'Refeeding' eating disorder recovery question

Commented on September 26, 2014
Created August 20, 2014 at 2:24 PM

Hey So I have a lot of gut issues. I also, in my childhood, had an eating disorder - binge eating which morphed into anorexia and bulimia (and exercise bulimia) in my late teens and early 20s. It went away for a while, when I was a vegan - which is sometimes another form of 'restricting' behaviour, though I did it for compassion reasons rather than weight loss. In any case, from my childhood I've lost 175lbs, in many ways healthily and in some not so much. Got sick with a parasite, starved for weeks, had it running around in me for over a year, got rid of parasite, never got better. But the chronic pain and fatigue caused by this pushed me back into disordered eating - restricting, aversion, cutting out food groups to see if ANYTHING would help me (read: Paleo, ketosis, low-carb, low-protein, high carb, VLC) as well as binging and purging resurfacing. Nothing has worked so far, except for ketosis, which I can never stick to so it's not a solution, especially long term. It just feels like restricting to me, and always ends in a carb binge, even if I last 8 weeks. Nevermind my tanking adrenals. I'm working with an eating disorder specialist to beat this mental disorder, but it's difficult. I don't trust doctors or professionals anymore, especially as the vast majority are conventional wisdom. I know more about nutrition and health than many of them do (read: because of endless hours entertaining orthorexia), but also because of endless hours entertaining orthorexia, I KNOW exactly nothing about nutrition except n=1. Ugh. The program would like me to refeed (I am not underweight. I am at a BMI of 30, male, 5ft 5) unrestrictedly at a minimum of 3000 calories per day - essentially to repair cellular, metabolic and neuro-endocrine damage. In addition to removing food aversion as an obsessive cycle. In anorexics and bulimics it's a way to repair damage and bring up to a stable weight, and change the fear relationship to food. Right now I hang around 1500 calories per day, eating 'normally' (my sense of hunger is vastly disconnected, and the chronic intestinal pain makes food a bit of a thing to fear, nevermind regarding weight). I'm told the process will likely involve gastrointestinal issues for months as my gut (and gut bacteria) adjust to no longer starving, serious edema, weight gain until I 'normalize' etc. The problem with that for me is that I'm told I won't 'gain and gain and gain', that my body will overshoot it's mark and then come back to a healthy weight as the body completes the healing crisis (all that edema etc) - but I've been morbidly obese before. I'm not a skinny anorexic in need of feeding to prevent organ failure and death; I'm already overweight again due to my binge/purge cycles. So, they say I won't gain and gain, but in my experience I have gained and gained when eating that much - as a teenager, SAD diet style anyways. So. I know they are professionals and I have a problem, but kindly don't disregard my concerns and just say 'they're specialists and you have a problem, do what they say' - that would be the same as telling someone with IBS CW: 'More fiber, more veggies, less fat! Go home!' I'm just looking for people who may have gone through something similar and have some legitimate, knowledgeable feedback to give me here. Or direction to a dietician/eating disorder specialist that might be more on the health side or paleo side of things (for refeeding, they don't care if I stuff my face with pizza and icecream or steak and potatoes. Matt Stone kind of stuff I guess.) There are other programs of recovery from restrictive eating disorders, but apparently this is the only evidence based, successful program. All other programs, whether inpatient treatment or outpatient, involve getting people to 'normal' eating status... which according to the science behind this is not enough to repair the damage done. Anyways, I think about this way too much, so I'm going to leave it there. Thanks for any feedback Bearfoot



on September 26, 2014
at 12:47 PM

1500 calories a day but BMI 30? Yeah, does not compute. 

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1 Answers


on August 20, 2014
at 02:26 PM

What the hell. There are supposed to be spaces and paragraphs, and I've tried several times to edit it, and it still looks like a block of text. Sorry.

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on August 20, 2014
at 02:27 PM

AAAAAH Wall of text! Hopefully it'll be sorted soon ;)



on August 20, 2014
at 02:48 PM

 Hey bearfoot,

Sorry about that, reported this one to the devs. Will get it worked out. Thanks :)

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