National Eating Disorders Association

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Do I have an Ed??

I want to start by saying that I didn’t know what category to put this in. I don’t want to trigger anyone so please don’t read this if you are not comfortable with it. I don’t know if I have an eating disorder or not and I don’t know who else to ask. Here is my story: it started off with just wanting to lose some weight and be healthier even tho I was already at a healthy weight. I started restricting and trying to measure and count all my calories as much as I could. In the beginning there were nights when I would fall asleep thinking about what I was going to eat the next day. I would also exercise frequently but not excessively. Then it moved to puking up my food when I ate too much( small binges) but it was hard so I stopped. Lately I’ve been in a cycle where I eat healthy(sorta restrict but not really) for a couple days and then binge. I’ve binged the last 3 nights and tonight I puked up a small amount. I eat with my family because I really do love food so I can never go long with super healthy eating. I’ve been binging a lot lately but i want so badly to be skinny. It’s not obsessive but once I start binging it’s like I can’t stop. Then the next day I restrict and then binge. I’ve read about Ed’s online and it’s like I have a small amount of every disorder. But I also feel like I don’t have one and I’m just being unhealthy. Please give me advice.

Hi LilyJ

Hi LilyJ,We are glad to see you reaching out to the forums, we hope you find all the support you are looking for here. It sounds like you may benefit from the help of a professional. If you need help finding treatment options you can always reach out to the NEDA helpline or chatline for support or to help you locate available resources.Helpline phone hours are Monday-Thursday 11am-9pm ET, and Friday 11am-5pm ET. Helpline chat hours are Monday-Thursday 9am-9pm ET and Friday 9am-5pm ET. And, as always, you can continue to reach out through the forums for support. Stay safe, take care and remember that recovery is possible!

some thoughts/advice, and no matter what you are welcome here

Eating disorders look all kinds of ways. I remember when I was little I had this really specific idea of what an eating disorder must be, and I could never understand how they could ever happen. Like why do healthy people want to lose weight? Why do thin people feel the need to get even thinner? And then I was the healthy person, and the thin person, and it's still odd and mystifying but very very real. Your brain is complicated.

We cannot diagnose on the forums, but it sounds to me like what you're describing falls under an ED category. Although it's true that there's some normalized binge/purging in the world (read: Christmas, followed by gym New Year's resolutions), but not really puking, and you seem to have hit all the ED marks. Your story is familiar... also it's much, much, better to think you have an ED when you don't than to pretend like nothing is wrong.

I wouldn't worry too much about "which" eating disorder you have. For me they have always kind of gone together, and I think that's true for a lot of people. Disordered eating habits are slippery.

There's so much advice about this in the world, and you'll probably hear all of it over and over again. One important thing, though, is that binging and purging is a cycle, and it's your body trying to protect you. You force yourself not to eat, so you're starving, and then when you do allow yourself food your body is literally trying to get as much energy as it can because it knows that tomorrow there might not be any. The best way not to binge is not to restrict, but that's a hard thing. I've been there so many days, still am a lot of the time.

Man there's so much I want to say. Having a thin body isn't all it's cracked up to be, sometimes healthy is just being able to let go. I don't know the ins and outs of your situation, but I feel for you.

NEDA is right, it would probably be wise to talk to a professional about this. Best of luck, and the forums are here if you ever need anything (or, you know, just to scream into the void).

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