For the first time in my life I am not overweight/obese

Based on my BMI I have always been overweight or obese. I was fat as a child and never ever came close to the ‘healthy weight’ range. Unfortunately I can not pass on a miracle diet for advice for others … a complete nervous breakdown and the destruction of most of my life and anything I value is not recommended.

I’m finding it rather odd … I’ve always described myself as fat, get the normal denials from friends and have always responded with - well according to my BMI I am overweight/obese. I did use proper dieting/exercise to originally get myself from obese to overweight about 15 years ago. But then my body weight stablised and nothing seemed to change it.

I now weigh less that I did at the age of 10. I’ve just stopped eating … I have no hunger … I can only have a couple of mouthfuls of food before I have to stop … I don’t want to be near food … I can miss entire meals without noticing. Before I was obsessed with food - could eat at any time. I have not had to use an ounce of willpower … I have not done a single piece of exercise (I’ve more likely been unable to leave the house). I actually dread the return of hunger, it drove my life.

I feel terrible constantly … and wish I could go back to my overweight self who had a relationship, a life, self respect and hope. Who ever said ‘nothing tastes as good as thin feels’ … doesn’t feel like I do. (yes, I am receiving professional help and am drugged up on everything they think will help)

I don’t talk to people about my weight and so have no one to tell that for once in my life I am not overweight … hence my sharing of a mundane pointless thing with complete strangers! (and yes, I am well aware that the statistics show that it probably wont last and I will return fatter than ever).

It sounds like the weight issue is the tip of a larger emotional iceberg. You mentioned a complete breakdown and life destruction, and now you have no appetite…these are serious things. Your current weight seems like the smallest part of the issue (as it were).

I’m not asking for more details, but I hope you’re seeing a therapist/counselor so you can talk about what’s going on with you in a safe, loving, neutral place.

Even though it may seem to you or may have seemed to you that your weight was a salient feature of your former contentment and that the weight change is the root cause of your current misery, an outside person can probably help you had a clearer perspective on the sitch.

Your weight loss is part of your overall physical/mental/emotional health picture, and you need help looking at and assessing the whole picture.

ETA. Just saw that you are seeing a doctor. Hope you’re talking, too, and NOT just talking meds. Although meds have their place.

BTW, your post also sounds angry. Did things not materialize at your new weight that you hoped would work out?

Congratulations on your silver lining. Losing a lot of weight can be good, but it’s also a big change, which can be scary and stressful on top of all the other things you are dealing with that made you lose your appetite in the first place. I hope you can find some good ways to deal with all the emotions you are having so that you can feel better and be healthy.

Some people eat emotionally – some people lose their appetite under emotional strain. Happened to me once, after a bad breakup I just couldn’t eat anything for weeks. When the scale read 98 pounds I got scared and started forcing myself to eat. I know some people say forcing food is a bad idea, but it beats dying. It did not leave me with disordered eating in the long term, but probably for the first time in my life I could see how eating disorders happen. No matter how unhealthy your habits are, people congratulate you on getting skinny. it’s pretty disturbing actually.

It sounds like you could use some emotional support - you might want to speak with a counselor, or just a good friend/trusted family member about what you’re going through.

You situation is not healthy. You need professional counseling ASAP.

The OP said she is getting professional help:

But it’s not clear if this is therapy/counseling or a psychiatrist/doctor who has prescribed anti-depressants or something, because she also said:

so that sounds like she doesn’t talk to her professional.

To the OP, you would likely benefit from some sort of talk therapy, and you don’t have to talk to the therapist only about your weight. There’s clearly a lot of other stuff going on with you. Referring to the bad way you’re feeling as “mundane and pointless” is being needlessly mean to yourself. You’re hurting and you deserve to get yourself some help to stop hurting.

Agree.

The eating problem is a symptom of an underlying mental or psychological problem. She needs to do the following:

  1. Identify the underlying problem. This could be childhood trauma/abuse, genuine mental disease, etc.

  2. Learn how to deal with #1.

If she can’t do this on her own, she needs a counselor who can help her.

Yes I am doing therapy (and I do talk about food issues with my therapist) along with seeing a couple of other specialists who are playing with my meds (I have a long term sleep disorder which causes havoc with my life at times).

My point was more about how something that seemed impossible but has probably been a long term goal of mine and something that should have been a celebration of achievement … is actually not.

Also that all the willpower in the world and all those years of effort to try and lose weight … and it seemed all I needed was to go crazy!

