Annie Fox for Teens... Hey, Terra!

Annie (AKA Hey Terra!) has been around long enough to have experienced a lot of what Life can dish out. But, it hasn’t been so long that she's forgotten what it's like to be your age. Check out some of the thousands of email questions teens from around the world have sent to Terra. You may learn something useful from her answers:

Dieting and Eating Disorders:
“My mom said I'm fat, now I'm Bulimic.”

Hey Terra,

I'm 5'5" and 117 lbs. My mom kept telling me that I'm fat and look like I lost my virginity because my hips are getting big. I am a very sensitive person so I took the comment seriously. I started going on diets, but nothing worked. I do admit that I went from 105 to 117 lbs since the past year. I really feel ashamed every time I eat. I started Bingeing and Purging. I think I am a Bulimic. I get very nervous and eat everything in sight. Then regret it Throw-up afterwards. What started out as trying to loose 10 lbs became a obsession with food. I think I lost control of my eating habits what should I do?

Please help,

Slowly dying

Dear Slowly dying,

A positive self-image and a healthy relationship with your body has NOTHING to do with a number on the bathroom scale and everything to do with how you feel about who you are inside.

It sounds like you have an eating disorder. As you know, eating disorders can kill. They can also be overcome, with help. You need help and you need it now! Here are your choices:

1) Talk to your mother if you can. Be very honest about the fact that you've been bingeing and purging. Tell her that you want to go to the doctor, who can give you a referral to a therapist who specializes in eating disorders. If you can't talk to your mom or she doesn't talk this seriously, then:

2) Talk to your school counselor. (S)he can help.

3) Use the Internet as a resource. You're first stop should be www.nationaleatingdisorders.org. That's the web site for NEDA - National Eating Disorders Association. This nonprofit group has a wealth of information for people like you who need help.

Also, check out this section on The InSite on Eating Disorders.

You should also check out these very personal "Been There" stories about three young women just like you (Barbara, Vanessa, and Stephanie).

Please get the help you need to regain your health and happiness. I wish you well.

In friendship,

Terra


Need some advice? Write to Terra. She'll give you a straight answer you can trust without any lectures.


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