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TEEN ISSUES-----eating disorders

getting thin Posted - 19 July 2000 22:34

In order to be accepted nowadays you have to be thin -- it's just a fact of life. Not only guys but women also respect thin people much more than overweight.

Being overweight is like a handicap nowadays and its worth a lot to get rid of it. How much would you pay to get rid of a handicap if you were blind or deaf? Being overweight today is the same.

The problem with anorexics is that they don’t know when to stop, they just overdo it. I read the book "wasted" by marya hornbacher who had ED for like 14 years, all the time she was winning awards for creative writing and she was doing work in Washington and everything was fine except she didn’t know when to stop. That’s what got her into trouble. and she recovered anyway, she's married and leading a normal life, even though she was overdoing it for 14 years.

The idea is to not eat until you get to your target weight and then maintain it. you can't overdo it. so I don’t eat almost anything but only until I am thin. then you have to slowly maintain your thinness. but you can always recover; you just have to be careful not to overdo it.

MODERATOR Posted - 20 July 2000 0:30

I'm torn.

Part of me wants to try to convince you that you're wrong, that you're sliding down a slippery slope and the brakes you see at your feet are an illusion. I want to tell you about girls I know who wasted away thinking that they could stop when they want only to later find out that they can't. Or they never want. That thin is never thin enough. Until it's too late.

Part of me wants to tell you that.

But I know from experience that whatever I say will not convince you that you are on a one way road to oblivion. The hardest thing in the world to convince someone to do is to get out of a destructive relationship. Destructive relationships mess with your head and your heart, and words are pathetically inadequate against a head and heart so utterly messed up.
So, I know I cannot convince you to get out of the perverted, sadomasochistic relationship you have with your own body. You two are too close for me to get in and break you up, too dependent on each other for me to convince you to carry on in a healthy manner.

I know when I'm licked.

So I'm going for help. Reading your post, I feel there may be a way. I will be back. Don't go away.

Oh, and by the way, the word is "anoretics." "Anorexic" is an adjective, as in, "Anoretics are anorexic". Perhaps you should educate yourself a bit about the game you're getting yourself into.

MODERATOR Posted - 25 July 2000 0:20

OK, I'm back. I did research on Marya Hornbacher, the award-winning journalist, who you write "recovered" after 14 years of anorexia. Here's an article she wrote in USA Today.

(You can see it at

First Person

Issue date:
February 20-22, 1998

I starved myself for 14 years. Eventually, at 52 pounds ...I faced a scary choice:
Eat or die
By Marya Hornbacher

[Hornbacher has struggled with bulimia and anorexia for 14 years. She is the winner of a White Award for Best Freelance Story of 1993 -- a story that grew into a new book, Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia. Now 23, she doesn't discuss her weight, as part of her ongoing recovery. She lives in Minneapolis with her husband.]

"I struggle daily with food," says author Marya Hornbacher.
became bulimic at age 9, anorexic at 15. At 16, I walked into the revolving door of hospitalizations that "career" eating-disordered people get stuck in. I still manage to get out only for brief periods. In 1993, I hit bottom at 52 pounds and was given a week to live. Faced with a choice -- eat or die -- I ate. It was not as easy a choice as one might expect. In fact, it was the most difficult one I've ever made.

I keep having to make it, every day.

Today I appear, to our skewed cultural eye, relatively "healthy." My body doesn't know that. What it knows is that I've been starving it for nearly 15 years, careening from bulimia to anorexia and back again. In the back of my mind, I understood "thinness" as a synonym for "control," "control" for "respect" -- respect I thought would finally let me feel worthwhile. As I wasted my life in search of something that doesn't exist -- that "perfect" body, "perfect" self -- my body ate itself away. And now it doesn't work.


I battle this illness both in the hospital and out ... and in again. I've been hospitalized seven times.

I am 23; my body thinks it's far older than that. My bones are brittle, my heart weak and erratic, my esophagus and stomach riddled with ulcers, my reproductive system shot, my immune system useless. But I'm alive.

