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Do You Remember How and Why Your ED Began?
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Lainey_WebMD_Staff posted:
Hello members,

ED can begin for many reason. Some of our members mention a need to control something, or just a simple diet that went out of control.

WebMD's Women's Health Center has some information about Mental Health and Binge Eating.

WebMD's Anorexia Health Center discusses: What Increases Your Risk

Do you remember when your ED started?

What do you consider the main reason your ED began?
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kathycornflakes responded:
(Lainey-I love your group questions- makes me think more deeply about what is going on)

For me, I would say that not one single event made my ED begin. I remember once I started to get a bit curvy and "chunky" in high school, my parents would make comments that I needed to loose weight and encouraged me to go to Weight Watchers meetings with my aunt (obesity is rampant on my maternal side). I learned a lot about calories, fat and how to read labels. I lost some weight and got attention from more boys and my parents kept telling me how good I looked. Once I went to college, I began to work out and focus on my food more. I lost more weight, and got a steady BF and lots of positive attention. By grad school and living in my own apartment- I was gone. I would work out daily, walk everywhere, and eat very little. My parents were in denial I guess, because they did not say anything to me until my mother saw me without a shirt when I was trying on wedding dresses. I had fine hair on my back, all my ribs were showing and I looked like a skeleton.
Causes? I think it was a combo of depression and anxiety (which I still struggle with), type A personality, parents who viewed being thin with success, positive attention from guys, and now it's def a need for control in my otherwise chaotic life.
 
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Thatonetallguy responded:
Well I have always struggled with my weight. I hated it. I never dated in high school since I thought I was too fat and no girl would want me-especially since they never approach me(yes, I'm a guy). I also came from a background that made me very introverted around girls, and I was very uncomfortable trying to approach them. The fact that my best friend is really tall like me, and naturally skinny doesn't help.

The summer after my freshmen year of college, I was 305 pounds, keep in mind that I'm a good 6'7", but I still hated it. I began exercising everyday by walking and some weights. I didn't really know how to diet so I just starved myself, with the occasional binge (always followed by a 2 day fast). My parents were very supportive of my weight loss and I feel a great sense of control once I saw the results.

Once I returned to college I had dropped 40 pounds in a little under two months. I started going to the rec center to jog and lift weights every day but as soon as it got too cold to walk there I stopped going and had a brief return to normalcy. I began sweating about gaining weight, and sure enough I had put back on 5 or 10 pounds. I freaked and went back to the old routine, working out every day without fail and eating very little. It had gotten out of hand fast. I force myself to eat a decent breakfast in the morning, but after breakfast I can never eat anything else for the rest of the day, I just can't keep it down. I've dropped 70 pounds since the summer, but I don't seem satisfied.
 
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Lainey_WebMD_Staff replied to kathycornflakes's response:
Hi Kathy,

Thank you! Our discussions educate me too.
 
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Lainey_WebMD_Staff replied to Thatonetallguy's response:
Hi Thatonetallguy,

Welcome to our community! When you say "don't seem satisfied" do you mean, about your weight loss?
 
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emstoy09 responded:
I think the main reason my ED began was an emotional struggle with feeling completely alone and suddenly not in control when I started college. It actually wasn't really about how I looked at all. (Honestly, I have never felt like I was pretty at any size I've been.) My ED was a way to gain back some control over something while at the same time sort of building up a shield to protect myself from a world that I was scared of and didn't really feel a part of. My ED was (and still is) a way to sort of "numb" myself from my emotions.
Just when the caterpillar thought the world would end . . .
 
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Lainey_WebMD_Staff replied to emstoy09's response:
Hi Emstoy09,

I hope that you see all the great positives in your life too. You are a warm caring person.
 
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LadyOftheLake73 responded:
I think I was disordered since I was quite small. I grew up in a highly abusive home, where physical and emotional abuse was normal (literally normal, I had no idea that other people' lives were different until much later in life).

I remember having issues with food as young as three or four years old? Binging on cookies, or christmas dainties till I was sick, as food was highly controlled in our house... so I would sneak food. Nutritionally, looking back, my parents were awful as well, as the nutritional value was not very good in the food we did eat.

AS a young adult I often used fasting to lose five to ten lbs. To me, all women did tha, or so I thought.

Then, after my children were born, I had gained a lot of weight, and felt terrible about myself.... it was really only an extension as I already had low self esteem due to childhood abuse, and the molestation by a bf at 17. When my daughter turned four, (I was 28) I was quite ill. In two weeks I lost 20 lbs due to vomiting and diahrhea. AS a result of the illness I had some rebound constipation, and landed up taking laxatives. Well a loss of another 5 lbs in a day triggered me... I was still big, but I was losing and I didn't want to stop. I used laxatives for about a year when I found webmd, and discovered that what I was doing was an eating disorder. I had no clue till then...

I spent likley four to five years in serious disorder. I went into remission, but still struggle with it often, but no longer use lax or diet pills, and don't have the huge binge starve cycles.

