Anorexia/Eating Disorders/Rate of loss

Advertisement


Question
Hi, so I'm 14 5'5.5 125lbs. I was 132 and I went down to 115 and hovered around 120-125 lately. My goal is to be 95. I set a goal to be 95 by feb... Then may... Then June... Then July and yet I've binged so much that I remain around 123. I'm determined to get to my goal this time. It's seems to me though that I'm like caught on the brink or something. Like I'm not as disciplined as those girls in "letting ana go" or "winter girls" or "stick figure" and yet I'm also unable to be normal. I hate myself so much and I hate how fat I am and yet I can't seem to get control and just lose weight. And because of my self hate I can't just eat normal and be normal. Is there some reason for this? Also my new goal is before the end of this year but the sooner the better. I want to know a) if I eat 400cal on weekdays and 600 on weekends I will lose weight without plateauing? b) is it even possible for me to reach my goal by the end of the year? c) my parents are a bit suspicious of my eating habits, if they were to find out and realizing when I starting losing weight would they be able to hospitalize me and force me to gain weight? At what weight can they do that? And finally d) if I also exercise and burn ~200 a day how many lbs would I lose a week? I understand if you want to talk me out of this but my choice is made and it's just part of who I am. So I would appreciate if you could kindly answer my questions. thanks

Answer
Hi Hazel,

I am so sorry you're going through this. I know you're frustrated but know that it will get better. That being said, I can't in good conscious help you do this. You are at a healthy weight for your height. 95 pounds at your age (you'd stop growing and be at risk for osteoporosis and mess up your reproductive hormones) and height is far too low to be healthy.

Now to answer your questions:

1) Why can't I eat normal and be normal?

You've got body image issues and disordered eating thought processes. Here are a variety of books and websites that you might find helpful:

Body Dysmorphia:

The Body Image Workbook by Thomas Cash - http://www.amazon.com/Body-Image-Workbook-Eight-Step-Learning/dp/1572245468

Diet of Despair by Anna Paterson - http://www.amazon.co.uk/Diet-Despair-Eating-Disorders-Families/dp/1873942192

Here are several good web resources for healing eating disordered thinking:

http://www.helpguide.org/mental/eating_disorder_treatment.htm
http://www.healthyplace.com/eating-disorders/articles/eating-disorders-self-help
http://www.eatingdisorderself-cure.com/
http://www.eatingdisorderhope.com/recovery/self-help-tools-skills-tips
http://www.something-fishy.org/whatarethey/coe.php
http://anred.com/welcome.html

I also recommend these two books:

Just Tell Her to Stop by Becky Henry

Many of my clients are parents and teens struggling with eating disorders. The teens aren’t sure they even want help and are afraid of gaining weight. The parents are afraid of losing their children to a battle with an eating disorder. Mostly, they all just want it to stop. I cannot tell you have many times I have recommended Becky’s book to clients and friends. Her story-telling method is just what my clients need. They read her book and realize that she “gets” them. With 20 stories to choose from, every client has been able to find at least one that resonates with them. Just Tell Her to Stop is a powerful testament to the effect an eating disorder can have on the life of not only the person who has been diagnosed, but also everyone around him or her. At the same time it offers the advice you need to hear to help yourself, your family, and your friends who suffer with eating disorders.


Food to Eat: guided, hopeful & trusted recipes for eating disorder recovery by Lori Lieberman and Cate Sangster

I talk to young women every day who are in the midst of their battle with an eating disorder or just embarking on their recovery. Every single one of them is afraid to eat. They worry that if they start eating, they’ll get fat overnight. And for someone with an eating disorder, that is the worst fear imaginable. If I could reach out to my clients across the globe, I would give every single one of them a copy of this book. Lori and Cate’s compassionate approach to recovery is just what these young women need. They give practical advice and explain why each recipe is nutritious and okay to eat in their “outsmart your ED voice” sections. Their conversational style makes it feel like you’re sitting down in your living room with them, a non-confrontational approach that my clients can all relate to.   

2) If I eat 400cal on weekdays and 600 on weekends I will lose weight without plateauing?

No. You will eventually plateau. When you decrease your caloric intake, your metabolism slows way down to compensate. Your weight will plateau when this happens.

3) Is it even possible for me to reach my goal by the end of the year?

Your goal weight is not healthy for you. Someone at your weight and height can only expect to 'healthily' lose half a pound to one pound a week without reaching a weight plateau.

4) My parents are a bit suspicious of my eating habits, if they were to find out and realizing when I starting losing weight would they be able to hospitalize me and force me to gain weight? At what weight can they do that?

As soon as they get suspicious - there is no 'weight' that will trigger hospitalization. Eating disorder diagnoses are no longer solely weight-based, nor is treatment.

5) If I exercise and burn ~200 a day how many lbs would I lose a week?

Exercising to burn 200 calories a day would result in weight loss of about half a pound a week.


I know you didn't ask for nutrition advice, but I'm giving it to you anyway. You didn't say what you currently eat, go to this website and create a profile: https://www.supertracker.usda.gov/CreateProfile.aspx. Once you've done that, it will tell you how much you should be eating of each food group each day. If you click around, you'll even find sample meal plans. If you commit consistently eating a healthy diet, your food cravings should improve and your binge eating should stop. I also want to make sure you are eating enough. 400-600 calories is way too little. I want you to be healthy and happy.

I hope you check out the books and websites I recommended. Let me know if you need any further advice or if I can recommend a local therapist for you. Please don't go down this path. Instead of watching videos about ana, watch Someday Melissa. It's a powerful tribute to a girl who died at 19 from her eating disorder.  

Anorexia/Eating Disorders

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


Mary Pritchard

Expertise

I can answer questions about the psychology of eating, disordered eating attitudes and behaviors such as drive for thinness, drive for muscularity, binge eating, body dysmorphia, dieting, excessive/obsessive exercise, and body dissatisfaction. I can also answer questions about anorexia and bulimia.

Experience

I have a PhD in Psychology and teach courses in the Psychology of Health and the Psychology of Eating. I have been conducting research on disordered eating and exercise behaviors for 15 years.

Organizations
Midwestern psychological association, rocky mountain psychological association

Publications
Over 50 peer-reviewed journal articles in journals such as Eating Behaviors, Eating Disorders, and Eating and Weight Disorders

Education/Credentials
PhD in Psychology from the University of Denver

Awards and Honors
30 teaching awards, have received funding to conduct my research from academic institutions and state and local government

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.