How an eating disorder develops: Madi O’Dell’s story

How an eating disorder develops: Madi O’Dell’s story


Hi, my name’s Madi O’Dell. I’d
been struggling with an eating disorder for about 5 years. And
I was diagnosed on December 7, 2009. And came to here to
Children’s Hospital for treatment. I think my struggle
with an eating disorder kind of began in middle school–seventh
or eight grade. I was playing elite soccer six days a week,
training two hours a day, working really hard. And we had
a nutritionist come in and she emphasized eating healthy and
eating right for being an athlete. And so me, being kind
of perfectionistic, decided I had to be perfectly healthy when
eating and it kind of got out of hand at that point. I started
eliminating foods from my diet starting with sweets, and then
became more like chips and carbs and it just took them a little
too seriously and over-dramaticized what they were
saying and it kind of turned out bad. And so as I progressed
through middle school, I don’t know, I just wasn’t eating as
much as I should have. And a teacher kind of caught onto
that, and so I knew I was caught. I was like, “Okay, this
isn’t working if I want to continue this, I need to kind of
figure out another way to kind of handle it.” And I went into
my freshman year of high school, and that’s kind of when the
bulimic tendencies kind of took over. I had met this girl at
camp who was struggling and I kind of helped her through that,
but I think I also kind of picked up on some of her–what
she was doing. Not on purpose, but just kind of by accident.
And so that kind of started freshman year. I just got way
too stressed and way too busy and really lost the balance in
my life. And so that bulimia and eating disorder kind of took
over. And it became something that I could control because the
rest of my life was spiraling out of control. And so it was
the only thing I could rely on that I was in control of. And so
that’s when things started really getting bad. My mom
picked up on it sophomore year. She caught me in the bathroom.
And that kind of started our journey that ended me up here.
They talked to the pediatrician and they referred me to a
therapist that was locally, and I worked with her for about
three months. I started working with a nutritionist too, to kind
of plan out my meals. But I wasn’t getting anywhere. And
kind of was deceiving her and she picked up on that. And so
she recommended that I come to Children’s and get an
evaluation. And I mean, I didn’t at that point think I would ever
get hospitalized. I just thought it was getting some more
information on how they could help me or whatever. So I came
to my eval on December 7, 2009. And the Children’s staff decided
to admit me right then, that afternoon. And I stayed on the
unit for a good five weeks–seven days in 24 hour
care, and then stepping down through the program for the next
four weeks. I mean, when I got out, I still had to come back to
Children’s and work with my therapist and work with my
counselors and see my M.D., my doctor. But as time progressed
away from my initial hospitalization, the time
decreased coming back to Children’s and I grew stronger
in my own will and my own fight. And that’s where I am today.
Just promoting youth advocacy and trying to get the word out
about eating disorders and how they really can devastate lives.

53 comments / Add your comment below

  1. I need counseling , or may be someone's experience and help

    I am facing this issue from past 9-11 years approx
    When I was in my teen age and now even , it took lot of courage to accept this that it is coming again in me nearly the same as those days of past
    Stomach got filled but mind is struggling to understand even now

    Stomach hurts , most importantly whole physical appearance which i worked for , has to gone in this in 1 week , 1 week is sufficient to loose all shape of Body
    +918433215656

    My watsapp number
    Please message me Someone's
    Or anyone , need help .

    Thanks

    Day will come we can
    I will laugh on this disorder called so thing and I will say that was childishness nor disorder.

    ?
    Please reply
    Need help and want to share something?

  2. I have anorexia now and I’m scared and I don’t want to die. I’m so so scared. I’m 13 and I don’t want to die. I don’t want to hurt my boyfriend at all. I’m so terrified I’m going to die.

  3. i really think just telling an anorexic person being skinny is disgusting they want to start eating internet is reallly ruining lives making you think you need to be skinny so stop that and think the opposite way round we like thick girls keep saying that

  4. I’m really struggling with beginning phases of what seems like anorexia. One day I tried to purge for a reason that I don’t even know and ever since I feel terrible about eating and try to purge every time I eat more than 200 calories. It’s never been successful. I don’t want to lose anything and I’m so so so so scared. I’m always scared at night but in the morning I still don’t want to eat. I know I have to tell someone but I’m so scared.
    Edit: I’ve tried to purge a lot more and it’s never worked but I get closer every time

  5. If anyone reads this I have a question about my ed. Does throwing up change ur hormones. I just want an answer because of how I’m feeling

  6. I’m 14 and I’m 6 stone I’m insacure I’ve been working out and I’m going to cut calories I’m wondering how long it will take for me to get like really skinny ( not anorexic)

  7. I am a 19 year old blogger who struggles with mental health issues and has been struggling since as young as 10. These include anxiety issues, self-harm, OCD and severe anorexia which has led me in a cycle of hospitalisations and rehab most of my life. Nonetheless, I haven't given up! This blog is a self help project which my psychologist advised and it has not only been helping me but become something I love doing! I am trying to create a positive and informative community regarding mental health for both people who need to learn more and sufferers who feel lonely, giving them a chance to realise we are not alone in how we feel, no matter how lonely we feel. Please like this comment for more people to see it. Also, please check out the blog and if you like it like the FB page and share it!
    Sincerely,
    dysfunctional girl
    https://www.facebook.com/Dysfunctional-Girl-747639075591823/

