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Old 05-13-2006, 05:39 PM   #1
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Can overweight people be anorexic?

I have a friend who is overweight and she recently joined weight watchers. She has lost 18 pounds in two and a half weeks and is eating a rice cake a day.

For the past 3 days she has been eating more at my request but says it makes her vomit. I am wondering if she is not just making herself sick on purpose.

I feel like she is developing anorexia...but I am wondering if that is true because she is overweight....

Any thoughts would be appreciated

 
Old 05-13-2006, 06:50 PM   #2
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Wink Re: Can overweight people be anorexic?

yes an overweight person can be either anorexic or bulimic i am myself and i havent got help but i have other problems as well which is really no exscuse but she just might be but dont gripe at her or lecture you need to be there for her and talk to her let her know your their and dont tell her shes not fat because likely wether she is or not its going to make her angry like one of the ladies on this site told me its the way you eat thats the disorder not your weight so watch out for her and try to help her and try to get her to get help
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Old 05-14-2006, 06:27 AM   #3
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Re: Can overweight people be anorexic?

Eating disorders are much more about behaviors than weight. Your friend appears to be on her way to a very big problem. Although she may not fit the criteria for "anorexic," the label is not important anyway. Talk to her, encourage her to get help now, because the longer the behaviors go on the more entrenched they become and the harder to get rid of they are.

 
Old 05-15-2006, 08:48 AM   #4
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Re: Can overweight people be anorexic?

blue sunday, the others have basically answered your question but i wanted to point out one MAJOR health problem that your friend is definitely at risk for. (oh and yes, i think it does sound like she's well on her way to anorexia with purging tendencies. she needs to talk to a therapist (or at the very least, someone involved in the weight watchers program) about her habits immediately.) anyway, PLEASE inform your friend that by A) eating only a rice cake a day and B) losing that much weight that quickly and C) purging food, she has put herself in EXTREME risk of having a heart attack. she won't believe you, first of all, but have her look up some information on it, okay? it does NOT matter how much a person weighs; when you starve your body SO severely and force it to start losing weight so quickly, it puts major stress on the heart and heart attacks can happen very easily (especially if she's doing any exercising). anyway, she's setting herself up for LOADS of other problems as well, but i wanted to notify you of that really severe and instant one, so you can tell her. please encourage her to get help. the way this seems to be going, it's only gonna get worse and she'll only get more and more miserable, no matter how much weight she loses. good luck.

 
Old 05-15-2006, 12:43 PM   #5
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Re: Can overweight people be anorexic?

Thank you all very much for your help. I guess that leads to a new question. I have tried to talk to her, especially about the heart attack part. She says that she realizes that she shouldnt be eating like she is, but once she gets down about 30 more pounds she will stop. For her 30 pounds is realistic, she will be within her weight watchers range......

My questions are though, is there any way to "force" her to get help, because it is becoming very apparent that she will not do it for herself. She refuses to talk to the weight watchers people because she says they will kick her off the program. She is not using the program anyway, other than to check the scales and have a basis for the one thing she can eat is any way. The point is that it is clear that she intends to keep this up no matter what.

Also, if she does talk to someone, will they be able to do anything about it, because as I said, she seems determined to keep it up. I am worried that her just speaking with someone will only help her understand what she is doing, not stop her from doing it...

Thank you all so much again

 
Old 05-15-2006, 03:00 PM   #6
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Re: Can overweight people be anorexic?

well, you hit on one of the most unfortunate parts of eating disorders with that last post -- until the person practicing the disordered behavior actually wants to change, they won't and there's not much you can do short of hospitalization and forced-feeding (and i think only parents of teens, etc. can do that.)

