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My friend struggles with the idea that eating "normally" again will lead to gaining weight

by Jan

At the minute I am trying to help my friend who suffers from bulimia...

It is very difficult, but I am just trying to be there and support her in everything.

She struggles with the idea that eating "normally" again will lead to gaining weight, even though she knows it is necessary.

Do you have any articles on this which I could read perhaps?

Shaye Says

Hi Jan!

I am so sorry to hear that your fried is struggling with bulimia... It is a really difficult illness - which I am sure reading through my site has given you some insight on.

I remember being terrified that eating would make me pile on the pounds... But, as I discovered through my recovery... eating is natural... normal... We are designed to do it! And, we can handle it.

If your friend is underweight, then she could add a few kg's on during recovery... but, if she is overweight, she could actually lose some weight. The key is for her to focus on recovery and not the number on the scale. This is easier said than done - and is a process - it won't happen overnight.

I think it'll really help your friend to see a before and after photo of myself - from bulimic to non-bulimic... Then she will realise how bulimia damages your looks and doesn't control your weight as much as you believe... You can get some info on that and pictures here... In my bulimia photo you can see the poor health all over my face!

Bulimia is often triggered by restriction/dieting. It's often what sets the wheels of bulimia turning...

Dieting helps to trigger something called primal hunger which makes a person want to eat and eat and eat!

You can see how this can easily develop into bulimia... A person with poor body image who desperately wants to be thin who can't stop eating! I can see that cycle in myself so clearly ... if only I had realized back then!

So, the first step in recovery is to normalize your eating habits... Once you have got these more or less under control, you have more mental energy and focus to work on deeper psychological issues.

TO normalize eating habits, myself - and countless other woman have used structured eating... It's not something that you do perfectly right away - but with persistence it could be one of the greatest tools for bulimia recovery... I wrote about structured eating a few newsletters ago... You can read that article here...

I also recently wrote about how to stop the binge cycle in it's tracks... To say "NO" once you've entered that robot like state... You can read that article here.

If you haven't done so, point your friend towards this site... Sometimes just knowing that you aren't the only one going through this can be very therapeutic! Bulimia can make you feel like a freak - and it's nice to know you're not alone!

She might even feel the courage to share her story... She'll get other people commenting on it - which can be very inspiring and motivating.

Your friend is lucky to have somebody like you in her life - On behalf of her... I'd like to say Thank you :)


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

The Bulimia Recovery Program