  8. Just count all your daily nutrients, then compare it to the stats required for your height, age and gender, so you dont have to throw up every day 🙂 easy 🙂

  9. I’m really scared I have one, I feel like I’m to fat to have an ED but I know what I’m doing isn’t normal. I’m stuck in this cycle. Where I starve for a while, then I end up binging, and I feel so bad I’ll force myself to throw up. Or I’ll eat but it’s not a lot and like as I’m eating I just want to stop eating and I like become aware that I’m getting fatter with every bite. I don’t know I just do a lot of things that I know aren’t normal but I’m to afraid to tell anyone because i feel like they’ll just brush it off. I’m so afraid that Its going to get out of hand and I keep telling myself that I won’t let it get that far…I’ll lose the weight and then I’ll continue eating normally again and that I have control over everything but I know I’m lying to myself.

  10. I have a question? So basically, I rarely have the time in the morning to eat breakfast. So you would think, “how about lunch” I will be starving until I sit down in lunch. From there I just don’t eat lunch. So basically I am now not eating lunch or breakfast almost everyday? Is this normal? When I go home I will sometimes eat but other times again the hunger will go away or I will forget to eat. Is this a start to an eating disorder or am I being dramatic?

  11. I'm 15 and I've been struggling with bulimia for about a year now, It's just a neverending cycle and everytime it happens i just feel so shitty about myself. I've started puking up blood and i decided to tell my friend about it, she's been supporting me and even though this is only first step, i felt a lot better.

  12. I could really relate to this I’ve struggled with anorexia also used alcohol and drugs as a way to purge /make myself throw up also used laxatives as a method of purging in college

  13. I JUST WANT EVERYONE TO KNOW. NO ONE IS TOO FAT TO HAVE AN EATING DISORDER. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BE 80 POUNDS AND ON YOUR DEATH BED TO BE DIAGNOSED WITH AN EATING DISORDER. IF YOU HAVE DISORDERED THOUGHTS ABOUT FOOD, YOU PROBABLY HAVE AN EATING DISORDER. GET HELP PLEASE BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE. EATING DISORDERS CAN AND WILL KILL YOU IF IT IS NOT TREATED. MAY GOD BLESS ALL OF YOU AND STAY SAFE.

  14. I really don’t know what I have whether it’s an ED or not but I always feel the need that I have to throw up after I go out eating in public anywhere there are people around I just lose all my hunger I could not have eaten all day long and my family or friends and I will go to eat out and all of a sudden I just start feeling nauseous at just looking/smelling the food and I can just take 1 or 2 bites before feeling like throwing up I also have this thing where most of the times in the morning I’ll just wake up feeling nauseous and the smell of food just makes me gag and throw up I really need help figuring this out. If anyone has sorta an idea of what I have can you comment it please

  15. ive tried to make my self throw up a couple of times because i just dont like the way i look. its not like i dont like food, because i do! i love chocolate and chips and candy and i have the biggest sweet tooth in the world but i just hate the way i look. the thing is, is that i look at other girls and no matter what their bodytype is i think that they are beautiful but i just wish i could be better and think that about myself.

  16. a few months ago, i was on my way to developing an ED. i was excessively exercising. i would burn a certain amount of calories one day (ex: 100 calories). then i would increase the amount, so much so that one time i burned 600 calories in a little over an hour just using the elliptical. this is not safe, and i was burning way too many calories. do NOT do this.

  17. I'm confused…i always knew what anorexia was, but i never understood it. I've never had an issue with food, and my entire life i've always just eaten whatever i wanted without a care in the world.
    But lately, instead of seeing myself in the mirror, i see a fat, ugly person. All my friends tell me it's ridiculous to feel fat, when i'm the "skinniest person they know".
    But i don't see myself as skinny. I see my fat thighs, my knobly arms, my bloated stomach.
    I've developed habits over the past few moths, like counting calories, making lists or things i ate in a day, taking smaller lunches to school so i'm not tempted to eat too much, crying everytime my Mum takes me out for lunch.
    I want to purge, but idk how and i don't think i can. I try to not eat, but my family is always giving me more food, my friends keep buying me sweets because it's my birthday, and i always end up eating a bunch of junk food. Eat bite is full of guilt and i can feel myself growing fatter, yet i can't seem to stop eating. I lie awake at night hating myself for eating something, for being too weak to last without food.
    Is this normal? Is it just part of growing up and becoming more insecure?? I'm only 13…is it weird i WANT an ED? I don't want the pain and the struggles, but i desperately want to be skinny…

  18. I feel like I’m falling into anorexia because I will look at calorie labels on all food add it up and I will then exercise until I burn enough calories I don’t eat unless I’m forced too and I look in the mirror and I look fat and I feel fat when I eat food, I eat very little and people always tell me that I’m skinny but I never believe them

  19. Putting my finger down my throat is great hope get 140 soon I hate being fat and know that's why woman hate me

  20. I have this bad habit of Starving for Most of the Day and then Later at night I eat a lot then I feel so disgusting sometimes I'll do self harm its really bad But Its just this cycle that wont stop.

