People worried about me

Posted , 4 users are following.

Hi . Got a few things going on but does anybody else think this is an eating disorder because I don't. People I know are worried about me. I like to have a set routine of when I eat because I'm skinny and I know that if I don't eat I will feel dizzy and possibly faint, but if I'm busy doing something else, I forget. It's not that I'm fussy or don't like food because I do, but I suffer with anxiety and when I'm anxious I physically cannot eat. The smells of foods really get to me. I can't eat if it's not my normal time to eat and I feel guilty if I eat something unhealthy because it probably means I won't be hungry later. I don't dislike food, I just prefer it I've chosen it and prepared it myself and I'm at home when I eat it. Sometimes I get really hungry late at night which stops me being able to eat so I'll go and eat something. The fact is I'm eating, so are people right to be worried about me?

0 likes, 13 replies

13 Replies

  • Posted

    No, doesn't sound like an eating disorder to me. It's up to other people what they think, just ignore them, its not important
  • Posted

    I don't think anything sounds worrying at all to be honest
  • Posted

    Thanks for the reassurance xxx
  • Posted

    Hi Sapphire.

    I think people are right to be concerned about you.  Let's take eating issues aside for a moment.

    You have mentioned anxiety and the patterns you describe do sound concerning. It sounds like your anxiety is controlling normal behaviour, such as eating flexibly and turning you off food (when someone is anxious it can work both ways, appetite reduces or appetite increases).

    The dizziness and faintness are also something you might want to investigate. Unless you have an underlying condition or have drunk too much alcohol, it is not normal to be feeling like this, so something isn't right.  Anxiety can cause feeling faint (it's a natural response, where someone is in danger the body conserves as much energy as possible - fight or flight). But I also think that there is some issue with the amount you are eating.  This isn't conjecture, but is based on your description of eating and restricting due to adversion to food.  The likelihood is you are undereating against what is normal for your level of activity and this is also resulting in fatigue and faintness.

    I was interested to see that you highlighted feelings of guilt when you eat "unhealthy" foods. Have you thought why that might be?

    One thing that two of my dietitians have trained me to think is that all foods are both healthy and unhealthy. Rather than thinking of foods as good or bad, it's worth looking at the nutritional benefits.  So for example, a mars bar is actually compiled of more useful nutrients than an apple...there is nothing wrong with an apple, but you gain more nutrients through the fat, carbohydrate and dairy in a mars bar.  On the flip side, eating either apples or mars bars in vast quantities are unhealthy...but this can be applied to anything.

    It's interesting that you have described a slightly obsessive routine with food, supported by your anxiety.  Whilst these may not be symptoms of an eating disorder, there is a disordered approach to food, but this could also be a symptom of something else.

    It is important you speak to a doctor about all of this, because if these patterns continue you will find the above taking over you and stopping you from living a normal life. 

    Hope this helps.

    • Posted

      I would question that mars bar advice. Maybe if you were starving and lost in the woods candy would be the best choice. Otherwise the apple would be the preferable choice by far.

      Feeling light headed and dizzy when hungry comes from having low blood sugar which is very common. It also can greatly affect your mood and cause headaches. I am a thin person and am quite familiar with these issues. I imagine if a person has anxiety issues low blood sugar can add to it. The best thing to do if you have the condition is to

      eat regularly. Never eat sweet food if you are hungry as it can really make you feel awful. Just it a little after having nutritious food. Protein has always been a life saver for me.

      Sounds like the anxiety issues should be addressed with a therapist if they haven't been already. Best to discuss it with someone than to give yourself more anxiety wondering if there is something wrong and best addressed when you are young.

      I used to be self concious about being thin when I was young. Now I realize how lucky I am. Half the population is fighting obesity.

    • Posted

      I have to agree with the majority of this. In the same way as you drink regularly rather than when you are thirsty as thirst is a sign of dehydration, the same applies to hunger.  You should also follow a meal plan for a couple of years if you are in recovery as you are not able to recognise signs of hunger.

      You should ensure you have starchy carbohydrates as these regulate your mood and appetite more too.

      Beverly, I don't want to be annoying and counter what you have said, but the mars bar vs apple example you are completely wrong. You need a variety of nutrients in your diet. An apple is instant sugar, the mars bar offers fat, protein, carbs and dairy. All are essential for nutritious balance. The issue is when you eat too many mars bars, but the same can be said for eating too much celery. Feel free to disagree, but two different specialist eating disorder dietitians have used the same analogy, so I can't imagine they are wrong.

      I'm not sure your last point is particularly helpful, as eating disorders aren't vanity, it is often a coping mechanism for challenging life events.

    • Posted

      If Sapphire does have low blood sugar the last thing she should reach for is a candy bar. I know it is the worst thing I can do. I also understand how easy it is to get involved in something and not eat even though I know it's best for me to eat at regular intervals

      I think it's best for people to avoid inexpensive candy in general. There are much healthier choices for fat and carbs.Once a person gets an idea in their heads (mars bars are good for me) it can give them an excuse to eat too many of them. When I want candy I eat a little dark chocolate which seems to have a lower sugar content and to me tastes a whole lot better. Costs more, but I don't eat much of it. Plus they claim it contains antioxidants!

      Maybe you aren't affected by candy in that way. I have a sister who just about lives off cheap candy and her mood swings are extreme. I think she's addicted to it after a lifetime of eating it. You can't get near her when she's hungry!