I'm alive. That, for me, is a daily surprise and delight. Having lived so long in the dark, cold place that is profound obsession, the small pleasures of living have incredible meaning for me. And though this is a constant struggle, though my eating disorder is still at my back, I am better able now to sense it and fend it off.

An eating disorder, while also an addiction, is in some ways a simple way of avoiding the pain of regular life. Every emotion, every struggle, is reduced to a war between you and food.

To bring myself back from the edge, I had to question the belief that self and image are one and the same. I had to decide whether I would continue my frantic quest for "thinness," or find something more important to do with my time.

This is an ongoing process. I struggle daily with food, with my image in the mirror. But four years ago, I didn't even put up a fight. Now, more often than not, I win: I eat, I work, I live my life.

I began to get well, I think, when I realized that I had been living a lie. I was living for "thinness," as so many millions of people -- so many of them women -- are. It's no way to live.

Though I sometimes fall back, and though I am constantly reminded of just how powerful the forces of this disease can be, I am nevertheless learning, finally, to live.

One more thing: In her book she writes that she knows she will not live long; her life expectancy has been dramatically shortened by her ED.

artzanu Posted - 25 July 2000 12:55

Oh My Gosh I didn’t read that all I just noticed the 52 pounds and that is scary. Many probably most would be dead of electrolyte imbalance and other things way before they reached 52 lbs!! that is extreme even for an anorexic...and I assume she recovers so there is always hope.

Renée Posted - 03 August 2000 12:40

My sister and I have struggled with ed since we were 10 and 8 years old, respectively.

Even before then we had a distorted body image and a distorted view of what a healthy body should look like. Part of it was having an anorectic for a mother. Part of it was the influence from our dance and gymnastics instructors (though things have gotten better since we were young). And there was always that desire to be in control. I always felt that with everything in my life that wasn't going my way there was always one thing I could weight.

Getting thin--I wish there were some way I could convince you not to do this to yourself. But the moderator is right: nothing I say will help to change your mind.

I have to tell you though I feel very strange writing this. Because I still struggle with anorexic tendencies. I feel like a hypocrite telling you how miserable the life is because I still haven't completely recovered from it. And I wonder if I ever will. I have been at a healthy weight for several years now but my eating habits are still unhealthy, and my thinking can be extremely illogical at times.

For example, I know that at a weight under 120 lbs. I would look pretty and bones. But I still have this ridiculous goal in my mind...I want to hop on the scale and read 99 lbs. But you know what? When I did weigh 99 lbs. my goal suddenly became 50. And when I was hospitalized at 48 lbs. (I was still fairly young...this wasn't at my adult height) I still didn't feel I was thin enough. I used silly personifications to describe my weight (e.g. "99 pounds is a 'happy' weight...113 pounds is a 'disappointed' weight).

It makes no sense at all but this is the way I think sometimes. I'd hate for someone else to go through the same things I have. And that's not all. Ed caused even more problems. I struggled with everything from self mutilation to alcohol abuse due to the emotional suffering I was dealing with. Just thought I'd share my personal story...probably wont affect you much.

getting thin
Posted - 03 August 2000 16:13

It won't effect me. I know what I'm going through. I just want to say that it's great that this thing is anonymous because otherwise I would never say what I'm going to say now, and that is,

Please don't go away anybody. I know that I can't control my eating habits because I need to control my weight, but I wish someone would just take this urge out of me because I don’t want to end up like that article the moderatr posted. But more than that I want to be thin. is that so much to ask?

When I'll be thin then I can take a look back and fix my eating habits then. But I know that when they wanted me to go to the hospital and I faked my weight (I drank like gallons of water before hand) I wanted them not to believe me so they would take me in.

