September 2nd, 2006

colin

misleading empty/full stomach sensations

i was wondering whether anyone -- particularly people recovering from BN, but anyone, really! -- has had a difficult time waiting for their digestive system to recalibrate itself, specifically as it pertains to knowing when one is satiated.

sometimes i think i'm done eating a meal and although i can feel food in my tummy, it simultaneously feels empty-ish and i want to keep eating to 'fill it up.'
i'm sure this has to do w/the fact that i'm used to stretching my stomach a bit during binges and becoming uncomfortably full, and b/c i generally sometimes eat for non-hunger-related reasons.

i know that it's not 'healthy' to eat until one actually FEELS *FULL* but i sort of like feeling extremely empty sometimes and hands-down full at other times. but of course, i don't want to set myself up to slip up (from stuffing myself & then wanting/needing to purge)...

any suggestions, comments, or anecdotes? thanks.

x-posted to ed_medfacts
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    npr--all things considered
  • 15yrs

June 12, 2006 issue -

Consumed by Guilt, I Just Stopped Eating.
First anorexic, then bulimic, I always found new ways to punish myself.
Finally, I'm whole again.

By Ellyn Mantell.
Newsweek.


Recently I was out for dinner and ran into a woman I had not seen since leaving Emerson College in 1968. As we reminisced, I wondered if she had ever known how much I was suffering back then. At that time, few people had even heard of anorexia nervosa, the disorder that plagued me.

Anorexia and its counterpart bulimia have had long-lasting effects on so many aspects of my life. Whereas anorexia destroyed my body and brain, bulimia destroyed my ego, my sense of self-worth, my soul. Today, when friends or acquaintances learn that I was once anorexic, they often ask in jest how they can become "just a little bit anorexic." One is no more a little bit anorexic or bulimic than one can be a little bit pregnant. When you are in it, you are fully consumed. It is truly the embodiment of self-hatred.

I grew up with parents who were bipolar, physically violent and irrational. I was excited to go away to college, but being there brought so much guilt. How would my two younger sisters survive without me to run interference? By the middle of my freshman year, the guilt consumed me. I felt I deserved to suffer; food became my weapon of choice. I ate less and less at each meal. Soon I was just pushing the food around on my plate. Eventually I missed meals altogether, claiming I had eaten in my room, and my friends stopped asking me to join them.

I'd wander around Boston, walking into my favorite cafés just to smell the muffins baking or see ice cream being scooped. I was no longer interested in being attractive to boys, not even to the boyfriend who is now my husband. My thinning hair and darkened teeth ensured that I wouldn't be.

Once a girl who was pursued by every sorority on campus, I now lived alone because no one would share a room with me. My alarm was set to ring every 30 minutes throughout the night so I could exercise away the 12 calories I had consumed.

Despite my obsessive-compulsive behavior, I made the dean's list, participated in a work-study program and baby-sat for a professor's children. How, you ask? I have no idea, but I do know that the euphoria I experienced every time the scale reflected a shrinking me was very motivating.

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