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    Do I have an eating disorder?
    An_200935 posted:
    I'm 5'7 and 110 pounds btw i'm a straight guy and a strict vegetarian for the past 4 years I am also athletic and run 6-7 miles a day as well as lift. I know I am skinny and it's not like I don't wear tight fitting clothes or anything but I am always very insecure with my image. I am always told I am really skinny but in my head I say I'm not. I am constantly looking in the mirror at my stomach and I see a fat kid. I used to be bigger when I was younger and the kids would always bully me about it and call me fat. This was in in kindergarten and went until 4th grade which I then switched schools. It got better but I still felt insecure about myself. It continued on and only got worse as I got older. I would always feel inadequate when I would hear the girls talk about how they find certain guys attractive and it would always bother me.

    So many things have not changed and today it has only gotten worse. I am not constantly pinching my sides and stomach and look in a mirror whenever there is one. I always check calories and carbs and count them too. Also, whenever they show these people like Zac Efron or Taylor Lautner or any of these models on television I always have to change the channel right away or else I get really upset with myself and how I look. I would love to be able to have a girlfriend but I just don't let myself get close to anyone because of how insecure I feel about myself and think that no one would like me anyway so why even try. I would tell my parents but they just say I am being a girl.

    I really just have no idea what to do. There was a time my doctor told me I have a body dismorphic disorder or something like that where I always will focus in on part of my body and think it looks bad.

    Any advice?
    An_200936 responded:
    Also when working out I like to watch shows about best beach bodies so I know how I should look.
    Oopsla replied to An_200936's response:
    Hey Anon,

    Did you know that feeling you get when you around about to jump in a pool and you think it is cold. And you just know you aren't going to like it? Others in the pool would think you a whimp or weird if you went for a blanket. Then you jump, and yes it is cold, and you adjust, and you enjoy the water.

    Here you are, in the best shape of your life, standing by the pool, and standing, and standing and waiting for what? My friend, understand that you are grown now and everyone else is too preoccupied with their own troubles to worry about your image. Jump my friend, jump and try to live your life rather then over analyzing yourself. Everyone has flaws. We patch ourselves up as we can and enjoy life as best we can.

    Your childhood put a crimp in your self esteem. You may always have a fear that you do not match up. But this fear should not stop you from living your life. The best way to get past these troubles is with new experiences. You may not actually get past them but at least you are not letting them hold you back if you get past the fear and try. Go after a girlfriend. If it doesn't work out, try again, and again...

    Kids beat each other down to feel good about themselves and be the highest bird in the pecking order. You can admit that you took some lumps, but you got back up and have done well.

    I have not personally found a way to stop from keeping an eye on my weight. It may be with you for life. My best advice is that you do not feel guilty or inadequate. Pinch that waist and smile. Say to yourself, "Whose the man? I'm the man." Be proud of who you are.

    On a side note: Also keep your weight and health in good order. It is ok to run a lot and be thin. There is a fine line between that and being sickly. I think that is your fear. You should take care of your body and mind. A sense of humor helps.

    Hmmm? I am losing track. Hang in there.

    emstoy09 responded:
    Hi Anon,
    It is so hard to accept what others say about you when you feel something so different about yourself, isn't it? I never believe that, in their eyes, my friends and family are lying to me when they compliment me about my looks or my work ethic and ability or anything else . . . but I always feel like they just don't see what I see and don't understand the true person I feel like inside. It's a frustrating thing - believe me, I know.

    Like Oops said (and by the way, Oops always has great advice and perspective!), I think that some of the things you are dealing with may never go away completely. I think that these issues that hit us so deeply sometimes are a sign that we need to work on things - we need to challenge our negative thoughts and stop denying that something is unhealthy (because it is so much easier to pretend it's not there than to try and face it head on). There are things you can learn that will help you cope with some of your thoughts, ways to reflect on yourself and work on believing in yourself, steps to push yourself out of from behind barriers you have put up that prevent you from moving forward . . . Do they make things magically better -- no. But I think they help us grow stronger and help us start living life again instead of letting life run us over.

    So, reach out - whether here on the boards or with friends or with a therapist or doctor . . . take baby steps if you have to . . . but decide for yourself that you are ready to challenge and work through those feelings that are stopping you from being happy and seeing yourself in a positve life. It's never easy, but it is so worth it in the end . . .

    Good luck and take care,

    P.S. - Just from my perspective as a girl, I wouldn't think that just because you are insecure about some things that you are "being a girl." I think that just makes you human :)
    Oopsla replied to emstoy09's response:
    Oh wow... I completely missed his title, "Do I have an eating disorder?". I would say no with the limited input you have given. I did not read that you starved yourself or binged and purged. If you run a whole lot you will be on the thinner side.

