SPECIAL REPORT: Eating Disorders and the Internet - Part Two

SPECIAL REPORT: Eating Disorders and the Internet - Part Two

By Geena Martinez
NewsWest 9

Social media is becoming a popular place for encouraging eating disorders, a disease that can take over your life. NewsWest 9 sat down with a local woman who suffers from bulimia in part two of our special report.

It's a daily struggle.

"I say I'm not gonna do it. I wake up and I say I'm not gonna do it," she said.

It can also have dangerous consequences.

"The thinner I am, the happier I am with myself. I'm just so scared to gain weight and I hate it," this woman, who we'll call Isabel, said.

We've concealed her identity to share her story because not everyone around her knows about her eating disorder.

She's been fighting the disease for 14 years.

As a teen, Isabel's weight fluctuated but things took a turn after the birth of her daughter. She said she was openly criticized for gaining weight.

"Nothing like 'Oh you've gained a couple pounds.' No you're just fat and ugly. So I'd go home and eat a lot and I would cry a lot and on top of that being depressed," Isabel said.

So Isabel decided to make a change and she did.

She dropped 50 pounds in just three months.

Not long after, she was hospitalized. The doctor said she lost too much weight, too fast.

But it didn't stop.

"Then it went from 136 to 126, 126 to 116 and before you knew it I was 106 and I thought 'Man ok, I've never been 100,'" Isabel said. "And then one day I just decided to throw up."

Isabel said in the beginning she purged as much as eight times a day. She would leave parties early and then go throw up.

Isabel eventually got help but admits she didn't like the experience.

She doesn't purge as much right now but it's a viscous cycle she can't break.

"You eat because you're hungry," Isabel said. "Then you're upset because you eat and then you eat some more because you ate. Then you're mad and then you throw up so you're hungry and then you're weak. You're just never satisfied."

For food, she skips breakfast, eats fruit or veggies for lunch and has a light dinner.

"You know if I'm hungry, later on maybe a fruit at 8:00 and that's it," she said. "That's a good day."

Isabel has also abused laxatives. Her weight has dropped as low as 95 pounds.

And like so many others, she's clicking on pro-anorexia web sites.

"Reading what the other people write, it's like reading what I'm writing but I didn't write it," Isabel said. "I know I have a problem but I don't know how to fix it and it just gets really old and you get tired."

She said her family suffers in silence with her.

"I look back and I look back at the pictures when I was heavier and I'm sad because I don't like who I am in those pictures but I was happier," Isabel said.

She's hoping to win her constant battle over food once and for all.

"It takes over your life and when it does, you're not yourself anymore," Isabel said.

For more information, you can visit http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/.