“I look in the mirror and all I see is that I’m fat…”
This question was submitted to Kids Help Phone by a young person and answered by one of our professional counsellors. Before you start reading, we want to let you know the following question mentions details about disordered eating, eating disorders and physical changes that may be upsetting.
I’m just wanting to talk to someone about some stuff I’ve been experiencing so I hope that’s okay. I’ve always been really self-conscious about my weight and how I look even though I’m always told how thin I am. It seems like the only value that is placed on me is that I have what my mom refers to as “an ideal figure”. Recently I went to the doctors and they did the whole weigh in thing and I’ve lost (edited), which they said puts me underweight. When I was asked whther or not it was intentional I lied and said It was probably because of stress or something. I’m not totally sure they believed me though because a follow up has been scheduled and my mom has been especially agressive when I say I’m not hungry and telling me that if I lose even (edited) shes going to send me to a mental hospital. Well I’ve already lost (edited) since then and I really don’t see the problem with it if I’m being honest. I look in the mirror and all I see is that I’m fat and even though more bones are visible I really like that and I want to see more. I can’t look at food without getting panicky and as soon as I’ve had anything to eat I immediately want to cry amd throw up. I also freak out when I’ve had more than (edited) in a day and its like theres a voice in my head that tells me im fat amd I believe it every time. When my mom started threatening a mental hospital I took a look at the ones in my the city near where I live and it kind of really scared me because I’m probably too old to go to the children’s hospital which means I’d have to go to one with adults and I’m not ready to be chucked in with that age group. Anyway that’s my little rant type thingy and I hope you have some good advice. I’m just really tired of everything and even though I want more than anything to be super skinny it’s taking it’s toll and it’s probably why my hairs falling out and I can’t concentrate on anything besides that and I’m just done. Thank you in advance; you’re wonderful.
I’m really glad you’ve written to us about this, as I hear a conflict going on in you over this issue. On the one hand you like the changes in your body that you’ve brought about by this kind of restricting, but at the same time — you also mention things like it’s taking a toll on you, that your hair is falling out, and you can’t concentrate in school and say that you’re tired. Now you say ‘ tired of everything’ but I’m reading that as simply physically tired, a very real consequence of not giving your body enough fuel [ that is food] to work with daily. So, you do seem to know that you’re slipping into a dangerous area. And you do seem to be starting to admit that you might be needing some help with it…and the good news is that there are eating disorder programs in Canada for teens that you would be able to get involved in. Would you be interested in doing that? If so, how about talking about it directly with your mother, or your doctor? That way, you won’t feel ‘ forced’ into anything, but instead be participating in your own health…how does this sound? Of course this is just something for you to think about, as the final decision to do it rests with you… You could also start to work on it with a counsellor who specializes in eating disorders that you could arrange to see weekly first, to see how that worked for you. You could talk about this option with your doctor and/or mother who could arrange it for you…again, if you want. In other words, there’s more than one way to tackle this problem, which you’ve proved by coming here and talking about it yourself. Does your school have a counsellor, would you be interested in talking with him or her about this? Think about it, and remember you can also call us anytime, 24/7 to talk more about it all, we’re anonymous, free and confidential so give it a try sometime: 1-800-668-6868. Take good care and come back anytime. We’re always here to help