Tuesday 10 January 2012

Dieting MAD!!!!

It's that confounded time of year when all his female friends seem to be able to talk about is DIETS and how few calories they have consumed that day. It is driving Ben MAD! He finds it really, really difficult to handle being around people that are talking about diets - I mean REALLY hard...

He's worried that it triggers off certain 'ED thoughts & responses' in his head. OK he insists he'd never act on those ED thoughts & responses, but he says all this is making things really hard for him at the moment. As a result he says that things that may seem like old challenges may re-surface when we talk about how the day has been with our Recovery Contract (yes that is still going strong).

And crazily, crassly and stupidly we were in the waiting room of our local CAMHS unit-cum-ED-unit last night waiting for the drama therapy group Ben goes to on a Monday.

On the wall was an NHS poster asking: "Do you know how many calories are in your drink?"

We both noticed it, independently, and couldn't believe our eyes.

I said I should have got out a marker pen and written: "Not bloody enough, that's what!"


  1. Urgh! I would complain to CAMHS. It's one level of stupidities to put notices like that up in GP surgeries, but another entirely to put them in a CAMHS/EDU waiting room. WTF were they thinking? Someone should ask them what they were thinking...

  2. I wish you had! I can't believe an ED unit allowed that. It should be an absolutely neutral place. I would complain to PALS if I were you.

  3. I have to admit, I've been concerned about this in my own house. I just started Weight Watchers, as I am morbidly obese. I talk about it only in matters of points and making a healthy lifestyle choices. I refer to Vale needing to eat more to fuel his body, and I need to eat less because I don't need as much fuel. I showed him your blog post and he seemed to be candid about it. He said what I'm doing is just healthy for my body, so it's not triggering. However if he were around a lot of peers, girls in his youth group, who were dieting, it would be hard.
    Thanks for your post, so timely!

  4. I can't seem to open a paper or magazine at the moment without some new diet staring me in the face! It must be hard for AN sufferers to see this popping up all over the place. I try and steer my AN son away from it where possible.

  5. It is terribly confusing and 'triggering', when a person has, or has had an ED, to see this sort of stuff. I used to find it 'triggering' too. Now it doesn't affect me.

    I think that the reason why stuff about diets and calories are 'triggering' to people in recovery from EDs is that EDs are very much about 'rules'. We create rules for ourselves around eating, exercise and other lifestyle issues and they feel so RIGHT. And then we are informed by professionals and parents that adherence to our rules is making us ill. We therefore have to change our mindset. To then see something that seems to promote our ED rules is very confusing. I used to feel that my brain would 'explode'.

    I don't know if this would be helpful to Ben and to others, but one thing that helped me in recovery was to find means of distracting myself from that stuff - as well as repeatedly telling myself that my own rules of good health are the opposite to all this diet and exercise stuff.

    Some people are susceptible to developing EDs simply because their mind works by rules. It's rather autistic thinking. If the rule is to eat X calories per day and exercise for X minutes, then the person vulnerable to an ED will do just that. Meanwhile, the rest of the population ignores, or fails to notice these rules.

    Again, it all boils down to cognitive processing characteristics...