Do I need to do anything about this or will it go away?

    • Thread Starter

    I'm not really sure whether this warrants any concern really, but that was why I wanted to mention it to someone in an anonymous way. Basically, I hesitate to say that I think I might have an eating disorder, because I have friends who have had them and I feel like they suffered a lot more than I am and also because I know how difficult it was for them to recognise their own problems, and I think I recognise mine, but I think I may have some kind of issue with food. I've been worried about calories and weight for years, but have had phases where I'll decide to eat no carbs for example, or no cakes, sweets, biscuits, crisps etc and have always been happier when the number on the scales is going down.
    My family are big on their food and I generally eat considerably less than them. My mum banned scales in the house until I bought my own set when I was 14 (I'm 19 now). I'm training for a half-marathon, so have been running for about an hour and ten minutes every other day with other exercises on the alternate days and over the holidays from uni was happy with myself if I ate less that 1600 calories a day, but gradually that has got less. I also gave up meat ,chiefly because I thought that it would be easier to keep below 2000 calories that way. I keep a list of everything that I eat, check the calorie content of everything on the internet and plan all of my meals in advance. This seemed to work ok at home, because I was in control. The no meat thing meant that I could eat separately to the rest of the family. The problem is not that I dislike eating, but that I like it too much and feel as though I can't allow myself to start eating bad foods, because I won't be able to stop. I look at pictures of food, read recipes and check restaurant menus to imagine what I would have on a regular basis.

    When I came back to university ten days ago we had a takeaway and I had no idea how many calories were in it, so once I'd eaten it I threw it up. Then for the next few days I tried to eat less, but if I ate anything which I thought might be remotely bad I made myself sick. However, I'm not very good at being sick (i.e. I can't seem to bring much of it up) and found it more than a bit disgusting, so decided to just not eat things that would make me want to be sick, so things went down to about 1200. Then I was late for lectures one morning, so only had time for a very small breakfast, so the morning's food intake went down and after my 8 mile run I wasn't hungry, so on that day I managed on 750, so then I tried for less than 750 for 4 days. Then after rowing for 3 hours and running 5 miles on the fourth day I got chest pains and couldn't stand up and because I was scared I told my friend and ate 2 squares of chocolate. I planned to eat the whole bar, but I couldn't because I saw how many calories were in it.

    My friend also took away my book in which I make my lists of food, but I've just been constantly calculating on my phone. I also weigh fruit and cereal on the scales so I know exactly how many calories I'm eating. However, I look forward to eating what I've allowed myself to eat and try to make it last as long as possible. I stick to 3 meals a day, but feel awful after eating. Today was meant to be a new start because I was so scared, but I really, really don't want to put weight on. I'm not underweight, but have gone from 7st 4 to 6st 13 in 5 days (I'm only 4ft 10) and my period is ten days late when it is usually very regular.

    I meant to eat properly today, but whenever I was hungry told myself I was being greedy and ridiculous, because I feel like I eat far more than everybody else and feel disgusted that my body can't deal with eating 2 weetabix and a bowl of soup for breakfast and lunch respectively. I'd promised my friend that I'd have a proper dinner and I was having palpitations this afternoon, so I had a sandwich and some salad followed by a yoghurt, but as soon as I was on my own got a massive urge to throw it up, so then spent 20 minutes trying to get it up, but couldn't, so now feel awful and like I have to eat even less tomorrow. I feel like my jeans have got tighter since I ate. I'm so tired and am short of breath when I'm standing up. I get panicky and resentful if I think that other people are eating less than me and feel disgusting that my body is dealing so badly with what I feel like isn't really that little. I also feel disgusted that I'm asking my friend's attention when I'm not even sure if I have a problem and should just snap out of it. I can't really believe any more that people eat 2000 calories a day, which I know is the recommended daily amount without getting fat because I don't feel like I'm losing enough on less than half of that. If my mum knew that I was trying to make myself sick she'd kill me, particularly since my getting into my university was quite a big deal for her so I just don't really know if I need to do anything really, as I feel like if I actually had a problem I wouldn't recognise and wouldn't want to stop, which makes me think I can stop, but when I try to I can't seem to. It's also not really been going on for that long, so I feel stupid for making a fuss about nothing, but the fact that I'm constantly tired, can't concentrate and can't catch my breath is a bit concerning. I've always had a very addictive personality and I think that might have something to do with it as well. I'm sorry that this is so long, but if anyone has any thoughts I'd really appreciate it.

    (Original post by Anonymous)
    I'm not really sure whether this warrants any concern once I'd eaten it I threw it up...less than 750 for 4 days.
    I don't know much about eating disorders, but I would suggest that this does warrant concern. Most definitely. You seem to have all the thoughts and behaviour to develop even further, so don't wait for then before you talk to people!

    My main reason for posting was because it's been 2 days and no-one has replied, so I'm hoping that someone who has more experience with eating disorders will respond to the bump.

    Let me start off by saying how sorry I am for how you are feeling, you are clearly feeling in a very complicated and difficult place.

