Do I Have an Eating Disorder?

By October 25, 2012

I have one friend in particular who is worried about me and my weight, however don’t feel as though I really fit into any category. Because i don’t fit neatly into a category I don’t feel as though the concern is justified. I am 20 years old and currently weigh about ***-*** pounds and am 5’6″. I have for many years been concerned about my weight and always feel like I should lose more. Over the past few years I have cut out anything with fat in it as well as junk food. I no longer eat dinner and instead graze, mainly on carbs and fruit during the day. People notice i do not eat dinner when we go out and some have expressed concern, although some people just think i eat “healthily.” I generally don’t eat much in front of other people and get quite upset if I am in situations where i can’t avoid eating. I hate going out for dinner especially now people have noticed that I make up excuses and don’t eat. Despite people telling me I am thin and look good when I look in the mirror I can always find a flaw and see rolls of fat. I recently went away for a month and was really excited b/c I was able to buy very little food. Most days I ate a bowl of cereal, an apple and broccoli. I lost about 12 pounds and felt pretty good. However now I am back and am having huge trouble with bingeing. I seem to not be able to stop even when I am very full. I have tried previously to purge but have not been successful, which has been quite frustrating. So I guess my questions is… do I have an eating disorder and is there really anything to worry about? – Carrie

Dear Carrie,

I am SO GLAD that you had the courage and took the time to write to us. Let me begin by asking you some important questions. Aren’t you growing weary of worrying about your weight and focusing on body flaws? Don’t you miss the companionship and pleasure of eating a good meal with people who care about you? Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a body that’s well nourished, adequately fueled, and fully energized? Don’t you long to be free of food preoccupation and all the fears you are experiencing related to eating?

Without a doubt, your mindset and patterns fall into the category of EDNOS (Eating Disorders Not Otherwise Specified). It’s a life that both Constance and I have lived and were able to break out of. To understand more about EDNOS, first, check out the articles in “Disordered Eating 101.” You might also want to take our “Eating Issues Tests.” Then, I strongly urge you to get a copy of Life Inside the Thin Cage. You will relate so much to Constance’s journey, and undoubtedly will be inspired onto the road to recovery.

I implore you to also seek the support of a therapist who specializes in disordered eating. You need to uncover the beliefs and issues that are at the root of your fears. If you need guidance in finding a professional, check out “Finding Treatment.” Don’t delay in getting help—otherwise you are definitely heading in a direction that will bring you poor health, more fears, further isolation, and distorted thinking.  Instead, you can live a full, healthy, vibrant life.

This can be a new beginning. Please keep in touch.

Take care,