Q&A

While I am in no way a certified nutritionist or dietitian, I have certainly learned a lot through personal experience and research over the past few years. Call it pure obsession or simply a strong interest in nutrition, I may have the answers to your questions. I want to share the knowledge I’ve gained because I love helping others on their journey to find what works best for them in the area of nutrition–physically and emotionally.
brussel sprouts night! 005If you have any questions about meals, certain foods, diets, or even the psychological aspect of food, please ask away! I will answer your questions to the best of my ability, although I cannot guarantee that I know absolutely everything. I do not share ways to restrict or engage in any other eating disordered habits, and as I continue through recovery I feel I am in a strong place to share the information I’ve gained. I do not follow a certain diet and instead incorporate a little bit from all of the diets I’ve tried and try to find a healthy balance for ME. I hope I can help you find your happy medium as well.

 

51 Responses to Q&A

  1. Connie says:

    What type of therapy did you seek for help? I feel that I have had a similar struggle to yours but don’t know what type of professional to turn to.

    • rachael says:

      Hi Connie, thanks for your question!
      I go to an eating disorder counselor. I hope that’s not too vague but there’s nothing super specific/special about it :) I hope that helps; if you have any other questions, please feel free to ask. And by the way, good for you for seeking help! I can’t stress how important and helpful that is.
      Good luck in your recovery!

  2. Tamara Steil says:

    Here is a website for eating disorder specialists. http://www.bulimia.com/client/client_pages/states/alpha.cfm

    A great place to start in the Grand Rapids, Michigan area is Gail Hall at https://plus.google.com/109233638002174347872/about?gl=us&hl=en.
    She is the “queen” of eating disorders in this area. Her staff and resources are wonderful.

  3. Bee says:

    I remember u from 30bad…we joined at the same time and we both struggled a lot, yet were held captive by DR’s false promises and manipulative ways. Thank u for sharing your journey. I am so thrilled u are in a better spot now! What is ur diet like now? Are u still vegan? What do u eat for a typical day? Are u still following a low fat 811 type of macros… If not, where is ur balance at?

    I can totally relate to the fruit binging, the fat gain, the guilt and confusion, and the abuse by DR and others on that forum. I’m still stuck, but it gives me great hope seeing that u are freed

    • rachael says:

      SPOILER ALERT for those of you who do not want to find out what happens until I post the rest of the entries! :)
      Thanks for your comment and questions!
      I am no longer vegan. I eat what I want within limits; at this point I still only stick with my “safe” foods (on rare occasions does the “voice” in my head so-to-speak die down a bit). Often when I eat “unsafe” foods I feel extreme guilt, frustration, and feelings of lost hope and sadness. I am learning to move beyond these thoughts and see that as simply that: just thoughts.
      The “safe” foods include potatoes for carbs, lots of raw vegetables, lean meats and fish and eggs for protein, avocado and coconut oil for fats, and apples, oranges, and berries for fruit (I can’t seem to stomach bananas or dates much anymore haha). I eat 70-85% dark chocolate for a healthy treat as well as the occasional Nutri-grain, Ecotrek bar, oatmeal, sprouted grain bread, and peanut butter. I let myself eat processed desserts once in a while too but mentally those are difficult to allow myself to eat so there’s usually a battle in my head going on afterward but as I mentioned before, sometimes I just have to sit with it. I try to stay away from wheat and dairy products for the most part just because I feel a diet is healthier without them from the research I’ve done (and I agree with a lot of what paleo has to say) but I do allow myself to eat these things if I really crave them. My dietician and therapist have helped me move toward a healthy relationship with ALL food which helps me to avoid bingeing and feeling guilt when I DO want to eat these things once in a while. It has helped a lot to include the “unsafe” foods within reason.
      My macros are around 50% carbs, 30% fats and 20% protein. I find that that’s just how my typical day turns out when I allow myself to eat exactly what I crave. Eating only 10% fat made cravings unbearable and only 10% protein made it difficult to feel full.
      I hope this answers your question; thanks again for reading, and I hope you will find peace in your daily life with food!

      • Bee says:

        Thanks SO much for the detailed and thoughtful reply. I am thrilled beyond belief that u have broken the chains of the 811 mentality and the ED choke-hold. How did your weight stabilize and how did ur body composition change? Did u have any transition problems (digestive and food reactions, etc) when u changed your diet and added in other foods? if so, what helped?

