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Teenage Problems/Eating disorder or low self-esteem?

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Hi Scarlet,

I'm 21 and female.

I will start from the very beginning however relevant/irrelevant it may be...

So when i was about 15 (iím saying 15 but i donít really remember) i had big issues with eating in front of people. Mainly because i felt fat and didnít want to be judged (i donít remember if this started before or after a boy told me i was fat 100 times a day because i didnít see it as a problem and therefore doesnít stick in my mind). Anyway i would skip breakfast and not eat at school. I would throw away my packed lunch so my parents would think iíd eaten it and then just eat dinner at home. This continued through college and at uni iíd have problems cooking and eating as so many people lived in my flat but by second year it got a little better.

Then in third year of uni (last year) i went to Sweden for 4 months where things turned bad. I wouldnít cook in the kitchen because it was so dirty/disgusting and i wouldnít eat there because of too many people. I wouldnít eat breakfast, eat little for lunch at a nursery i worked at (it was provided) and then eat cereal for dinner. At the weekend i would eat only a tin of tuna or sweetcorn and maybe some cereal in a day. I realised i was losing weight, liked it so continued with it.

When i got home i had lost 13 lbs and became obsessed with my weight and continued as i did in Sweden. Then at Christmas i gained a few pounds and became angry with myself. So back at uni i refused to eat bread, rice, potato. I would only have skimmed milk and felt guilty if ever i had a bit of semi-skimmed. I also went through a phase where all iíd eat was cereal which had the lowest calorie content. I would read all the calorie labels in shops and choose the lowest. I stopped drinking squash and would only drink water to lower calorie consumption. I started exercising 4/5 times a week and became obsessed Ė if i missed one iíd feel guilty/fat. Then i bought some scales, became obsessed and virtually weighed myself every day.

I lost weight at uni then threw the scales away when i came home after graduation so my parents wouldnít know. At home i would take food from the fridge and bread, throw it in the bin, put crumbs on a plate and tell my parents iíd eaten it when i hadnít. Then in September 2012 i went to Africa for 2 months and ate really badly because so many people were in the house and a lot of the food provided was very unhealthy. People kept commenting on my eating which then made it harder to eat. I came home, weighed myself, lost weight but wasnít happy so bought new scales and hid them (i weigh the same on both). In total since before i went to Sweden in September 2011 i have lost 21 lbs. I now weigh 104 lbs at 5ft 2".. which i know is a healthy weight.

Basically, what is wrong with me?! Now i am back home from Africa i go through phases on eating LOTS when no one is around and then hiding the evidence. Is it just because of low confidence?? I really do not know.

Sorry the message is long, and thank you in advance.
Sophie

Answer
Hi Sophie,

I think you have low self esteem. You don't like people watching you eat or seeing what you weight on the scale. I'm not sure what caused you to do these things and we can't pin them on that one kid because you're not sure if you started acting this way before or after he said you were fat. However, I do feel like he may have something to do with it.

If 104 pounds is a healthy weight for your age and height, then I would say to stay at that weight. Don't starve yourself to try and get any thinner. There's nothing wrong with being around other people as you eat. They won't think you're fat or anything like that. I eat in front of folks all the time and could care less if they had anything to say about me - if they did.

You have to be comfortable in your own skin Sophie. If you want to keep weight off, that's fine. However, don't do it because of someone else. If you're comfortable with you, then that's all that matters. You have to live inside of your body, no one else.

Teenage Problems

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Scarlet Murdock

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Even though I have no teenagers of my own, I've seen, heard and have experienced a lot of things dealing with teenagers. I take the experience of me being a teen along with the problems and issues teens have today and I offer my opinions and advice. Since I'm no longer in my teens, I'm wiser, which means that I can definitely guide you in the right direction when it comes to solving your problems.

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Teen-Babble.com is a website that I am very proud to say that I am a part of. I created this site for teenagers all over. I wanted to give you a place where you could gain some knowledge, ask questions and see what your fellow teenagers can offer you. Teen-Babble is about sharing experiences, growing and becoming a better person. I am also part of my local Boys and Girls club where I hang out with teens about 3 times a day and help them with anything I can.

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Boys and Girls Club

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www.Teen-Babble.com

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Western Michigan University

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