For those who have dramatically changed their lifestyle for the better - - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 05-24-2004, 06:18 PM
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I want to talk about something that plagues me in my efforts to become a healthier person...that is the fear of going back to my old ways. All my life I have been a compulsive overeater, until a few years ago I started running cross country and felt an initiative to change for the better. I started exercising but I didn't know how to eat well, and I stayed at 150 but toned up a good deal. Finally, I met my ex bf and felt a strong pressure to lose weight...although it was a desire within me, meeting him made me want to change more. So I started eating as little as possible and first moderatley. Eventually, it developed to something resembling an eating disorder, certainly a pattern of disordered eating...and then in the fall I started binging. Binging like crazy...and I got up to 170 pounds. It was a really awful time in my life, because I felt so empty and turned to food for comfort again.

Now I am working to change my habits- for good, this time. I don't want to go back and forth between extremes for the rest of my life -between starving and binging, no activity and overtraining. Right now I am keeping a food journal, trying to eat only when I am hungry, and exercising healthfully. I am trying to avoid worrying about not losing enough weight this way and trust my body; and I feel strong for the first time in awhile. I feel like I can live a life of moderation, I feel like I am doing this for myself, for the right reasons.

Still, sometimes I get a flash of fear about it all. I am afraid of going back to the way I was; miserable all across the board. Uncomfortable. And I realize that overtraining and undereating wasn't any better than doing nothing and eating constantly, I need to understand moderation. Maybe I'll never be skinny...fine...I just want to be at a weight where my body feels comfortable. And I want to do this for myself - not to show my ex bf, not for my parents, not because all of my friends are thin...because I want a healthy, happy life.

ANYWAY, how do you deal with this fear, if you have it? What are your thoughts on it?
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#2 Old 05-24-2004, 07:08 PM
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Hmm.. sounds like you have been through alot. Ever been to the eating disorder forum? It helps me alot. I am a recovering anorexic and bulimic. Best of luck to you!
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#3 Old 05-24-2004, 09:05 PM
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I wish I had some good advice for ya rainbow, but I can say I sympathize. After having worked hard for a year toning/losing weight, I'm a little wigged out now that I'm in the homestretch.

The one thing I can say is that it may help to have someone who holds you accountable. Someone who REALLY trust who, when they see you getting a bit of hand, can call you on it. Kind of like an AA sponsor.

The ones I pity are the ones who never stick out their neck for something they believe, never know the taste of moral struggle, and never have the thrill of victory. - Jonathan Kozol
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#4 Old 05-24-2004, 09:45 PM
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Hey babe,

I definetely know where you're coming from on this. I've been through periods of starvation/restriction and overeating. And I wonder if I'll ever just... get to a point where I eat normally, forever. And not fall back.

I think, it's useful to trust in yourself that you CAN. For me, this means eating something extra when I've not had enough (my problem is that I will chronically start not eating enough in a day). And trusting that I won't need to eat way too much to make up for starvation.

Also, knowing that others are around to help and support you, is comforting. I have my mother to say "Allison, eat dinner." I can rely on that. Rely on others to give you a sense of what's proper. I mean, we're talking about a fear. And what always gets rid of fears? Having someone else there to scare off the monsters.
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#5 Old 05-25-2004, 03:55 PM
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RBM, I am so proud that you are taking care of yourself and you have made a lot of progress! I know how hard it is and how scary it can be. Even knowing how much better things are when you are doing the right thing, it's still difficult on some days.

I think the trick is to be patient with yourself and not let a couple bad days if maybe you do slip up get you down. Wake up the next day and start taking care of yourself again. You're doing awesome girl!
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#6 Old 05-26-2004, 07:28 AM
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i have fears, insecurities about general things in life. . .including my appearance. I mean, sure, i look fine (there are pictures up on the web site, but i'm not "normal" in many ways, i guess not "improved" with tans/tanning cream, hair dye (should be blonder right?), i don't wear make up, etc. It may affect my job. it may not. i can't figure it.

anyway, truth is, i'm concerned about going back to where i was a few years ago, overweight with my health problem. But, i also know what it takes to stay in shape, and what it takes to stay in shape mentally. sometimes, it is harder than other times, but i try to stick to what i know. and other times, i just give in and learn from that experience too. i try not to be too strict either way.

but, fear is just a thing. eventually it works out or is transformed into the faith that, if it does happen again, i can always start over and get back to where i want to be; or i have the fortitude and resiliance to work through this fear and it's not going to happen again. Sometimes, the best thing is just positive thinking and reinforcement--which may involve literally talking to yourself about what a great job you're doing, how you're going to continue doing it because it makes you happy and healthy.
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#7 Old 05-29-2004, 02:29 PM
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Hey guys,

Thanks so much! I guess I was just looking for advice as to how you all deal with this feeling...

Formerbaboon- I spent a long time on ETL and was once a frequent poster there. I think the thread helped me in its time, but then it started to make me feel like I SHOULD have an eating disorder or something. So, I stopped posting.

IamJen- Hmm. I will have to try out the 'sponsor' know, someone to keep me on the right track. Hmmm.....I no one really immediately comes to mind!

Charity- Its so hard, isn't it? I can't believe I let eating whack me out so badly, but I totally feel the things you describe- like feeling you should starve the day after you eat too much or eat too much the day after you starve. It becomes a never ending rollercoaster! I try to just start new everyday.

Thanks, ND! How are you doing? I haven't been in ETL in so long, I don't know how any of you are holding up. Its almost like the things I do have become a pattern; so breaking the pattern (even if its the RIGHT thing to do) is very difficult.

zoebird- Its true that if I mess up, I can always pick myself up and start over. I didn't really think about that...I've done it twice now, and so I guess I can change if I want to all over again. I realize fear will do nothing but hold me back; in the past (when I changed for the better) I was SOOOOO afraid of going back to my old ways. I don't feel that now; its just a tiny, nagging fear. I try to look at it as a situation where falling back is ALWAYS possible, but it doesn't have to happen.

Thanks, everyone.


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#8 Old 05-29-2004, 03:16 PM
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rbm- I'm doing alright I guess. I'm doing a lot better now that I am working and out of the house. My eating is good, but my body image is terrible. But I'm still trying.

I know how that pattern thing goes. It's really hard to break them even when you have every reason in the world to do it. But I know that you can! One day at a time.
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#9 Old 05-29-2004, 10:27 PM
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Well, I'm not sure if this as direct of a way of dealing with that specific feeling as you're looking for, but I think it greatly helps if you truly committ to the idea and truly believe that you'll never restrict again. As long as you have the idea that you can go back to restricting and overtraining if this healthy approach to life doesn't work out as you hope it will in a certain amount of time, you'll perpetuate the cycle. I'd also recommend finding ways to build your self confidence, and try to identify other ways in which you trust yourself. Congrats on the healthy steps you've taken for yourself already.
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