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When will my food obsession end?

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Charl2345

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Sep 29, 2020
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Hey!

I've been in FULL recovery from anorexia for around a month (not very long, I know), but since I began my full recovery, I have reclaimed my bodies natural hunger signals (yay), although, I'm learning to understand fullness/ satiety. One thing that I do struggle with though is food obsession. Despite eating to full satiety, I am still unable to switch off my food thoughts, the urge to eat despite my stomach is not asking for food. It's like a magnet pulling me towards photos of food, videos of food, recipes, or just the food itself. I want to eat it, but if I do it often leads to me feeling uncomfortable (and guilty, despite my efforts not to feel this way.) Does anybody have any advice for overcoming this obsession? How should I respond to this feeling? Should I try to ignore it or eat regardless?
 
bpd2020

bpd2020

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Hello Charl. Welcome to the forum. Well done for being in recovery. You must have worked so hard to achieve that. Have you had any therapy? The best thing for these thoughts is therapy.
 
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Charl2345

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Sep 29, 2020
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Hello Charl. Welcome to the forum. Well done for being in recovery. You must have worked so hard to achieve that. Have you had any therapy? The best thing for these thoughts is therapy.
Hi, thanks for the reply!

No I haven't unfortunately, and I feel that now my recovery is well underway I wouldn't be considered ill enough to be helped, which sucks.
 
bpd2020

bpd2020

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I hate that there is criteria with eating disorders before getting help. I would go to your GP and ask to be referred to an eating disorder clinic were you can have targeted therapy. I think you will need to fight for help which is unfair. I have a different eating disorder and my psychiatrist got me seen at an eating disorder centre. It can be done.
 
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Charl2345

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I hate that there is criteria with eating disorders before getting help. I would go to your GP and ask to be referred to an eating disorder clinic were you can have targeted therapy. I think you will need to fight for help which is unfair. I have a different eating disorder and my psychiatrist got me seen at an eating disorder centre. It can be done.
I will try my best, thank you so much for your help!
 
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Purpleplum

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It's only natural that your body does that. You were starving it so it becomes obsessed with food to prevent it happening again. It's a survival mechanism. If you stay consistent on a regular diet...no restricting.. .your brain will realize it's ok to relax and not obsess because it knows food will be coming on a regular basis.
 
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Charl2345

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Sep 29, 2020
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It's only natural that your body does that. You were starving it so it becomes obsessed with food to prevent it happening again. It's a survival mechanism. If you stay consistent on a regular diet...no restricting.. .your brain will realize it's ok to relax and not obsess because it knows food will be coming on a regular basis.
Thank you! I hope this is the case... even though it has only been a month since starting recovery from two years of restriction, I sort of (naively) believed that once I started eating, all my problems would go away. Unsurprisingly, turns out I was very wrong about this. Recovery is hard for so many reasons, and even though everybody is reassuring me that I'm doing the right thing in eating when I feel the need to, part of me is terrified that I'll never stop and become obese, even though I have never been remotely close to obesity. Thank you again, super helpful <3
 
JessisMe

JessisMe

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I have not had anorexia or other diagnosed eating disorder but I am more or less constantly on some kind of weight loss program that I usually fail at. I think whenever you have a preoccupation with food that is dysfunctional that preoccupation doesn’t really go away even if/when you become well. It might diminish over time gradually but I would not blame yourself or be too surprised if it sticks around awhile. We train our brains what is important to focus on so I think it will take some time for it to unlearn these things. xo, j
 
FlowerBox

FlowerBox

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I was not diagnosed with an eating disorder but I very clearly had issues and sometimes still do think in that way (but I don't act on it). I got this obsession too and sometimes still struggle with it, but I do agree with being consistent and over time your mind will calm down a bit about it, there may be bad days but it has gone down over time for me.

I still usually don't feel full after eating and my mind wants more, I usually go with something like some raisins after dinner. Also tea or coffee..and remember food is energy and nourishment for the body. I bolded that because I don't know why, but for some reason, that specifically has helped me SO MUCH. To remember that and respect my body

A little bit extra or a little bit of dessert can be nourishment for the brain, and is not going to make a big difference, unless it's every day. I personally don't do the cheat day thing, because the very act of having that structure about it is not good for me personally 😅

I recovered from restricting and I also had that fear "what if I never stop and I become obese"..it all depends on the consistency over time..and even if it's "only" been a month for you, that shows you have the ability to change your habits and mindset, keep at it and it becomes second-nature over time 🙏
 
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Charl2345

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I was not diagnosed with an eating disorder but I very clearly had issues and sometimes still do think in that way (but I don't act on it). I got this obsession too and sometimes still struggle with it, but I do agree with being consistent and over time your mind will calm down a bit about it, there may be bad days but it has gone down over time for me.

