Gut feeling something is wrong

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Q. Hi im 16 years old 5’9 130 lbs i dont know i have a gut feeling that i have something wrong but the other part of me is telling me to keep going. I am extremely uncomfortable with my body i feel like im extrememly overweight and i hate it. I want to weigh 110 i think iw ould be happy with myself. I love controlling what i eat i try to eat under 500 calories a day most of the time i stick to 150 I love losing weight i weigh myself constantly i feel that fat people dont deserve to eat and therefore i would not eat in public. I love excercising i do it almost 6 days a week. I would do anything to avoid foood and i lie abot what i eat constantly i cant help it that i need to feel in control. I dont knoww im just not sure right now i dont think anything is wrong do you agree?

A. I do not agree with your assessment of your situation that nothing is wrong. There does seem to be something wrong with the way you think about food and your body. What bothers me most about your e-mail is how “extremely uncomfortable” you are with your body and how you are abusing it as a way to feel in control. I am also concerned about your excessive exercise routine, and the fact that you severely limit your caloric intake. All of the aforementioned issues indicate that you have a distorted view of reality, are not managing your body in a healthy way and are engaging in self destructive acts. Specifically, excessive exercise and restricting food intake are two very self destructive acts. More than that, while I cannot know this for sure by reading a short e-mail, I would consider your thinking and behaviors to be characteristic of someone with an eating disorder. The behaviors you have described are often seen among individuals with an eating disorder. It seems that you are using these behaviors as a mechanism to gain control over some aspect of your life that is uncontrollable. Eating disorders are about something deeper than just wanting to be thin. The eating disorder is the external, behavioral expression of an internal struggle.

None of what you have described is normal or healthy. My recommendation is that if you continue to think this way about yourself, eat so few calories and exercise excessively, you should consider seeing a mental health professional. There is nothing wrong with wanting to be healthy and fit. But there are healthy ways to be trim and fit and there are unhealthy ways. You have chosen a very unhealthy way. The way in which you described your daily routine to stay slim has the potential to do serious harm to your body and even your mind. See a therapist to learn a more realistic way to think about your body and to discuss the possibility and treatment of an eating disorder. You should also see a nutritionist, after being evaluated by a therapist, to learn how to eat healthy and stay slim. Take care.

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 17 Jan 2007

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2007). Gut feeling something is wrong. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 2, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2007/01/17/gut-feeling-something-is-wrong/

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