you just gotta keep talking to her. she needs to realize that this behavior WILL NOT STOP after 30 pounds more weight loss. it just won't, that's the way the disorders work. she can argue till she's blue in the face but tell her to research anorexia. there isn't ONE anorexic EVER in the history of the disorder who reached their "goal" weight and was able to then "stop" being anorexic and start eating and living normally. it just doesn't happen! you can never be skinny enough, you know? and once you ARE "skinny enough," you sure as he** can't go back to eating "normally" because then you'll gain weight! and so, the disordered behaviour and eating continues. Plus, she probably won't be able to lose that 30 pounds because she is absolutely KILLING her metabolism by this constant starvation. eventually she won't be able to lose weight as efficiently because her body will HANG ON to each and every mini calorie it can. and if she DOES in fact lose the 30, she won't be able to eat anywhere NEAR normally because she'll have such a terribly SLOW metabolism that any minor increases in calories (and i'm talking minor, like 500 would probably do it given what she's been eating) will cause her weight to shoot up initially. and before her body has a chance to readjust and before her metabolism can speed up correspondingly and get closer to a healthy rate, she will start STARVING herself again to lose that weight. see where i'm going? back to square one, rice cake a day. it's a TERRIBLE cycle and a horrible way to live and you are a GOOD friend for worrying so much and caring and wanting to help her.

get her on these boards if you can. if she says she doesn't have an "eating disorder," tell her to just write what's going on and what she's eating and if she truly isn't "disordered," people who REALLY have the disorders can assess that. we're a pretty reliable source of real-life "eating disorders," you know? print this out and make her read it. or just repeat all that stuff i said. this is so horrible and it makes me feel really sad for her cuz i KNOW how it starts and how all of the sudden IT is in control and you are not. and you don't know where it came from or how to escape. keep talking to her and don't back down. she is SERIOUSLY hurting herself with what she's doing and i'm worried for her health, honestly. that level of "intake" (calories you eat) is automatic hospitalization, i think. she's gotta eat more. try to get her to understand that she NEEDS help, that she needs to (at the very least) get on these boards and talk anonomously about it. good luck and keep us updated.

Last edited by Jonistyle4; 05-15-2006 at 03:02 PM.

 
Old 05-16-2006, 10:39 AM   #7
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Re: Can overweight people be anorexic?

Thank you so much, I will try to do that. I really do appreciate all your help!

 
Old 05-16-2006, 09:03 PM   #8
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Re: Can overweight people be anorexic?

Ok, I am the one you are all talking about. I am here to try to get my friend to stop worrying. I am fine, I understand that the way that I am trying to lose weight is not very healthy, but I am making the conscious decision to do it this way anyway because I need to lose it, and nothing else really works.

Once I get my weight down, I will not have any problem stopping. I already want to eat normal food. Im sick of being hungry.

So there you go, I appreciate all the effort, but i am really fine.

 
Old 05-16-2006, 09:50 PM   #9
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Re: Can overweight people be anorexic?

Hi,

Just wanted to let you know that that is exactly the way I (and probably almost everyone else with an eating disorder) started out. I had just planned on losing down to a certain weight and would be fine after that and get back to "normal eating". But guess what? Once you reach that weight, you say "well, I could lose just a little more", so you keep going, and before you even realize it, you are drowning in an eating disorder. It takes over your life without you knowing it.

Now you can ignore or deny what I'm saying, and think "I know that will NEVER happen to me", but you'll find out I'm right if you keep this up. My best friend tried telling me the same thing and I wouldn't listen to her, I just kept saying "I'm fine, I know what I'm doing". Man, I just wish I could go back and take her "words of wisdom" to heart before I got in so deep. I hope you take this seriously, losing weight is NOT worth risking your life for!!

 
Old 05-17-2006, 07:54 AM   #10
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Re: Can overweight people be anorexic?

megermoo,

i'm glad you came on. i hope we can change your mind, but i'm not sure if we'll be able to. i realize that you understand that what you're doing is extremely unhealthy and that you don't want to continue it indefinitely. (in other words, i'm not in any way viewing you as someone who thinks eating this little is "okay," do you know what i mean?) but there are some REALLY important issues that i want to talk over with you and make sure you at least understand the consequences, okay?

