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I Relapsed with Bulimia in my 40's

by Claudia Taylor
(Framingham, MA)

I first began bingeing and purging at age 18 when a college roommate told me about how you could eat all you wanted and then just throw it up to avoid gaining weight. To a girl who had been called "fats" and "lard" by her dad and had finally lost that 40 lbs. that made me "cute", I was immediately drawn to this new secret "diet." I lived with it for nearly twenty years until I found a therapist who was willing to work "my" way, and with her help I successfully weaning off one day a week at a time, until finally I quit altogether. I went without throwing up for many years, then relapsed in my 40's. Then, after a facelift, I quit again for several years, then relapsed again in my late 50's. I'm now 62 and still vomiting everyday. My teeth are almost all replaced with implants and all are crowned. I feel exhausted and ashamed and sad that I'm still eating in this crazy and unhealthy way. It's such a habit for me, and, because I've gained weight in my mid-life, that stopping seems out-of-reach. I keep thinking I'll join Weight Watchers tomorrow and start eating healthy, but as you all know, tomorrow never comes. I begun to feel frightened for my life, because I don't think my body can take too much more abuse. I would love to get some help and I'd like to know if there's anybody else near my age with a similar history.

Shaye Says

Hi Claudia!

I am so glad that you shared your story with us - thank you. There are so many older women with bulimia... In the online Recovery Program which I run, there are many women over 40. I have been lucky enough to meet one of the women who is 56 and she is just so lovely. Despite your age and despite how long you have been bulimic for - you are a good person and you can still recover!

I promise the answer will not be to join weight watchers. Dieting is a large part of what keeps bulimia alive. The restriction of food is very unnatural for human beings and activates the urge to binge eat... It activates our famine response. Throw into the mix that dieting effects our thyroid function which in turn slows down our metabolisms! I promise it's not the answer. A large part of bulimia recovery comes with eliminating the dieting mentality and actually allowing yourself to eat in a structured way (3 meals and 3 snacks daily)... In time as the structured eating becomes a natural habit, you are able to move onto intuitive eating and listening to that amazing body of yours.

It's never to late to create a magnificent life for yourself Claudia!

Take care of that precious soul of yours :)

xx Shaye

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

The Bulimia Recovery Program