        I would love to see a post of your current meals so that we can see how u went from only fruit to eating “normal” meals that consist of balance. I find that I feel SO confused as to what constitutes normal portions as well as what normal meals look like, ya know?

        Also, are u still running?

        Keep up the great work…u are definitely a role model to me

        • rachael says:

          Well my weight went up…and down…and then up again…and at this point I think it is stabilizing. More detail to come in the journal entries, as it’s hard to explain how and why right here; lots of things happened through my ED recovery.
          I am excited to post a “normal” meal soon; however it might have to wait until I post those entries, since the change in meals is interesting to look at with each entry that I post. It changes often and still changes even a little right now.
          I would suggest going to a dietician to help plan meals; it helped me immensely! That goes to say that everyone is different; my plan may be bigger than your meal plan because of all the calories I have to make up for running 50-60 miles a week. A quick insight would be that I follow having a certain amount of carbs, fat, and protein per meal. So for example, breakfast would be 4 servings of carbs, 1 fat, 1 protein, and 1 fruit. So I could eat 2 cups of potatoes (a half cup is one servings), 1 egg, another egg (I figure the yolk can count for the “fat” and I like the extra protein in a meal) and an apple with liquid iron (because I’m trying to make sure I intake enough iron each day with all the miles I currently run).
          I never had any transition problems–in fact, the bloating and gas went away when I ate more cooked food again (food combining wasn’t such a big deal anymore with less raw food).
          Yes, I am definitely still running; it is such a big, important part of my life that I couldn’t let it go unless I was severely injured. :) As of right now I have two more years of college racing so we’ll see what is to come! Good things I hope, especially after all of this. :)
          Thanks again for your comment and questions!

  4. Anonymous says:

    I highly recommend checking this book out:
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/0743217055
    It helps to explain what causes gas/bloating, as well as cravings.
    It basically helps to find peace, moderation, enjoyment in food and in self.

  5. Kristen says:

    Hi Rachael,

    Although I didn’t suffer from raw food diet problems, I definitely fell into the same false trap of thinking that food was the answer to running faster. I also want to compete competitively in college and I have solid high school times in track and cross country. I’ve been getting better slowly through therapy and I find I am able to tackle fear foods and eating more, but I’m starting to get concerned. Sometimes I feel worse than I did when I was restricting heavily. Stomach problems, fatigue, and muscle aches make running a challenge every day in ways I’m not used to. I also have been dealing with crazy amounts of hunger. No matter what I eat, what craving I give into, I still feel empty. Is this normal? Does it ever let up?

    • rachael says:

      Hi Kristen, thanks for your question!
      I can’t speak from a professional standpoint, but from my own experiences, I understand what you are going through. I think some of the stomach problems stem from our bodies learning to digest more food again. Unfortunately, I can only tell you that it will take TIME, and as to how much time, I’m not sure. Everyone’s bodies are different, and it depends on how much and how long you’ve been dealing with the eating disorder. This may be something to ask your therapist. Do you go to see a dietician? I find that that helps me a lot — especially a SPORTS dietician who deals with eating disorders.
      The crazy hunger, I totally get also. I think that as we begin to eat more, our bodies realize how much we have been holding back and want to make up for it. The best advice I can give with that is to try to relax and learn how to stay in tune with your body again. Easier said than done though, I know. I cannot stress enough how helpful it is to have a dietician though — my dietician helped me a lot with calming my fears and helping me to understand hunger and fullness again. It helped to take away the guilt, and I can say that after almost a year of treatment I feel I can really listen to my body well. I also think that just “practicing” at each meal will help you to understand your body more over time. But that “practice” comes with following the goals my dietician and I have outlined together, which you may want.
      Just understand that you may be ravenous for a while, and as hard as it is, try to be okay with it. So far I feel it has let up for me a little, but of course I still feel quite hungry after all the miles I put in. :) Know that you are not alone and that the healing process takes TIME. I applaud you for getting help and facing this!
      I hope this helps, and if you have any other questions, feel free to ask!

