Fat, Thin, and Fat Again - What Bulimia Did to Me
It started out as a way to lose weight. That's all.
In 1999, I was 24 years old and X pounds. I had been heavy my entire life, and in the preceding three years my weight skyrocketed after the birth of my daughter and the death of my father. I realized how bad it was after I got married and saw my wedding pictures. I looked nothing like the picture in my head.
I vowed to take the weight off, any way I could. I started exercising regularly but had a very hard time changing my eating habits. One night I was sitting on the couch after eating large amounts of food, and I felt like I was going to throw up. I immediately went to the bathroom and emptied my stomach.
That's when it hit me - I could eat any way I wanted as long as I threw it back up again. The food would only stay in my body long enough for me to get that "high" from eating it - it was the best of both worlds.
In no time, I was purging several times a day. I had a great front; I would eat healthy in front of my husband, and once he left for work I would complete my binge. I continued to exercise daily and the weight just flew right off. In less than a year I took X pounds off of my frame. People would ask me how I did it, and I had a great story. I told them I had cut red meat from my diet, tracked what I ate, and exercised. Nobody knew my little secret, and all were envious of what I had done.
I managed to maintain my new weight, within about X pounds, for several years through continued purging and exercise. But after about five years I noticed my weight had begun to creep back up again. I admitted my purging behavior to a therapist, and we determined that my issues with food were the result of a sexual assault when I was seven years old. I promised her that I would seek recovery. I lied.
For seven more years I lived with my little secret. People would find out here and there, but nobody said or did anything about it. I continued to binge and I continued to purge, and my weight continued to creep upwards. No amount of purging or exercise was helping. On and off I would pursue treatment only to drop it when my weight gain accelerated.
Several weeks ago I decided that this had to stop. And I stopped. I'm early in my recovery but I am so proud to report that I am now full-swing, and haven't had a binge/purge episode for several weeks - the longest stretch in 14 years. I am experiencing bulimia bloat despite structured eating and exercise, and yes my weight is increasing. My response to that was to throw my scale out the window.
I still have a long road ahead of me. But I am strong. I am so much stronger than this. The bloat sucks so bad, and often I am so afraid to eat anything for fear of the effects. But I do eat, and I make better choices. It is going to take some time for my body to heal from all that I have put it through, but it WILL heal and I will be healthy again.
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