ED Muscle pain & Eating - restricted calorie intake

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Sideways

Moderator
There’s a bit too much to take in here.

I can say that I was originally taking a better quality shake, but it got really expensive, and that was a good enough reason/excuse (can’t seem to tell the difference) to switch to the one that my grocery store stocks. Which is a diet one.

I know my pharmacy keeps the hospital grade nutrition supplement drink. I’ve avoided switching to that because the calories are impossibly low. So switching to that would mean also eating stuff.

Vege shakes. Um, no! I can down a glass of V8 juice quickly, which I’ve used in the past to get my vege intake up (this isn’t exactly a new problem). I was doing frozen veges for a while not that long ago (maybe a few months or more). There’s not much calories in that but it’s the extra nutrition I’m supposed to take with these shakes. But it required meal preparation (which I seem to be really uncomfortable about atm) as well as eating more food.

I’m going to have to come back to this. It’s a bit overwhelming and extremely uncomfortable.

ETA It is definitely not a straight forward case of one day deciding to limit my calories by that much. It’s happened in stages, although the issues have been around for a long time now. And a big part of it is that I have fairly significant depression, which has been part of my pathology for at least 10 years.

I may be wrong with this assumption, but in terms of daily function, healthy menu planning and meal preparation is one of the first things to go for people with low mood, yeah?

It’s not me trying to excuse anything. But there is an easy solution: prepare a healthy menu each week, do a comprehensive shop, and prepare proper meals.

Then you start to factor in depression, ptsd, anxiety about shopping centres, SI, good old self-loathing and dissociation from body (which is also pretty common - not being aware of things like, “I’m hungry”, or “Ouch, that hurts”), and...

Shakes were meant to be a solution. A dietician suggested them to me when I was in hospital a few years back and had malnutrition from living off breakfast cereal for brekky, lunch and dinner (Weet-Bix, bleh!). It’s just kind of slipped a bit too far again I think...maybe
 
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grit

MyPTSD Pro
First I apologize I misspelled your name... When I am at home using laptop I usually copy and paste names so I get them right but this time I just wanted to respond quickly so no disrespect intended.
About this topic and my responses, I really truly without knowing the history felt sideways was just trying to figure things out and it was not about eating disorders but just moments of despair. This is my feeling about her post.
I hope my words are taken asi intend. Not trying to confront or continue in arguments.

It is OK to think differently so I gave my piece.
Respectfully yours
 

Friday

Moderator
Shakes were meant to be a solution. A dietician suggested them to me when I was in hospital a few years back and had malnutrition from living off breakfast cereal for brekky, lunch and dinner (Weet-Bix, bleh!). It’s just kind of slipped a bit too far again I think...maybe
if it helps... try thinking of food like medicine.

Even long term solutions need to be reevaluated from time to time, and short term solutions were never meant to be long term.

Meanwhile... Doseages have to be tweaked over time, and switching out one for another (the expensive one for the diet one) can have some very different side effects. The side effects of our diet simply take longer to show up in our bodies (muscle pain, weight loss, weight gain, organ damage, organ repair, etc.) than the effects of medicine on our brain.

If you’d switched shakes and immediately been in pain? It would have been like... Oh! Lightbulb!... But food’s effects are a lot more subtle and take far longer to show.
 

TruthSeeker

MyPTSD Pro
So, it’s been a while now (maybe 6 months plus) that I’ve been living on meal replacement shakes and apples. So, about 700-800 calories a day.

Recently, I’ve been having chronic, generalised pain (not neuropathic) in my larger muscle groups. My arse and thighs in particular.

I’ve had issues with becoming malnourished from lousy diet before, and I know I’m supposed to still eat a couple of cups of veges a day with these shakes. But the only food I can seem to actually put in my mouth is apples, and even then, I don’t always manage a small apple each day.

For people who have spent periods on not much food, are these 2 things related? I don’t have an eating disorder, I just don’t particularly like eating or get hungry, and I hate grocery stores. So not eating food works for me lifestyle wise.

Or am I just getting old??


