Thursday, 14 November 2013

'Fullness' cues?

I have talked a lot about hunger cues and how they can be really off in ED patients. It is not that patients are trying to lie that they are not hungry - it seems that the brain and body actually do not sense hunger in ED, But, what about 'fullness' cues? Do patients with ED, specifically AN, feel full? This something that I really struggle with. I definitely do not have good hunger cues, and this is why I need to eat by the clock. It does get annoying, to be honest. Imagine trying to eat when you do not feel hungry or do not have an appetite. It feels so...wrong, especially for someone who has/had ED. But now, think about the opposite side: feeling full. When I was sick, I had a great excuse for why I could never eat: I already felt full. In recovery, I felt this way as well. How could I be expected to eat when I still felt full from the last meal? How could I eat when I felt fell?  In later recovery. the problem remained: how could I continue to finish my meals when I felt full after taking a few bites?


Fullness cues are related to hunger cues: if you feel full, you do not feel hungry. If you feel hungry, you are not full and can still eat more. But with ED, the problem remains that foods needs to get in and the patient needs to eat. But how does this happen when the patient feels so full all the time? For example, I often feel full after taking a few bites of my meal. I look down on my plate to realize that I have only eaten half of my meal. Then, somewhere in my head, I realize that ED wants me to stop eating.

That's enough. You have already gained all the weight back, even more than you needed to. Why keep eating? You were not even hungry at the beginning, but you still ate. Now, why on earth should you continue to eat? You are full. Eating more makes you a pig. Come on Is it not bad enough that you have gained all the weight back? Do you want to become fat again, and go through it over again?!

What makes this hard to deal with is that inside, I really do feel full. It is not like in ED when I had not eaten anything. Now, in recovery, I HAVE eaten. But the thing is, I have not completed my meal. So, what to do? Inside I know that I did eat something. but at the same time, I know that it was not my entire meal. Was it enough? Sometimes I feel that I actually do not know what is enough! This makes it hard - I am trapped and have no idea what to do. If I keep eating, I will feel even MORE full and then I will get uncomfortable. But, if I do not eat, I will not have finished my meals, and how can I be sure that I am eating enough?!

It seems like a lose-lose situation. I hate feeling full - this time, it is real. I feel full of food. I have eaten. I am uncomfortable, and my jeans are getting tight. When this happens, I panic. I start to feel fat and ugly. But at the same time, I know that I cannot depend on my fullness cues - just like my hunger cues. With hunger cues, I can look at the clock and know when to eat next. But what do I do with fullness cues?

The solution, for me, is to simply eat. Yes, I may not feel hungry now. But if this is what I had planned to eat today and I am following a meal plan, this is likely what mu body needs to be well. On the other hand, if I have eaten something extra today and am REALLY feeling full, maybe it is okay to eat a bit less at this meal. But the important thing is that I ensure that I have truly eaten enough. It is frustrating, to be honest, to not be able to rely on my hunger OR fullness cues. But in the long run, I know that this is what my body needs. I may not like it, but I know that this is best for my health. Maybe my hunger and fullness cues will return to normal some day. Maybe they will not. But whatever happens, I have found a way to keep myself well. As long as I am healthy, life will move on and I will stay strong in my recovery. That is all that matters - I can wait for my cues to return some day. What matters is today: how strong and healthy I am, and how happy I am. Thank God, despite the messed up hunger signals and the stresses of life, I am doing well. Life is tough, but I am tougher.

43 comments:

  1. Good morning Marina
    I never had ED or mood disorders(albeit has strong family history of depression) but I have been eating and drinking by the hour as I noted during my busy schedule ,I forget and the only guarantee to make sure my body is healthy and my brain thinking well is eat and drink by the cloak.
    It does work

    With my humble respect

    Mohammad

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    Replies
    1. Mohammed, I like what you said very much - even people without ED tend to forget to take care of themselves when busy. Learning to take time to do so, even using the clock for meals, is an excellent reminder for us all!

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  2. I have to admit that I struggled with great deal for years till my complete recovery without relapse almost 7 years ago. I assure you I will get better and days are different ,some are easier.
    Now after years of my complete recovery I am same like normal person when I am under new stress I feel full but I learned the tips from you(eating by the cloak)


    Recovered Ed victim

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    Replies
    1. It DOES get easier - and your story is a great example of that. I admire how you continue to keep yourself healthy and aware of your body's needs. You are an inspiration!

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  3. For years I have been restricting my food intake, feeling full all the time and when I did try to eat, the thoughts of ED used fighting with me strong and hard .This continued till I met you over this wonderful blog and you motivated me to get help even (I thought I had mild ED.)
    I spent one full year in treatment programs and I tell me I got the help you told me about. I learnt CBT and DBT basically to help me get rid of the ED thoughts.
    I believe ED is distorted thoughts that is all.
    If We are able to replace Ed thoughts with normal healthy thoughts, life would be easier and not only treat ED but we can early prevent ED in teenagers.
    If you think I have become knowledgeable ,this is because of your wonderful blog Marina

    Anne

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    Replies
    1. Anne, I am so happy for you - and how far you have come! WOW! You are right - healthy thoughts and feelings replacing ED is the best cure for all patients. Stay strong - you make me so proud!

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  4. I do believe that feeling hungry and wants eating till feeling full may not happen for many people for several reasons.
    For all those who are recovering or recovered from any chronic disease eating by the hour and certain amount of food ,usually varieties recommended by a RD is the key to maintain health.
    I know many doctors and RDs and RNs recommend supplements as boost or ensure etc. to make sure people get enough nutrition.
    Nutrition is not for hunger ,or to gain weight but to maintain body and brain function and maintain immunity and prevent diseases.
    I wish things will be easy for all those who has/had ED.
    God bless you Marina

    CJ(RN and Diabetes Educator)

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    Replies
    1. CJ, your words are very wise ones. Even those without ED need to be mindful of their eating and health, as this is what makes our lives and bodies functional. Wise words from a wise nurse!

