I'm new here. I'll try not to make this too long. In 2010 I weighed 250 pounds and was obsessed with food. I ate from the time I woke up in the morning to the time I went to sleep, and sometines in my sleep. All I thought about was the next time I got to eat. I decided to lose weight. My goal was to be 150. I bought an eliptical machine and started using it every day and ate 1200 calories a day. I ended up losing 100 pounds in one year. I got down to 150 pounds and decided to make it 140 pounds. Once I hit 140 pounds, I decided maybe 135. I upped my calories to 1800 pounds to slow down the process and lose .5 pounds a week because people were complaining about me losing weight too fast. I am now 131 pounds, by no means am I under weight. The doctor said for my height anywhere between 120 and 140 is fine. The problem is, losing weight isn't actually about being thin for me. I love dieting. I love being very restrictive with myself.
The self-discipline of eating right and making sure I exercise 45 minutes 6-7 days a week makes me feel in control. I went to the doctor 3 weeks ago and they weighed me in the middle of the day, after I had eaten and with my shoes on. They said I weighed 138 pounds, which really upset me because I don't weigh that much. So I had a follow up appointment 3 weeks later at 8 am and I didn't eat breakfast and wore very lightweight clothes and sandals so I would be my actual weight. When the nurse said I weighed 131 and said I had lost 7 pounds I explained to her about the clothes weighing more last time and I only lost 2 pounds, she still looked at me funny. I know I am not allowed to go lower than 120 pounds. But that is only 11 pounds away and I am terrified of what I will do when I hit that number. If I can't diet and see the scale go down I am afraid I will have nothing to focus on and will lose control.
Losing weight has been my life for almost 1 1/2 years. I know it still takes work to maintain weight loss, but it isn't the same.
So I guess my question is, can you have an eating disorder if it isn't actually about being thin? I am not an attractive person so its not like I think I'll be suddenly attractive when I am thin, its just about being in control.
While it's not a traditional anorexia or bulimia,any kind of obsessive actions towards eating, dieting, or similar things is a disorder, and you need to seek some kind of medial treatment. What you've described is really like an addiction - you want something really bad, and will do anything to keep doing it, even if it's not good and you know it's not good, and when you stop, you feel so sick or crappy that you have to keep doing it. That's an addictive process. And often, one of the cardinal "signs" of an ED is the want and feeling of control. That regardless of everything else that may be falling apart, they are in control of one thing - how they eat or what they do to their bodies, and that even if they do harmful things, the fear of losing control is stronger. This obsession for control is not normal or healthy, and the fact that you don't want to stop because you're afraid to lose control is a very strong indicator that you have an illness and you need to seek help. Talk with your doctor, ask for a referral to a psychotherapist and start to work on learning how to take care of yourself without hurting yourself.
Good luck with this all! It's really great that you're asking for help already, so keep it up!
For a lot of people, an eating disorder IS about control, or compulsive behavior, rather than about being skinnier than a Calvin Klein model, and it sounds like that might be the case for you. I would consider seeking help.