700-800 calories is not enough over the day to get the recommended daily protein and vitamins you need. Protein is essential for your brain and muscles and you will get brain fog, anemia, and feel weak over time if you continue. You need 1200 calories minimum a day and you can lose weight on this amount if you walk, exercise a bit. I use Premiere Shakes (160 cal) with 30 grams of protein, plus I add a cup of milk which gives me roughly 40 grams of protein per shake. I drink one a day for breakfast, and will sometimes have leftovers for breakfast (I hate to cook). Your colon needs fruit and veggies, and going long periods without this can increase your risk of colon cancer (want cancer and a bag? no thanks)....fruit and veggies you can graze on....and me, well....been here and done the "I'm not hungry, and I don't think about food." I always paid for it if I ate less than 1200 calories per day for lack of vitamins and energy. You need enough B12 to make neurons work properly, D, calcium, and other vitamins to keep bones and mind healthy. Consider having a shake for breakfast, fruit and veggies for lunch, and meat/fish/protein and a carbohydrate like potatoes, rice, or more veggies if you are looking to cut calories. Yasso makes really good frozen chocolate yogurt on a stick with 6 grams protein and 80 calories. Treat yourself to desert. I had gastric bypass a while back, and all the issues of not being hungry. Not getting enough calories can waste your muscles, and this can also be painful...so grab those vitamins, and set your phone to eat 3 times a day, or 5 smaller meals and eat more calories, get 50 grams of protein, fruit and veggies, so you body doesn't go into starvation mode. Good luck.
 

Sideways

Moderator
if it helps... try thinking of food like medicine.
This. One of my previous T’s who visited me at home was always on my case about this, and not having that constant reminders and checking in has made it a bit too easy to bypass the whole ‘eat food’ thing.

I can go back to the old shakes without any real issue. Obviously you get what you pay for (it’s ridiculous, it’s not like I don’t know this stuff, but reality bites hard).

Adding food is an extra mental leap. And I’m not sure I have the stabilised mood I need to back that up. But then, good nutrition is a pretty well-backed anti-depressant.

I did a body check before I hit the gardening today (had half a backyard to makeover), and definitely I was light-headed. That’s not great.

Plus I can add bananas. One of those a day is good solid nutrition per calorie, and it’s no extra aisles when I’m shopping.

Probably I need to crack open some self-monitoring of daily eats, and see if I can crack this nut that way. Certainly there’s a few things going on here that suggest my head is in a really bad space right now, and I know that if my pdoc’s dad hadn’t passed away, she’d still be suggesting an inpatient stay.

I haven’t been in hospital for a while now, and I was hoping to not go back. But I know that it forces a re-set on the eating thing. Because they simply don’t let you not eat.

Idk. Still wrapping my head around whether this is an issue I can take on board.
 

TruthSeeker

MyPTSD Pro
This. One of my previous T’s who visited me at home was always on my case about this, and not having that constant reminders and checking in has made it a bit too easy to bypass the whole ‘eat food’ thing.

I can go back to the old shakes without any real issue. Obviously you get what you pay for (it’s ridiculous, it’s not like I don’t know this stuff, but reality bites hard).

Adding food is an extra mental leap. And I’m not sure I have the stabilised mood I need to back that up. But then, good nutrition is a pretty well-backed anti-depressant.

I did a body check before I hit the gardening today (had half a backyard to makeover), and definitely I was light-headed. That’s not great.

Plus I can add bananas. One of those a day is good solid nutrition per calorie, and it’s no extra aisles when I’m shopping.

Probably I need to crack open some self-monitoring of daily eats, and see if I can crack this nut that way. Certainly there’s a few things going on here that suggest my head is in a really bad space right now, and I know that if my pdoc’s dad hadn’t passed away, she’d still be suggesting an inpatient stay.

I haven’t been in hospital for a while now, and I was hoping to not go back. But I know that it forces a re-set on the eating thing. Because they simply don’t let you not eat.

Idk. Still wrapping my head around whether this is an issue I can take on board.