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  5. Yes Marina
    ED wants us stop eating.
    No way ED can have any say on my life any more
    I promise you, myself ,my family, my friends and your readers

    Nanraj

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    Replies
    1. Nanraj, I am so proud of you! This is a hallmark part of your life! You make me so happy :) Stay strong - what you have done is truly inspirational!

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  6. You made a breakthrough in ED recovery
    You changed the scars of ED into stars shining to lead the way for others to recover.
    You can change the lose-lose situation of fullness/eating? Fullness/etc. into win- win situation and I guess you are expert but in my little mind aware that ED is pushing you to stop eating and just do the opposite .

    I pray for you

    Mary
    Mississauga

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Mary! You give me hope and support whenever it is needed! You are right - the odds may be against me, but when has that ever stopped me?!

      Delete
  7. The most important is you keep healthy,happy ,strong and tough at any cost.
    This is exactly my philosphy.

    Sebastian

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    Replies
    1. Sebestian - that statement is the key to a happy and healthy life!

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  8. This is a good news to all your readers that you found a way to keep you healthy no matter how strong fullness cues.

    I congratulate you and all your readers

    Hamza

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    Replies
    1. Hamza, outlining the good news is much appreciated, as this reminds me why fighting for my life is worth it: staying healthy. Thank you for your wise words.

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  9. We support you in your endeavor to maintain the success in recovery despite the roadblocks.I can understand how hard it is to eat when you feel full.

    Sasha

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    Replies
    1. Sasha, thank you so much! The support I get from this blog is unbelievable and it truly keeps me strong!

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  10. That is why your readers are attracted to your blog because what you talking about making sense .
    You stressed on the 2 facts
    1-You know what is good for your health.
    2-You found a way how to do it.
    Many people sick or not ,recovered or recovering do not know what is good for them and do not have a clear vision how to tackle and solve their problems

    Thumbs up Marina

    Yara

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Yara! What makes this blog special is not me, but the kind people who read it and give me love and support! Your two points summarize this post - and perhaps blog - in short and sweet words!

      Delete
  11. I admire you as you present the issue/problem/challenge and then how to solve.
    You are problem solver
    Hey!!!


    Lenus

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    1. Thank You Lenus - these words are so encouraging!

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  12. Time on your side.
    Things will get better sooner or later.
    You know what you are doing and what is better for you.
    Marina is the lead in ED recovery.

    Zak

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Zac! Your words about it getting better soon are honestly what keep me battling each day. One day, they do get easier...and this is why I am recovered! Thanks for your reminder :)

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  13. I am also thankful that despite the stress and tough time God is making you stronger and tougher and aware of what is good for yourself.

    Mehta

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    Replies
    1. Mehta, this is SO true! My experiences, though tough, show me that God is using them for the good for myself and others!

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  14. Can massage therapy help the appetite and fullness?

    Jenn

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    Replies
    1. Jenn, I would think that this is possible - however, there is no literature (studies) about this yet. In my own opinion, massage is useful because it helps us connect to our bodies...for me, it helps me relax, which allows me to be aware that although I may not be hungry, I need to eat for my healthy body. I hope that answers your question!

      Delete
  15. Hey Ms Hope
    You do have a solution to any problem
    You are so wonderful

    Raja

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  16. I know it is hard to have appetite and eat when you have something in your mind.I had this when I was doing alcohol and only thing get inside my mouth was the bottle .Since my recovery I am careful to make sure eating and avoiding dehaydration.
    Your blog inspired me to maintain abstinence .
    I am sure nothing will sway you from your goals

    Carlos

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  17. I am doing peds rotation and I learnt a lot about kids.
    I can tell you the best way to have healthy smart kids is to gurantee nutritions and comfort them.One way to comfort babies is by cuddling and massage that really works to have babies relax and feed well and grow healthy.
    Kids who are nervous and malnourished will grow weaker,less intelligent and may have problem thinking as decrease executive function of their brain and may also have low immune system.
    I support you when you mention massage as excellent ,easy and safe way of calming down stress and relieving pains and connect you with your body

    Penny
    medical school

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  18. I love the picture and I think if I look at it while I am eating I will have better appetite and good hunger cues and no fullness.I go weekly for massage and this gives me a boost to my health and enjoy feeling my body
    I am sure Marina can overcome any problem Yes you are a tough girl

    Sally

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  19. Ms Hope can make adifference no matter how dire the situation is.
    I do believe in you Marina

    Sandra D

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  20. I agree massage is safe and effective,calming and relaxing.

    Good idea from Marina


    Gangji

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  21. I learnt this from you some time ago and I have been doing massage to my daughter twice weekly and once monthly We go together for massage and We both feel relaxed and happy after it.I guess the down side is needs to be done regularly but also medications has to be taken daily ,right Marina


    JP

    A Thankful mother

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  22. Anastashia endorse massage thaerpy same as Marina
    We love you Marina

    ReplyDelete
  23. I agree you are strong and tough girl and you deserve good massage and to pamper your self

    Sorina

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  24. My way of relaxation is reading your blog Marina

    Clorado

    ReplyDelete
  25. Who does not like massage

    Hesham

    ReplyDelete
  26. I love the picture and the psalm of the day.
    I relax by YOGA


    Azadi

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  27. Hey Marina
    Massage is relaxing to every one I know

    Oswaldo

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  28. It is amazing how strong and determined you are .
    Nothing will stop your progress.

    Kadri

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  29. Your video is going to go viral. I just know it.
    Jenn

    ReplyDelete

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