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Anorexia during the Holidays

Christmas is in 5 days, and I’m not excited like I usually am. In fact, I’m anxious and stressed and I’m dreading it.

I’m a teenager, and my family will naturally want to spend time with me since it’s a holiday, and that means eating together. I don’t know how to get out of it. My fast will be reset and I’ll be further away from thinness.

Even worse, we’re visiting my grandparents the Saturday after for dinner. Resetting my fast again. Making me fatter.

I can’t eat. I just can’t. My weight will continue to grow like weeds. Or cancer. I’ve cried every day for the past two months about my fat; I go completely numb and my nose bleeds. This week will make things so much worse.

I don’t know how I’ll survive this. I hate purging, but it seems like my only option. Can somebody please help me to find a way around this?

Hey @puddingtoes,

Christmas is indeed stressful when you struggle with anorexia. You already posted some messages before and you had replies from different people here. Such as there: https://forum.heartsupport.com/t/how-do-i-hide-ana-from-my-mother/11836

What did you think about those replies? I’d really like to know your opinion on this. You can be opposed to it, that’s okay. Your voice matters to me. And no one will judge you negatively. We only want to help, but we also need you for that.

Also, I’d like to ask: what motivates you to lose weight, friend? You certainly started to lose weight for a reason (or several ones) and I’d really like to know what’s your goal behind this.

Then if you want, we could talk about the things you mentioned in this message.

Take care.

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I want to lose weight because I’m disgusting, nobody will ever want me, and no matter how many sweet people temporarily reassure me that I’m perfectly ok, I always end up having to face the facts that I’m ugly.

I feel like I never get any real answers. Just kindness and people really trying to help. I appreciate that, but what I need is an answer to my questions. How do I accomplish my goals when everybody wants to put an end to my efforts?

I just wish I was strong enough to do this… I feel like passing out and the additional stress doesn’t make it any better.

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Hi @puddingtoes,

Thank you so much for your reply! It means a lot to me.

I get the fact that maybe we are discussing from 2 different perspectives and it can be difficult to understand each other. I can already assure you that the replies you get were sincere and came from the heart. But you already know that. :wink: So I’d like to think that since you’re here, we can still try to work on this and find solutions together, right? Because even if we’re talking from slightly different perspectives, we all have in common the same motivation, which is for you to be happy, to be okay, and to feel comfortable in your body but also in your life in general.

The replies you received are real, but the fact that it doesn’t necessarily makes sense for you, for the moment, is also understandable. It’s mostly due to what we all consider as being a priority in your situation right now. For you, it seems pretty clear that losing weight is a priority. But as you shared about it already, I’d like to add that one reason behind is to solve “problems” you only mentioned once. So it’s not only about weight. It’s indeed an important goal and we all want a fulfilling life, to be happy and to improve our situation when we’re struggling.

On the other hand, people here in this community, including me, tend to put your health and your well being as a priority. Because anorexia is an eating disorder which affects your health (like as you mentioned dizziness and nose bleeding) and, actually, people die because of this every year.

I think you’re already aware of this and there’s no need to discuss dangerous consequences of anorexia. Because you’re smart and capable to understand. So that’s also why I think you can understand what people meant in their replies and the fact that there are other solutions to consider than fasting, safer and healthiest ones.

Not eating at all is indeed dangerous and, unfortunately, if you keep going on like this then it won’t matter how much you’ll weigh. Because you won’t be alive anymore or you’ll be too weak/sick to see it and to enjoy it.

About Christmas, you said you were used to enjoy it before but now it stresses you. Because of food itself, because of that feeling of being stuck, because you think your beloved ones are your enemies in this situation and they don’t respect your will. Truth is people who love you won’t change their mind tomorrow and they’ll want to help you to overcome the hardships you have to face in your life. And this fear because of Christmas is only a beginning. There will be many other celebrations, many other occasions to share food with your beloved ones, not to mention all the time people will offer you food as a way to show the love they have for you. These are things that will always be out of your control. Ans purging is not a solution. It won’t even help you to compensate because thinking this is a lie. So from what you described about your current health condition, then if you start purging you’ll end in an hospital in a few weeks, or even days. And there you’ll have to explain everything and you’ll have to eat, necessarily. But the good news is that right now, you still have the possibilty to make the right choices for yourself. I know it’s hard, but you are not alone in this.

So, let’s start from what you expressed: you want to lose weight. First of all, I’d like to say that I personally don’t need to know what is your current weight to love you just as you are. I know it can sound a bit silly or cliché to say this. Or even sound like a lie. But I can already assure you that I’m not saying this to be pleasant or kind. I mean it. I care about you sincerely. I want you to be okay, to be happy and healthy. These feelings goes beyond your appearance. In my life, I loved people who were thin and others overweight but it never prevented me to love them the same way. I laughed with them, talked to them, hugged them and loved them.

And sharing this makes me think that you didn’t share about your life outside anorexia and outside you will to lose weight. And it matters too! Also I don’t want to sound like I’m assuming anything, but at this point I’d like to say this to you: if there were people who hurt you in the past, who were mean to you, negatively judgemental or made you feel like you’re weren’t good enough or not worth it, they were wrong. I hope you know that. And I hope you know that whatever others may have said or did to you doesn’t define you. You deserve to see and feel that you’re loved and cared for. You deserve to feel safe and to live in an environment that makes you feel comfortable.

And clearly, anorexia is adding a lot of difficulties in your life. But you don’t need these. You don’t need to feel this distress.