The actual cooking is a barrier for me...cooking everyday nor is cleaning up a dirty kitchen. So, I can be successful with crockpot cooking.....throw it all in a large crockpot on instapot, something nutritious all in one meal, and freeze it in aluminum containers with aluminum foil on top, and this has worked really well-when my cook part is feeling the urge to cook and freeze. So when I'm feeling better, I'll do vegetable soup, stew, pot roast, chicken dishes, ribs, veg/beef meatloaf w mashed potatoes, and have meals I can throw in micro or the oven (I usually heat up in oven), but in a hurry-microwave works. Now with the fresh veggies, things also taste better. I can gauge aprox calories in homemade meals, and know that they are healthier than a lot of options I might have had....and are made to my taste. I've even done homemade pizzas....but for a while, the cook has not been interested. Usually I do about 40-50 meals for dinner over the late summer and winter months, twice a year, and in the winter, when sun is not shining....and I'm more depressed and less inclined to cook..they are helpful in getting nutrition that tastes good in me.
 

Gs172003

MyPTSD Pro
This. One of my previous T’s who visited me at home was always on my case about this, and not having that constant reminders and checking in has made it a bit too easy to bypass the whole ‘eat food’ thing.

I can go back to the old shakes without any real issue. Obviously you get what you pay for (it’s ridiculous, it’s not like I don’t know this stuff, but reality bites hard).

Adding food is an extra mental leap. And I’m not sure I have the stabilised mood I need to back that up. But then, good nutrition is a pretty well-backed anti-depressant.

I did a body check before I hit the gardening today (had half a backyard to makeover), and definitely I was light-headed. That’s not great.

Plus I can add bananas. One of those a day is good solid nutrition per calorie, and it’s no extra aisles when I’m shopping.

Probably I need to crack open some self-monitoring of daily eats, and see if I can crack this nut that way. Certainly there’s a few things going on here that suggest my head is in a really bad space right now, and I know that if my pdoc’s dad hadn’t passed away, she’d still be suggesting an inpatient stay.

I haven’t been in hospital for a while now, and I was hoping to not go back. But I know that it forces a re-set on the eating thing. Because they simply don’t let you not eat.

Idk. Still wrapping my head around whether this is an issue I can take on board.
I wouldn't take on any projects ( gardening) until you get your nutrition ( fuel, medicine) sorted out. You need the energy to be able to tackle all this. You can't do it if you've expended it all in the yard :)
 

Muttly

MyPTSD Pro
@Sideways I could have written a lot of your posts. I am so similar.

First, when I was in a bad place with my eating, I got a lot of muscle pain. And then I had light-headedness and finally fainted in a public space and ended up in the ER. That's a huge motivation to not go there again.

Go with disordered eating. And I do think a label is helpful in this case because otherwise it's so easy to dismiss it as a side-effect of depression, etc. But it's something that needs to be focused on, as upsetting as that is. And if you've worked with nutritionist around food issues you probably know food is no indicator of problems with food and health. If you aren't getting enough food your body will maintain weight. You really do need to get your bloodwork run

At my last session I fessed up to my therapist that eating has become a problem again. And it is a slippery slope. I wasn't eating because of stress and money issues. But then it became habit? Or others inside grabbed onto that behavior because it feels safe. And yeah, I know it's not safe but tell that to some of my insiders. I fessed up because I was at the point where I was regularly light headed again. It's so freaking complicated when you have DID

The bananas are a great add. Do you have any other safe foods that you can add in? Or think about adding in as a next step? I got the whole meal planning training when I worked with a nutritionist and yeah, I know that can get you eating properly but it makes me want to curl into a ball and give up. Having some stuff that's prepped and available does help me though when I'm at a "I can't deal with food" place.

I know it's hard but it's really good you are posting
 

Keming

MyPTSD Pro
Premade diet and nutrient shakes are loaded with sugars. Just loaded. Like, "drinking a quart of corn syrup" loaded. Blood sugar problems can cause all sorts of bodily symptoms, including pain.

Consider making your own shakes:
- it's easy
- it's cheap (way cheaper than packaged diet shakes)
- it's better for you.
- you can tell yourself, every day, I'm taking some control.

Either pick up a bag of skim milk powder, or visit a nutrition store and get a bag of whey powder. Milk powder is cheaper but too much just gives things that weird powdered-milk taste.

Flavour with fruit that doesn't need prep, because prep is off-putting. Frozen fruit works well. Bananas and berries good.

Don't add any sugar - use fruit for the sugar.

Add a drop of vanilla for depth

Add some ice-cubes.