      • Kristen says:

        I’m just starting to get used to listening to my body. I guess my major concern is the extreme amounts of hunger! I’m seeing a therapist and she wants to avoid a strict nutritionist plan, but I sometimes wish I had someone to tell me how many calories I should be eating or if my hunger is normal at this stage in my recovery. I hear of many people who eat thousands more calories than they’re “supposed” to while recovering because their bodies are in shock and want immediate end to starvation. Did you give in to these cravings and did your appetite decrease as you approached a healthy weight?

        • rachael says:

          Yeah, the extreme hunger is SO frustrating. I find it strange that your therapist doesn’t want you with a nutritionist; my therapist actually had to constantly encourage me to see one (I adamantly refused over and over…and finally gave in). I think a lot of my recovery sped up with the help of my dietician; she helped me calm down about my own extreme hunger and helped me to see how I actually did need to eat as much as I was eating.
          I can’t say I know all about this, but what I can say is that through my experience, the hunger is definitely normal. I gave into the cravings; I almost felt like I had no choice, as if my body was at war against my mind and gave in every single time. My appetite seems to have leveled out with a final weight for now, however I still feel quite hungry often. I’m still in recovery though, and I can’t say I know when it will all end.
          I’m sorry I don’t have a definite answer for you. My best advice is to eat whole, filling foods and just fuel your body. For me there was no point in holding back because whenever I did, I would just binge later and feel terrible. :/

          • Kristen says:

            thanks so much! I think she just wants me to explore all the new foods I’m trying and doesn’t want me nailed down on a meal plan. I guess I feel much better now because I know you are an athlete like I am and I was so worried that me eating these amounts would affect my running negatively. She definitely supports me eating 4000 plus calories a day it’s just so crazy to think about it! Thanks for your advice!

            • rachael says:

              Ah, I see … yeah, I think I was worried about going to see a dietician because I thought she would set me up with only certain kind of foods to eat, but it was more like, for this meal you have 4 servings of carbs, 1 serving fruit, 1 protein, etc.; so you get to choose the food! But it sounds like you just have to do what’s best for you because we are all very different in our own journeys.
              I agree to eat what your body says for now; I’m still in that process as I learn to see all food as equal and just let myself go with the flow; it is part of the learning process, and it will take a long time. Good luck, and if you have any other questions feel free to ask! I’m happy to help. :)

  6. Florence says:

    Hi Rachael! Just wanted to see how your holidays were and how your recovery is going. I really appreciate your feedback on my blog and was wondering if you’d be interested in doing a guest post? So tacky to ask you this in this section but I couldn’t find your e-mail! send me a message if you’re interested, carrotsandcandysticks@gmail.com. Thanks girl, happy new year!

  7. Liz says:

    Hi there,

    Thank you for sharing your story, Rachael–you are one brave lady.

    I’ve also struggled with ED and am continually trying to improve my relationship with food. I noticed you posted a book review recently, and I’d like to recommend one that has been instrumental in my journey–Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch.

    If you haven’t already read it, please consider doing so. I tried reading it early in my recovery and couldn’t, because the tenets were just too scary. I recently returned to it, however, and found it immensely helpful. It really helped put a lot of things in perspective for me.

    Anyway, just a suggestion. Wishing you health and peace!

    • rachael says:

      Hey Liz, thank you! I just added the book to my list and hope to get to it soon–thank you for the recommendation! Hope all is well with you.

  8. Taylor says:

    hey, i just found this blog among many that i have visited and it really is inspiring. I am a runner as well and I was anorexic for about 2 years. I went from 88 lbs. at 5′ 5 to currently being 120 lbs. and let me tell you i am freaking out. I told myself i would not allow myself to ever get back to this weight but I just cant seem to stop gaining weight. I have good days where i dont really binge and i feel so in control ad good about myself but then i have the days where i binge on any crap i can find in the house (i try to only eat “clean”) and once i start i cant stop. Anyway, did your binge eating have an effect on your running? did you have to stop running for a while? and how long did it take you to stop the binge eating? (sorry, forgot to post email before)

    • rachael says:

