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Am I bulimic?

In the past I have made myself throw up. I would tell myself my stomach hurt, which it did, but I was also really insecure about my weight as I still am. I’m 128 pounds and 18 which is not much but to me it feels like it. So I panic whenever someone tries to pick me up or comments on my weight. One time I stuck my finger down my throat and my jaw hurt for a couple days and I felt the need to puke a lot. I haven’t done it since but every time I feeel bad about myself I feel the need to. I just resist it. Am I bulimic? I haven’t done it a lot. Less than ten times.
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Avatar universal
Bulimia is the result of thinking a certain way.  You are thinking that way, so whether or not you have a certain label or not isn't the problem, the problem is the problem, if you get my drift.  It might not be a bad idea to see a therapist to find out if you can stop thinking in such an insecure way.  Whether or not your current weight is the right weight for you depends on your height, but most of us can tell by looking into a mirror if our bellies are sticking out too much, or if our clothes don't fit anymore.  I mean, if you're 4'11" and not muscular, that might be too much weight, but throwing up won't fix it in a healthy way.  Obsessing over it won't do that, either.  If you are overweight, and I have no idea if you are or not, you either choose to alter your diet and exercise more or you don't but you don't obsess over it and take it as a sign of your self-worth.  If you're doing the latter, that's your bigger problem, and one that you ought to consider addressing.
Helpful - 0
Thank you. I don’t like telling people about this that why I did it this way. I’m 5’4 and everyone tells me I’m skinny. I just don’t feel that way because my whole family is extremely skinny and I grew up hearing I was fat
You're neither fat nor skinny at that height and weight, and you say you know that.  Being extremely skinny isn't a great thing necessarily either.  But let me tell you a story that illustrates what we mean here.  I was very much in love with a woman way back when I was in college who was 5'5 and a half and weight about 100 pounds.  Skinny, right?  Basically, she didn't really like eating very much so she didn't.  No bulemia, no anorexia.  She was very confident, graduated phi beta kappa, went to business school and law school, got married, had kids, has grown old and rich, and has had a great life.  Probably still skinny.  It just didn't bother her any, it was how she was.  When I say the problem is the problem, it's that this bothers you to the point you have forced yourself to throw up a few times.  Not a path you want to continue going down.  
973741 tn?1342342773
He, I'm sorry you are feeling this way.  So, I've not been exactly in your shoes but have had my own battles with how I see myself and my body.  Body dysmorphic disorder is when you don't really see yourself as you are and also have unrealistic expectations for yourself.  I never made myself throw up but I definitely would binge and then starve.  I went through a period in which I ate virtually nothing and exercised three hours a day.  Yikes.  Finally, I went to the doctor because I was fatigued and he made it clear I wasn't getting enough calories.  Having kids and getting older really gave me a new perspective.

What really helps or at least it did me was shifting mindset from end result to process.  Lifestyle choices and not just being skinny.  Just like at school.  When you have a really hard class in a subject you struggle with, if you say "I have to get an A" and take short cuts, it probably won't happen.  But if you make good decisions throughout and prepare, study and do your best, you will likely feel good with the end result even if it is a B and not an A.  The process is important and that is within your control.  The end result isn't always.

One time putting a finger down your throat doesn't make you bulimic but if you are constantly hyper focusing on your weight and trying to control it through drastic means, then you are headed down a difficult path.  So, switch it.  Focus on process.   Exercise several days a week (nothing crazy like the 3 hours I did), eat healthy. get rest.  