Why do I have an ED? I was the pretty child. My mother didn't really love me, but loved the attention she got when I was out with her. I am smart, but that never seemed to get me anywhere in life, but my looks, oh yes. I had zero self esteem, and the weight gain after children was just too much for me. Add onto this the fact that I was never taught a healthy attitude towards food, a loss of control (going from a vital working / school woman to a sahm!) and you have the perfect making of an eating disorder.
 
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Lainey_WebMD_Staff replied to LadyOftheLake73's response:
Hi LadyOftheLake73,

You seem to have a good understanding of your condition. I agree that many children are not educated in healthy eating and so glad WebMD is trying to help children understand.
 
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jms53 replied to Lainey_WebMD_Staff's response:
My ed started about 2 years ago. I really just started to exercise and watch what I eat. But during that time I was diagnosed with asthma and put on a steroid. I also lost both of my parents, moved away from my kids and grandkids and started a new job. I think it was the perfect storm. My therapist tells me it is unusual to become anorexic at my age (53) but is working hard to turn me around. I am now 92 pounds at 5'6". I don't feel things are turning around but hopefully soon.
 
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Lainey_WebMD_Staff replied to jms53's response:
Hi Jms53,

I hope your doctor can help you too. Please feel free to come here and vent or share anything you want.
 
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sadiexadele responded:
About a year ago, my boyfriend broke up with me and kicked me out of our apartment (I didn't know that he had requested to only have his name on the lease). About a week afterwards, I discovered that he had actually left me for another girl, one who was much thinner than me. I was completely emotionally destroyed. I was like a zombie, I stopped going to work, I would just lay on the couch all day, crying the majority of the time. Then my sister introduced me to marijuana, which helped me forget how depressed I was about the breakup, and I was using every day, usually three times a day. It also helped me pack on 25 pounds, when I was already overweight to begin with. After two months, my boyfriend wanted me back and I decided to give him another chance. But with that came the terrifying thought of losing him again. I decided that I had to be thin like the girl he left me for, so he would never leave me for another girl again. I started starving myself, but it would always end with binges. After an exceptionally bad binge, I decided to try to make myself throw up. That lead to purging every day, everything I ate. Then I discovered laxatives, and started taking them every night before bed. Now, a year later, I've lost 60 pounds, I purge everything I eat and take 6-10 laxatives per night before bed, still in pursuit of perfection, my idea of perfection, which is the girl he left me for. To me, she is and always will be better than me. So I feel like I will never be satisfied, because I will never be her.
 
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Bunnychic replied to Thatonetallguy's response:
I gained 20 pounds from my 6th-7th grade year, and my best friend who I absolutely admired was 72 (or 92, I dont remember but she was underweight) while I was 106 I started noticing fat, skipped breakfast in the morning, and gave away my lunch money, I skipped lunch ALOT so she didnt notice till I started going to the cafeteria with her. Then my grandparents wanted to kick me out of the house, and I would occasionally skip dinner to avoid them but I never could go more than 24 hours without food. My friend didn't start caring till 8th grade because 7th grade she was busy trying to change my mind about suicide, in honesty I was never fat. Chubby when I was small, a little chunky in 7th grade but never fat.
 
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sarahashley1211 responded:
My eating disorder started about 7 years ago when my friend and I wanted to "help each other become beautiful". I was struggling with self-harm and anxiety due to family problems and being bullied. My friend had parents that didn't pay attention to her and she came from a wealthy family. She would buy me pills and I'd give her tips and tricks. We taught each other everything we knew about losing weight. Soon things got way out of control. It became a battle to see who would be thinner. She was winning and out of jealousy I exposed her. While she went off to get help I've remained alone and struggling. It has helped me cope but has also destroyed my life....While I want to stop, I don't at the same time. I need help.
 
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Lizzybeth responded:
I am fifteen years old. My ED started the beginning of this year. I have always been skinny but I am tall. I saw my weight and I hated it. People always said "You're the perfect size" while they were complaining how "fat" they were. In my eyes these people weren't fat. If they weighed less than me and considered themselves fat, then what was it? I began to see myself as overweight and I tried to control my weight by eating less. I eat alot of food everyday and I felt like a pig for doing it. I tried eating less but it only made me more hungry and eat even more. So i started purging. It soon became a unhealthy need. I lost weight when I purged so I stuck with it. After about month of doing it i started to gain weight. It scared me so i would do it even more frequently... I soon felt extremely nauseous with everything I ate but I couldn't stop. I am an incredibly competitve person so i dared myself to stop for three months. I did it. But not only that but I have become mostly free from it. I don't purge anymore but i always have to watch what i eat and the reason that I could possible be eating. Now that I look at my ED i realize that i seriously wanted to control myself. I wanted people to accept me and I felt the only way i could control this was to control my weight... The reason I am free now is God. It's okay if others don't agree... but this is my story.


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