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My Family Think I Have an Eating Disorder: How Do I Tell?

By: Beth Morrisey MLIS - Updated: 30 Nov 2015 | comments*Discuss
 
Healthy Eating Eating Disorder Height

Q.

I am 5ft tall and was ten and a half stone when I was overweight. I now weigh 7st 5lbs, I workout twice a day and never eat cakes, sweets, chocolates or anything in between meals. I won't eat after 8pm, I'm fine with this. I started my diet 7months ago - all my family and friends think I have an eating disorder? I'm a size 8 and feel fantastic - am I OK?

(S.O, 26 October 2009)

A.

At 5ft tall, 7st 5lbs gives you a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 21.9. BMIs between the ranges of 18.5 and 24.9 are considered of a normal weight range, so it would seem that you are in a healthy range for your height and weight. You have also described losing about 35 pounds in 7 months, or an average of 5 pounds per month. This is also in a healthy range. Finally, you described yourself as "overweight" when, at 5ft tall, you weighed 10.5 stone. At that time your BMI would have been 28.7 which would have indeed put you in the overweight range (BMIs between 25 and 29.9). All of this means that your descriptions of yourself and your weight do match accepted standards of what is healthy and what is less healthy. Given this, there is no reason to believe that you have distorted views of health, weight or dieting.

However, you do describe some strict rules for yourself regarding your eating and your working out. You also focus on describing what you do not eat without giving any information on what you do eat. Finally, you have also failed to describe other pertinent behaviours that might accompany your diet or exercise, such as if you ever binge, purge with vomiting or laxatives, or schedule your workouts so that they "burn off" all that you have just eaten. Without knowing this information there is no way to determine if you have an eating disorder or some form of disordered eating.

To put your own mind at rest, and to appease those who are worried about you, it is advised that you attend your GP for a general check-up. Explain your fears to him or her, and note that your family and friends are concerned about you. Discuss your average diet and your typical work out sessions. Also let him or her know that you feel great now, and discuss why. Let this medical professional offer you his or her opinion and further advice to protect your health.

In the meantime, concentrate on eating at least five fresh fruits and vegetables per day, drink at least eight glass of water and aim for eight hours of uninterrupted sleep. These guidelines are basic foundations of healthy living and should be an integral part of each and every day.

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Panda45 - Your Question:
My daughter was diagnosed with viral meningitis 15 months ago. At the time her doctor thought it was benign hypertension and advised her that she was obese and to lose weight (she is 5ft 5" and a size 14-16). She then started to lose weight very rapidly and 2 months later was noticeably slimmer. She complained of headaches and was put on a drug usually used for epilepsy but can be used in USA for obesity. She is now a size 8-10, cold all the time, miserable, has a covering of lanugo and hates her body. She vehemently denies having any eating issues and claims to eat good meals regularly (she's 27 so doesn't live with me). Her boyfriend (also very skinny) says she eats well. She looks ill to me. If she has no eating disorder what else could cause these symptoms? Her thyroid is functioning normally.

Our Response:
I'm afraid we can't really answer this as it would not be proper to speculate. However, many people feel cold during or after weight loss as fat provides warmth and insulation to your body. Plus, severe calorie restriction can result in loss of energy. I can only advise she visits her GP.
EatingDisorderExpert - 1-Dec-15 @ 12:46 PM
My daughter was diagnosed with viral meningitis 15 months ago. At the time her doctor thought it was benign hypertension and advised her that she was obese and to lose weight (she is 5ft 5" and a size 14-16). She then started to lose weight very rapidly and 2 months later was noticeably slimmer. She complained of headaches and was put on a drug usually used for epilepsy but can be used in USA for obesity. She is now a size 8-10, cold all the time, miserable, has a covering of lanugo and hates her body. She vehemently denies having any eating issues and claims to eat good meals regularly (she's 27 so doesn't live with me). Her boyfriend (also very skinny) says she eats well. She looks ill to me. If she has no eating disorder what else could cause these symptoms? Her thyroid is functioning normally.
Panda45 - 30-Nov-15 @ 2:45 PM
Im confused as to wether i have an eating disorder or not. I was told by a friend that i don't eat right. Basically i binge eat for like a day or maybe two but afterwards i feel so guilty and disgusted with myself and i go off one meal a day and maybe a small snack. This also lasts for about two days. When i binge eat i always feel so tempted to throw everything up, however i wont because i hate been sick. I always feel like i need to throw up and i almost always feel sick after eating anything. Do i have an eating disorder - like my friend said - and if i do what type would it be?
lvfl - 19-Aug-14 @ 12:16 AM
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