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Monday, September 1, 2014
My chaotic relationship with food started at a tender age of 3 as a means to stuff my emotions, and by the time I graduated high school at 17 I was about 34 in BMI. I hated the way I looked, and my mum used to say how ugly I was because I am fat; and I was never allowed to wear dresses for 10 years, and I never had long hair. After graduating from high school, I decided to attempt to silence my mum`s critics and went on a slimming programme, about 20 kgs (or approx. 40 pounds) in 6 months. However, I started to gain weight due to hormone medications and I decided to `let lose`, and would start to binge without my mum`s knowledge - sometimes having lunch in college and then at home. Ever since I went to another state to study, I`ve been using the lack of funds as an excuse to not eat. I would at times skip breakfast, have proper lunch, and then have whatever I should have had for breakfast - as dinner. Of course, the lack of funds prevented me from binging, but then whenever I had extra cash I would spend it on high calorie food like chocolates and chips instead on `normal` food...though it doesn`t often as often as someone with `full-blown` bulimia will. I don`t really purge (gave up sticking my finger down my throat), but have started to use fiber products to `flush things out` once a week or fortnight (is that purging?). I`ve also tried to restrict my calories to below 1000kcals or at least below 1200kcals.
I know that I don`t have enough to be diagnosed as bulimia, but I also know that I may be at the very verge of one. Recently, I`ve been experiencing constipation (which all the more `justify` the use of fiber), and my low platelets have started to show physical signs like random bruising.
Help for eating disorders is practically non-existent in my country.
Yes, it is a purge when one uses substances such as fiber products to flush out your system for the purpose of losing weight and trying to make your body thinner. Fiber should be used for the purpose for which they are made, which is to aid in constipation.
Trust what you think is happening, that you may very much be heading for a full blown eating disorder that can take over your life and make all thoughts centered around eating, dieting and weight loss and then find yourself doing less with others, and focusing less on work and other activities.
There is an eating disorder referral sources called EDReferral.com that might have an eating disorder expert in your country that could possibly begin with a phone consultation to help you find your way. Also, there are very helpful books for self guidance through Gurze Books which is a company that sells eating disorder and healthy body image books.
Laura L Hill, PhD
Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University