      Hey Taylor thank you so much for stopping by!
      Yes, I can totally relate. My binge eating did have an effect on my running, because it had an effect on my LIFE. The binge eating happened sometimes the night before races (blech–can you say bloated?!) or I just ate too much before normal runs, which was definitely not comfortable. To this day it still gets to me, but I can reassure you that things do slowly get better over time. What has helped me is to take notes, learn to listen to my body (it’s hard to explain exactly what this means–but part of this is listening to your internal thoughts and learning to combat them and fight for yourself), and talking with a therapist and eating disorder sports dietician.
      I did have to stop competing for a while for my college (more details to come in the book I’m writing about it) and I was forced to stop running at all thanks to a big injury. This injury has allowed me to see other things in my life outside of running to make me a whole person, which I believed has helped me overall, but I still say the bingeing is annoying and does still occur. Yes, I still binge at times–today is one of those times–but it is not as frequent, and through practice in listening to my body and allowing myself to be more free in my choices of foods, the bingeing has decreased. All I can say is that it definitely takes time, patience, and nothing will ever be completely smooth from here on out.
      Have you been to an eating disorder therapist? Seen a dietician? These have helped me a lot.
      If you have any other questions or need to chat, please let me know! We are never as alone as we think we are. I know it’s hard, but please be as kind to yourself as you can and know that over your time your body and your mind will find its way. It’s a frustrating, sometimes debilitating illness that must be taken seriously, and the more you talk and reach out, the more you can help yourself. Thanks again for commenting!

      • Bee says:

        If u don’t mind d me asking, what foods do u find urself binging on? Can u trace it back to any specific triggers?

        I’m so sorry abt ur running Injury, however, perhaps this will enable u to discover a new passion and one that might be healthier for ur body, mind, and soul…. Something totally unrelated to having any past ties to ur ed. :) . What r u doing for exercise now?

        I really admire ur positive attitude. It’s extremely apparent in the way u phrase ur words…. U definitely have a aura about u that is inspirational!

        Big hugs… And thanks for sharing all u do

        • rachael says:

          My binges are usually just “normal” healthy, whole foods–so maybe they aren’t even binges anymore, maybe my body just needs the calories, but in my mind I feel like it is an excessive amount of food when I binge. I am eating a lot of quinoa, rice, beans, chicken, tuna, avocado, coconut oil, and protein bars, so the binges are usually just on the normal foods like that. Luckily I know by now to eat more whole foods to keep myself full and happy. I think I have learned to listen to my body and eat exactly what it craves in that realm of food too, which helps. It all takes time!

          I have a feeling I stretched out my stomach in the past from previous bingeing, as well as stuffing myself with fruit when I did the fruit diet, too, which may be why I eat so much today. I think another part of my brain is so afraid to be without food again too, so I kind of just go into panic mode and feel like I need to eat or have food on me at all times. Crazy what restriction will do to you later, and how your body learns to cope!

          Sometimes the triggers to bingeing are procrastination or just waiting too long to eat, and eating super fast when I get home. Part of the problem too is that I’m too afraid to buy food when I’m out to eat and make myself wait until I get home to “safety” to allow myself to eat the “right” food. That’s gotta change, but all in good time. ;)

          I agree, not having running in my life for a while has been actually pretty good for me. I’ve been cross training–elliptical, biking, swimming, aqua-jogging, walking…all things that I enjoy, and it’s nice to change it up a little each day.

          Thank you Bee! Hope all is going well with you!

      • Taylor says:

        Sorry, few more questions about the binge eating (i know, annoying). When you binged, was it on unhealthy things or was it just a lot but still healthy? Also, did you feel really tired and lazy during the binge eating period? Because i can never get myself out the door to go running, i do, but it takes effort. Oh, question about “menstruation”. I thought that since I am almost weight restored at 120 lbs i would get them back but i still didn’t. Do you have any idea how that works? Its a weird question i know. Some people say i might be missing some nutrients or my body still needs more weight but how much more freaking weight does it need!? Anyway thanks for replying to the previous comment :)

        • rachael says:

          No problem at all, these are great questions!
          When I binged going into my sophomore year of college, I binged on unhealthy things. Going into my junior year of college, the binges because to become “healthier” I guess you could say, in the sense that the foods were more whole foods. I began to realize that the extreme sugar cravings I had were because I wasn’t eating enough carbs (so instead of eating an entire jar of jelly or five candy bars, I learned to eat more potatoes, oatmeal, rice, etc).
          I did feel a big lazy/tired during the binge period. I usually don’t feel like doing ANYTHING except eating–top priority is food! haha
          How long have you been at 120 pounds? Even when I gained back my first ten pounds, I didn’t get my period until another ten pounds and half a year later. I think it just takes time for the body to adjust again and get the hormones going.
          Please don’t hesitate to ask more questions! It does not bother me and it might help others, too. :)

  9. Bee says:

    If I may weigh in on the menses topic….

