Eating Disorder, Part 2: Noticing

It had been about 5 or 6 months at this time and no one in my family or friend group had really noticed I was loosing weight at a fast and alarming pace. By now I was 15lbs underweight…so I went down quite far. Now I have always been on the lower end of my heights weight spectrum so I think that is why my family didn’t really notice at first.

Well here I was, way underweight, and I had to go to the doctor for a routine check up. She ended up looking at my weight and asking to talk to me alone right away. She asked me all the basic ‘Are you starving yourself’ questions but the thing is I saw nothing wrong with my restricting of food and immense weight loss. The doctor spent the next hour giving us referrals to a multitude of therapists and nutritionists as well as getting a ton of blood work done.


A week later I was already seeing a therapist, my family was keeping track of my every meal and move, and my nutritionist was, in my mind, trying to get me fat. Every week I was seeing the therapist for about two hours and same with the nutritionist. I wasn’t allowed to exercise and I had to drink that disgusting ensure drink. Needless to say I was even more unhappy now than ever.


I think that people who have friends or family who develop an eating disorder don’t really understand how unhappy we are. It took a lot of unhappiness and self hate to get to this place in ones life, pushing us to do completely what we don’t want to is not going to help.

I understand that many people will not willingly make themselves recover from this but being a gentle guiding hand rather than controlling helps much more. I think that was the hardest part for me, it felt like I had no control over my life anymore…which is one reason I started controlling my food intake in the first place.

This part of my story is probably the shortest because I would like to dedicate an entire post to the recovery part and another part. But I realized in writing these that many people don’t know the warning signs, symptoms, or anything for many eating disorders. I am going to include the basic diagnostics for anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder. If you or someone close to you has these symptoms please get help.


Anorexia is characterized by a distorted body image, with an unwarranted fear of being overweight. Symptoms include trying to maintain a below-normal weight through starvation or too much exercise. Medical treatment may be needed to restore normal weight. Talk therapy can help with self-esteem and behavior changes.
Whole body: dehydration, dizziness, fainting, fatigue, low blood pressure, low body temperature, osteoporosis, water-electrolyte imbalance, or feeling cold
Behavioral: binge eating, compulsive behavior, hyperactivity, impulsivity, or social isolation
Mood: anxiety, apprehension, or guilt
Weight: underweight, weight loss, or extreme weight loss and thinness
Developmental: delayed puberty or slow growth
Menstrual: irregular menstruation or absence of menstruation
Gastrointestinal: constipation or vomiting
Also common: brittle nails, bruising, depression, dieting, dry hair, dry skin, headache, sensitivity to cold, or slow heart rate
Bulimia is a potentially life-threatening eating disorder. People with this condition binge eat. They then take steps to avoid weight gain. Most commonly, this means vomiting (purging). But it can also mean excessive exercising or fasting. Treatments include counseling, medications, and nutrition education.
Behavioral: binge eating, compulsive behavior, impulsivity, self-harm, vomiting after overeating, or lack of restraint
Whole body: dehydration, fatigue, food aversion, hunger, or water-electrolyte imbalance
Mood: anxiety, general discontent, guilt, or mood swings
Gastrointestinal: constipation, heartburn, or inflamed esophagus
Mouth: bad breath, dental cavities, or dryness
Menstrual: absence of menstruation or irregular menstruation
Weight: body weight changes or weight loss
Also common: abnormality of taste, depression, poor self-esteem, or sore throat
Binge Eating 
  • Recurrent episodes of binge eating. An episode of binge eating is characterized by both of the following:
    • Eating, in a discrete period of time (e.g., within any 2-hour period), an amount of food that is definitely larger than what most people would eat in a similar period of time under similar circumstances.
    • A sense of lack of control over eating during the episode (e.g., a feeling that one cannot stop eating or control what or how much one is eating).
  • The binge eating episodes are associated with three (or more) of the following:
    • Eating much more rapidly than normal.
    • Eating until feeling uncomfortably full.
    • Eating large amounts of food when not feeling physically hungry.
    • Eating alone because of feeling embarrassed by how much one is eating.
    • Feeling disgusted with oneself, depressed, or very guilty afterward.
  • Marked distress regarding binge eating is present.
  • The binge eating occurs, on average, at least once a week for 3 months.
  • The binge eating is not associated with the recurrent use of inappropriate compensatory behaviors (e.g., purging) as in bulimia nervosa and does not occur exclusively during the course of bulimia nervosa or anorexia nervosa.

National Eating Disorder Helpline: 1-800-931-2237



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