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I don't want to feel vulnerable, but yes, I am bulimic

by Hannah
(Seoul, Korea)

I was chubby all my life until I graduated from high school and lost X kg (aprox. X pounds). When I lost weight, everyone treated me differently. Before then, I always felt ugly and disgusting. I always felt obligated to act nicely and study hard to compensate my ugly feature. After losing weight, I felt attractive and thought my value as a human being had been upgraded immensely. But as all the intense dieting does, I gained back most of the weights within a year. At that time I had reset my whole life in different country to start college. Everyone in college knew me only as a thin girl and the immediate gaining of weight was very obviously shocking to everyone. People noticed and I started to act defensive. I felt less loved and less valued. After breaking up with my very first college boyfriend, I started to starve myself. I just had to lose weight. To show everyone that I am still valuable. To show people that I am not the pathetic girl who got dumped by her dumb boyfriend after gaining ton of weight. I barely ate anything but one day after two sleepless night of studying for final, I felt so tired that I lost control of my diet and ate a big breakfast. I barely slept for few days and my system must have been worn out as I had to throw up the whole meal. That was when I got the idea of purging. It was just so easy. I just had to look down the toilet and think of all the calories I ingested. All the food felt so disgusting in my body that I automatically threw up as much as I could.

I am a psychology major. I study eating disorders. I knew about bulimia and binging, purging, excessive exercising, and fasting. But at that time, I thought I knew THIS wasn't eating disorder. I couldn't be a bulimic as I didn't binge. I couldn't be anorexic as I was not underweight. I did purge, but I didn't binge. I did starve, but hey, I every college girls starve now and then to fit into their dresses.

Just like every other bulimics, my symptoms only got worse. My purging got harder and I chose to binge in order to induce that uncomfortable sensation in my stomach that make me purge. My blood pressure dropped, my potassium level was out of the normal range, I got anemia, and after 18 month of being a bulimic, I passed out in my bathtub as my blood pressure dropped severely when I tried to get up.

I stopped purging and binging with help from my current boyfriend. But I couldn't get over the fact that I had once been dumped by a guy after gaining weight. Stopping to purge made me gain a few pounds. I loved my boyfriend so much that the thought of him leaving me made me go back to my old habit.


I had relapse after 3 month of stopping purging. Now I don't know what to do. I am now borderline underweight, and I am loving my size, but I constantly think losing few more pounds will make me perfect. I consciously think that I should stop purging or I will kill my self with bulimia. But unconsciously, I cannot let go of this mental disorder because I feel bulimia made me skinny which makes me attractive and valuable.

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Article by Shaye Boddington
Author of your-bulimia-recovery.com
and creator of The Bulimia Recovery Program and Community


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