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Asian Towards Bulimia Recovery

by LN

Coming home to see my parents during Christmas break. They could tell I gained my 15lbs.

Coming home to see my parents during Christmas break. They could tell I gained my 15lbs.

I'm supposed to finish my Analysis Paper for a 300-level directing class, instead, I'm coerced into reading bulimia stories on this site, because I binged and purged today... Before I say anything else, I personally think that Shaye needs a round of applause for creating a story-based recovery website. I've only discovered it about 2 hours ago and I'm falling in love with it! I love hearing about the many success stories and the support I'm getting indirectly from fellow bulimics.

I'm 23 years old, I had off-and-on bulimia since I was 18, when I entered college. College was so tough for me for four whole years, mainly because of this disorder that I have. I remember staying up until past 3 o'clock in the morning eating other students' food from the common fridge. I had a special bond with the dorm janitor at the time, and she would always have food in the fridge, and I would eat up her food, too. That was Freshman year. She was a smart cookie and figured it out herself that I'd been stealing her food, so she snuck into the building at 4am one day, way before the start of her shift, which is usually 5:30am, and guess what, I was eating her egg sandwich in the kitchen! She was so angry, said she trusted me. I had never felt so ashamed in my entire life. She sat me down in the kitchen directly across from her at a kitchen table, interview style, asked me, "Why you stealing my food? How long you been doing it?" and then saying things like "Don't lie to me. I get you kicked out this school. I tell the RD about you stealing food." I bawled my eyes out. I couldn't tell her the truth, except to admit that I had done all those things.

Then second year came, I didn't think I would get better but I thought if I held on a little longer, college would fly by and no one would remember anything. But that was not the case, I still had the habit of going into the common fridge (I only moved a floor above where I lived as a freshman), and then taking food from other floors so they would just quick to assume that everybody is eating everybody's food. I remember the RA's would always send out emails to people in the entire building that the food is going missing. The emails would often state that they are "investigating who is stealing." One day, the RD pulled me into his office and asked if I had Kleptomania. He said that the janitor told him everything, and she wanted him to do something about me stealing. It was then and there that I unveiled my mask and told him that I had bulimia. I'm not a thief. He said he would help me, but I'd have to seek help on my own as well. I thought, this is it, this is the point where I have to let all of this go: I would go grocery shopping just to replace everything I'd stolen, very secretively. But no, I was actually at my worst during sophomore year. I ate everything. When I had my own car on campus, instead of eating other people's food, I would drive all over town and buy a whole load of food, order from the worst and cheapest pizza places... and puke until my tummy felt skinny. I would splurge on food so much that I didn't care about buying anything essential to maintain my feminine looks. It was bad. Also, I forgot to mention, I was a vegetarian and had been one since 18. I was a liar, thief, was constantly in a trance, I was hardly in the company of others. All of this to meet my demand of being able to binge and purge every single day. I would skip classes, fail classes, fail academically, then get letters telling me if I don't get above a certain percentage they will pull me out from any scholarships I obtained.

Anyway, long story short. I had a boyfriend with whom I expressed all of my concerns regarding this terrible disease. He was a little surprised because I looked very healthy to him, but not surprised at the same time, because I was very shy about taking my clothes off in the bedrooms and I would always put my hands over my problem areas while he was touching me. When I was dating him, my bulimia tendencies were very rare, I'd say about once or twice every month, or none at all. He always said he'd be there for me no matter what. I believe I gained some weight at the beginning of my losing battle to bulimia, then lost some as the relationship went on. My food addiction then shifted to my addiction to having sex. Lots of sex to fill the void. Bulimia stayed at bay but my grades still suffered because I couldn't balance having a committed relationship with school.

At the end of my fourth year, I was dismissed for not achieving the minimal GPA. That's okay, I told myself. I then took a whole year off to learn how to be a responsible steward of God, to be disciplined in many ways, to have set schedules for my every day activities, and I also started eating incredibly healthy and going to the gym 7 times a week. I quickly adapted this new lifestyle. I always set my mind to doing it, I just didn't know when I would implement those actions on myself. With God's help, I was able to be free and healthy. I had always wanted to be a vegan as well, so it only took light bulb in my head to decide that I wanted to start immediately. My boyfriend and I broke up... that's another story in of itself, but we're still very good friends, he checks up on me once in awhile. Flying out to LA in January was what I wanted to do for myself to rediscover, explore, and mostly just learn about myself, so that's exactly what I did. I interned, basically volunteered, at various companies. Being active in the Golden State was difficult because I was trapped financially to worry about getting a gym membership. Eating healthily was not though, so I just took a break from being physically fit. In turn, I gained weight, about X pounds. I stayed in LA for a good 4 months to realize some things. Upon returning to my home state, I told myself that I'd be able to lose all of that, and so I did.

I'm not perfect, and I will admit that in the midst of my eating healthy and being active, I did binge and purge, but once in a blue moon... like today. I had some veggies in the morning, then oatmeal, then I just felt like eating a whole lot more of the food that I wouldn't eat because of my dietary restrictions, like cheese and ranch dressing. I had cravings for those things and wanted to eat them, but the side effects I get now is bloating stomach and I pass gas wherever I go (I've been a vegan for a year now) so I just might as well avoid all of that by throwing it all up. I know it's not healthy, but I am so far ahead of where I would be if nothing changed since my bulimic days. I like that I'm taking baby steps right now, that way, this lifestyle a lot easier for me to follow in the long run, rather than taking an extreme measure for change.

As for where I am at today, I wrote an appeal letter to my school explaining what I did wrong and what I did to change and why I think this time things will change; I was subsequently readmitted to finish the classes I have left so I can graduate. I'm taking 14 credits this year. I work as an intern at this TV station four times a week, and on the weekend I work at this job that I have kept since last year. Things are going well. I'm sleeping, eating, exercising, but I do have tendencies. However, it's when I recognize that I still have that black hole inside me and my wanting to be rid of it that propels me to snap back into reality and see what's really important in life.

If you have any questions, please comment and I will be sure to reply in the best way I know how. :) Thanks for reading. All of you are an inspiration. Thanks for sharing your stories. Now back to writing my paper!

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

The Bulimia Recovery Program