Have I got an eating disorder? Is it anorexia or just an eating disorder?

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People say I do but the last couple days maybe a week I have been eating normally, still haven't my weight and exercising but I've been eating, but now I will go back to cutting down because I have so much...

I can't stand my weight, I hate having showers because I can see how fat I am, i once cried in the shower because of my weight,i know stupid, but it happened. I do eat but no more than 1,000 calories or just a tiny bit over and that's a bad day, I like to keep it down to under 900 but I have had a week of eating because I was so hungry but nothing more than the caloires I should be eating for my age. I am very tired of always counting caloires worry about food, when I have to pick my tea in the night I am there for ages trying to work out what to eat and the calories I do eat junk food but still nothing more than 1,000 calories, we barely had fruit or veg here so I do eat 'bad' foods. Food and weight is always on my mind, it's starting to effect me in school,I think if I'm gunna est in school and it's all the time. I am actually sick of it now but I can't stop, my kind tells me I'm fat but I don't no if it's a voice or me saying it to my self, I am giving up on my self because I think this is gong to be my life, I don't see a future in me not worrying and fearing of gaining weight, it has taking me mentally you could say. I hate seeing really skinny people because Ino I'm not like that and it kills me, I worry about clothes fitting me if I have to try something in in front if someone. I am a 16 year old girl, 5'2 and 99pounds I've lost 10 pounds since Nov I had a week of eating and went up to 103pounds I was just disgusted with my self.

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  • Posted

    Hi Megan - thanks for sharing. It sounds like you're going through a very difficult time at the moment.

    We deal with difficult events, periods, etc in our lives in very different ways and it's important to have a think about what it might be which is causing you to feel like you are. My eating disorder was a result of struggling to be accepted at school, and the response of having a womanly body when I started secondary school. Whilst there was an obvious trigger - a boy I fancied calling me fat - the seeds were there beforehand. It's important to identify why you might be responding in this way, so that you can work to find new solutions to cope with this.

    I've noticed that you've written about your "weight" (this is in inverted commas for a reason, which I'll explain shortly), changing by 4 pounds. I'm sorry, that I work in kg, but that's 1kg.

    There are a couple of reasons for your weight changes. Firstly, I'm not sure what you were or were not eating previously, but it's extremely likely that the 10llb weightloss was the result that most people see when they start a crash diet. It's not loss of weight but loss of fluid. Had you continued in this pattern for longer, your metabolism would have slowed down to conserve energy and you would have seen your weight loss decrease to a standstill. This is very normal.

    Focussing my attention away from the weight loss, you weight gain of 4llbs or 1kg, which is actually nothing at all, is expected. Firstly, as soon as you start eating your body over compensates to replenish the fluid lost (see above), but also replaces the lost tissue.

    If I use my own weight as an easier example to talk about. I have been eating 3 meals a day, all with carbohydrates, and especially breakfast. I also include snacks. My weight is below what is healthy for a person of my age, and below the band that has been set for me, so physiologically, I know that I will experience binge episodes as my body tries to restore itself.

    Regardless of whether my weight was at target, or is at its current weight, 1-3kg fluctuations over the month are normal. My weight increases by around 2kg when I'm menstruating. This week it's gone up 1kg, although today it went down 0.5kg.

    So you get the picture, it is an inconsistent pattern and so judging it on a day by day basis is completely inaccurate.

    I put weight in commas, because it's actually measuring a change of fluid. If you weigh yourself, then drink a bottle of water, then weigh yourself, your weight will increase by the contents of the water. Then when you go to the toilet, your weight will drop back down again. Don't try and measure this, because your bowels open at different times, although it's an interesting exercise.

    So my point about my weight increasing at my time of the month is false...I actually retain more fluid at my time of the month, which is seen on the scales as an increase of around 2kg. Make sense?

    I appreciate this is all a lot to digest...haha

    I am doing my best not to condense a year's worth of dietitic therapy into an email...which is not the best idea as it wouldn't do it justice, but you mentioned that you were restricting your intake to under 1000 calories. I empathise, because I've been there, but I will also say that you are setting yourself up to binge and having been in this boat your mind starts beating you up even more for "failing".

    I don't want to advise you of a weight LOSS diet, but I actually lost weight eating breakfast, lunch, dinner and adding in a snack to replace my binges - with all these meals containing carbs. The reason, because my body wasn't being tricked constantly into starvation mode, and slowing down, then craving energy (which is the result) and so going into overdrive when trying to make up for it.

    I wouldn't advocate for losing weight in your position, but if you want to help yourself, regular meals with carbs will help you so much, and there's nothing wrong with taking small steps. You don't have to do it all at once smile

    Finally, there's a lot to deal with. Getting support around you can never come soon enough. I put off getting help for years, and in the end was hospitalised at the worst possible time. I hated hospital because it was affecting my life plan, and tried to get out as soon as possible. I relapsed several times after, and had to pay for treatment after this - my most recent bout over the last year, when it seems I was finally ready to get better. Speak to your GP. Speak with your family, if you can. Talk to a trusted a teacher. Phone a beat helpline, sign up to the big white wall for help. 

    There are loads of things you can do, but not addressing it is not an option...

     

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    • Posted

      Thanks for your email back, I understand everything you was saying. Yesterday I was looking at calories of like sweets and I knew I couldn't eat it so I must have went into a depressed mood and just felt like I wanted to sit there and cry my eyes out. If I tell the doctor all this and that,what will happen as u have been here you said? I went home I'll after but has a little pack of sweets! I hate myself and done exercise but I needed it. Will I be hospitalized? I offer feel weak for a few days and just about make it up stairs and my legs feel like they are going to give in with no energy in them.
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    • Posted

      Hi Megan,

      I can't really comment on your physical health, as I'm not a medical expert, but it's very important to take this seriously. 

      I think it's great that you're thinking about going to the GP. If it's something that's causing anxiety, maybe bring a friend with you, or write down some of the things you'd like to say. Remember it's your time (and their problem if they overrun...) so don't feel pressurised at all.

      When booking an appointment, if you can try and book a double appointment, as this will give you and them more time.

      What may happen, is that they may ask you to be weighed. 

      They may also take your blood pressure, and send you for blood tests.

      They will probably ask you a few questions, but allow for you to talk.

      Please do go and see your doctor, I know it can be scary, but it's the first step.

      I'd definitely look at some support networks too, like the Big White Wall, and a local support group.

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  • Posted

    p.s. just for educational purposes and for anyone reading who doesn't understand the differences.

    There are three main types of eating disorders; anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder.

    Anorexia nervosa is the least common of all eating disorders but is the one we most identify with because it receives so much media attention.

    The most common is eating disorders not otherwise specified, which is a group where people tend to display some symptoms of one disorder, but not all, or aspects of multiple disorders.

    There are multiple other eating disorders such as selective eating disorder, othorexia, body dysmorphia and others.

    The important thing to realise is that all eating disorders are extremely serious, disabling, mental illnesses.

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