And as Hello Again said … I’m getting comments from some people about how great I look … at a time in my life when I feel the worst.

Miss Gnomer, my BFF left her husband after several unhappy years with no end in sight and kicked off the worst year of her life. Like you, she couldn’t stand the sight of food, couldn’t eat, and just kept dropping weight (although she had started from a place in the healthy range, so it got scary quickly). Even when she did eat, she had trouble keeping it down.

It’s been two and a half years now, and she’s in a much better place. She’s enjoying food again, her weight is stable and healthy, and she’s enjoying life. The emotional stress of ending her marriage was horrendous but she got through it and is happier than she was back then. A major breakup like that scars you and leaves you changed as a person, but there does come a time when you can enjoy life again.

All the best to you. I hope your journey through this rough time is over soon and brings you out in a better place.

I know the weight issue isn’t the most important thing you’re going through right now. Just a side effect that has you going, “Really?” But you don’t have to eventually get fat again. Now is a good time to learn how to eat healthy for the rest of your life. A nutritionist can help you plan a diet (as in what you eat, not how much) that you could slowly build up to as you begin to feel better. And since you would be learning a new relationship with food you might never feel the need to overindulge again.
If eating better starts helping you feel better, along with the medications, there could come a time when you do want some physical activity, like swimming, biking, tennis etc. and possibly find more enjoyment in social interactions.
I wish you all the best. Be good to yourself.

This is why I think the term “disordered eating” is so much more useful in many situations than talking about whether someone is over or under weight. There is so much pressure from both an appearance and a health perspective to be at a healthy, average weight that people tend to see that as the mentally healthy outcome, when in fact for some people external appearance is not at all a reflection of mental health, even specifically mental health related to eating.

At my highest weight, I was certainly unhealthy both mentally and physically. At my lowest weight, I was probably healthier physically (and certainly got all of the great compliments), but my mental health was at its absolute worst. Now I am at an average, or slightly above average weight, am rarely complimented on my size (only by people who haven’t seen me in years), but my mental health is the best it’s ever been.

Unfortunately, it sounds like your eating is still disordered, no matter what the scale says. Being thin is not making you happy, but more importantly, it is also not the cause of your misery. It’s just another symptom of your current emotional issues. Concentrate on resolving them and getting your eating to a healthier place, and let your size take care of itself.

Good God, yes! I have been on a relentless crusade to stamp out this idiotic platitude for years. To people whose eating is disordered because of emotional issues, thin doesn’t feel good. Too often, thin feels like crap.

I also think part of my issue with it is that my identity has so firmly been “Miss_Gnomer the fat” … it is who I’ve always been … it is who I always thought I would be … my weight has influenced my life so much.

My recent experiences have challenged so much about who I thought I was and who I am … having another thing to add to that, that I thought was so definite, is just adding to the confusion.

Congrats! I always like hearing about people struggling with weight who lose it.

Cheers! (From a fattie. Oh when spring & summer come around, I will hopefully ditch a ton of winter weight myself.)

It’s worth remembering that the sense that your identity is tied up with your weight is something that’s going on in your head. It takes a lot of time and effort, but you can get to a place where your identity is just “Miss_Gnomer the human being” or whatever other identity you want to take on for yourself. But the change can be very disorientating, particularly early on when people are constantly commenting on it. I’ve been a fat person in a thin body before, and it’s part of what makes being thin feel so bad. Once you get your head and your body working together, you will feel much better.

Did you even read the OP?

One of the things you find when you lose a lot of weight is that even with the weight off you’re still pretty much the exact same person, it’s just other’s reactions to you that have changed.

Assuming this lack of appetite is caused by biochemically mediated temporary emotional turmoil of some kind real world chances are 99.99 percent the weight will return when you get over the current emotional impasse. It sounds pessimistic but you can pretty much bank on it. Starvation is not a long term diet plan and weight gain often comes back bigger than it ever was before.

Given this reality why don’t take this unusual break in your struggle with being morbidly obese and get a personal trainer and begin some basic exercises along with diet they would recommend for you? Exercise generally makes you feel better and would help get your appetite back on track. The exercise and eating program is something that will help you re-center and keep fat off while building muscle. This is not something I recommend doing by yourself, you really need a trainer and enforced appointments you go to in order to make this work. You will gain weight back, but if you do it right with diet and exercise it can be fit muscle weight not sloppy fat.