    Often, (yet not always the case) many eds are spurred by a disruption in the pituitary gland… Ie, if u had a head Injury of some sort, they r finding that there are some links to developing an ED. The pituitary is the master gland and pretty much runs the whole endocrine system. If that gets disturbed, it can cause a whole host of issues, from personality changes, hormonal imbalances (thyroid, which runs the metabolism… Adrenals, which are key for stress and sodium/fluid balance… Parathyroid, which helps balance calcium and hone health, etc). Many of these also affect mood, thought, behavior, appetite, etc. If ur endocrine system isn’t working correctly, neither will ur nervous system, ability to produce and balance neurotransmitters, gut, etc. Also, depending on where the injury was, different areas of the brain could be affected too. Head injuries are so common and most people don’t even realize the severity of it til years down the road, or when their body just starts acting weird, or when they can’t shake depression or other nuances. A fender bender, sports, tripping, anything could cause a head Injury

    So, not sure if this is the case for any of u, but the correlation to TBI and eds is pretty strong

    Also, chronic nutrient imbalances can lead to estrogen dominance and copper toxicity, which causes menstruation issues. Many people with eds also have pyroluria, which is a genetic defect in processing and manufacture b6 and zinc and omega 6. Strong correlation to eds with this too…. And low zinc equals hormonal imbalances bc that means copper is too high, and high copper makes the estrogen/progesterone levels skewed

    These r just a few examples of why some people don’t get their periods. Seeing a functional medicine practitioner can better pinpoint the cause.

    Sorry for my schpeal! I hope I explained it clearly, but if not, feel free to ask any questions.. My background is in the health field, as well as my hobby (yes, I’m a nerd lol)

    Don’t give up, and keep moving g forward!

    • rachael says:

      Wow, this is an awesome response, thanks for all the great info! Yeah, feel free to help answer questions, I have no problem with a little help! :)

  10. Taylor says:

    You are great. I swear. I wish i would have found this blog earlier… It’s so nice knowing others are going through the same crap in life and to have that someone to relate to in a way.

    • rachael says:

      Haha oh thanks Taylor. :) I’m glad you eventually found it anyway! Don’t hesitate to ask questions/connect.
      And you are right–we are never as alone as we think we are!

  11. Taylor says:

    I just wanted to know some peoples experiences with binge eating especially on carbs like bagels (lots an lots of bagels) muffins, cookies, cake, bread, and fats like peanut butter and a lot of chocolate…..(my weakness) My backround is that i binge on these things almost every day and i am ALWAYS tired. Literally all day i could just eat and then sleep and this effects my running because i am always tired to the point where sometimes i feel nauseous if i don’t go to sleep or after a run. :/ So im just trying to figure out how to break out of this cycle and if the binging is the cause of me being so tired all the time without any energy to do anything physical .

    • rachael says:

      Great question! In my experience bingeing on those kinds of foods were because I was not eating enough carbs. Also, protein is good to keep you full and reduces sugar cravings. So I would focus on trying to get protein in at each meal (for me I choose between fish, eggs, or meat) and a complex carb (potatoes, brown rice, quinoa, fruit, oatmeal, etc). Make sure you’re getting in enough of these foods. A big, interesting thing I noticed is that if I craved a sugary food I would usually let myself have a little, and if I felt like bingeing on a ton more I would try to eat a complex carb and it would help reduce the craving.
      For example, when I tried to the Paleo diet and tried to go low-carb, I had a lot of binges on chocolate and peanut butter (which was a result of my body needing more carbs). I know these sound like fats (and they definitely have plenty of fat in them) but they are also a result of carb cravings, too.
      I hope this makes sense/helps!

  12. Taylor says:

    Yes that did help. Thaaaank you:) Im just tired of always being tired and binging. Sometimes I just wish i would have never started “dieting” in the first place and just let my body take its course. Sometimes i wonder what i would have looked like if i just relied on exercise and a healthy metabolism instead of screwing everything up.

