Your bulimia recovery
Tap here to read more about the bulimia recovery program

My online program and private recovery community has helped hundreds of women beat bulimia.
Click here to learn more

Beat bulimia using my online recovery program and private community. Hundreds of women who were just like you have done the same!

Click here to learn more Member Login

My unhealthy relationship with food for 10 years

by Unhealthy emotional eater
(New Zealand)

Hi there :)

Firstly, thank you so much for this site, Shaye. It must take a lot of effort for the work you're doing, but I just want you to know, that it is really appreciated. I have read through some of these stories, and I feel like I'm not alone!

My story starts in South Africa at the age of 12. I had just been moved into a new school and although I settled in well; most people liked me, I had exceptional grades, and a small group of friends - there was a group of girls who would constantly tease and bully me. I became extremely critical of myself and tried to figure out why they didn't like me as everyone else did! I began starving myself, and soon found myself hating food. To me I was never thin enough and I turned into a completely different person. I was always tired, extremely grumpy, always fighting with my family, depressed and socially awkward. My parents were very concerned, but I did not think I had an eating disorder.

At 14 I was sent to a top-performing all girls boarding school were I became even more socially withdrawn and depressed. I had no friends, and I was no longer the star pupil in class. I drowned in a school of thousands of other overachievers. I was being forced to eat 3 meals a day; pizza, hamburgers, muffins - foods that would otherwise never have passed my lips. I gained some weight, and was no longer at an unhealthy weight. After a year and a half, my parents finally agreed to take my out of boarding school and I was driving 3 hours a day to get to and from school. I made some friends, but they were all so far away that I didn't get to see them often. I was so self conscious of my weight that I was constantly trying different diets, or just eating very very little. I became a very shy and troubled girl.

We moved to New Zealand when I was 17. My sister adjusted well, but I didn't make friends easily and was very self conscious. I filled an emotional void with food and became very overweight. I remember getting dropped off by the bus early each morning, and locking myself in the bathroom so I wouldn't have to sit outside on my own. Usually I would start eating my lunch just to fill the void. I was very self-conscious of being overweight, but that only lead me to more emotional eating.

When I went to uni at 19, I started dating an anorexic. I felt like a whale compared to him, so I turned to the only way I knew of losing weight fast; starving myself. I lost a lot of weight in a very short period of time, and I became obsessed with losing more. Luckily, the only thing stopping me from losing more, was my boyfriend who said that he preferred me not having beestings for breasts! :P I didn't believe I could ever eat "normally". I thought that if I started eating again, I would become out of control again just like when I was overweight. I maintained a borderline healthy low weight, but was always starving myself, and when I occasionally had a binge, would purge. This binge and purge cycle soon became overwhelmingly common. Sometimes this would happen up to four times a day! After a year of this, I started growing little black hairs on my back and realized that I wasn't healthy. I knew that I needed to change.

Although I still did not believe I had an eating disorder, I wanted to be healthy. I started following an eating program that had been developed for a friend by a nutritionist to help her lose weight. Although I did not need to follow a weight loss regime, It was still more food than I was used to consuming. It was difficult at first, and I was terrified of gaining weight. I started exercising excessively. 2-4 hours a day, 6-7 days a week.

But then, uni became very busy and I no longer had time for exercise. My relationship was having issues as well, and I soon returned to binge eating for comfort, but I didn't have the motivation to purge anymore as I told myself that my boyfriend wouldn't find me attractive enough even with a good body. I gained over x kg and my grades dropped.

This was over a year ago, but I find that I am still suffering a very unhealthy relationship with food. I would diet, and develop an all-or-nothing mentality. As soon as I go over my x calorie limit, it would turn into a massive binge, followed by purging, or I would just give up and continue living with self-loathing and emotional eating. I don't like the person I've become. I have made good friends at university, but am becoming more and more distant, and returning to all my old ways. I avoid social situations. My family do no trust me, as I am always stealing their food.

The pressures of moving to Australia in a few months, and finishing university soon, are just too much for me to handle! I have no motivation, yet there is so much that needs to be done! I am lonely, yet I can't face people. I am overweight, yet I cannot stop eating! I really need help.

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Bulimia Stories.



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

The Bulimia Recovery Program