    Making your self sick is always a concern for alarm bells and you shouldn't just brush it off because it sounds like a problem that is snow balling. As with a lot of people with an eating disorder it's all about control, it's controlling an area of their life they can control when other things are unpredictable. Others may self harm for example. But maybe this is about looking into why you are doing this. Just because you are not underweight do not disregard it as a eating disorder, buleamics for example are often slightly over or normal weight. It's about your attitudes towards food which are obsessive and your paranoia surrounding food. Your right you should be concerned and you deserve help. Also you seem to be quite anxious, do you think that could be related to how you are feeling? And triggering the controlling behaviour surrounding your eating.
    • Thread Starter

    Thanks so much for replying. I had really bad palpitations and chest pains on Tuesday night and my friend ended up calling a doctor because I really thought something might be very wrong, so I've ended up going to the doctor who told me to go to the university counselling service urgently and go back to him in a week. It also turned out that my scales were wrong and that I'm actually 6 pounds lighter than I thought I was, which I suppose isn't really that surprising got down to about 450 calories a day. The doctor told me I should aim to eat about 1500 calories a day this week though and I just can't see how I'm going to do that. However, the fact that he didn't laugh at me or send me away to get over myself as I thought he might did make me feel a bit less like a fraud. I'm just petrified of eating more because I really, really don't want to have to make myself sick. Thanks again for replying. I just can't believe that things have happened so quickly and I really don't think that I'm any thinner. It's quite scary how you can have two such distinct parts of your brain, as last night I was simultaneously panicking because my heart was racing and I couldn't walk very far and also staring at my thighs and thinking how huge they were and that I couldn't possibly have a problem and that it's my own fault if my body is so greedy that it wants to hang onto every bit of fat it can. It's all pretty confusing, but there you go. :s

    Hey OP,
    How are you getting on? I would have replied sooner but I could not find your thread..
    Silly me.
    Anyway. You've done the right thing going to your doctor and talking about it and I'm glad you feel a little better that that your doctor has been understanding. It must be difficult to go up to 1500 calories from the small amount that you have been. I'm not a doctor but I do understand what it is like to have palpatations and it sounds like anxiety from you worrying about how many calories you are eating rather than the lack of calories that you are eating. You are most certainly not a fraud and are clearly struggling with some really difficult emotions. It sounds like a controlling mechanism to me. I understand how that feels as I have struggled with self harm for many years and I know that power struggle in your brain. I used to self harm to try and suppress the anxiety and used it as a control mechanism, it controlled all my behaviour. For example if I'd eaten too much, instead of throwing up I'd self harm. Or if I'd not done as much revision or had an argument with someone that I thought was my fault I'd just hurt myself. Yet I'd look at the marks and think "what have you done? You look so ugly!".
    Let me know how you get on at with the university counsillor. I urge you to go they will be able to get you help, you don't deserve to feel like this

    I've unannoymised myself so you can Private message me if you want

    You do sound like you have a distorted relationship with food. Please get help. There is a reason why you're doing this and it's not normal, so don't feel bad for feeling this way. Your brain needs 500 calories to function, so remember that. You need to think of food as medicine; depriving yourself means you're depriving yourself of key nutrients. Please do take this seriously and get help for it.
    • Thread Starter

    Thank you. To be honest I'm having a bit of a **** time. I've pushed myself today and have eaten 670 calories, but still feel like I've eaten way too much and want to be sick. I'm really, really fed up of everything and feel like I'm making everybody else's lives a misery. The most annoying thing is that I've now pretty much lost my appetite, so eating a bowl of pasta or rice, which I know is what I need to do is just going to make me feel horribly full and want to be sick, but I have a massive craving for cake or chocolate, but there's no way I'm going to be able to eat that without feeling horrible either and surely that's just as unhealthy as not eating very much. I still feel like a big fraud though and it's horrible, because I know she's just trying to help, but every time my friend congratulates me on eating something, or eating more than the day before I just feel awful and like I've failed and that everyone's thinking that I'm eating loads. It's all so, so boring and I just really want a way out and today she asked me if I thought she was grotesque because she eats a lot and isn't sick, which I obviously don't, but I feel incredibly guilty that I've made her think that. I have so much uni work to do as well and I just can't concentrate on it. The doctor told me to inform my college, but I don't really know how to even start and I'm petrified of my mum finding out. She'll be really, really angry and will just think I'm being stupid. I'm sorry for moaning. It's just so frustrating.
Write a reply… Reply
Submit reply


Thanks for posting! You just need to create an account in order to submit the post
  1. this can't be left blank
    that username has been taken, please choose another Forgotten your password?
  2. this can't be left blank
    this email is already registered. Forgotten your password?
  3. this can't be left blank

    6 characters or longer with both numbers and letters is safer

  4. this can't be left empty
    your full birthday is required
  1. Oops, you need to agree to our Ts&Cs to register
  2. Slide to join now Processing…

Updated: May 5, 2012
TSR Support Team

We have a brilliant team of more than 60 Support Team members looking after discussions on The Student Room, helping to make it a fun, safe and useful place to hang out.

How often do you buy stationery?

The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

Quick reply
Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.