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Need help with bulimia at college

by Gemma
(Untited States)

Hi Shaye,

I have been bulimic since I was in eighth grade and I'm now a sophomore in college. I have periods of extended recovery and last year when I came to college I recovered for the time when I was at school. I relapsed really badly on breaks though when I went home and thought it was just because I was at home. I have only been at school for a little over five weeks and for the last two weeks I have relapsed back again badly. I just needed to tell someone who would understand because my parents are really angry and I am depressed. Also I was wondering how much exercise is a good idea when recovering from a really bad summer of bulimia? Last year I was running almost everyday for long distances but I stopped when I got home and didn't really work out over the summer. My friend that I used to run with keeps rubbing it in my face how great she feels all the time and how much she is running and I just need the perspective from someone else who has had to recover from bulimia.Thank you so much for taking the time to read these posts.


Shaye Says

Hi Gemma!

I am sorry to hear about your relapse into bulimia... But you have done so well to stop it in the past and I know you have it in you to do it again!

I think it would be really helpful for you to look closely into why you relapse... It can be hard to figure these things out - but something I found helpful was to grab a notebook and a pen and to just start writing... Write everything and anything that comes to mind... Just let it all out! Then read over what you have written and look for any clues as to why you have slipped back into bulimia. Do you feel anxious? Have you tried to diet (can be a big trigger for relapse)? Do you feel lonely? Try your best to figure it out... because this is the first step towards knowing what you need to change to make your time at college - and your visits home more enjoyable :)

Exercise in bulimia recovery can be tricky to get right... I think the balance lies in exercising enough to make you feel invigorated and energetic... But not exercising for the sole point of burning calories. If you are exercising just to burn calories - this is just another way of purging and won't help with your recovery. Try to find a type of exercise (maybe it's dancing, hiking, martial arts, boxing etc) that you enjoy... truly enjoy... For the way it breathes life into your body and soul :)

Your body is also putting a lot of energy into healing during recovery - so if you feel too tired to exercise, try not to push yourself... Go for a light walk just to get outdoors... but leave it at that.

I hope this advice helps! Remember - that you have already taken so many positive steps in your recovery journey... If you use the tips I've shared here - you will take even more steps forward :)


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

The Bulimia Recovery Program