Emma asks :

Hi Lucy,

I am so depressed! I am engaged to my beautiful fiancé who I have been with for 9 months. When I first met him I was a slim size 8/10 without even exercising, we made love and it was perfect! Since then we have had a lot of fast food and snacks which hasn't affected him because he doesn't put on weight! But now I am a size 12 and I feel like a whale! We have gone running twice and I have always broken down in tears! I am so ashamed of myself. When we make love all I can think all's I can think about is how fat I look compared to him. I don't like being outside or around people anymore because I compare myself to everyone. Instead I stay inside and hide under some of his big t-shirts, my fiancé blames himself for always spoiling me and getting me what I wanted, but I now hate myself. I'm constantly complaining and breaking down but been told I have weak deformed ankles and it hurts to run. I have tried sit ups but when I sit up I see my belly and cry; even when I have a shower I can't help but cry. I can't stop eating as I am scared I will suffer from anorexia again!

Our Reply

Hi Emma,

It sounds like your changes in your body are occupying your every waking thought right now.

I would suggest that you go to the doctors and see about getting a referral to a counsellor and nutritionist. It seems that there is a lot of psychological pain attached to your attitude towards food and perhaps talking to someone about this this might help. Especially if have had anorexia in the past- your relationship with food seems to have been fragile for a long time.

It sounds like your finace has tried to be a great support for you during this time. Going running with you for instance- you have someone in your life who seems to care about how you feel about yourself (which is the most important thing), so anything you can do together will spur you on and help you stick to it. Perhaps you can cook healthily together too?

There are many exercises that are low impact like swimming, that won’t affect your ankles when you are active, so perhaps look into something like that to help you still keep fit without straining your ankles in the process. If you speak to someone at the gym they will be able to advise you on the best options for exercise if you are wanting to go down this route.

You have identified what has changed in your lifestyle- such as the fast food and snacks, so maybe if you reduce these gradually in your diet and eat healthier it will help things along. But- get advice from the nutritionist on how to do this without risking going back to being anorexic! You need to be safe while you do this- so get as much help as you can from the relevant professional people to get you to your goal.  

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