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I am not pregnant or fat!

by Erica

I finally had to admit to myself that it's not a coincidence or just a momentary bloat that was making my stomach stick out. When people I didn't even know, from different situations and encounters, all asked me the same thing--if I was pregnant--I had to consider it real.

My stomach sticks out and it's been 30 days since I've binged and purged. My bowels are regular. I eat healthy and exercise regularly. Still, I can't get over my stomach looking big. One coworker tries to comfort me by saying that I have a great body, but I have a "baby bump." In another instance, while I was side-by-side with my real PREGNANT WITH TWINS coworker and I was the one who was asked if I was expecting... Later, my coworker encouraged me to just do some crunches.

I don't know if working on my core will help. I do know that changing my appearance won't completely solve the problem. My biggest fear, looking fat and/or pregnant, is something I have to deal with every day. It's something that I have to accept about myself.

I am 34 years old and have been bulimic since I was 16 and only now have started to recover. It's just too subjective to work on the way that I look to myself and to other people and let that determine my worth. Instead, I have to love myself DURING the pregnant comments and poofy stomach. If I rely on what I look like to feel better, I might as well be into my disease.

I realize that I must do something about my stomach sticking out, but just as much as that, at the same time, I must love myself and not let my stomach sticking out rule whether or not I have a bad day.

I would love to know if others who've been bulimic for a long time have this same symptom. What can I do to change it? And the most important question is for myself... "Can I handle it if I continue to look this way?"

There are other options than being able to handle the fact that my stomach sticks out. I could starve myself or be exercise bulimic. I could do meth and die like my 20-year-old eating disordered lawyer friend did when she just did not wake up one day. She was successful at everything--being thin, being a lawyer and surviving with a strong personality. She had such a strong personality you never would have thought the bulimia would have done that to her. Maybe that was the problem, anyway. That she was so over confident that she thought she was invincible. But that's just me getting philosophic.

What I would like others to know is that I am getting over my bulimia so I can have a real life, and not just a real THIN body. I realize that 10 years ago, when the bulimia still worked, I flaunted myself and wore tight clothes. I also realize that I had turned my whole soul inside out and I took up so much time being thin and maintaining it that if I were your friend and was with you at the moment, I would seem far, far away. You might have felt that I was looking right through you when we were sitting side by side. And I hated myself even though I was X pounds and my self worth depended on if YOU thought I was thin.

I'm just at the point where I don't want how I look to have that much power over me anymore. If I find a way to make my stomach thin again and proportional to the rest of my body, fine. But if I can't, I'll still be me and I'll still have to live with myself. I'd rather live with the fact that my stomach sticks out and not live in the fear that someone might out of the blue one day tell me that I look pregnant again.

Shaye Says

Hi Erica,

Thank you so much for sharing your story on my website. I love the determination you have - and I am so proud of you for doing this!

Yes, I know... that bulimia bloat... it is so hard! ANd it can be stubborn - it can last a while! But I promise you, it will settle down in time. Your body will find it's balance. Over a decade of damage won't be reversed in just one month. Hang in there beautiful girl.

There are some steps you can take to help the bloating - including eating fermented probiotic foods regularly, taking probiotics and drinking soothing ginger tea. If you're a few months into recovery and still experiencing bloating you can explore the possibility of some foods not agreeing with your system... I talk more about this in one of the ebooks that comes with my online Recovery Program - Bulimia Recovery Meal Plans - If you're still struggling you might find this helpful.

Most importantly keep approaching this journey with that self love you talked about... it's going to get you all the way to a full recovery!


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

The Bulimia Recovery Program