Letter 2

Dear Friend,
I cannot believe how fat I am. I work so hard at losing weight but I'm still fat. I go running for about two hours every day and then do aerobics or swimming for another one or two hours, and I only eat about five hundred calories in a day. I'm still overweight. My friends are telling me that I'm "skin and bone." I don't think so. I don't want to eat, so I can lose more weight. My parents keep telling me to eat more. I don't like feeling so fat. I know that you would listen to me and understand my pain.

Sincerely, Annie


Dear Annie,

I hope you do not really feel the way you say you do. You’re beautiful, and don’t try to deny it. However, it is a necessity for you to eat more. Without food, how will you carry out daily functions? Listen, I think it is important for you to recognize the fact that you need food to survive, and if you don’t eat more, you could experience some serious medical problems. I think it is important to address what you are going through right now. What you have said so far sounds like you may have anorexia nervosa. This means you have achieved a weight loss that is 15% below the ideal body weight. This can be a serious problem. Your body will begin to shut down, your heart will weaken, and you may start to grow white hairs on your body, known as lanugo, which will try to compensate for your lack of body fat. The average person is on a 2000-calorie diet. Based on your letter, this means you are only eating one fourth of what you’re supposed to! To make sure you become healthy again, you will have to take baby steps to increase your calorie consumption. Not only is your consumption low, your exercise is extremely high, and without food you can severely exhaust yourself. Ideally, you should talk to your doctor for the proper steps in eating properly again. Make sure you open up to your parents and your doctor, and don’t leave anything out. I understand what you’re going through, but trust me we can get through this together.

Hang in there,