I already said this to you but I’d like to say it again: food is really not your enemy, nor the people who love you, nor this community. I understand why it can be hard to believe thay you are actually loved by people in this community. It was difficult for me too to accept that. Because before I came here I had a different definiton of love, not that extended. But truth is when people say they care about you, it’s sincere and it’s not meant temporarily. It won’t change in tomorrow, in one month or a year.

I can’t talk for others but I can already say that I’m personally grateful to know you. So thank you again to keep talking and sharing here. We can learn a lot from each others, we can actually hold our hands and manage altogether how to go through this wild thing called life.

But all of this apart, you asked for help about losing weight. This is a priority for you right now and I get it. Well, lets be clear about something first: you won’t receive advices on how to not eat at all, and you already know why. But now that you just read this, please keep on reading until the end of this message. :heart: I promise that you are heard and your needs have a reason to be. So from now, what if we make the right choices altogether?

There are healthy ways to lose weight, healthy diets which doesn’t implies to be stressed or to put your life in danger. And anorexia is actually not a diet. Because when you eat food, you don’t eat only calories or fat, but also many other nutrients that your body needs to function everyday. It’ like a machine that needs fuel to keep going on, even when you’re not doing anything in particular. When you want to lose weight, then the best way to do it is to be helped by a professional like a nutritionist. Because even if medias tend to makes us think that losing weight is easy and only a matter of numbers, it’s a lie. Nutritionists are trained doctors who can help you in your journey, who can answer to all of your questions, to modify your eating habits, to track your progress and reach your personal goals. This could be a good compromise between your questions and chosing healthier answers, also between our 2 perspectives. I know it’s different than the way you’re actually trying in order to lose weight. And it implies to be more patient because you can’t lose weight fast without putting your health in danger AND without regaining the weight your lose (or even more) after that. That’s just how our bodies function and even with all the determination of the world, we can’t act against our bodies without major consequences in our lives. I promise there’s no need to rush when you lose weight and it’s important to keep the long term in your mind, not only short term effects. Because yea, we can lose weight by eating nearly anything but is this doable for your entire life? No, not at all.

But there arr also short term issues that you mentioned which need to be worked on too: the way you see yourself and how it makes you feel. I’m sorry you don’t feel comfortable in your body right now. Even more sorry that it hurts you and stresses you. I know it can be really disturbing over time. It’s also directly link to your self-confidence and self-love. Here again the good news is it can be changed over time. A therapist could help you to talk about that, to challenge those harmful thoughts and help you to feel better by working on it.

Because let’s be honest: having your ideal body will maybe help you to feel a bit more confident but it won’t solve anything in itself. There are other things at work in your current struggles. It can be really difficult to identify it by yourself, so that’s why I really want to encourage you to seek for a therapist or a counselor. Because you don’t need the burden you’re caring on your shoulders right now. Not now, not ever. But for the moment it’s here, and the answers are not in your weight, the number you see on your scale or the calories you eat on a daily basis.

I promise you are not stuck right now. But it implies for you to actually want to work on this. This community is willing to help and support you on this journey. But we need YOU for that. Because this is your life and your decisions, and I believe you’ll take the right ones.

So, with all the ramblings here, and since a new year is arriving, I’d like to ask you something, like a positive resolution:would you consider talking and being helped by a nutritionist and a therapist for the new year to come? I’d really like to hear your answer. Please, don’t let the fears or practical obstacles influence your reply. We could still talk about it after that and obstacles are meant to be overcome. But right now, what remains important is to know what you think about it and if you would like to give a try to this solution. It is a real and concrete one, not only a way to be kind or anything like this.

Your needs, your struggles, your joys, your voice matter. You matter. And this community isn’t going to dissapear. It will still be here tomorrow and for a long time. You can take care of yourself. You can make the right decisions right now. I know it’s hard, but we’ll be here to help you as long as you’re okay with it and whatever obstacles you may encounter.

You are loved sincerely.
Hold fast. :heart:

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Hello. Thank you so much for your reply. I haven’t been active for a while, I’ve been taking a little break from the internet.

I feel very appreciated and understood, so thank you again. I’m currently seeing a therapist and visiting my doctor regularly. I still can’t gather up the willpower or courage to eat anything. I’m sure I’ll get there eventually.

Just background info: I am 5’4 and 138 lbs. I am impatient to lose the weight, but I know that I can’t lose it quickly without the side effects of starving. I’m making a point to exercise daily, and when I no longer feel remorse about eating, I’ll make sure it’s the right kind of stuff.

I want to get better for the most part. I’m glad you could help.

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Hi @puddingtoes,

Thanks a lot for the reply! I was thinking of you recently. :heart:
Taking a break from internet is perfectly understandable! No worries.

I’m really glad to hear that you’re actually seeing a therapist and you also see a doctor. I hope this is something that helps you in your journey and to fight those lies our minds can tell us sometimes. There is indeed something to work on, beyond your relationship with food.

You deserve love, your body too. I hope you’re feeling better physically since your last message. It’s okay if you can’t eat much for the moment, as long as you keep getting help from doctors so they got your back and make sure your health is okay. It will take time to eat again and in a healthy way. It’s a really progressive process and rushing or forcing yourself could be counter-productive and make things worse. Take your time. Little by little. Also don’t forget to have days off exercising. Your body needs to rest too and regain the energy you spend on this.

Your message is filled with such positivity, there’s no doubt you’ll manage to get back on your feet! You can do this, I believe in you and, for what it’s worth, I’m really proud of you.

Hold fast, friend. You are a beautiful human being. :heart:

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