National Eating Disorders Association

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Is this my ideal weight/do I have an eating disorder?

Hello, I little over a year ago lost weight when I changed my diet. I was then hospitalized for bradycardia. For the past months I've been able to maintain my current weight by eating a normal amount each day. However, currently my mom enrolled me in a treatment program that is urging me to gain weight, and they say that I need to eat significantly more per day. But my concern is that, since I am able to maintain my weight consistently doesn't that mean that my metabolism is fine and my body functions normally, indicating that I don't need to gain weight?

People tell me that I have an eating disorder, but I don't understand what I do for them to think this way!... yes, I did lose weight a year ago, but now I eat a normal breakfast, lunch, and dinner with snacks in between and maintain my weight! Sometimes I actually purposefully act like I have an eating disorder to justify getting treatment and constantly being told I have an eating disorder. I feel like if everyone just left me alone and didn't send me into treatment, there wouldn't be any issue at all! I wouldn't think about food (at least, not obsessively) and I would just keep eating the way that I'm eating, which is definitely not the way a "restrictive" eats. I'm so lost. Please help! Do I have an eating disorder?? Do I need to gain weight?????

You have some good questions,

You have some good questions, but I can't speak for your needs.Have you considered letting a professional (maybe one involved in your treatment program) know about some of these questions you have?

Also, I know you mentioned that you wish people wouldn't keep sending you to treatment, but I just thought I'd give you an additional resource to consider, which is the NEDA helpline at 1-800-931-2237. They can give some support, guidance, and additional resources.

Good luck to you! Keep us posted!

Still confused

Hi, thank you for responding! I know you said you can't speak for my needs, but from your perspective, does it seem like there is something to be concerned about in my situation (do I actually need treatment?) or do you think everyone is possibly just making a big deal out of nothing?

In my experience...

I've found that some people that care about you will be concerned and might regularly bring it up with you. They probably want to see you at your original weight, from before you changed your diet, because they think maybe that it was your "normal" weight. Just because you're currently not gaining or losing any weight might not necessarily mean your caloric intake is sufficient. Everyone's bodies are different. I can totally relate to you as far as people hounding you about getting treatment. It can be so annoying. I, like you, have been able to maintain my weight getting by but if I'm being honest with myself, I don't feel very healthy. My monthly cycle is kind of messed up, I can't think as clearly as I should be able to, I don't sleep well, sometimes I tire quickly when exerting energy, I don't like the way I look, and my hunger mechanism doesn't work most of the time. At the end of the day, I think it just comes down to being honest with yourself, which can be hard.

Hey, anya.alsalem!

I want to put some more emphasis on what tifftuo brought up - from what you said in your original post, it sounds like you might be afraid of gaining weight - and that's okay!! Fear of weight gain is a symptom of an eating disorder, so if you recognize that in yourself, it's just one sign that you might have an eating disorder. It's okay to have this fear, and it's okay to have an eating disorder - but it's important that you can recognize it so that you may fully pursue recovery. A tool that may offer you some direction as you sort through this issue is NEDA's Screening Tool (

When it comes down to it, no one on this site can diagnose you or even answer the questions you have asked here as they need to be answered, sadly. You have some great thoughts about the situation as a whole, and I encourage you to talk them out with a therapist. They can help you not only figure out where your relationship with food stands, but also how to deal with those in your life when it comes to their (well-intentioned, but possibly boundary-crossing) concerns.

Thank you so much for posting here! Keep us updated on your journey.
Anna Naomi

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