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I WILL Overcome This Disease - bulimia

I was a very picky eater as a little girl and everybody would comment on how skinny I was. As I entered into my preteen years, I developed a much better appetite. I never thought my weight would be a concern so I ate all the foods that I wanted, as much as I wanted. It was around that time when I noticed that my weight was increasing dramatically. I was actually getting fat! Beginning from 7th grade, I developed a bad habit of eating lots of junk food after coming home from school (as a snack) and then eating very little (much healthier foods that my mom cooked) for dinner to compensate for the junk I had earlier. My early attempts to lose or even to maintain the same weight did not work. I had heard all about EDs but thought that people who starved themselves or made themselves throw up were not in their right minds. At the time, the thought of those diseases affecting me was unimaginable. So I continued with my own "diet" of snacking unhealthily and restricting afterwards.

When high school began, I was overwhelmed with my busy schedule. I played on the volleyball team, joined lots of clubs and also took extra night classes. My mom was worried that I wasn't getting enough to eat so she packed me large lunches and dinners. While waiting for my night classes to start, my friend and I would always go to dinner at Dunkin Donuts. Not only did I eat what my mom packed me but I also ate stuff that I bought. I specifically remember having a creamy mushroom soup with a buttered roll and an entire chocolate Costco muffin. No wonder my weight kept tacking on even with the sports and other activities I did. I did not know that I was actually binging on food at that time. I thought I was filling myself up for working hard.

One time, after devouring an entire bag of chips while doing homework, I decided to throw it all up. I finally found a solution! I could eat all the foods that I enjoyed and lose weight at the same time. At first I thought I was in total control and would be able to stop whenever I wanted to, but my binges became more and more frequent until I began to b/p twice everyday. I secretly hoarded all the junk food (especially sweets) and wolfed them down without even chewing properly or tasting them. I dropped X pounds in less than two weeks. Soon my period stopped and I began to lose lots of hair. I also got cold really easily. My parents grew concerned and took me to a gynecologist but all my results turned back normal, except for my estrogen levels. I, of course did not tell anyone that I was bulimic. The doctor said that she could give me some pills to make my period come back but my parents refused for me to take synthetic hormones. This just made them monitor my food intake more closely.

Throughout the rest of my high school career I was controlled by my bulimia. Though I had bulimia-free periods (ranging from 3 months to several days), I always ended up going back to the vicious b/p cycle.

Now I understand what I once thought was crazy. I know the dangers of bulimia but I can't seem to stop. I'm scared of going near food because it feels like it's my worst enemy. Once I start eating something that tastes good, it's so hard to control my portion sizes and I would end up eating until I'm close to bursting. Then I feel disgusted and purge it all out in the shower where no one can hear me. On bad days I can spend more than an hour puking in there. I'm also obsessed with watching the Food Network and reading at food blogs. I hate myself for wasting so much time and money on this disease.

I have experience irregular heart beats but I don't want to die of a heart attack or some form of cancer. I want to begin a family. I want to be there for my younger sister and take care of my parents as they grow older. I want to find a loving husband and have kids. I NEED to stop my b/p cycles, which I've been trying to do for the past few years.

Shay, I know that you suggested to talk to someone about my disease but I just can't come around to telling my parents. I don't want to burden them with my condition and let them see me as a failure. However, I have told one person who used to be a bulimic about my disease. She sometimes binges and is still very concerned about her weight. We try to work together to get better, but nothing has come out of it so far.

And I've also tried eating small meals 6 times a day like you suggested but I've only gone a few days until relapsing. I think it's because I'm exposed to so much hard-to-resist food that my mom cooks.

I would also like to ask you, how did you deal with eating out at restaurants with your friends? I can't help but think about all the caloric and unhealthy foods that they offer, especially with today's super-sized menus. Even at amusement parks, the foods are incredibly bad for you, but I don't want food to get in between spending time with my friends.

I have many bright plans for the future and can't afford to waste anymore time and money on this disease.

Please help me get through this!

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

The Bulimia Recovery Program