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Can a fat person be bulimic?


Hi...I can't believe I'm actually asking this question but I feel like after years of this, I need some answers and I think an anonymous post is a good beginning. I'm wondering if it's possible for an overweight (obese) person to have bulimia. I don't binge and purge every single day - usually a few times a week. And...I don't always "binge" before I purge. Sometimes I will just get off my weight loss plan and eat a few things that I shouldn't and then feel like I should throw up.

I am definitely considered "obese" and the purging (throwing up) hasn't helped me lose weight. I am currently seeing a therapist for some other issues but this is one I haven't yet brought up since I wasn't sure if it was an issue or not.

This has been going on for several years now - probably about 9 if I remember correctly. I feel like this behavior is most likely not normal since I am ashamed of it and I've never told anyone. I'm not sure where to go from here or if I should even attempt to seek help.

Shaye Says

Hi there!

I am so glad that you made the decision to write to me - opening up is a huge part of healing :)

Firstly, yes, overweight people can be bulimic, thin people can be bulimic, normal weight people can be bulimic... Bulimia does not discriminate when it comes to weight, race, gender and so on... Basically, anybody can fall prey to bulimia! You are just as worthy of getting help for your bulimia as a thin bulimic would be - so please, open up to your therapist about this as it could be a key to unlocking so many doors for you.

Do you remember when or why your bulimia started? Were you trying to lose weight then? There is often a trigger for bulimia - very often it is dieting and low self esteem.

Remember - you are worthy of all the help you need to get well and live a wonderful life!


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Article by Shaye Boddington
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The Bulimia Recovery Program