    I would have to slightly agree with the doctor on the "body dysmorphic disorder". But when I read what you say it sounds less like dysmorphia and more like fear. You have esteem issues and along with that a great fear of being fat and unaccepted. You know you are thin. I dysmorphic doesn't believe it. Body builders can be that way. The think they are small while we see them as huge. They have a craving to build muscle on muscle.

    When I wrestled I always weighed in 6-9 pounds below what I should. It was out of fear. It was far easier for me to be accepted by my peers for making weight then cutting it too close and failing. Not making weight was worse then getting pinned. It put me at a disadvantage on the mat. I knew I was underweight as you know.

    So do you know you are think but fear getting fat or do you not believe that you are skinny(dysmorphic)? I tend to believe the first. Fear not! When you cannot, fake it. One thing I have learned in my life is that the captain was right, "Damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead!"

    Oh and that girl comment. That is just one side of you. Some of us have our moments of doubt and indecisiveness. Why we attribute them to being a girl is well.... I'd get slapped here for saying. Oh heck... Damn the torpedoes. It is unmanly. Guys are meant to be steadfast in their decisions, to be strong, unwavering, to know what needs to be done. Like the T-shirt says, "I am right 97% of the time. Who cares about the other 4." It is a guy mentality thing.

    I myself just yesterday told my neighbors I was having a girl day. It happens. Chuckle at it then get back in the game.

    runner91 replied to Oopsla's response:
    yeah my dad and my grandfather are both overweight and I fear so much that I will get like that so I like to constantly check how I look. Yeah I am very insecure about a lot of things. Than you for all the great advice I just need to try to apply it to my life. Hopefully I can.
    Lainey_WebMD_Staff responded:
    Hi Anon_45245,

    Welcome to the community! Times have changed for men and their looks. Women now want men to pay attention to their grooming and keep in shape. (not being a girl)
    Oopsla replied to Lainey_WebMD_Staff's response:

    One thing in life you will grow to learn. That is to embrace the diversity of life and to rejoice in it.

    I cannot help but remember when reading your post, "Mirror, mirror on the wall. Whose the fairest of them all?" There is little to be jealous of if you abandon the competition that you can never win. The fairest is a moment in time, all beauty falls to ashes one day and another is reborn.
    Your want should be to be healthy and live in the moment. Beauty shines in these moments of time. not on some screen or magazine.

    You could use the image of Zack as a goal or role model. There are many others as well, not just models but Olympians, scientists, thinkers, businessmen. All these people hold building blocks to what you could build yourself into whether it is a model, an athlete, a physicist, a friend, a boyfriend, or husband. Wherever you go in life you'll do better with your eyes and mind open. When you see Zack on TV I'd suggest a simple, "You go Zack!" as for all people who have their moment in the sun.

    And Lainey - Women have always wanted this.

    runner91 replied to Oopsla's response:
    Yeah I keep trying to think things will get better but I guess I really just want something and am even going to start up with a personal trainer to get it. I have a lot of insecurities and they are always building everyday which is why I think I may be getting an eating disorder or already have one. Idk, I just really want to be attractive and good looking like the people on magazines and I'm just not.
    Oopsla replied to runner91's response:
    I hear ya runner,

    Things will not improve without modifications. You will find this through life that you must constantly tweak the diet/workout/mental areas to achieve your goals.
    You ran the excess weight off which is great. That goal/job is done. If you look at athletes around the world in their sports you will recognize what a particular sport does for you. Looking at the marathoners (which you fit close into) it is a body that is light and lean without excess muscle. Look at a sprinter and you'll see a more powerful physic with no excess weight. My suggestion would be to ease up on the long running andwork in some sprints, and some lifting if you want to create a more sculpted body to match your ideal physique. You'll need a balanced diet and a little extra protein.

    One thing that you will learn abundantly quick is that you need food to sculpt your body. You will need more then you think. Overcome the fear of fat and just think lean and mean. Set goals in the gym and on the track. Keep track of your numbers: push ups, sitips, pull ups, and everything. If you are getting proper rest and nutrition the numbers will increase. If they faulter your diet might be too lean or you are not letting the muscles rest and heal. Your want is to step away from the scale and replace the number with of reps you do.

    Now understand that this must be moderated too. Your 6-7 miles of running is "exorcise bulimia" and so is this to an extent. I would rather have you taking extreme care of your body then starving or purging. Learning and building your body is great. You will see things in your gene pool that you cannot overcome. Accept your genes. Like me, I be ugly and grumpy and there is no fixing that. :-).

    You must make room in your life for fun and activities. Rome was not built in a day nor can you be "built" in a day. Put your time in and then go after OTHER dreams that have no bearing on your image.


    PS we can talk workouts if you wish as long as you promise me that you will try a new path.
    runner91 replied to Oopsla's response:
    Sorry this took so long, I forgot my password and it takes them forever to send you it again. Yeah I'd like to talk about work outs because I don't know what else I could possibly do.

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