Imagined anorexic? Am I?

Postby Gioanna » Sat May 29, 2010 3:56 pm

4 years ago I was treated in a hospital with 93 lbs and 5'3. Up to this day I haven't been able to understand why my mother put me to that hospital. I did eat 5 times a day, at least 1000 calories. I did not regard myself as fat and I did not exercise at all. Anyway, my mother considered me "dangerously anorexic" as she'd said.
The treatment was like a real nightmare. First of all, I was regularly weighed completely naked in front of 2-3 doctors. Then, they insisted on me admitting that I'd urged myself to vomit and used laxatives (I swear I had not!).
Now I'm 18 years old. I currently weigh 106 lbs and I've remained quite short (5'4). Ever since my treatment my mother hasn't let go of yelling at me for being anorexic. She's been aggressively (like really aggressively) feeding me ever since then. She says terrible things like "Can't you see that everyone's disgusted of your body?" "Can't you see how shocking you look?" "No man will ever look at your bones." "You don't have a boyfriend because you're way too skinny." "Look at you and do EAT! You're SCRAWNY!"
If someone looks at me the very first thing that comes to my mind is "They"re shocked. They know I'm anorexic." or if I see someone looking at me and laughing with others I'm like "They're making fun of me cos they know I'm anorexic." Or when just someone looks at me in rather an unsympathetic way "They're disgusted at me."

So I'm a binge-eater. When all this comes to my mind I start eating. Because I want to look different. I eat at least 4000 calories at those times. And then I'm ashamed. The overwhelming guilt makes me try to vomit but I unfortunately cannot so I use laxatives and live with the guilt. I incredibly hate myself. I'm ashamed of all this.

Could I ever cure? HOW?! Is my weight that low? Are my fears reasonable?
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#1

Postby Nigel » Sat May 29, 2010 5:23 pm

Hi Gioanna,
Welcome to the forum :)

I think your mother is wrong on several counts. As an adult, 93 lbs and 5'3" would be considered underweight and bordering on being anorexic, but not 'dangerously anorexic' unless things continued to deteriorate. But you must've been only 14 then, and some teenagers are late developers.

The thing to go on - and it's what doctors use to gauge a person's 'healthy' weight - is BMI. It takes into account a person's height as well as weight, and there are lots of online calculators you can use. 106 lbs and 5'4" for an adult is at the lower limit of the 'normal' range, so it would be wise not to let things get any lower.

Some of the things your mother said are downright hurtful, and now it's like you're imagining other people are thinking those things too. And I bet you yourself think of yourself in a similar way.

Eating disorders are rarely about eating or weight, and quite often they manifest when a person feels bad about themselves. When they have low self esteem and never feel 'good enough', and when people constantly put them down. So yes, of course you can find a cure, but the cure lies in what leads to using food for reasons that food was never intended.

So I'd suggest working on your confidence and self esteem and learn to believe in yourself more, and try to ignore some of those wrong things your mother said. Maybe she does care but simply doesn't understand. If so, perhaps you could do your own research about weight and eating disorders, then show her what you discover.

But sadly some people don't want to learn or try to understand, and if that be so then all you can do it try not to take her comments to heart. After all, you know what's right and what's not.

But please don't be driven into another eating disorder - binge eating - just because of your mother's comments. 4000 calories/day is probably about double what an adult female should consume.

Take care Gioanna :)
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#2

Postby Gioanna » Wed Jun 02, 2010 8:13 pm

Thanks very much for your reply.

The thing is I hardly can keep a "healthy" diet. I'd feel guilty if I ate 4-5 times a day, even if just small quantities. I feel strong and determined when I sort of skip eating. I sort of attribute it to our current society... television, commercials, magazines etc are all sort of insisting that eating means something shameful. Something that you'd be ashamed of. That you have to be on a diet all the time. They almost say "if you are not, you are a huge huge loser". And I don't want to be a loser. I feel like an unbelievably giant loser anyway.

And you're absolutely right. My self-esteem is incredibly low. But then again I don't know why. Probably because I've never had a boyfriend. But I don't know why I've never had a boyfriend either.
I'd need someone who'd support me... be interested in me. My parents extraordinarily much care for me but still, somehow I feel that they're simply not at all interested in me. I don't know why I feel that way either.

As I mentioned I used to live other. When I was 14. When I got into hospital. Everything changed in the following few years. My life broke down right after the therapy. I'd like to know why.

You see I'm seeking lots of explanations. The biggest one is where to find them? I so much would like to cure....

How could I gain self-confidence? Please tell me a way that doesn't need or require anybody only me! What should I do? Where should I go?
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#3

Postby Nigel » Wed Jun 02, 2010 11:54 pm

Hi Gioanna,

"And you're absolutely right. My self-esteem is incredibly low..."
"I feel strong and determined when I sort of skip eating."


See... when you put those thoughts together it's easy to see what the eating disorder is probably really about. It's empowering - giving you a sense of achievement - and that's something very compelling to hold onto. Especially if there doesn't seem to be much else to feel good about.

And you're right - the media does have a lot to answer for with so much attention being given to 'skinny celebrities'.

"They almost say "if you are not, you are a huge huge loser". And I don't want to be a loser."

See... that's another compelling reason. Nobody wants to feel like a loser. But when you stop and think about it, does life really work like that, I wonder... There are big losers and small losers. Big successful people and small successful people. I don't think it's really about size, is it?

"I feel like an unbelievably giant loser anyway."

No way Gioanna. You're doing something positive about the problem, and that's being very courageous :)

"My self-esteem is incredibly low. But then again I don't know why."

The answer may lie in your first post - the things your mother says to you. She probably does mean well, but comments like those don't exactly make a person feel good about themselves. Perhaps it's just her 'way', and if it is then you've probably heard comments like those all through your life. That could well be where your low self esteem comes from.

"Probably because I've never had a boyfriend... "

But true self esteem comes from within - not from something or somebody else. It's like putting your sense of self worth into the hands of another person - relying on them to make you feel good about yourself - and that's an awful lot of power to let another person have, don't you think?

"When I got into hospital. Everything changed in the following few years. My life broke down right after the therapy. I'd like to know why."

In what way did your 'life break down' after your stay in hospital?

"You see I'm seeking lots of explanations. The biggest one is where to find them?"

There's a lot of information on this site. Have you looked at the Confidence & Self Esteem forum yet? The links on the left of the page give a lot of good info. There's a free email confidence course that you might like to check out. Or this Self Esteem self hypnosis download might help. It's also produced by Uncommon Knowledge.

Good luck :)
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