    • rachael says:

      I know how frustrating it is. :/ I totally have those same feelings sometimes, but I also see that through working through and overcoming the eating disorder, I have learned more about myself and how to make me a better person. I still have bad days (who doesn’t?) but I am so thankful for what I have learned through all of this, and I hope someday you can say the same. Keeping a journal definitely helps, not only for your feelings/frustrations about food, but about learning more about yourself and why you came to be where you are today with food. Definitely took a lot of years of introspection for me to come to the point I am today.

  13. Alyssa says:

    hey. i have been reading some of the posts on this site for a while now and although my experience is different, i can relate to some posts. I have a question to you Rachael or to anyone who might read this. I have an issue with binging after my “anorexia”. Now i reached a healthy weight. Actually i weigh even more then i did before i started dieting and its really hard for me to accept and i still binge… I cant get myself to eat the way i want to eat and i always end up binge eating. I always want food and i always think about what i can have next and i cant just stop eating after im full. Even when im not hungry i think about all the good foods i can eat and thats what i end up doing. Also, i have no motivation to go running anymore. I use to use it as a weight loss tool but after i had to gain weight i started running to join the cross country team. but now i just dont enjoy it and never go out unless a friend goes with or i feel really guilty and if i want to be on the team i actually have to go out every day. i just dont know what to do. Binge eating is taking over my life. :(

    • rachael says:

      Hey Alyssa, thanks for sharing.
      I totally get you with the binge-eating. I understand how binge-eating seems to take over your life, how you can’t stop thinking about food, and I totally gained back all the weight plus some as well. It’s frustrating, but what I’ve heard from others who have experienced the same thing is that your body will eventually find balance and the bingeing will lessen eventually. Do you see an eating disorder dietician? Going to see one helped me a LOT. Other than that, my advice is to have a lot of patience, write down your emotions and thoughts about food to see where you can make changes and adjustments, and keep reaching out for help (does your family know? Friends?).
      Please let me know if you have any other questions. I certainly know how difficult this can be having gone through it myself–and still going through it. :(

  14. Brendan says:

    Hello,
    Thank you very much for your advice. I am a runner, and love running but recently I have been noticing that I talk about being healthy, eat healthy, but then binge eat bad food. It has almost consumed my life. All I can think about is loosing weight, being thinner, have a better body. I am a 5’8 male weighing 143. I obsess about being thinner and eating healthy, but subconsciously I binge eat all the time. I constantly do ab workouts to feel goof about myself, knowing that instead of eating more and doing ab workouts, I should eat less, more healthy and then feel good about myself. I was hoping you would have some advice for me to get over this hump. I need to either accept if I have a problem or not, because it really has started to take over my life. Any advice? Thank you again!

    • rachael says:

      Hi Brendan, so sorry it took me so long to reply! I must have missed this comment. :(
      If I could have given any words of advice to my past self, it would have been to get help the moment I started saying the things you are saying and feeling right now. If you think you have a problem with food, you most likely do, and it definitely doesn’t have to be super intense or serious before you get help. Noticing thoughts and obsessions like this cropping up in your life is definitely a sign to maybe talk to someone so at least you have support and can see if it ever goes out of hand.
      Best of luck to you, and thank you for sharing!

  15. Elizabeth says:

    Hi Rachael,
    I’ve been working really hard to recover, and like most people, I have good days and bad days. For some reason I have come to associate all “healthy” food days with “good days.” It’s like the second anything “bad” (carbs or sugar) touches my lips, I have already counted it as a bad day and then I binge. I try very hard to let myself have what I want, but the second I eat “bad” guilt overwhelms me and I’m thrust into a binge cycle for days and sometimes weeks until I can pull myself back out. I’m wondering how did you get to a point where you could allow yourself treats without ruining your entire day? I often cling to my “healthy” eating habits as an identifier and I fear not being able to control what goes into my mouth (which I realize is ironic considering this often leads to binge eating). How did you learn to listen to what your body actually wants (I am either eating extremely “healthy” or horrible processed junk.) I am also curious if you have read the book “brain over binge” and if so, what are your thoughts on it?
    Thank you!

