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Bulimic Runner

by Gail

Im 34 years and a Marathon runner. I guess my body image issues started when I was 16 yrs old,I think I started having anxiety back then too because I had some family issues. I was always raised to be a strong woman but as the years went on the pressures in my life of not wanting to disappoint people and be what I thought they wanted to me to be became alot to handle. In my years 20's I always tried to restrict then I met a guy who I was in a relationship with and he said no girl should be more than X lbs. Well I have always been athletic so my weight ranged around X lb . Something happen in my brain where I did EVERYTHING I could think of Not Eating & Restricting,Diet Pills, Exercising not stop, Then Purging. No one knew I kept it to myself, As crazy as it sounds It became a stress reliever, plus I found away to push out my feelings to feel good about myself.I started to lose weight, to him it wasn't good enough. Long story short we broke up for other reasons. When I left I started bartending and guys would flirt with me which boosted my self esteem , which felt GREAT after the last relationship I had.So I started the cycle to maintain my weight and began purging again. It was on and off. As the years went on and I got into my late 20's & early 30's My grandparents passed away, my mom had a stroke, and my dad died. Needless to say I didnt do it everyday but used other things like drinking.I know my disease back and forth like most people who struggle with it do. I knew it wasn't god for me but I had become dependant on it. The past 4 months I restrict during the day on top of running trying to train for my races , then purge my dinner at night. I would never allow myself to have dinner. Total calories in take would maybe be X. I was getting frustrated because I wasn't losing weight like I wanted , face was bloated, I was pushing people away, basically I became alone with my ED.I would speak to certian people about it but of course it makes people uncomfortable and they don't understand who in the world would want to make themselfs puke !! Then 2wks ago I purged as usual , my throat is always sore but something wasnt different my glands and throat because so swollen, I was running a fever. I woke up and couldn't breathe it was so swollen. Very Scary!! I tried the next day to take some advil , and cough drops. Nothing worked, went to the DR. (Of Course I didn't tell him I was Bulimic) He thought I had strep throat but I knew It was an infection due to purging. Needless to say that was my rock bottom. As much as I depend on it, I don't want to be the statistic of someone finding me in my apartment. So I haven't really talked to too many of my friends about it because it makes them uncomfortable so I'm doing this on my own. My infection is gone and I haven't purged my swelling has come down a little in my face but not in my stomach. I went for a run yesterday and today with no struggle. I have A LOT of anxiety about eating. Trying to figure out where to start on eating normal. Me being athletic I understand nutrition but my ED isnt just about that. I came here to feel comfortable talking to other people who get it and advice on how you took your first steps of letting go of the ED :)

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

The Bulimia Recovery Program