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Does this sound normal - in terms of recovery?

by Poppy

Hi shaye

I have been trying to establish a healthier eating pattern for about two weeks now, and I suppose I've been doing okay. I have only purged once during that time, and the binges have been smaller. However, and I know it'll sound impatient, but I haven't seen the benefits of eating at all. My face is still very puffy, in fact more so. I feel lethargic all the time, not full of energy and (like one person on your site said) my head feels distorted and I can't concentrate. I am using structured eating because I am scared of listening to internal signals and sometimes my hunger signals aren't clear. Also I am using structured eating so I can finally return to 'normal' amounts. I struggle because my sister doesn't eat three meals and snacks a day and is very skinny and beautiful. I on the other hand am overweight and still trying to eat more than her - it just seems so wrong and greedy.

How do I know that I am not eating too much? I generally have the following meal plan-

8-30 two slices of toast or a bowl of porridge

11-00 banana

1-00 soup and a roll, or jacket potato, or sandwich and a yogurt

4-00 cookie (wanted to incorporate treat foods in recovery)

7-00 dinner

9-00 apple or nuts

I am trying to go by what my friends eat but it's hard when all I see is my lovely successful thin sister eating less than me.

Sorry, this has been a ramble of a question - I just wondered whether my journey is normal...

Shaye Says

Hi Poppy,

You know what... Once upon a time, my sister used to think I was the in control, thin sister... She battled with wanting to be more like me... She was suffering from bulimia - but little did she know, so was I. She was striving to be more like a person with a devastating eating disorder!

I suppose what I am trying to say is please be careful of comparing yourself to others. Comparison is a dangerous game to play because it always leaves you feeling lousy. Whenever you notice yourself comparing - try to quickly shift your focus onto something positive about yourself. This is very important.

On another note - you sound like you are doing so well in your recovery! 2 weeks, one purge is awesome! Right now you probably can't see what an achievement this is... but, once you've fully recovered you'll understand :)

The confusion you're feeling right now is very normal... Often in recovery, things get harder before they get better... The bloating flares up, the face is still puffy, the body is exhausted from all the healing it's doing... and things just seem plain old hard!

Throw into the mix that now you are having to deal with difficult feelings instead of blocking them out with food - and it's no wonder that your questioning what you're doing!

The key is to have faith that things will get better. Remember - bulimia has no place in your life. It is not something you can continue with forever and eventually it needs to go... There is no better time to recover than now.

Working on recovery is hard - but I promise you, every single bit of effort will be worth it!

Your meal plan looked really good to me... Full of healthy and healing foods with some treat foods thrown into the mix too... Great!

Keep pushing ahead Poppy... Remember the first 1-2 months are normally the most challenging!

Keep in touch!

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

The Bulimia Recovery Program