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18 July 2006 @ 02:33 pm

I just wanted to introduce myself since I'm not sure anyone but _auntisocial_ knows who I am...

My name's Dana, and I joined this community because I really want to make an effort to improve my health and my relationship with food. 

I was anorexic for about a year and a half starting from the time I was about 11, and it was a bad time for me because not only was I starving myself and pushing my body to hold up during 3 or 4 sessions of gymnastics every week, but it was when I developed a warped attitude towards food.  It makes me ill to think that I was counting calories and fat grams at 11 years old, it really does.  Fortunately I didn't have to go to the hospital, even though my parents threatened me with it--I just literally woke up one morning sick and tired of avoiding and obsessing about food.  So I quit gymnastics and got back to a normal weight, and everything seemed cool even though my eating habits still weren't that great--for example, I refused to eat most vegetables and to try new things--but at least food was no longer the focus of my life so I was happy.  Then, about two years ago, all of the negative feelings about food sort of came back.  The scariest thing is that I don't know why.  But all of a sudden, I started obsessing about food again--counting calories, restricting what I could eat and what I couldn't, avoiding "bad" foods, fantasizing about food while I was at work or at school, being terrified of gaining weight, feeling guilty for eating something I "shouldn't" have, etc.  It's a real drag when all you can think about is food, but even worse is that whenever my friends want to go out to restaurants I usually avoid going or if I do go, I don't eat.  I feel like this is really impacting my life, because I know that I could be so much more productive if I wasn't thinking about food so much.


I'm not sure why all this is going on...maybe it's because I grew up hearing my family make derogatory comments about overweight people, or maybe it's because I'm a perfectionist.  I don't know.  But I do know that I want to change it, because I know I'll be much happier.  Actually admitting that this is a problem for me has been really therapeutic, because I've never discussed this with anyone.  I've told people about the anorexia thing in the past, but this is the first time I have acknowledged that this is still something I struggle with.  When _auntisocial_ mentioned this community to me, I was skeptical at first because I wasn't sure I would have anything to contribute, but I think that no matter whether you're trying to lose weight or recover from something like my situation, it all comes down to a healthy relationship with food and that's what I want.

And here are my lists:

1) Develop a better attitude towards food
2) Eat a bigger variety of foods (yes, the dreaded vegetables!)
3) Try new dishes often, even if they have unfamiliar ingredients
4) Get more aerobic exercise
5) Focus on all the positive things in my life  
6) Cut back on the drinking

1) Obsession with calories, "bad" foods, etc.
2) Not much $$$ with which to buy said bigger variety of foods (at least for right now!)
3) I have a hard time bringing myself to eat things like green vegetables
4) Motivation...I'll do my crunches, but it's so hot outside I have no desire whatsoever to go for a power walk
5) I worry constantly about *everything*, and I get angry/annoyed at little things so it's easier to focus on the things that are going wrong rather than the things that are going right
6) Boyfriend plays music in bars, so I'm usually in bars around three times a week, and when everyone else is drinking, it's hard to say no!  And I feel like I have more fun when I'm drunk...well, until the next day, at least...

Current Mood: hothot
Current Music: Enjoy The Silence--Depeche Mode
discordia_eris on July 19th, 2006 12:17 am (UTC)
Hi Dana.

I'm Kerry, and know at least one other person here who has an unhealthy relationship with food. *g* Probably all of us, really, but I was bulimic for about 7 years, which in the later stages bordered on anorexia. Instead of over eating and then throwing up, I made myself puke up *any* food that I ate, and then exercised myself into exhaustion every day, to the point where I had stress fractures in my shins, ankles and feet and needed strong pain killers every day just to get up in the morning and be able to put my feet to the floor.

So yeah, it's an obsession that can get waaaaay out of hand.

It's good that you're looking for a way to have a healthy realtionship with food. It's really the only way we can ever get past this obsession. None of us here are qualified in any way as dieticians or psychologists, but we can lean on each other and exchange ideas in a no-pressure environment. Sometimes that itself goes a long way toward reaching our goals.

I'm SO with you on the cost thing, and it seems to be a big factor for us all. When a litre of Coke is cheaper than a litre of milk, and a bag of crisps is cheaper than a couple of zucchinis, it's really easy to go for the Mac and Cheese in a box, rather than the fresh salad.

Perhaps we need to shop smarter than we are presently doing, looking at fruit and veggie co-ops and farmer's markets. Perhaps planning menus around the weekly specials, rather than writing the shooing list around the menu..? I dunno, but we can try to hash a few things out as we go *g*
Dana: sebastianachtungbaby80 on July 20th, 2006 12:57 am (UTC)
It's good to know that there are people who can sympathize! There are probably more out there, but I just don't feel ready to completely "come clean" with all my friends and family.

You know, it's really sad...you can buy a gajillion packets of ramen noodles with a dollar, but that same dollar won't go far if you're going for healthier stuff. I've recently developed a soy milk habit, and that stuff is outrageous...
mortifyd on July 19th, 2006 05:58 am (UTC)
Hi Dana, I'm Dovid.

My mum was bulimic and on a string of diets my entire childhood and my baby brother is a diabetic from infancy. Food was this whole enormous thing in our house as a result of the two extremes. I wasn't allowed anything he couldn't have because of the myth of "fair" - and my mum alternated between gorging and puking - it was years before I knew other kid's mums didn't puke after every meal.

I was athletic as a kid and didn't begin to gain weight until I left home - but my dad was obsessed with the idea I was fat which seriously screwed with my head. When I got out in the world where I could eat whatever I wanted I did exactly that, getting to a 52 inch waist at one point.

I lost most of it on Weight Watchers and have slowly been creeping back up over the last 10 years, and I'm learning to stop using food as an emotional crutch, but it's taken a long time.

I still have food issues, but I've learned to channel the more negative ones for the most part - but I still have a problem with exercising. I think a lot of my ability to change my way of thinking about food came from keeping kosher as an adult.

My mum still struggles with her issues - she got the lap band surgery and has had some success with it - but she's still got the same attitudes about food she had before, she just can't eat as much. I don't want to live like that and be a slave to food.
Dana: sebastianachtungbaby80 on July 20th, 2006 12:59 am (UTC)
It's nice to meet you! Your last line pretty much sums it up for me as well--I don't want to be a slave to food, either. There's so much more to life than worrying about that!