"I’m 16 now, but I think I started having a problem when I was 12. I became very worried about my weight and my body. I had put on a bit of weight and was very upset when a boy in my class called me fat. I remember feeling that even if I was doing very well in school, things weren’t quite right and I wasn’t quite good enough.
Gradually I ate less, lost masses of weight, but still believed that I was fat. Sometimes I “felt” fat and this made me feel very down. I stopped seeing most of my friends, and spent more and more time thinking about food and my body.
I was always checking the shape of my stomach and bottom – at 20 or 30 times a day, looking at them in great detail. I felt very cold at times, and found it harder and harder to find the energy to do things as I was eating less and less.
I also weighed myself at least 5 times a day, and if my weight had not gone down, I checked my stomach, and tried dieting even more. Sometimes I binged on cakes and chocolate. I felt very guilty afterwards and would usually be sick so that I could get rid of the food and loose some weight. It felt as if I was going round and round in circles, with no means of escape.
One of my teachers noticed that I wasn’t eating lunch and that I had become thin (or at least she thought I had). She spoke to my parents and I was taken to a clinic.
At first I didn’t want to know and I didn’t want to be helped. However, I started a treatment called Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). I learned to look at the links between my thoughts, feelings and behaviour, but more importantly, I learned that I could eat regularly - without putting on weight.
Gradually I put on some weight and worked on my checking and weighing behaviour. It wasn’t easy to get better. I slowly started to eat the foods that I used avoid. Sometimes I still find myself thinking the way I used to, but now I know I that this is only one way of thinking, one way of being, and most of the time to chose not to do this.
I love going out clubbing with my friends now and I don’t argue quite so much with my parents, well at least not about food anyway."