  21. Idk why but evrey week I only eat 1 meal per day and drink too much water….then I stop shaming myslf and be positive.then I go back to the cycle…school is my advantage cause if my mom finds out that I’m not eating she says she’s going to send me to a mental hospital.so I tell her I ate so much lunch breakfast at school ? ‘

  22. i just feel like i’m not sick enough. ive been binging recently (about 1500 cal per day) and i’ve gotten up to 121 pounds whereas I was 118 before. I feel like a whale because i’m 5’2 but you’re so pretty

  23. Some people might find this controversial but first of all anorexia is a first world problem first of all, second I feel like this isn’t a disorder because to me it’s a mindset, let’s call this a placebo. People believe so much that they are overweight to the point where people may actually see themselves as overweight. I am not saying this is not serious because I know people who have these tendencies and to me I feel like calling it a disorder doesn’t really help these people and their confidence and people with like an actual disorder such as autism. That’s my opinion on that so you guys tell me what you think

  24. I want to start eating again but I dont want to gain the weight that I lost bcs I I finally reached my goal (I am aneroxic)
    I was 52kg
    Now I am 45 kg
    Goal:42kg

  25. I feel like I might have an eating disorder because in school teachers have pulled me up because I don’t go in for lunch and it has got that bad that my head teacher has got the school nurse to come and talk to me on Tuesday. People say I’m doing it for attention but I’m really not. It started when my mum and dad broke up I felt like it was my fault and my brothers used to always make “fat jokes” about me that actually really hurt me so I stopped eating basically

    Can anyone help me or give me advice on what I can do pls it would be muchly appreciated
    Thanks x

  26. Is counting my calories and limiting to only a 1000 calories a day and if I go over I will force myself sick a road leading to Ed?x

  27. Hi i am moon, i am 17 and i weigh 35 kg(i don't know in lbs as i am japanese) i have anorexia for like 4 months and i don't know how to stop..i am 5'6 in height..please help me

  28. I want to make my mother proud and i cant stop starving myself or else she will be ashamed of me, since everyone in my family is skinny

  29. i basically have to be anorexic because girls dont like me, im 15 and i weight 88 pounds and im afraid ill be dead if i dont stop but i want until a girl actually likes me

  30. i was purging a lot and i messed up my stomach and intestines. it feels like my stomach is pushed to the side and my intestines are moved out of place. ive stopped purging but i think my digestion is messed up forever. does anyone know what i can do

  31. I started to develop bulimia. It’s stemmed from stress insecurities and lack of confidence. I’m scared I will die. I do no want to hurt my family or my best friend or my boyfriend. I want to stop but I can’t. I only feel good when I puke. I don’t want to tho I’m trying to get passed it on my own because I’m ashamed. I’m 3 days clean from bingeing and purging. I have a lot going on I can’t tell my mom. I’m scared I’m going to die I have to stop this but I don’t know if I can.

  32. Honestly I’ve been developing an eating disorder for a couple months now and it keeps getting stronger. First, it was just throwing up a couple times after eating, but now it’s not eating anything all day. I continually lie to my therapist and family saying I’m doing great, and I feel bad because my mom is paying money for a therapist I’m lying to, but a part of me doesn’t want help. Like, everyone in my family is naturally super skinny and underweight except me, and doing this makes me feel better about myself, especially when I’m around them. Idk it’s a weird sort of contradiction.

  33. I’ve been purging since April 2019 (its December at the moment/2019). It all started very subtitle. I was watching a movie and the girl in it looked so so good. And then I looked down at what I was eating and I felt embarrassing and disgusting which I often felt but this time I really wanted to make a change. I threw away the bag of chips and I proceeded to purge for the first time although I had tried before but didn’t succeed. After that I went a couple weeks without purging and then I did it again. As time went on I learned how to purge more quickly and easily. I used to weigh 140 and now I’m down to 120, last time I checked (2 months ago). I want to stop binge eating and feeling bad about it but I cannot explain this enough, I am ALWAYS hungry. I can eat a huge meal, and when I say HUGE I mean HUGE meal, and I’ll still feel hungry. Not only that but I’m so self conscious. Everything makes me feel guilty about myself. I can eat a lot and I’ll feel like I’m a huge elephant. But on the other hand if I eat too little to nothing I will feel flat, ugly, and I will want to gain some weight. I don’t know where I stand on the scale. Sometimes I feel fat and sometimes I feel too skinny. I’ve definitely lost a lot of boo age and ass. It’s so sad. But at the same time I don’t regret it because my face is slimmer. I don’t know what to call where I am mentally at.

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