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Me, Exposed - Lou's Bulimia Story

by Lou

'I will never eat so much and throw up again, ever!' I've said this to myself many many times before, circled dates on calendars to prove my commitment, written in diaries of how certain I am that this day is the last day, stared at myself in the mirror and made promises, but again and again, I could not keep to my words. It's like I'm intentionally sabotaging myself, my health, my life. But today, I really have made up my mind. No drama, no fancy rituals or big binge to end it, Today I'm going to change, from within. And please, whoever is out there, wish me luck on my road to recovery.

It all started about ten years ago. I'm on an athletics team but have always had a little 'baby fat' on me. Then when I was about thirteen, I ate too much once and decided to try this vomiting thing which seemed like a good idea to me at that time. It didn't happen very often at first, but as all the other stories go, the next thing I know, I was crying on my dentist's chair. That was I think last year, the first time I tried to recover.

All good for half a year, but then I gained weight, and tried dieting again, you see, ten years down the line, you become this girl with nice curves, on the athletics team at my college now, and with a reputation to uphold. No one has really said to my face that I've gained weight, but it was blatantly staring at my face, those love handles, those one or two inches of fat covering my thigh muscles, the big bloated tummy that I'm 'born with', I hated being 'fat', though I was still at normal bmi. I would talk down myself whenever I take off my clothes and go shower, I would feel extremely threatened when my cousin loses weight, I would be super gutted when I see my mum's toned arms. Why am I so fat?!?! What is there to live for if I'm so fat and ugly? In their twenties, people should be healthy and fit and have hot bodies and womanized right?

So I dieted, and then binges and threw up, and so it goes, all my recovery effort out the window. I was back to my old self in no time. During athletics meet seasons, I would be fit and slim and outwardly happy, when athletics meets end and training is less tough, I gain a few pounds and get extremely upset and the bulimia gets worse. I would buy all sorts of cereal, cakes, muffins, chocolates, crisps, yogurt from the grocery store, and also soft drinks to make the food go down, (and come up) easier. When no one's home, I would order food delivery, huge amounts, then when the delivery guy comes, I would turn up the volume on my pc to pretend there's more than one person in the house. Then gorge myself as he leaves, then throw up. I've sat at parks, eating junk food before getting up, throwing up and go home promising that it would not happen again, but it always does. But its not just binge episodes, its every single thing that I count as non-healthy, or slightly fattening. If I managed to have cereal for breakfast, but then had a piece of chocolate after, it goes down the loo. If I had too much yummy beef or stir-fried chicken or potatoes at dinner, it goes down the drain, after which I would return to the table for some after-dinner fruits, and of course, if I had too much of the very sweet or tasty ones, it goes down the drain. Not even meals, if it was normal or even diet coke, which apparently makes you bloat, it goes down the drain. I would vomit in the toilet bowl, in the sink, in the shower, in food packaging (gross I know, only rarely though, when I'm crazily out of control), and once a small amount in the bush outside my friend's house. I do this at least ten times a day!!! And no one knows...

I have tried to tell my mum, but I think it would be too disturbing and I don't want her to see me unhappy or hurt, and she doesn't seem to be able to help anyways, after all everyones got their own problems in life to deal with. I've never mentioned a single word to my friends, remember? My reputation has to be kept intact. And being an only child, I have no outlet really, so being the wimp and vain person that I am, I'm writing my story here anonymously.

I've gone to a counselor before, but she wasn't very good. And so, I've been to my dentist for about three or four times now, with multiple holes filled in nearly all of my teeth, leaving the place in tears and full of shame and ready to change every single time. But the recovery-relapse cycles got shorter and shorter. I would dream about losing all of my teeth, last night I dreamt about having half of the enamel left on my front tooth and I was pushing it around to try and cover the whole tooth with that chunk. (don't ask me how enamel could be visualized, it was a dream.)

Anyway, I was actually good for two weeks, but last week, my parents went to my cousin's wedding and I was home alone for the week. It was all good at first, but then I let my guard down and attempted a water fast to cleanse myself of all the toxins in my fat. I had no idea it would become like this, since I was doing so well. Needless to say, the cleanse backfired and the next thing I know, I was stuffing toxins down my throat and cleansing them out through effortless vomiting and here I am, after a morning of binge and purging. Again. It was chocolate, tons of chocolate, cereal with milk, coke, oatmeal, coke, twelve delivery chicken wings, coke, fanta and multiple toilet visits in between.

It's only been three days this time and so, to put a halt to it all, I'm writing these all down here, once and for all and putting it all far behind me. Wait, that's not right, I can't put this behind me, at least not so soon, because I will forget how vulnerable I am again. So, I'm going to imagine putting all these right in front of me in this website, to stare me in the face each time I come up here and look at it when I'm feeling weak, to remind me of how horrible I feel. How utterly gross and disgusted I feel, how I do not even enjoy the food I binge anymore. How low, how very very very very VERY low my self esteem and self trust can stoop. And how much I want to be out of this trap that has been suffocating me half of my life, in fact all of my conscious life.

I will changed, no, I have changed. From inside my mind. I have changed. I want my life back and to be set free. I want to be healthy. And I will be. I will eat three meals and two or three snacks every day now. And I will use food to nourish my body and mind. I will be strong, in body and in mind. I will not panic in weakness. I will be good to my body and cherish my health. I will be positive. And I will be happy. Happiness is a decision. Wish me luck.

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

The Bulimia Recovery Program