I Didn’t Know I Had an Eating Disorder

Food and I have never really had a healthy relationship until recently. When ever I hear eating disorder I think of anorexia or bulimia, not emotional eating and hiding foods.

Since I was young though, food was my comfort. Feeling sad, have some candy, feeling stressed how about some ice cream, bored… carbs! This obviously resulted in weight gain and very unhealthy coping strategies.

Apparently, emotional eating can lead to binge eating. Psychiatry.org defines: “Eating disorders are illnesses in which the people experience severe disturbances in their eating behaviors and related thoughts and emotions.” Binge eating usually happens at least once a week for over 3 months of time in addition to a lack of control.

Eat faster than normal, check. Eat until uncomfortably full, check. Eat large amounts of food when not physically hungry, check. Eat alone, mostly out of boredom but check. Feel guilty and depressed about eating so much, check. Oh look, I checked each of the little warning signs and you only need three for verification.

Apparently, there are nine types of eating disorders currently classified. Anorexia, Bulimia and Binge eating are the top three. According to NIMH, “Researchers are finding that eating disorders are caused by a complex interaction of genetic, biological, behavioral, psychological, and social factors.” Fun science is also showing differences in MRIs of healthy women compared to women with eating disorders.

So here’s the thing. I had no clue that this was as bad as it was until I was in therapy this week. I was discussing things that were triggering my trauma recently and how I felt the need to eat more when I saw I was losing weight this week. I am on Keto to be healthy, I realize how insane this was and that is why I spoke to my therapist about it. I didn’t over eat, though ever fiber of my being really wanted to, instead I snacked on almonds and drank more water.

Being a “victim” is very hard for me, being vulnerable is even harder. So with some work, we uncovered that I was not only using food as comfort but when things got really hard for me, my go to was to use my body and my weight as a defense. Blend in and not get noticed.

It gnaws at me still just typing this. I do not want to be this person who uses food instead of emotion, who eats out of boredom and stress. I am working on getting healthy because even when my brain is shrinking from MS and I cannot control what my body does I can at least try and control the balance inside this body.

Sources

https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/eating-disorders/what-are-eating-disorders

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/common-eating-disorders#binge-eating-disorder

Eating Disorders: Causes, Symptoms, Signs & Medical Complications

https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/eating-disorders/index.shtml

Knowing When to Stop

Knowing when to stop has never been something I’m good at. I’m going to go full steam ahead, 125% until whatever it is, is done.

The problem with that is MS doesn’t give a shit what you want to do. Knowing when to stop can be the difference between partial completed and ok or having it done but being useless for days.

This has been a struggle for me since diagnosis. Whether it was work, household chores, physical therapy, it doesn’t matter. You tell me it would be better if I could do these balance exercises twice a day I will, until I can’t see properly and can barely move after two or three days because my body and my brain have communication issues.

I’m not going to lie, I still have problems with holding back. Anyone who has MS can tell you some days are better than others. Don’t make it harder on yourself by pushing through when you should be taking a break.

4 years since diagnosis and I’m still learning, my disease is ever changing though so I have to keep adjusting. Today I did the dishes, then I rested, a lot, I also got a migraine. Yesterday though I was in a house full of people for 30 minutes before trick or treating and I should have taken that into consideration today.

If you’re reading this and don’t know MS or anyone with it you probably think I’m lazy for only doing dishes, but I’m not. I managed to give myself a migraine by trying to get something done today instead of resting my body and brain.

Take time, take breaks, chronic illness sucks hard. It’s a learning curve and I am right here with you, learning too.

7.5 Weeks on Keto

You probably think it’s weird I am doing another update already, or perhaps you’ve been wondering.

I am not going to lie, I have had a few treat days in the over seven weeks but since this is a lifestyle change and not a diet it is absolutely, 100 percent okay. I will never make it through the upcoming holidays if I do not allow myself a little treat sometimes, the trick is to only have it once and then back on track. I monitored my ketones after these days and it takes about three days for my body to get back to producing ketone levels that are detectable using the urine test strips.

I am up to over 18 inches lost and about 18 pounds lost. If you read my previous post though you know this is about my brain and not my weight, though I am happy to have this side effect of this change. So, have I noticed any changes in my brain/body in regards to my MS symptoms and my change in eating habits. Unfortunately, not yet, though these things take time so I am going to keep moving forward hoping the long run results will help the MS.

Now, for my blood!! I had to see the doctor so I had her pull blood that I get done annually just to see if there is a change. There was. My cholesterol level over all is the same, though the triglycerides were so high last time they couldn’t actually get a number for the LDL. My triglycerides have gone almost 100 points, my A1C level went from 6.3 to 5.7 (pre-diabetic to your little high keep up the diet changes).

The thing that was the biggest difference in my body was my hormone levels. Last year, and the year before all of my hormone levels were at “post-menopausal” levels thanks to my PCOS. Now, my levels have normalized to those of an average 30-something year old. That’s a huge difference, I am not planning on having any more kids but if I was this would be an awesome start.

Now that my hormones are returning there’s three possible outcomes for my alopecia.

  1. My hair grows back (this would be AMAZING), however less likely.
  2. Nothing changes
  3. I lose more hair, this is a possibility because the hormone levels being wacky is what caused it in the first place.

With the science showing me that there is a difference happening on the inside of my body and the outside of my body fitting into cute clothes I forgot I had I am confident moving forward the way I am.