Am I anorexic?

by Erin
(Illinois)

I don't know where to start, so I guess I'll just dive in where it started. About four months ago, I got on the scale and saw my highest weight yet: 136 lbs. I'm only five foot, one inch so this left me border lining overweight. After that day, I started counting calories and tracking my weight. Over the course of four months I have started taking dietary supplements, eating less than 200 calories a day, keeping a food diary...ect. I have lost about twenty-one pounds now, leaving me at 115.4 lbs last time I checked (an hour ago). I feel like food has taken over my life, I can't eat without feeling guilty. I have tried to make myself puke around five times but since I can't ever get all of it to come up I don't try that often. I am taking more than the recommended dose of diet pills. My doctor took a urine sample that showed too many proteins in my pee (dehydration). I don't think I am anorexic because I am still in a healthy weight range. Plus, I'm only scared to eat PART of the time. Half of the time I can't even look at food and the other half all I want is food and I binge. It's like I go through cycles, week to week. I don't exercise unless I really need to burn off the calories, which isn't that often (an hour a week, if that). Sometimes I find myself looking in the mirror and feeling completely disgusted with what I see. Fat thighs, huge hips, big belly, large upper arms. So I get online and measure myself and check my BMI and what not. Then once I'm finished I go and weigh myself and measure AGAIN. I have found myself reading books about anorexia and listening to music about it... Is this just a normal teenage phase or am I actually disordered?


Ben's Answer:

You are describing all the symptoms of anorexia and bulimia. Don't delude yourself. This is serious. And the longer you continue in the direction you're going the more you will imprison yourself by this obsession to be thin until it severely harms your health and happiness.

Having only 200 calories a day is starvation and you will severely damage your health this way. For a young woman your size (at 115 pounds), you could maintain the weight eating about 1700 calories a day with only moderate exercise. Taking in 1000 calories a day would be considered extreme dieting. So if you were only getting 200 a day, this is far beyond extreme.

I know people in their 40's who haven't been bulimic since they were kids, but still have problems with their metabolism because they messed their system up all those years ago by starving, binging and purging.

There are so many safe, healthy methods of being a normal healthy weight and feeling like you're in great shape - without the obsessions around food or the deprivation.

I strongly recommend you get rid of your scale, give away your mirrors and see an experienced psychotherapist who specializes in eating disorders. Some day you will look back and realize it was the best decision you ever made.

Take Care,
Ben Schwarcz, MFT
Santa Rosa Psychotherapist











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