1) the heart attack: yes, it CAN happen and it's likely with a starvation diet and rapid weight loss. call a nurse anonoumously and ask if you'd like confirmation on that. you are putting INCREDIBLE stress on your heart by doing this (and that has nothing to do with not planning on this diet long-term. you are at risk of this NOW.)

2) metabolism: this is the biggest one and the point i REALLY hope you can grasp. do you understand how your metabolism works? when you eat frequently (but don't overeat) and exercise, it goes faster, which means that your body burns calories more efficiently. obviously, this makes weight loss/maintenance easier, you know? HOWEVER, by undereating, your metabolism slows down. your body begins to move and work slower (ie: burn less calories) because it needs to be able to get by on less "fuel." so even though you're eating less, you're also burning less off, so weight loss happens slower. and this happens to people who drop their calories to 1200 (or even more sometimes). so that 30 pounds will come off slower and slower and your body works less and less to basically save itself. now, what you're doing is an EXTREME starvation diet. when you put your body into starvation mode (which happens with hundreds more calories than you're taking in, by the way), your metabolism goes as slow as humanly possible (burning off as few calories as it possibly can to keep you alive). obviously, this SUCKS for weight loss for numerous reasons. one, it is VERY hard to lose weight if you aren't actually burning anything off, right? if your body is desperately hanging onto every calorie you give it.

and two (this is the big one), when you reach your "goal weight," your metabolism is DEADLY slow. so then what? you plan on eating more then, right? well i can tell you that you will begin to pack weight on IMMEDIATELY because you're functioning with a horribly slow metabolism. and i'm talking rapid weight gain eating 500-1000 calories a day here. you wanna jump to a normal, healthier level of calories? you'll gain weight so quickly you won't believe it. PLEASE just trust me on this and will all the other recovering anorexics back me up here? EVERY girl overcoming anorexia (which i'm not saying you have, but your eating habits ARE those of an extreme, should-be-hospitalized anorexic right now) has to deal with this instant and rapid weight gain when they start eating again. and it SUCKS. your metabolism speeds up gradually, but you gain a LOT of weight initially. for anorexics, this is horrible to deal with mentally, but fine on the grander scale cuz they NEED to gain that weight. but what do you think you'll do when you gain 5 pounds in the week after you reach your "goal weight?" seriously, what is your plan??? you gonna keep eating normally and accept that the weight will keep packing back on until your metabolism speeds up (which could take about a month, maybe more)? i highly doubt that.

3) this is something you probably won't believe (cuz no eating disordered person actually thinks at the beginning that they will get to that point), but i'll say it breifly anyway. merely by starving yourself (ie: mimicking the behavior of anorexia without the emotional/mental component) you can DEVELOP an eating disorder with ALL the mental/behavioral/emotional components. there was a study done post WWII to determine the best way of "refeeding" people from concentration camps so they could get them healthy without overwhelming their bodies. basically (unethical, yes) they starved otherwise healthy men to see how they could best "refeed" them. the big result, however, was that ALL of the men developed the "traits" of anorexia -- obsession with body image, desire to maintain their new underweight weights, obsession with food and recipes, odd eating habits, etc. PLEASE look into this study and try to believe it, because it makes me worry that (if you aren't already disordered in your thinking, which i fear you might be), you will very soon develop the disorder. and keep in mind, anorexics don't HATE food and dam* near every one of us has said this at one time or another: "Once I get my weight down, I will not have any problem stopping. I already want to eat normal food. Im sick of being hungry." We want to eat too, but it ain't about food: it's about CONTROL and the disordered behavior and mindset controlling your life. and i can guarantee you from experience and research that you will NOT be the one case who can "break" the control as easy as 1-2-3.