I know this sounds crazy, and that’s why Im glad nobody here will ever know who I am the crazy anorexic girl. but just remember for your friends its not easy living like this, but no matter what Im entitled to be thin. it’s my body and my life. that’s all I wanted to say.

getting thin Posted - 04 August 2000 14:56

I appreciate everything you’re all saying but I wish you'd leave me alone. But you don’t know me anyway so it doesn’t matter. I look every day in the mirror in the bathroom, for like 30 minutes. I stand on the toilet to make sure I see all parts of me (the mirror is too high). I got that idea from a book about an anorexic. Nobody laughs at the thin girls and they feel so fine. I need to carry on with my weight reduction. Don’t worry, I wont die.

MODERATOR Posted - 04 August 2000 18:26


Are you South African?

getting thin Posted - 04 August 2000 18:26


MODERATOR Posted - 04 August 2000 18:28

Nope, not at all. Don't worry. You just write with a South African accent. ("fine", "carry on", and some other nuances).

Renée Posted - 07 August 2000 0:39

Getting thin--no one but another anorectic could understand what you are going through. "Normal" people don't know how desperate we are to lose pounds. I know you feel that no one, not even I, could possibly know what you're going through...and to a certain extent you are correct. I don't live your life, I don't know what you're dealing with, but we do share a common struggle so I am certain that we could understand each other.

You asked everyone to leave you alone, but I know that that is not at all what you want. Why else would you have posted such sensitive information here? Yes it is anonymous...but you had to know that we'd all respond.

If you are at all interested I'd love to correspond with you via private e-mail.
Write, or IM anytime if it pleases you. Otherwise you'll be in my thoughts. :)


Moderator--I understand that you may not feel comfortable posting my address for all the world to see but if it is possible could someone please send it to getting thin?

Punims Posted - 07 August 2000 0:44

haha:) good catch moderator

MODERATOR Posted - 07 August 2000 14:21


You're not crazy, don't worry. And we're not going anywhere. We will keep trying until it works. We're not giving up, don't worry.

getting thin Posted - 07 August 2000 17:23

Hey Moderator, who do you know from South Africa? My family moved from there to Israel when I was 9. We moved back to chutz laaretz a few years ago since things weren't going well there for us. That’s probably why I started my thinning out.

Life is sometimes so out of control its like I just want to kind of "stop the earth and let me off" and my way of stopping things from going further is by getting thinner. Does that make any sense to you?

- 08 August 2000 15:09

I know a number of South African families in Israel, mostly from Telzstone. I don't want to mention names online, but one's a doctor, one's a rabbi, and one has a daughter about your age that works as a waitress around ben yehuda.

You do make sense to me, let me see if I understand you properly.

There were bad things happening around you, or to you, that you felt helpless to stop. You also felt, for some reason, obligated to stop them, like it's your responsibility. because of your inability to prevent these bad things, you feel powerless. And the powerlessness extended beyond those particular things into your all around self-image. You felt like a powerless person in general.

Instead of being able to control what's around, you therefore began to feel a need to control what's "in" you. you had a tremendous need to show yourself that you do have control over yourself, over something that makes a difference. Somehow, your weight became the benchmark (i.e. the measuring stick) to measure your control. The more you lose weight, the more in control you are. The less guilty and helpless you feel in general, and in particular, about the things that happened in your life.

if I am hearing you correctly, there's still a piece missing to the picture. What happened? Where there any bad experiences that you felt beyond your control but were close enough to you that you felt a need to control them?

Oh, and black, by the way, who I know personally, does indeed know a lot about ED's. And, it seems, so do others here. You're among supporters. We're with you.

MODERATOR Posted - 11 August 2000 16:44

getting thin,

Let's try this: Please tell me what you would like to look like. Your version of a perfect appearance. What would that mean? Changing your bodily appearance is a whole science today; it can be done. But it doesn't necessarily have to be dangerous. So if you had a magic wand, what would you look like?

getting thin Posted - 14 August 2000 17:04

Moderator, believe it or not, I never really thought about what I want myself to look like, all I know is that I want it to look thinner than it is. I would stop before it gets too late, but what it should look like? I never thought of that.

