National Eating Disorders Association

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Not sure what to do

I've always been able to feel confident about myself, but by the end of my freshman year of college I began struggling with body image. I'm about to start my sophomore year and I've spent this past summer doing whatever I can to lose weight. Now I find myself having a lot of difficulty with eating disorder thoughts. I spend every minute of the day thinking about and examining my body. For the past three months, if I've gone over my limit I will typically spiral out of control. Typically, eating disorder behaviors typically follow. This happens anywhere from once a week to two times a day. I know my eating habits aren't normal, but it doesn't feel serious enough to get help nor do I have the time to talk to anyone about it. I really want to live a healthy lifestyle, but I'm not sure what to do about it since I leave for school in just a couple weeks. I'm worried things will get worse. Help please :(

Hi Sarah!!

Hi Sarah!! Thank you so much for trusting these forums! I hope I can be here to support you any way I can! It sounds like you are having some trouble regarding eating disorder thoughts/behaviors? I definitely know how you feel. I am recovered from a type of bulimia, and my eating disorder certainly made my college experience difficult. I know it is difficult to take the first few steps in this journey, but know that you're not alone!!

You are definitely worthy and deserving for help! Trying to fight our eating disorders alone certainly makes it harder on us than it needs. I know how scary it can feel to seek help, but there are trained professionals that will treat you and see you as who you are, and will not see you as only an "eating disorder". From what I have read, I have a couple of ideas on how I might be able to support you.

I understand that you are going back to college soon, and I know that there are certainly opportunities there to get help. Have you gone to your college's counseling center? Usually this is a great resource and comes at no cost. Also, you could call the NEDA Helpline!!! They can help you find trained specialist, support groups, etc. Their number is 1-800-931-2237.

How else can I help you? Have you looked through NEDA's online resources? Here are some links that might help you:

I hope you are feeling ok! I'm here for you! Is there anything else I can help with?

Hi Sarah!

Hi Sarah!
I second michael26's response! I'm so glad you've shared your story, as that's an incredibly difficult but important step!

I dealt with Female Athlete Triad (a combo of overexercising and restricted eating) throughout the first half of high school and I know for me, it felt scary too and I thought that I could just deal with it myself at first. I had similar worries as you and didn't really want to bother anyone with my troubles. It worked for a bit, but then I relapsed my sophomore year of college, so in my experience, getting help and talking to someone - even if you just start by sharing with close family/friends - have been crucial steps for recovery. You deserve support and I'm encouraged that you say you want to live a healthy lifestyle! You have the right attitude and the strength to do just that, and seeking out a counselor or therapist at school or at home may help. Never feel like it's not "serious enough" to get help - the fact that you've already acknowledged these behaviors is GREAT and dealing with them earlier is better than later, since they may build up more over time.

The NEDA Helpline can help you get started too. All the best!