THAT is why i worry for you. starvation causes a TERRIBLE cycle of restrict-eat normally-gain weight rapidly-freak out-restrict again. there is no way to avoid it (unless of course you just BREAK the cycle, accept that you'll gain weight initially and then figure out how to lose it healthily). you should really read through a lot of the posts on the weight loss board of these boards, cuz there's a lot of info about this on there.

and finally, WHY??? why do you need to do this so, and i'm not trying to be cruel, STUPIDLY? do you honestly, deep-down think that 3 months of starvation is gonna make you get skinny so then you can eat normally and be "happy?" since when has that EVER worked for anyone? i'm 100% serious here. you show me ONE person for whom this has worked who HASN'T developed anorexia and i'll back off. it DOESN'T work, okay? you aren't the "special case" for which starvation is the key to life-long weight loss and maintanence? please stop killing yourself, go to a doctor to make sure your health is okay and get a HEALTHY weight loss plan. you're setting yourself up for a life of misery if you don't. good luck and PLEASE post back your opinions, okay?

 
Old 05-17-2006, 03:44 PM   #11
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Re: Can overweight people be anorexic?

I am 170-75 pounds (I do not weigh myself often) and I have been bulimic for about 3 years now. I have slowly stopped because 1) My parents found out 2) my teeth started to decay,3) I became dizzy through school, 4) I wasnt losing as much weight as i thought i would, 5) I had severe ulsers 6) my breath smelt, 7) I got cankers from the acid in my mouth 8) it was very messy 9) my heart was beating irregular and 10) the biggest reason of all..i couldnt fit anything lengthy enough down my throat after my fist started to become a challenge to get any food out.
When i started being bulimic, I had NO IDEA what problems I would encounter. I weighed about 180, [and as you can tell i gained almost all of it back when i stopped doing it (or slowed down anyway)] and it seemed like I lost so much weight..but the only thing that was getting smaller was the size of my stomach...because there was little to no food in my stomach ever, it looked so small..so everyone around me kept saying "oh you look so good brittany" "Youve lost so much weight" etc. But in reality, I only lost control of my life. I still havent been able to fully stop what I am doing. This christmas was about the time i started to slow down because my parents found out, and i didnt like it when other people know my secrets, but honestly, sometimes i still binge and go and throw it up. It is addictive, and so is annorexia. I can tell you right now i am the most stubborn person alive, but if someone had told me what would have happened to me if i were to make myself puke or starve myself, i would do everything in my power to avoid doing it. These dissorders run your life. They dont only control your physical aspect of life, they control your emotinoal aspect aswell. If i ever over ate , untill i threw up, i would be in the worst mood you could ever imagine. I have basically torn my family apart with my dissorder. I have just started to eat less, and try to do more with my body. I only hope you can take some advice from everyone on here who has wrote in regards to your eating issues, and learn from it, and please know there are better ways to lose weight...for starters, don't watch t.v with all those fake skinny celebrities who get air brushed so they look like a twig, and try not to read magazines because they are so superficial!!!...and if you want to lose weight...you have to do it for yourself, not anyone else...and not the wrong way..you will never get fullfillment by starving yourself, but if you lose weight the right way, in the end you will feel amazing about yourself. Ask your friend who has been writing on your behalf if she would be interested in going for a run with you every other night or something, someone to keep you motivated..or as your parents to start buying healthier food. Just try anything to keep yourself from entering this trap. Trust me, there are ways out..Good Luck

 
Old 05-18-2006, 07:30 AM   #12
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Re:

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Last edited by lisamarie119; 05-20-2006 at 04:19 PM.

 
Old 05-19-2006, 11:23 AM   #13
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Re: Can overweight people be anorexic?

I really do appreciate you all trying to help my friend. She read all of this but it is hard for her to reply personally so I am doing it for her (she doesnt have a computer).

Unfortunatly however I dont know how much this has all helped her. I think she is taking all of the advice into account but maybe too literally. She has decided to eat at just below her allowed points at least one day a week and at most 2 days, but the rest she will keep not eating. I think i would prefer this to her just not eating period, but I dont know, is this just as bad???

However, I really am overwhelmed at how helpful and caring you all are, honestly you are all wonderfull. Thank you all for sharing your experiences and knowledge with us. I hope it will help to encourage her or at least scare her. I dont know for sure that it will, but if that doesnt do it, I dont think anything will

Thanks again for both of us.

 
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