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Bulimia and Dehydration: Why this can Result in sudden recovery weight Gain

Bulimia and dehydration come hand in hand. When I was bulimic, I lived in a constant state of dehydration... I was used to having:

What I never realised was how this dehydration would result in a sudden and scary weight gain when I began my recovery...

But before I tell you about this I'm going to tell you a little bit more about bulimia and dehydration - and why it's so important to drink up in recovery!

Bulimia and Dehydration: 3 reasons why it's important to Hydrate Yourself in Bulimia Recovery

  1. You need water for your brain to function properly. When you're dehydrated you can't think clearly. When you're unable to think clearly, it's hard to develop new habits and recover from bulimia.

  2. Dehydration can be dangerous. It can cause electrolyte imbalances, kidney failure and a whole list of other health problems.

    I always thought 'It will never happen to me' but after nearly collapsing one day at uni, I realized that my body was in trouble. I was severely dehydrated and I had electrolyte imbalances - both side effects of bulimia. My body was screaming for help.

  3. Being dehydrated can mess with your hunger signals. Sometimes we misinterpret urges to hydrate our bodies as urges to eat. In other words, we eat when what our body really wants is water. There are enough challenges in recovery without throwing this confusion into the mix!


The Solution....

It's essential to hydrate and nourish your mind in bulimia recovery. And you can start doing this today by eating foods that are hydrating (juicy oranges, watermelon etc) and by sipping on water frequently throughout the day.

I know the feeling of holding food or drink in your stomach can be hard when you're not used to it... I used to find it so uncomfortable that I would even throw up water. In my mind back then, unless my stomach was empty - I felt fat. But this was the bulimia talking...

In recovery I tried to remind myself over and over again that the feeling of water or food in my belly was not 'fat'. It was healthy and it was healing my body. Perhaps you can gently remind yourself of the same thing?

And once you begin ridding your body if this dangerous and mind-fuzzing dehydration, you may also notice something else happening...

You may gain weight. But precious soul - do not fear... There's a logical reason for this...

Why You May Gain Weight When You Get Rid of Bulimia and Dehydration

When I first began holding food down and hydrating my body - something scary happened... I gained weight.

Now for somebody who had grown obsessed with slimness, this was terrifying!

I gained 11 pounds in 1 week and I almost gave up on recovery. I thought that without bulimia, I'd become obese. I thought that all 11 of those pounds I'd gained was body fat...

bulimia and dehydration
Happy, hydrated cells are the main
cause of early recovery weight gain!

I am so glad that I decided to push forward with recovery despite this weight gain... because now I know that RE-HYDRATION was the cause!

Our bodies are made up of around 75% water - and when we become dehydrated, we can lose many pounds of water.

When we re-hydrate ourselves, that weight comes back...

Our entire bodies have a great big drink.

Our cells go from shriveled up and depressed to nice and juicy and celebrating!

It's as I remind the girls in The Bulimia Recovery Program so often...

"Prepare yourself for possible weight gain in the first few weeks of rehydrating your body... and when it happens - celebrate alongside your cells! Join the party because you're doing something awesome for your health!"



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

The Bulimia Recovery Program