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Is it normal to gain weight in bulimia recovery?

by Chelsey Gilliland
(Kirbyville, MO)

ok, so I have been bulimic for a good 3 years. About 6-7 weeks ago I just got fed up with it and decided to stop and to be healthy. the past 5 weeks i wasn't on a diet plan at all and just ate when I was hungry. Last week i started a 1200 calorie diet. These past weeks I work out almost everyday. At the beginning of my recovery I weighed 160ish, and now I weigh 170!!! I feel sooo fat! I can't stand it but I have no temptations of throwing up. I figured I have gotten this far. My belly is always bloated. I just wanna start losing weight, but the right way. and i thought the calorie diet is the right way. Why am i still gaining? When will my body funtion the way it should? My goal weigh is 135-140. I want to be that by May next year. I have time but if I keep gaining Idk what to do. Do you have any tips or am I doing something wrong? Please help. I'm so frustrated. I just want to be skinny again!

Shaye Says

Hi there!

Well done on your recovery so far - you are doing so well! I know the weight gain you experience in bulimia recovery can be so frustrating... Especially when you are not binging... it feels so confusing at the time! I have been where you are right now though (I gained 10 pounds in my first week of recovery!!!) and I promise you dieting is not the solution... Dieting will only push you back into bulimias arms as deprivation drives you into binging. 1200 calories isn't enough for a healing body - so as hard as it may be, I'd suggest trying to eat as normally as you possibly can! The weight you gain in early recovery is normally not fat... it is mainly water from the body rehydrating. I have written about this before - and I think reading this article will help you understand what is happening to your body...

Will you gain weight in bulimia recovery?

I hope this helps! please just keep reminding yourself that as your body heals, your metabolism will pick up and you will settle at your natural weight.


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

The Bulimia Recovery Program