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A secret mess... bulimia

by Ann
(Milpitas, CA)

I have been bulimic off and on for about 5 years now. It's crazy for me to imagine it's been that long. There have been many times I thought I was past it. I am about 5 feet tall and was always under 100 pounds. I had always eaten a lot, never worried about my weight but my mom would claim she had been my size when she was my age and that eventually it would "catch up with me."

When I was in high school I fell head over heels with this boy. I loved being with him. We got together when I was 16 and had an off and on relationship for about 6 years after that...

From the very beginning we were always breaking up but trying to make it work. We were never right for each other but we both so badly wanted to be. Anyway, I got this shot as a form of birth control...

Soon after that I started gaining weight. Some family members commented saying "your finally gaining some weight." It made me feel fat. I was by no means fat and I knew that. But I was no longer perfect in my eyes. I had always felt lucky when people would tell me I was lucky that I could always eat whatever I want and not gain a thing. I was convinced it was because of this birth control shot messing with my hormones.

I was even more distraught when my boyfriend said "You're getting a belly." I thought that was so offensive because I was still thin and I felt like he was calling me fat. It just made me feel not good enough.

A couple years later We moved in together with a bunch of friends and they all drank beer a lot. I never had drank a lot before because it would make sick easily. I was eating fast food everyday. By this point I was about 19 and reached my peak weight of about 110 pounds. When I saw that on the scale I freaked out. I felt like I had let myself go or something because in high school I had always been about 97 pounds.

Realistically now I see that everyone gains weight after high school... I was just a teenager and was becoming an adult! But anyway, I was in the circumstances of eating fast food and I wanted to be able to drink like everyone else around me. I thought that if I threw up all the alcohol before I went to bed then I could avoid having a hangover the next day...

It came surprisingly easy for me to throw up. But I still would be sick with a hangover the next day. I don't remember the first time I threw up or anything like that but I THINK it started with that. It is really sad and weird to me that I am not entirely sure...

Anyways, I started throwing up my food if I felt too full because I was terrified to gain any more weight since I was the largest I had ever been at 110 pounds. It continued for a little while and eventually me and that boyfriend broke up and I started seeing an old friend a couple months later.

In 2006 I believe. I let him know my secret and he was really suppoortive and caring. So eventually I stopped. We ended up breaking up though and I got back with the high school ex-boyfriend. This made me feel terrible as I really did care about the friend I had started dating and he ended up being really sad over it. He joined the army and I felt guilty for it.

Fast forward a couple years and I was now broken up with both guys. Married another longtime friend from high school. (I know, it sounds ridiculous.) I really love him and am very happy with him but one day when we were in bed he said, "you're getting a belly." And there I was so insecure again. It started again and I was hating myself for it.

I know it is so stupid and immature and pathetic that I let everyone affect how I view myself. And it's not like my husband stopped loving me because I was a little bloated that day. I know that nobody is perfect and that nobody will ever be perfect so I do not know why I don't give myself a break and accept myself and my body the way I am. I am around 90 pounds right now. I know I am underweight but I am terrified of gaining weight because I am back or better than where I used to be. Everyone telling my I'm so cute and tiny and lucky that I can eat whatever I want and not have to worry about it. But it's a lie.

I obsess about food and my weight all day everyday. But I love food! I sometimes have days where I binge a couple times. Other days I eat really light during the day so I can eat delicious fast food or go out to a restaurant at night. But when I do eat out I usually feel to full since my body has starved that day and end up throwing it up because I hate the feeling of being full.

I feel like a mess and like my life is a lie. I am not happy because I am constantly thinking about food and wanting to be perfect. I just want to be happy and not care about gaining a couple pounds like a normal person. But I just get a crazy idea in my head that I'm going to gain 20 pounds overnight. I want to be better but I am scared of letting the people that love me know.

I told my husband one day and he made jokes and belittled me so I lied and said that it's really not as bad as it is and that I don't do it anymore.

I just feel alone and like a horrible person.

I know this is so long and rambley so thank you, anyone that had the patience to read this.

I am so thankful to have found this website and I'm sure I will be visiting it a lot. It is inspiring to read people's stories and it does give me hope and encouragement.

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

The Bulimia Recovery Program