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Frustrated for far too long

I started out with restricting my calories sharply in the 8th grade. I had always been the chubbier sister, the friend who big butt everyone made fun of, and the lazy one in the family. People's comments had hurt me my entire childhood, but i didn't let it show and continued being the smiley baby of the family. Once I started restricting my calories and losing weight, I began receiving compliments and my self-esteem and determination skyrocketed. But then as the summer went on and freshmen year approached, my former friends started avoiding me and my strange new eating habits. I was so terribly skinny, but was scared to stop dieting because of the fear of returning to "my former shameful self". So I continued on with my anorexia. My mother forced me to go to a therapist, and by the end of the year, things seemed to be improving. But it was a show i was putting on. I became vegetarian my sophomore year with the main intent of restricting my calories without anyone really noticing. (I remain vegetarian today, and wonder if it has any effect on my current binge eating) I also became an avid runner, and people began admiring my fitness and health knowledge, failing to see behind the charade that I was still suffering immensely. I remained slim and super fit all through my junior year of high school and even ran a half marathon. Then spring of junior year, everything began to change. My discipline that i had always been so proud of began to wane; I was eating things I never would of touched before and was experiencing weight gain as a result (though looking back now, it really was not that much). For the first time in a long time, i began to see myself as fat. That's when the bingeing and purging began. It would happen right after school, when i had been planning on going on a 9 mile run. Once i saw that i was home alone, i would head to the freezer and take out the tub of ice cream instead of exercising. I kept it under fair control, though, and completed two more half marathons. But then i turned vegan, for the same reason as my vegetarian choice. I thought for sure that it would end my constant struggle with my weight, but in the end it only heightened it. Senior year, i began bingeing almost every day after school. I felt so worthless and frustrated and scared. My weight began to mount every day. and i felt so helpless. I began looking into actual diets that winter and even tried a cleanse--all of which only lasted for a couple of days or a week at best and would end with a disasterous b/p cycle. After graduation I was determined to finally get my weight into check and started weight watchers. But as usual i just ended up gaining more weight. Finally i decided on not dieting at all and telling myself that i could eat whatever i wanted and I wouldn't weigh myself (which was mostly out of fear of what i would see). The problem is is that i had been dieting for so long that I had no idea what my hinger and fullness signals felt like anymore. I had no idea how to eat properly. At the same time, I was a month away from moving across the country for my first year of college and my grandmother was dying of brain cancer. Because of my grandma, people were constantly bringing us over food and treats of all sorts. And being that i was allowing myself anything to eat, i would go for a scotcharoo, and instead of eating one, i would eat an entire row. I would then try to fool myself into thinking that i was somehow losing weight or at least maintianing it. This, i soon found out, was a terrible lie. I got to school, and after being there a month, looked at the scale for the first time in two months only to discover that i had gained X lbs. It was honestly my worst fear. I could no longer lie to myself about what had happened or what i had done to myself. I tried going vegan again no no avail and tried numerous other diets as well. All along, my b/p would follow me. Whenever I was stressed or had a major paper, i would head over to the dining hall and buy a big brownie or four cookies and eat it on my way back to the dorm so that my roommate wouldnt see and then throw up. This had continued all the way up to this year, my sophomore year. My problem is that, unlike many bulimics, i have not become skinny at all because of my disease, but the opposite has happened, which keeps triggering me into trying new diets. I am so beyond frustrated and just want to be a normal, fit size once again. I am scared though, because i don't want my recovery to make my weight sky rocket even more but i know it must stop.

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

The Bulimia Recovery Program