      Sapphire descibes symptoms when hungry that indicate low blood sugar so I think it would make sense for her to avoid candy. An apple and some cheese would be a wiser choice.

       BTW apples have fiber, photo nutrients, anti-oxidants, vit C & B, potassium and contain no saturated fat. There's sugar in a lot of natural food. I microwave apples and eat with yogurt, nuts, maybe a drizzle of real maple syrup for dessert. Eating concentrations of sugar in candies and desserts is where problems develop for people with blood sugar  and weight issues. Best for everyone in general to develop healthy eating habits.

      Personally the fact that two dieticians gave you that advice tells me it's something "clever" that's being taught and old school. I say it's bad advice unless you are unable to find any other food. Just my opinion, but I think many holistic health practitioners would agree including Dr. Weil who is an expert in the field and Harvard trained.

      BTW, I take off the skin of apples because I can't digest it (not to mention the sprays if not organic).

      So, to Sappire I say eat a balanced diet of the healthiest foods you can afford, don't let yourself get too hungry and be happy you don't have a problem being overweight. Cooking at home is a great choice over eating out. Read about the sodium and fat contents of most restaurant meals and you'll know why. Just don't get compulsive about all this stuff and enjoy food. Bon appetit!

    • Posted

      Absolutely agree, high sugar hits are not at all good for controlling blood sugar, not ever
    • Posted

      I didn't say anything about controlling your blood sugar levels with mars bars. I merely used it as an example.  We will have to agree to disagree. I think you are missing the point.  I actually highlighted the importance of starchy carbs to deal with the blood sugar levels.

      I don't think either of your comments are remotely helpful. This is someone who is currently in a position with anxiety issues, and possible OCD surrounding food. Telling them to look at restaurant nutritional content will make her even more anxious. Whilst my weight gaining programme is surrounding calorie counting, this is because it would be dangerous to this off portion sizes as I would under eat.  I hate it when restaurants put the calories on things, it separates food into categories of good and bad, which is a lot of rubbish as I have alluded to. No-where is eating McDonalds every day good for you, but half the problem with eating disorders is the elimination or guilt associated with eating so-called bad foods.  

      You have obviously not experienced an eating disorder first hand, because if so, you would appreciate how unhelpful your comments are.

      Perhaps stick to original point of the enquiry next time rather than lecturing.

    • Posted

      FYI, I also just googled Dr Weil. Anyone can be a health guru or nutritionist. Yes, I can see he has medical training but his expertise lie in the promotion of recreational drugs in treatment. 

      I am going to stick with my medical team with my registered, [u]qualified[/u] dietitians. One has 35 years of expertise including setting up a specialised eating disorder service.  The is younger, but again his career has been focused on eating disorders. I see the former now.  Both have been spot on with psycho-education and working through my challenges.  My consultant has also been fully accurate both when I saw her when I was an adolescent and now.

      Think what you want to think, but I will trust a qualified dietitian rather than someone with the title health guru.

    • Posted

      Wow. You might want to read Dr. Weil's books on nutrition before judging him. He is a physician and a forerunner in the field of integrative medicine. Time magazine has put him on their 100 most influencial people list. It is not illegal or irresponsible for medical professionals to study drugs and their effects on our minds, bodies and health.

      I stand by everything I said (which maybe you should reread).

      Sapphire has not been diagnosed with any eating disorder. Maybe you are projecting your own onto her. She said she has issues with anxiety.

      She also said she gets dizzy when she does not eat and feels better if she sticks to a regular schedule. That is NOT an uncommon problem; I have the same issue. I am NOT assuming she has OCD (which you brought up). That is for a professional to decide; not a lay person via the internet.

      Sapphire needs encouragement to relax and to eat in a healthy way. She prefers to cook her own meals. On the face of it there is absolutely nothing wrong with that as it IS healthier than restaurant food.

      If she should be diagnosed with an eating disorder (which neither she nor I have been) then she should follow professional advice. What I have shared are tips that work for me re low blood sugar.....ONLY.

    • Posted

      I agree, I think sometimes some posters on this site think of themselves as therapists an drs and make huge assumptions and then start diagnosing people. It's a dangerous game to play and can be very damaging
  • Posted

    Hi Sapphire,

    Sorry to be referring to you as "she" and not addressing you directly. The conversation seems to have veered off to conflicting candy bar theories.... and then some!

    If it is your family that has concerns, talk with them calmly about it. Have you discussed any of this with your doctor? It might be wise to do so to put your mind at ease as well as who ever it is that is concerned. A doctor will take into consideration your age, height, & weight. Do you know where you fit in on those types of charts?

    How would you feel about talking to a doctor about it?

    It is not unusual for anxiety to affect people's eating habits. Some people over eat when stressed, some can't eat. I think it's safe to say thin  people would fall into the latter category.

    Much of what you describe about food and eating I can relate to. (Can't sleep if I'm hungry either.) I was quite thin as a teen-ager, but could stand to lose maybe 5 lbs nowadays, so bodies and appetites change.

    However, I don't have anxiety so that can make a difference.

    Hope our responses haven't confused you. Again, I think it would be great if a doctor could weigh in (no pun intended) and set everyone's mind at ease. Till then, stick to eating at regular intervals if that works best for you re the light headedness.

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