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I need help shaye - weight gain in bulimia recovery

by Giulia

Im 18 and i see myself in a lot if the stories you've told...

I've been anorexic for a year bulimic for 3 with around 10-15 purges a day. Now I'm clean since 2 weeks the feeling is great. I'm so happy, I'm finally done with it! The problem is, I went from X lbs to X lbs in 2 weeks. And this is destroying me. I feel if this is going like this I won't be able to make it. I know about water gain but not only I weigh this much, but I look huge. Not just bloated, my thighs are touching again after YEARS...

I'm so depressed, and I have a purely personal question to help me through it, how long after stopping bulimia did you stop gaining weight? And how much of the weight gained have you lost?

I feel like if I can put a time to it it will make me feel better... I know it depends on the person but I would really like to have at least an IDEA... Please help :(

Shaye Says

Hi Giulia!

You are doing so incredibly well in this journey and I hope that despite being a bit scared right now, you're really proud of yourself!

Weight gain in bulimia recovery is very common. It doesn't happen for everyone, but for many, it is a necessary part of healing... It was necessary for my healing too...

As you say, there is a lot of water weight that we hold in recovery. Our bodies have been dehydrated for so long and when we first start holding in food and drink our bodies are like "Hey, party time!!" They also hold onto extra water "Just in case the party doesn't last!". This water weight can account easily for 10 pounds.

Then, there is the weight of food being in our stomachs - being digested. This has a weight too - probably a few pounds.

And of course, there may be some fat... But this is not a bad thing... It's a good thing. Having curves is what makes us women... It's what makes us able to conceive and have children. It's what makes us different from men :) Try to focus on all the benefits of having curves - they are beautiful.

As you move forward into recovery, your body will settle and your metabolism will speed up. I felt mine doing this after about 2 months without purging. I had been incredibly bloated - even swollen - up until this time. Then it began to gradually heal. It was difficult to push through - but now I am completely healthy and happy! My weight is more than when I was bulimic, but less then what I was at after 2 months without purging. I'm at my natural weight - the place I'm supposed to be.

This is quite a common topic on the private forums in The Bulimia Recovery Program... In fact, just the other day one of the girls was saying how worried she was after gaining weight in her first week binge and purge free. All the replies reassured her that her body would settle down - the other girls in the community who has already passed through that phase of recovery promised her it was worth it!

The challenge is worth it Giulia, I promise. YOU CAN DO IT - keep pushing forward :)


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

The Bulimia Recovery Program