    • rachael says:

      Hi Elizabeth! First off, thank you so much for sharing.
      Many of us perfectionists are so prone to eating disorders because we see the world in black and white–eat something bad? Automatic bad day. I totally know what you’re going through, and unfortunately I have not completely overcome this hurdle yet. I think the best strategy for me so far is to make sure I eat enough throughout the day (snacks, whole foods, etc) so that when I did have any dessert or “binge” food, I felt content just eating a small amount of it. Also, I try to eat these kinds of foods ONLY around friends, because I’m less likely to binge in front of them. I also like to keep this as a “treat myself” time, and it feels more like a fun thing rather than being “bad.”
      I hope this helps, at least a little. And no, I have not yet read that book but it is definitely on my reading list! :)

  16. Elizabeth says:

    Thanks Rachael! This does help a lot! I definitely recommend reading it, it’s by Katherine Hanson. It gave me a whole new perspective on BED.

  17. Taylor says:

    ok, i need to rant to some people who understand things other people do not… When i use to be under weight, the smallest things would aggravate me, for example, when we were having something for dinner that i didn’t know we were having because i already planned to have something else that fit in my plan. Or if my mom was cooking and i thought the amount she was making was “too much” and i would get so stressed. Now i am better, i learned that certain foods are ok to eat like cheese and egg yolk for example, but some things still get a little annoying. Because i try to live a life without any processed sugar and eat clean (unless i binge, than its all the crap i find in the house :/ ) My mom has accepted my way of eating because i am at a healthy weight now but i still get really upset when instead of buying one cake for someones birthday or for Sunday, they buy a whole cake and a whole case of cheesecake … now this isn’t every day but like really? Is all that necessary ? This is when i get stressed the most because these things still tempt me and i usually try to avoid eating it by having some fruit or something even if im full just because i see the sweets and want it… I dont know. i dont want to complain because my mother has been through enough in life but these are times i get a little cranky..

    • rachael says:

      Oh goodness Taylor, I can totally relate to those little things that aggravate me! It is the eating disorder talking, of course, and you don’t have to apologize for feeling the way you do about certain things. What has helped me is to try to understand why I feel I have to control these aspects, especially if I find myself more angry or controlling around certain people.

  18. Taylor says:

    oh yea… this is to any one out there who experienced binge eating. Once you have reached a healthy weight, or even more due to binging, does the weight eventually come off, not all of it but some of the binge weight ??? I am currently hovering over the 135 mark and i use to be a healthy 120/125 before dieting and this freaks me out a lot

  19. Jean says:

    Hi, I am a competitive runner in NZ and have struggled with an ED for a few years now. It has resulted in many stress fractures, that stop me running and worsen my depression. I really want to recover but struggle to gain weight while still exercising. Do you have any tips/help for how to gain weight?

    • Rachael says:

      I’m so glad you commented, Jean! I think everyone is very different with their eating disorders when it comes to weight gain. If you don’t already meet with a dietician and therapist I would highly recommend that. I ended up gaining weight from simply bingeing–my body compensated for all the years I restricted food. So for me, gaining the weight was super easy and out of my control.

  20. Jean says:

    Bit more info on me is that I have anorexia and haven’t had my period for almost 4 years, so I really need to get it for my bones to get stronger. Do you have any idea how long after you reach your goal weight it will take for your period to come back and whether it would come back faster if you weren’t exercising?

    • Rachael says:

      For me it took about half a year after gaining the first twenty pounds before I had my period again. I had been continually exercising intensely for cross country.

  21. Angie says:

    Hi Rachael,
    I’ve been following your blog for a couple of months now. Mostly I just read and let soak in. BUT at the moment I’m having a very difficult time with my life and my eating disorder. I go through bouts of not eating and then I might feel good for a while and then I get down again and decide that not eating is better than anything else. I am married to a man that is very controlling (at times very verbally abusive) and really doesn’t let me do much or at least not without drama attached to it, so sometimes its just better to be quiet and not rock the boat. I also have two small boys ages 2 and 5, the 5 year old has epilepsy. BUT right now I’m struggling with my inner demons. I’m a long distance runner I’ve done 3 marathons and couple of half’s. I’m just a mid packer. ALL my marathons I have sabatoshed (sp?) bc I get nervous and don’t eat and then I struggle through the whole race. I LOVE RUNNING its what keeps me grounded and stable. I haven’t been able to run much and got really depressed. I’m trying to pull myself out of the dark hole but I just can’t see any light. I’m on an antidepressant and I was seeing a counselor (Of which I just canceled all future appointments) but was getting no where, I feel anyway. I know why I am this way and why I do it but it doesn’t make it any easier to deal with. I don’t know what to do. Sometimes it just seems like everyone including myself would just better off if I wasn’t here… I love my two boys. (but they love daddy more)….