To clean the blender, just rinse, put in some water and a single drop of soap, and run it for a bit.

If you dont' have a blender, it might be worth it to buy one. The savings really are that dramatic.

** I'm not a big fan of fighting things head on, that just causes me stress. I come at things sideways, small steps. Turn whatever my brain is doing and use it for me, instead of against me. So I'd make my own shakes rather than change how I do things, and debrief every day: I did what felt right, and it was rationally good for me, and it was easy, and that's a win-win-win. For me it's being terrified of public and places - I emphasize that I can have anything I want - pizza, beer, anything at all - I just have to walk two blocks to get it. Focus on the getting, and debrief about the exposure afterwards. working well, if slow.
 

Sideways

Moderator
Premade diet and nutrient shakes are loaded with sugars. Just loaded. Like, "drinking a quart of corn syrup" loaded.
Definitely not the case with the shakes I’m prepared to buy. I’m pretty obsessive about sugar and all the different names they can use for it and absolutely wouldn’t down even 1 shake a day that was sugar loaded.

Making your own shakes is definitely a great idea, but given the issues which I’ve discussed is completely unrealistic, and fruit based shakes in particular (cause I’ll be honest, vege shakes are about as appealing as banging my head against a wall!) end up being a sugar nightmare anyways.

@Muttly - pre-prepped food would get me out of this mess probably. Freezer space is extremely limited atm, but me and my sister may be upsizing the fridge soon. I think I’ll put some pressure on her to make that happen sooner.
 

The Albatross

MyPTSD Pro
Adding food is an extra mental leap. And I’m not sure I have the stabilised mood I need to back that up. But then, good nutrition is a pretty well-backed anti-depressant.
Bananas? Also sugar.

You have an eating disorder it's not just a matter of cognitive distortion. What you're describing is a maladaptive pattern. The short version of what you're saying is that accommodating it is not working for you.... but until you bust down the distortions/"reasons" you've erected that block you from proper nutrition.... it ain't gonna happen.
 

Sideways

Moderator
Bananas? Also sugar.
True, but negligible. A banana and an apple each day is 2 served of fruit, which is the RDI here. It’s when you start blending up multiple serves of fruit into a smoothie that the fructose levels become a problem.

I’ll talk to my pdoc about it, but I don’t think she’s gonna go so far as saying it’s an ED beyond the types of disordered eating that I think she regularly sees in her trauma patients(?). Maybe that’s stigma in my head or minimising or something.

Definitely if I was diagnosed with an ED I think I’d be prepared to prioritise it differently (possibly above) to my other issues that are currently making life pretty impossible atm. But disordered eating, as far as I can currently tell, is part of the bigger complex trauma/depression thing I’ve got going on.

I’m not sure if that makes sense. Like, when I got diagnosed with DID, it became a thing of its own that I had to manage differently, prioritise differently. It wasn’t just part and parcel of my PTSD anymore, and it had its own treatment modalities that I took on, rather than seeing my dissociation and memory issues as typical of complex trauma (in which case treating the complex trauma itself would have been adequate).

So, disordered eating I think maybe I can manage if I can stabilise my current issues. Hopefully. Without needing to pathologise it... Hopefully.

There is now both bananas and apples in the fridge! Which is progress. The concept of ‘safe foods’ which someone mentioned earlier got me thinking that the salt reduced baked beans are also a ‘safe food’ in my head (and I’m really not sure there’s logic to what my head considers ‘safe’), and I’m thinking I might try and get them in the mix a couple of times a week just to diversify my diet a bit better. Certainly my gut would probably appreciate that.

I’ve swapped over to a better quality shake. One that a dietician I saw in hospital once recommended. Hopefully that will shift things with the muscle pain.

I was in the garden at someone else’s place. Gardening has pulled me out of active suicidal behaviour in the past and is super for both grounding and my mood, so I was back in the garden today at my place. Taking things a bit easier - swinging the crow bar around will have to be set aside for a while, but I’m happy enough with a pair of secateurs and something to prune or a patch of weeds to attend to.

Baby steps. Apples + better quality shakes + bananas rates as a good start I think. If it’s going okay I’ll add BB’s to the mix later in the week and see if I can maintain that.
 
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