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A Life-Consuming Disorder

by Paulina
(Weston, Florida)

As a little girl, I would ALWAYS eat a huge amount of food. Sometimes we had breakfast, sometimes not. At lunch, I would eat two plates of food, filled to the top; in addition, I ate about four tortillas.
For dinner I would eat almost the same amount. My family was vegetarian so at least it was healthy food. For snacks I would eat fruits.
When I turned 10, I started looking at myself in the mirror and thinking I was fat. I was a little chunky but not too bad. I never liked sports or exercising, I was a geeky girl and read all day.
When I turned 13, I learned about eating disorders in school. I had previous experience with trying to loose weight by exercising in the gym, but it was not successful. I would get tired VERY fast, didn't see any results, and I just hated it overall. As I discovered about anorexia, I decided to do an experiment. I became obsessed with counting calories and restricting them. I also would take an hour walk every day. After a week, I saw successful results, and got very happy. After a month, my family got concerned. They tried to make me eat more. I would get angry at them, and as they kept pushing, I finally decided to eat what they said and throw it up afterwards. I had always had trouble with throwing up on purpose... But that time I did it quite easily. I was shocked, but also happy that I had found a solution to my family's insistence that I ate more.
It wasn't until 6 months later that they convinced me that I was too thin. I binged, really freaked out... But ended up with a stomach ache, so I decided to throw it up. That was the trigger up my compulsive eating disorder.
Every day I would go to the pantry when no one was around and just swallowed all the tasty things at once; then I'd run to the bathroom and puke it all out. After a week, I realized that some of the stuff I ate wouldn't come back out... So I started exercising a LOT, so as to burn every calorie that didn't get eliminated by puking. Soon after, I learned that half of the calories are already IN your body when you puke, so you are only getting rid of 50% or less, plus getting dehydrated and losing a bunch of nutrients.
I have been through a weight yo-yo since then (I am 16) and haven't successfully quit bingeing and purging. Currently I don't even care about my weight, but I seriously hate not being able to avoid overeating and having horrible bloating and stomach pain afterward.
I seem to have an extremely slow digestion and metabolism... But I just want to eat normally again!!!

Shaye Says

Hi Paulina,

I am pretty sure your metabolism is not naturally slow... Most people with bulimia believe they are cursed with a slow metabolism - but it's not the case. I really and truly believe that as your body heals in recovery, your metabolism will speed up. It's very common to gain a bit of weight quickly in recovery (in the first week or two) and people mistake this for a slow metabolism - and think the weight will just keep coming on. It won't. Trust me. I have seen hundreds of women in The Bulimia Recovery Program and Community that I run ( think that they have poor metabolisms, only to recover and discover that they have wonderful metabolisms! You will find the same :)

So much love,

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Article by Shaye Boddington
Author of
and creator of The Bulimia Recovery Program and Community

The Bulimia Recovery Program