Tell us more and we'll try to help!
Helpful - 0
I am very very insecure. If I go over 130 I get super self conscious. I think this all started because of how my family is. My whole family are like absolute twigs. And even they call themselves fat. So growing up with that was like “if they are fat, what am I?” My cousins would joke with me about it and that’s when I really started to hate my body, my stretch marks, all of it. For my prom I had a two piece prom dress and my dad made a joke saying “your gut is hanging out” and I felt horrible and ended up hating the dress. And then I wanted subway for dinner and asked him if he’d grab me one for lunch the next day and he said to be careful I didn’t get fat. I have never talked about how I feel about my weight with anyone because I don’t want people to worry but it really stresses me out. I do go to therapy but I’ve never talked about that
No point of being in therapy if you don't talk about what got you to where you are now, right?  Now, eating Subway isn't the greatest way to eat if it's something you do a lot, so your Dad had a health point, but weight is a very individual thing -- some people can eat all day and not gain a pound and others have to be very careful.  A lot depends on how much you move in your day -- not only exercise but also just plain movement, such as walking to places or riding a bike instead of driving everywhere you go.  It makes a big difference.  But at some point we all have to be who we are, not who others think we should be, unless you're a serial killer or something.  Being skinny can be a good thing because research does show some support for that in regards to living longer, but it's not a good thing if you're getting there by not eating enough to get the nutrients you need to be healthy.  Being overweight isn't as unhealthy as is advertised, in regards to length of life, but it does have a lot to do with how healthy you are and well you feel while you are alive.  Notice I'm emphasizing health here, not looks.  Being thin is better than being fat because of health reasons, but it doesn't guarantee happiness or that a bridge won't fall on you tomorrow, right?  That's just luck and personality.  So if you're in therapy, work on what is actually bothering you.  Listening to others is really helpful in getting a different perspective, but not to the point of letting them define you and how happy you are.  
By the way, when you look at yourself in the mirror, what do you see?  Do possible sexual partners find you attractive?  There's a bit of toxicity in your family, it sounds like, but there are other ways of seeing yourself.
Sometimes I feel okay about how I look. Other times I feel terrible and just cry. I just had my senior pictures taken and my mom wants to use this very specific one but I hate it because I look fat but I can’t tell her that. I’ve never had a boyfriend or even kissed anyone because of other anxiety and trust issues, some relating to my appearance. But I have had people say I’m a attractive which definitely boosts my confidence a bit but it never lasts. I’m just scared that if I tell my therapist she will tell my mom and my family will think I just want attention. My cousin was suicidal earlier this year and my family just said she wanted attention. And if I say anything about my weight people call me stupid.
Doesn't matter if you've had a boyfriend, that will come when you're ready, but if guys are paying attention to you and you know if they are then that's just an objective test for you.  It appears they are looking at you in ways that suggest you have no reason to be crying about this.  Think of it this way -- if you're overweight a bit looking when you see yourself, it could be because you're comparing yourself, say, to more athletic women.  That's a toning problem, handled through exercise -- not overdoing it as Mom says -- but it isn't something that causes people without insecurity and anxiety issues to cry about it.  Either you do something about that or you don't.  But you've told us your height and weight, and you're not fat.  If you want to be more toned, you can do that with resistance training and cardio -- again, because you're not obese, that would be toning, not extreme dieting.  But as Mom has so well said, if you've even tried to throw up once because of a weight fear, that's an insecurity issue and one you should be able to fix by recognizing it and working it out with your therapist.  All the best.  
Thank you. I don’t understand why I feel this way. Whenever anyone else says they’re fat I tell them to stop because weight doesn’t matter but then I look at myself and think it does. It’s just really confusing
So I just got done with my therapist. I was panicking the whole time about mentioning it. She doesn’t think I’m bulimic. She wants me to start writing down everything I eat because I guess sometimes that helps but she wants to see me more so we can work this out together
973741 tn?1342342773
You know, perhaps your family is part of it but eating disorders also just happen.  It's a mental health issue or it can be.  I was borderline.  Not something I sought treatment for as life eventually just ironed it out.  It is NOT normal to make yourself throw up after eating. That's not good for you in any way and takes its toll eventually. Even on things like your teeth.  Being encouraged to watch your weight though is not a bad thing in my opinion.  We all need to eat healthy and exercise.  If you are doing those things and are not a twig that is fine.  If you are eating taco bell 5 times a week while watching tv, not so great.  We all have a natural body type.  We can't do much about that and yours may not be the thin frame your family has but you also have to focus on a healthy lifestyle.  That means, not making yourself throw up, not starving yourself, not trying to exercise at times like you are training for the Olympics, making good overall food choices, Moderately exercising often, getting rest, etc.

So with all that said, I'm not really sure where you fall into things.  I've had anxiety about weight especially in my youth. I've stressed and used food in the wrong way to either control my life (anorexia is a lot about control when you don't feel like you have control elsewhere) or to comfort myself. I'm thrilled and happy you are seeing a therapist.  Please DO talk to them about this subject and get some feedback from the professional working with you.  Let us know how it goes!
Helpful - 0
I have my next session this week so I will try to talk with her about this. Thank you
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