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Teen Eating Disorders | Our Teen’s Struggle with an Eating Disorder
First, I want to start by saying that I am not a professional in treating teen eating disorders or anything like that. This is just me speaking from my experience with an eating disorder. All throughout my life I have been pretty skinny. At first, it was great, it was natural and I never ever gave my weight a second thought. However, things started to change around the time I hit the 8th grade. I started to get this view of myself that I was not what I looked like. I would see myself as either, too skinny, or sometimes as not skinny enough. Mostly, I saw myself as not being skinny enough. At the time I was 5’4 and weighed a healthy 100 pounds.
There was this other girl in my class who was much shorter than I was, probably around 80lbs and that was the weight I wanted to be. At first, I tried to achieve this goal by just exercising and eating better and soon started to see results as my weight dropped to 95lbs super-fast. I was so happy. In my mind, I was ALMOST perfect.
Then things at home got terrible and I became depressed and soon stopped eating. It started with just not eating breakfast and then I soon added in no lunch. It was not that I wasn’t hungry, I actually was. But I got used to it until I was able to ignore the pangs in my belly. When people would offer me food, I would say no that I wasn’t hungry. Finally, I got to my goal of 80lbs.
Then one day, I was at school when a teacher came up to me and said “Have you been eating? You better be, you look TOO skinny.” This statement hurt me, because I thought my problem was that I wasn’t skinny enough, and now a teacher is telling me that I was too skinny. It was like this struggle between how people saw me and how I saw myself. I was not really sure what to do. All I knew was that I could not be too skinny. So, I began to eat, a lot to gain weight. But each day the scale went up, I would force myself to bring it back down.
The means I used to make this were unhealthy, I was unhealthy and no one really knew. Anytime anyone brought up my weight I felt sick, and yet I still felt like I needed to lose more weight. I was not the type of person to go around looking for help, so I decided to fix this on my own. Which was not a good decision, and one I still struggle with to this day.
However, this year I finally opened up to people and let my family and people around me know what I was going through and it really helped. I think one very important step for anyone dealing with an eating disorder is to open up to people around you who have their best interest at heart. It may not automatically means the end of all the problems or guarantee that they would just magically disappear. I mean, mine has not, but it’s MUCH better now.
Now, it only rarely happens and while I am saddened by the very rare times when it does, the presence of my family around me gives me the strength I need to pull through one of those bad times. It is kind of like a loop, I’ll be good and then I’ll go back to that place that makes me want to eat and eat while figuring out to get thinner.
But each loop gets more and more wins until one day it is not a loop anymore and I am completely healed. I guess what I am trying to say is tell someone. I cannot give you the “There is no too skinny or not skinny enough” line. Because although that is true, it is something that you need to believe yourself for it to work for you. Society says those words so much, but we are the ones who really need to believe them so they can work.
Disclaimer: Teen eating disorders are real and we are not professionals and are not trying to diagnose or treat anyone with one. We speak from our experiences only. If you feel you or a loved one may or may not have an eating disorder please seek professional help. Reach out for support.
Part 2 – thoughts from her mother
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