Ask yourself the following questions, answering each one always, often, sometimes, or never.
- Do you think about food constantly, so that you feel controlled and defined by it?
- Do you eat large amounts of food in a short period of time, feeling you can’t stop?
- Do you think you are overweight, but others tell you that you are too thin?
- Is your weight/shape the most important factor in how you feel about yourself?
- If you eat one cookie, do you condemn yourself, conclude the day is ruined, and then eat the whole box?
- Do you keep a running calorie count in your head all day?
- Do you eat (or not eat) without knowing whether you are hungry or full?
- Are you convinced if you gain one pound you’ll continue gaining indefinitely?
- Do you avoid social events because you are afraid to deal with the food there?
- Do you find it difficult or impossible to eat in front of other people?
- Do you make yourself vomit after eating, or use laxatives or diuretics, believing they will control your weight?
- Do you severely restrict your food intake, in part to lose weight, but in part to feel in control or in some way special?
If you answered “often” or “always” to questions 11 or 12 or to any three of the other questions, it would make sense to talk with a professional.
-Developed by Margaret McKenna, MD, Harvard University