Teen Overcomes Anorexia, Now Struggles With Binge Eating

By August 30, 2012

I recently suffered from anorexia for about a year. When I finally went to see someone, the doctor told me that I needed to gain at least 10 more pounds which I thought was reasonable. However, because of this new “freedom” of eating whatever I wanted whenever I wanted I slowly became a binge eater. Now I binge every night, eating up to 3000-4000 calories at a time (I count) or until I cannot physically eat anymore. I have tried to stop but nothing seems to work. I have gained over 30 pounds. Do you have ANY suggestions? I tried telling my parents (I’m pretty young-teens) but they don’t help me stop when I go into the kitchen and stuff my face with whatever I can see! Please help -mm

Dear mm,

We’re so glad that you wrote in to us. You are right on track with your desire to develop healthy eating patterns, especially at your age. In getting help now, you can avoid a lot of trouble and heartache down the road.

After your experience with anorexia, your parents have probably felt very relieved that you have gained weight. I don’t know your height, body type or activity level, but the amount of weight you gained might not be too much. You may have a huge appetite and desire for food because your body is trying to get you back to a healthy weight. Also, girls your age gain lots of weight as part of their normal development.

But from your description, it sounds like you feel that your eating is out of control. You describe eating large amounts in one sitting without being able to stop, which is binge eating. How are you eating the rest of the day? Do you have three balanced meals? Do you eat healthy snacks in between when you are hungry? If you are skipping meals and aren’t eating enough during the day, that could be contributing to your night bingeing. Eating regularly is an important step.

Did you see a therapist or registered dietitian when you were diagnosed with anorexia? You need guidance now, to help you with your eating and prevent further problems. Tell your parents that we recommend that you get evaluated as soon as possible, by someone who specializes in disordered eating. Or, you can start by talking to a trusted adult who can help your parents look at your situation objectively. You are wise to seek help.