I still usually don't feel full after eating and my mind wants more, I usually go with something like some raisins after dinner. Also tea or coffee..and remember food is energy and nourishment for the body. I bolded that because I don't know why, but for some reason, that specifically has helped me SO MUCH. To remember that and respect my body

A little bit extra or a little bit of dessert can be nourishment for the brain, and is not going to make a big difference, unless it's every day. I personally don't do the cheat day thing, because the very act of having that structure about it is not good for me personally 😅

I recovered from restricting and I also had that fear "what if I never stop and I become obese"..it all depends on the consistency over time..and even if it's "only" been a month for you, that shows you have the ability to change your habits and mindset, keep at it and it becomes second-nature over time 🙏
Thank you so much! I remember a time when food only crossed my mind when I was hungry. I ate what I desired then moved on with my day. I hope to be like that again some time in the future. But yes, I am super super dedicated to recovery because all I want is my life back and to be happy again. If you don't mind me asking, when you stopped restricting how long did it take for your food thoughts slow down? I know it's different for everybody so I can't expect to see the same results as you, but I'm just interested to see :)
 
FlowerBox

FlowerBox

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Thank you so much! I remember a time when food only crossed my mind when I was hungry. I ate what I desired then moved on with my day. I hope to be like that again some time in the future. But yes, I am super super dedicated to recovery because all I want is my life back and to be happy again. If you don't mind me asking, when you stopped restricting how long did it take for your food thoughts slow down? I know it's different for everybody so I can't expect to see the same results as you, but I'm just interested to see :)
The whole recovery has been over the course of the past three years, and I should also say though I was restricting the amount of food, I had more of a problem with "safe" and "unsafe" foods, most of my restriction was actually restriction of the variety of "safe" foods, I only ate VERY FEW things for years. So I very gradually introduced more and I also became more active than I was before

I would say it took around 5 months of introducing more foods and being consistent, I gradually realized "...I have more important things to worry about" because in my case I was going through some very big life changes and I honestly just didn't have the time to constantly think about food. I think I got very lucky and I feel hesitant to talk about food issues because I know not everyone's situation is like mine, and I know it's way harder for some people. I got very lucky to be able to just think about it less and less, but I started coping with life in other ways, some good some bad of course.

I am so glad you are so dedicated to recovery..wishing the best for you. Because it really is a relief to not be stressed about something that we need to live :hug:
 
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Mary26

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Feb 28, 2018
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I was starving in recovery and thought about food all the time. And it lasted a while. But at some point (I can't remember how long but it was more than a month) I felt satiated and could turn my thoughts to other things. You're not alone. I'm pretty sure it's normal after all that time restricting. Your body is still sort of freaking out but it will heal.
 
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Charl2345

Member
Joined
Sep 29, 2020
Messages
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Location
England
The whole recovery has been over the course of the past three years, and I should also say though I was restricting the amount of food, I had more of a problem with "safe" and "unsafe" foods, most of my restriction was actually restriction of the variety of "safe" foods, I only ate VERY FEW things for years. So I very gradually introduced more and I also became more active than I was before

I would say it took around 5 months of introducing more foods and being consistent, I gradually realized "...I have more important things to worry about" because in my case I was going through some very big life changes and I honestly just didn't have the time to constantly think about food. I think I got very lucky and I feel hesitant to talk about food issues because I know not everyone's situation is like mine, and I know it's way harder for some people. I got very lucky to be able to just think about it less and less, but I started coping with life in other ways, some good some bad of course.

I am so glad you are so dedicated to recovery..wishing the best for you. Because it really is a relief to not be stressed about something that we need to live :hug:
That's so good to hear. I'm really glad you overcame that, you should be really proud! And I know what you mean with feeling hesitant, sometimes it's easy to think 'oh, that person is more ill then me, that means I don't have a real problem.' but that's not the case. Problems with food are difficult, so don't feel like you were lucky to get better, you were strong.

Thanks for the great advice!
 
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Charl2345

Member
Joined
Sep 29, 2020
Messages
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Location
England
I was starving in recovery and thought about food all the time. And it lasted a while. But at some point (I can't remember how long but it was more than a month) I felt satiated and could turn my thoughts to other things. You're not alone. I'm pretty sure it's normal after all that time restricting. Your body is still sort of freaking out but it will heal.
Good to know I'm not alone! Thank you so much for sharing.
 
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