    • Rachael says:

      Angie! Thank you so much for commenting and sharing your story. I had a similar issue where I just didn’t want to continue seeing my counselor but I realized it was because she wasn’t the right counselor for me. Perhaps it would be best to change and see someone else who might work better for you. I am making that transition right now too.
      I hope with a new counselor you can find peace. It sounds like you are struggling with a lot, and all alone–a tough place to be. I will definitely keep you in my thoughts–please do not think you are not worth it!! Keep staying strong and fight for YOU. It’s a tough journey but by getting help and trying to understand yourself, you are certainly making progress.

  22. Sarah says:

    Hi there, I have struggled with an eating disorder between my freshman and sophomore year of college, and am now a junior who has gotten her mind together and have been relatively ED free (you know how that is!) for over a year. I keep a rough estimate of calories I eat, and on average I eat about 2,600 a day. I am 5’2 and 105 lbs, and run about 80mpw and a am student who walks around a lot. Do you think this adequate? My period is really off and I feel so tired while running. I ate this much when I was running about 50-70 mpw last year’s xc and track season. I think I just have a high metabolism. I think it would help me to know how much other female runners covering 70+ mpw eat because I am the only girl on my team who runs this much (I attend a small D3 school where the other runners don’t take it as seriously- I am an all american.) and I would mentally feel better about eating this much if I knew other runners were too, if that makes sense? In your experience, how many calories do you think high mileage female runners take in?

    • Rachael says:

      SARAH! Oh my goodness I have no idea how this comment/question escaped me, I apologize.
      I honestly think it varies how many calories high mileage female runners take in. First, as you mentioned, metabolism comes into account, and then the height and weight of these runners. Plus about 15% of the running population have eating disorders, so that amount of food varies between runners from that alone, unfortunately. :( But as a previous high-mileage runner (I did 60 mpw) I ate a TON. And still do as a non-runner. I used to feel very self-conscious about how much food I ate (especially into the eating disorder) but now I embrace it because I trust my body so much more. I have maintained my healthy weight and I don’t feel out of control. But I eat a lot of whole foods that fill me up–tons of vegetables, lean meats, healthy fats (avocado, coconut oil, etc), fruit for snacks, and LOTS of carbs (to avoid bingeing on high processed food). I embrace my appetite–it fuels my body and makes it a VEHICLE for my life. So eat up, girl! If you’re feeling tired on your runs it may be because you aren’t eating enough still. Check out Facebook groups or blogs like “Eat the Food.” They promote refueling ourselves from falling into restriction and dieting.

  23. peyton says:

    hi I run xc and high school and track in high school and I’m pretty good but lately I’ve been binging more and I’ve tried to make myself throw up 3 times and I know it’s wrong but I can’t stop binging and when I do I feel the need to throw up. do you have any tips on how to resist binges or bring the topic up to someone?

    • Rachael says:

      Hi Peyton! I’m so glad you commented.

      I’ve certainly been in the same boat. The problem with so-called “resisting binges” is that I often don’t see it as something you actually “resist.” It’s about learning to avoid the binges altogether–or avoiding the need to binge. You’ve already seen how difficult it is to harness that “willpower,” right?

      Avoiding the binges before you feel them come on may mean making sure you eat enough throughout the day, eat enough whole food carbs to avoid massive sugar cravings, eat enough protein to feel full, enough healthy fat to feel satiated, and enough vegetables to get all your minerals (because getting in all your minerals helps your body not to starve from lack of nutrients).

      Getting together with an eating disorder dietician could help a lot. I resisted this for the longest time but once I went to see one, she helped me feel less guilty about eating meals throughout the day and helped me to answer questions about why I was bingeing (often it was due to lack of carbs).

      There’s a lot to cover with this one question. If you’d like to email me to talk more there, don’t hesitate to reach me at runninginsilence@gmail.com.

      Best of luck, you’ve got this!!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.