grilled chicken over fried, fruit over french fries. I am not saying to pick foods with less calories! Just foods with more of a nutritional benifit to the body and also something that will be easy on myself to handle so I won't become upset.

I hope this helps. I wish you much luck at university. If you ever need to talk just message me :)

allee

Thank you soo much for taking the time to write. I'm trying to gain a little still and i'm just scared and reverting back to avoiding meals altogether so i wont have to purge. Not fun. What you mentioned about calorie counting is so true. It's NOT normal and isn't necessary to maintain and stay healthy. You have a great mindset Paige. As I start to look at my options I'm thinking i'll start in a few weeks once all the new uni events and classes begin to settle in. I like the idea of getting comfortable with a mental health counselor too because I do get pretty bad anxiety (not just about food) as well. You are all leading me down the right path to recovery and i'll post the minute I begin, again thanks so much :) Sonrisas

P.S- Jan hugs are my favorite things in the whole world :)

sonrisas...my computer has been 'sick'...I think it's all the mountains! ♥
Do you know that it has been researched and recommended that we all have at least 12 hugs a day...just to get by?
I'm a hugger too...but only if the other person is 'OK' with it, you know?
I just wanted to say that while counting calories can be a very harmful part of how an ED develops, it's also an essential part of meal planning for recovery! That common need for control can be used in this respect to help keep you safe, in terms of eating enough to recover, while keeping it under control in a healthy way to prevent bingeing. A meal plan is just as important for a person who is trying to gain weight, as it is for someone who is trying to maintain a balanced way of eating, without risking the bingeing and purging cycle.
Something to keep in mind...take care...HUGS...Jan ♥

Its funny you mention hugging. When mike came to visit last Friday the first thing he did was hug me. I told him "that was so nice! I haven't been hugged in so long". For two weeks no one had hugged me, and apparently I missed it. Even though a hug never seemed so significant to me.

I agree Jan. Hugs are super important. :)

Awwwww allee thats adorable and Jan I totally agree. I love hugs and at uni they're hard to come by from people who just love you and want to share a hug...i mean all the guys will give you a hug but it's almost like you have to ask haha. It's been great here. I feel so happy with all the people but classes are getting stressful and this is the time when things usually start going downhill in terms of my ED; which i'm hopeing won't happen!! Hope everyone is doing well!