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Internal battle: anorexia vs. muscle dysmorphia vs. orthorexia

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#1 færine



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Posted 31 October 2015 - 12:26 AM

Anorexic tendencies are making it so difficult to gain or even maintain muscle mass and muscle dysmorphia is hitting hard as a result. I'm only eating a portion of what I need to be, but I won't let myself lift while I'm under eating, but when I try to eat enough then it feels like a binge and I want to purge or have a real binge. Now, to top it off, I've been vegan for the past few months and so now the orthorexia is messing with my head. UGGGHHHH

This might sound messed up, but I really miss starving myself and overexercising. It was just so much simpler back then. Sometimes I crave those comforts, and worse lately.

I'm currently at a medically appropriate weight. I have been working out with the goal of gaining muscle mass for two years. I have primarily struggled with bulimia, if only because engaging anorexia always landed me in treatment, but bulimia has kept me semi-functional at least in appearance. People haven't been as worried since I'm not looking as sick as before.

I've had my ED for 10+ years. It started when I was overweight and binging, I started purging (bulimia), then restricting (anorexia), then rigidly structuring my intake based on insane self-contrived rules for health (orthorexa) in a misguided attempt at recovery. Since then I've been in treatment twice.

I'm trying so, so hard to move in a positive direction towards a more solid recovery... But those little voices seem so relentless. If I'm not fat, then I'm too bony, and if I'm not too soft then I'm too muscular. If I'm not eating enough then I need to eat better food but then I don't eat enough of that food and I end up binging or thinking I'm binging, etcetcetc.
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#2 MelodyLikesKittens


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Posted 31 October 2015 - 04:56 AM

I face the same problem with wanting to build muscle and losing weight too lol :/
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#3 hazygirl


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Posted 08 November 2015 - 02:20 AM

Ugh same the addition of the orthorexic tendencies on top of my restrictive Ed and bulimia is just soooo conflicting. I'm constantly choosing between "healthy" and "low calorie".
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#4 Gone007


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Posted 20 November 2015 - 01:06 PM

Feel exactly the same. Fucking dreadful.
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#5 Bananasaurus



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Posted 20 November 2015 - 01:34 PM

It's hard, I find that the structure and goal targets of myfitnesspal help TREMENDOUSLY, seeing the numbers, even though they are high, reassures me its okay to eat that much.

#6 Diablolita


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Posted 29 November 2015 - 11:47 AM

Orthorexia, OSFED atypical anorexia here, with a history of bulimia without purging (lax, fasting, restriction was my purging).

Honestly at the moment my desire for healthy muscle mass is eclipsed by 35 lbs of fat, so thankful that that isn't a factor, but I don't like being weak and am undereating to lose weight.

So I feel you. And also the same, hazygirl - with lo cal vs. healthy. Why the fuck does flax have so many calories??!!
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Age: 41 Height: 5'9.5" CW: 152lb HW: 220lb (23 years ago) LW: 147lb 10/10/2016 SW: 183 4/30/2018

(Lifelong vegetarian) keto, restriction, orthorexia, fasting, yoga, resistance training, walking

GWS: 180 175 170 165 160 155 150 145 140

#7 KiwiBird


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Posted 01 December 2015 - 09:16 AM

I struggle with trying to decide whether I want to be as tiny as possible or whether I want to maintain the slightly muscular but thin physique I have right now. I need to keep the muscles if I want to keep up athletics. But sometimes the desire to just fast and restrict and lose as much as physically possible is so overwhelming that I let myself start to lose muscle. But then the urge to exercise and gain muscle comes back so I fall into obsessively eating healthy foods and only eating as many calories as I burn in a workout. 


Great life, isn't it? 

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#8 Alpha-Scorpii


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Posted 09 December 2015 - 12:58 PM

I was a dysfunctional mess being pulled in multiple directions.  I feel stable now that I've prioritized (being skinny in my case).

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#9 HasselDoe


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Posted 09 December 2015 - 06:21 PM

Same. I either try to eat enough protein and build some lean muscle or I just fast/binge and purge/purge everything that strikes me as 'unclean' that I've first chosen because it was low calorie. Fucking hate that, atm I'm pretty much disfunctional because of it. I have a job and studies but my very limited free time is purely dedicated to above mentioned issues so you may say I have no life.
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21/166cm/5'5½ "

HW: BMI 24.6 -> Years ago, different height, never going back there

LW: 43.2kg/95lbs (BMI: 15.7)

AN/BP || vegan || in recovery


Post-recovery HW: Fat piece of shit with the BMI of 19

CW: 46.8 kg (BMI 17.0)

GW: sanity

#10 pogo



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Posted 09 December 2015 - 06:24 PM

I face the same problem with wanting to build muscle and losing weight too lol :/

Me too. I wanna be a stick but have toned muscles and be really strong.
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#11 muscle&bone



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Posted 14 December 2015 - 11:06 AM

this is my everyday struggle...i'm so relieved i found some other people who share it... 

every morning and all day long it's like this all-consuming battle raging inside of eat the healthy food (which i love anyways) but can be high in (healthy) fats, carbs, protein (obv that shit is caloric)... or to just restrict restrict restrict like I feel I should...

but then I know I can't increase muscle mass unless I get my protein's a damn circle and I'm going crazy...

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Orthorexic, muscle dysmorphic, exercise addict, OCD, atypical anorexia, purging disorder
Self control is absolute power.<p>18nv2ar7iiewfjpg.jpg

#12 Bump&Grind


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Posted 22 December 2015 - 02:37 AM

yeah I have the same problem and sometimes I think its recovery. I vaciliate between orthorexic and starving myself.

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7700 calories = 1 kilogram


#13 DancingFeather



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Posted 06 January 2016 - 10:46 PM

I definitely feel you.


I used to just be full-anorexia, but at some point realized I'd rather be lean and muscular than just skin and bones. I've spent the past while oscillating between the two, constantly back and forth -- muscle or bones? It's been punctuated by bouts of "recovery," which I assume to be something close to orthorexia, if not orthorexia itself; I'd decide to be healthy I needed to go vegan, I'd have a set meal plan that usually had something like grapefruit or chia seed or kale, and of course there would be a panoply of other "healthy eating" rules I'd have to follow in order to "recover" -- never worked (surprise, surprise). 


I don't really know what to make of it. It's odd, in a way, because with every diet I go on, the goal is to be healthy; anorexia is being thin, muscle dysmorphia is being muscular, and orthorexia is being healthy at a healthy weight. And then I go through phases where I'm trying to do all three at once, and that's just a mess. Though it's an equal mess when they just take turns...


I don't know what to say. Best of luck. I definitely feel your struggle.


#14 Andy'sLife


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Posted 17 February 2016 - 07:46 PM

I relate to this alot, and I used to have anorexic tendenices but now am leaning towards excessive exercise.

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#15 DoubleEspresso



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Posted 23 February 2016 - 05:22 AM

Me too. I wanna be a stick but have toned muscles and be really strong.

I second this.
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#16 greeres


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Posted 07 June 2016 - 08:08 AM

I totally relate to this...
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sweet emptied arms called worth and habit.

#17 barkingmermaid


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Posted 07 June 2016 - 09:17 AM

This thread is everything

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Posted 08 June 2016 - 06:50 PM

Me too. I wanna be a stick but have toned muscles and be really strong.




#19 vivid



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Posted 11 June 2016 - 10:43 AM

eh same here. i want to be super strong, specifically my arms, but also be really thin.

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#20 toloaf



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Posted 28 June 2016 - 06:32 PM

This is exactly what I've been going through. I know the feeling all too well. 

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