Its an interesting question, because I would always think in terms of weight more than how I would look, like, my goal would be 120 lbs, then 110, then 100, then 90, etc. and even though I would always check my body, it would be to see that it was too fat, not because of any goal, do you know what I mean?

But I guess I would like to be thin enough for everyone to admire how thin I am. Does that answer your question?

MODERATOR Posted - 15 August 2000 16:25

No, getting thin, it doesn't answer the question, because I was asking you to describe what you would like to look like, and I still don't know.

YeahSure Posted - 08 January 2001 21:01

Hi Ppl

I know this One is Weird But A guy, And since I’ve been 15 I’ve struggled with Ed I’ve denied it Convinced myself Its not ED since I don’t Look Like I Have it I work out got to school I've gone out with girls(yeah yeah I know its not right) Im a good student And like All teens I get into arguments with their parents ..Im a regular Kid I eat every day

But once in a while I just decide to force myself to Throw Up like 2 times a Week just to empty myself out.. when I was 15 I wanted to lose weight so I didn’t eat a Whole lot so I got way to skinny witch I didn’t wanna do so now whenever I feel like im sluggish I just Barf Email in my file isn’t really cuz I don’t wanna get personal with anyone I just needa tell someone my rents were concerned when I was 15 cuz I got skinny for a few months but since then I've been fine im just scared something bad is gonna happen to me and if this is really abd what I am doing or is it just a Phase since im only doing it like 2 times a week anyway have a good one

MODERATOR Posted - 08 January 2001 21:07


You still make yourself throw up?

YeahSure Posted - 08 January 2001 22:22

Yeah like 2 times a week

MODERATOR Posted - 08 January 2001 22:34

Twice a week regularly, then yes, you are bulimic. Check out the following self-test:

For more self-assessment and self-help, try:

Please see a professional who specializes in ED's. If you do not know where to go, please tell me where you are located and I can recommend someone.

Please get help. And let us know how it's going.

Meahachuz Posted - 16 May 2001 13:58

I had an eating disorder last yr. I basically stopped for a while but now Im going back to my old ways...downhill again! ahh! It’s sad but right now I don’t want to stop. I know its wrong and a lot of times that slows me but then those voices tell me to do it. It’s like a rollercoaster, some days I eat normally other days I starve myself. It’s kinda dangerous since my health isn’t really so great.

MODERATOR Posted - 16 May 2001 18:52

It's more than "kinda", meah. It's real dangerous. ED's can affect your health much more than it seems from the outside.

Meahachuz Posted - 20 May 2001 15:34

Yes I know, and I'm afraid of that. I'm on some mega medicines so it’s crazy. Deep inside I'm crying for help but I just don’t want to stop.

MODERATOR Posted - 20 May 2001 18:45

It's like an addiction - nobody wants to stop an addiction. But the problem is, it's not really "you" that doesn't want to stop. You're not controlling that decision - the ED is. Addictions - and ED's - take a hold of you and control you like a virus. You gotta fight the ED, meah. It lies to you, it tricks you, it makes false promises and in the end, it’s like a parasite, it intends to eat you up till there’s nothing left.

Don’t let anorexia fool you, meah. Don’t let it make believe it’s your friend till it eats you alive. Get help and fight it. Your life could be at stake!

nikki Posted - 28 November 2001 15:36

I have a lot of the symptoms of anorexic people, like, cutting food and stuff like that. does that mean that I’m anorexic or something?

MODERATOR Posted - 28 November 2001 17:05

Please check out these sites, and check with your doctor:

yalipops Posted - 12 December 2001 15:47

My friend is anorexic/ bulimic and she tell same everything but she really trusts me not to tell what do I do?

MODERATOR Posted - 13 December 2001 19:18

If her life or permanent health is in danger, you must tell. If not, then don’t. Your friendship is not as important as her life. If she c"v would die, you would regret not telling. And you won’t have a friendship then, anyway.

To know that you should consult with a doctor. If you can’t, you can post the details here.

But you need to know who to tell. It has to be someone who worse. If you have any doubts, please ask.

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