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Beauty is painful

Bulimia began for me the summer before I started university. Previous to this I had spent the last year of my life losing weight. It wasn't a negative thing before my bulimia started, I was so unhappy being overweight and I was proud that I had lost my target weight and could fit into clothes that everyone else my age was wearing and feel good about myself. I had been bullied in my teenage years about my weight so I was truly happy to get fit and healthy and to not be the fat girl anymore! I couldn't believe the attention i received from the 'popular' guys who never looked twice at me when i was heavier. I lost the weight by jumping rope, doing yoga and limiting my calories. I'm not proud to say that I went off carbs to shift the last few pounds! Everything was perfect I was the happiest I had ever been and completely confident in myself.
But then things got dark for me. If I wasn't careful with what I ate or if I didn't make time to exercise a few pounds would slip back on. For anyone who suffers from an Eating disorder this is not something overlooked. I couldn't handle the idea that I would lose control and that I might become the fat girl again. But at the same time restricting myself by dieting made my body crave chocolate, pasta, pizza...anything that would satisfy that raging craving for calories. I understand this now, why my body would crave so much. I also understand now that another reason why I became bulimic was that I wasn't losing weight rapidly anymore because I WAS A HEALTHY WEIGHT, there was no longer excess weight to lose. I've learned now that being in a healthy weight range and not being the same weight as your celebrity icon or your skinny friend does not mean you are not gorgeous or a perfect weight!
So the bulimia began. At the start I would binge only a bit, maybe extra food that wasn't part of my diet, but nothing excessive at that point. I would then purge and feel so low afterwards. The depression and disappointment I felt at myself was soon overshadowed by the thrill i felt seeing the weight fall off! The habit increased, I would binge much more and purge more often until I couldn't think of anything else. Bulimia grasped my mind and I didn't care about anything else except gorging on food and getting it back up. I missed out on a lot, my confidence diminished and while my friends were happy with boyfriends I couldn't let anyone that close to me or be body confident enough to experience the perks of being young and enjoying sex or falling in love.
I have suffered from Bulimia for just over three years but I am proud to say I am on the road to recovery. Talking to people about my experience has helped me, I still haven't build up enough courage to tell my parents or my sister or some of my close friends but I know someday I will be able. Everyone I have told have been so supportive and this encourages me to get better. I still have bad days and I still obsess over my weight. But over the past few months I have researched the effects that Bulimia has on my body and I respect my body and my mind to much to continue in this battle. I am skinnier now than I ever have been but I'm not any happier for it and my confidence if anything is lower. I used to think 'when I am skinnier things will be better, I'll do more, I'll be more confident, I'll be happier'. I've learned that weight does not define happiness and neither does popularity or any guys attention. Happiness comes from within yourself, recognize your talents, your individuality and cherish the relationships in your life. I don't regret getting fit and eating more healthy to lose weight but I do regret restricting myself and becoming obsessed. I see the light now, I have met the man that I am going to marry and I have told him everything about my bulimia, he is extremely supportive and this has encouraged me even more to get help and get better. I don't see bulimia in my future now but I enjoy your website and other helpful sites because it reminds me of what I am fighting for! :)

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

The Bulimia Recovery Program