Newand I think I need help

Hey everyone,

I'm probably not the traditional person that necessarily belongs in this group, but I really came to terms with a few things today and realized that I can't get through this on my own.

I'll be 22 in about 10 days, and ever since I was 16 I have struggled with food, exercise, and body image...although at this point, what woman hasn't? Anyway, I began modeling a little bit in high school and when they asked me to audition to model in Paris for a summer, I didn't hesitate. However, the real turning point happened when they told me I would need to lose two inches from my hips before I could go abroad. I was bound and determined, so I hired a personal trainer and tried to change my eating habits in order to accomplish this. I lost about 1/2 an inch and realized it was going to be pretty much impossible and didn't want to exacerbate my already existing problems with food. So, I quit.

However, it became almost a sort of a failure in my mind, and since then, I have seen myself as big, and with big hips, etc. I went to counseling in college and that somewhat helped, especially after getting out of an unhealthy relationship (in which he told me after I hadn't worked out in a little while that I was really "letting myself go", etc.) - but things have really gotten worse since I started graduate school. I graduated from college with a degree in Health Fitness and am currently studying to be a Physician Assistant, so unfortunately I probably know more than I should about working out, healthy eating, etc. Before I started grad school, I was in Cape Town, South Africa for almost 4 months and didn't really care about what I ate and didn't work out. I put on some weight and came home feeling awful about myself, even though I had just had an incredible experience. Coming back to the US, I had the attitude of getting myself back into shape and becoming healthy again, or at least, what I thought was healthy. And now, things are just starting to spiral out of control.

I really want to have the mindset of being healthy instead of having the perfect body or being thin...but it's so difficult. Lately I've been poring over Fitness and Shape magazines in my spare time, finding workouts and recipes and only buying foods I deem healthy enough, and checking labels obsessively. I find myself reviewing everything I've eaten so far that day while sitting in class instead of paying attention to the lecturer, and writing every little thing that I eat down...even the bite of a friend's bagel, egg, cheese, and bacon sandwich I had today that deep down, I know really didn't matter. And when I worked out this afternoon, I found myself thinking of that bite and how I had to make sure I worked hard enough to burn it off. I recently missed my period and I find myself hoping it's because my body fat is too low to be able to have a period instead of all the stress I've been going through with my family and with school. I'm training for my fourth half marathon and it's not even because I like running anymore, it's because of the intense calorie burn I get from the training runs I "have" to do in order to be able to finish the race. I find myself denying myself food even though my stomach is clearly growling, and checking out my stomach in the mirror to see if it's gotten any flatter, or if my butt has gotten any smaller and less fat. My boyfriend tells me I have the perfect body and don't need to change a thing, but I just can't believe him. My friend and her mom, while I was visiting home last week, told me that I looked like I had lost weight and I was SO HAPPY. My friend and I were about to leave for dinner and her mom kept telling me she wanted to give me calories even though we were about to go eat. Because of that, I "allowed" myself some wine at dinner and ice cream for dessert...and then felt awful about it later.

What is wrong with me, and how do I fix it? Am I being absolutely ridiculous, and do I need to just SNAP OUT OF IT? Or is this a real problem? I keep second-guessing myself and wondering if I should even be writing this to any of you, in fear of someone laughing at me and telling me to leave immediately...hopefully that's not the case, because I think I need help.

Annie

Annie

You are not being rediculous at all.As Im sure your aware stress can cause you to lose a period but chances are with your obsession with burning calories and burning off every bite your eating could cause you to miss a period as well.I think you need soem help also or this could be an even greater spiral for you. Ive been wher you are wanting to burn off everything i ate and it got to a point where I started restricting. Then as your obsession grows you may find other behaviors take over.I think you should see your dr and share this with her .I think you do know by coming here you do need help.
No one will laugh at you here this a great place for support.We are here to help in any way we can. I also hope that you can see a counselor again. being a model may be what has triggered you into this which is an eating disorder and I do hope you can see that you may need some professional help with this..please keep shareing with us.

Welcome Annie,

You are in no way being ridiculous. I am glad you came to this site to discuss what behaviors that concern you. The things you describe are those of an eating disorder. It may not seem bad, or like it is a problem, but at any stage it is still an issue. You are important and its important that you get the help you need to be a more healthy happy you!

Your obsession seems to have gotten worse over the past few weeks?months? But you came to a really good place to start recovery. I have found myself such great support and learning tools for recovery. We are all here for you! On your good days and your bad. Please please keep writing! If you ever need to talk you can always message me :)

Allee

This sounds exactly like my situation. I was inpatient my sophomore year in high school and am now a freshman in college. I had control over the anorexia for 2 years and it is slowly creeping back to me...and it sounds like it may be doing that to you.

You have to remember to not let it take control. Slowly creeping is an ED's style...and it sounds like the water is getting higher for you. Please talk to someone you can trust and get a hug. Maybe t will open your eyes a little more to see the situation in a different light.

It's hard for me to give advice for exactly the same thing i am struggling with. At least I know I am not alone, and neither are you. I'm here for you girl!

Annie,

It sounds like you have developed an eating disorder... I'm glad that you sound aware of your situation and are seeking help early-on. That will help your recovery. :) Unfortunately, it's not all that uncommon here... There are others here that have modeled and felt that pressure. All of us have been affected in some way by the media. And most (all?) of us know a LOT about excersise and healthy eating. ;0) It's the thinking patterns and obsessions that turn things in an unhealthy direction... I hope you'll consider seeking professional help now! Please don't wait... A counselor or a doctor is a great place to start. The fact that you skipped a period is an indication that your weight is dangerously low. You run the risk of developing osteo-perosis if this situation is not repaired... Your bones need their calcium. ♥

There's lots of support available here. I hope you'll continue to write. :)

Love,

Jen

hey anniemal8 (awesome screen name):
is there anything to the notion that you seemed not to have these concerns while in south africa but the moment you got back to the US things began to spiral? in other words, what was it about cape town that was so much better for you than the US? yeah I know you say you felt awful about yourself but even if you felt that way in SA it didn't prevent you from having an enriching experience; so maybe you didn't really start feeling that way until you got stateside? did you not feel the same pressures in south africa, was it your circle of friends, was it the media, was it what you were there doing? I'm not saying there's some easy answer, but there seems to be a clear correlation and maybe there is the start of a solution for you there.

ross

You're not being ridiculous, and you don't need to "just snap out of it." Seek help--from a doctor, a nutritionist, a counselor, or whoever. Just seek help from a knowledgeable source, and be completely upfront about your concerns. You can fight this, and as many others have said, you've got a LOT of support here. Keep writing, and let us know how things go.