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"One bite is too much and one bite is not enough" WHY!?

by Sarah
(Cape Town)

Hi there, yes your stories ring very true for me too. This is my first post. I am in fact South African married to a Zimbabwean who fled Zim probably about the same time as your family.

I grew up very sporty as well and excelled in every sport I ever chose to participate in.... as a result i always had a very lean, athletic body (which would often get remarks from caring grandparents and the like). I left south Africa when i was 7 due to my fathers work and then proceeded to travel around the world until i went to uni in London at the age of 18. 10 schools and 4 cities later i had developed anorexia (15yrs old) and so by the time i left home to go to London, bulimia was well entrenched in my life. It had become my constant in my life - in a way the only thing i could rely on.

I am now 32 and living in Cape Town with three beautiful amazing children who give me the will to continue - but my bulimia and eating issues are still haunting me. My husband has threatened to leave and i know its not far away until my little girls will see what i am doing to myself. I am consumed with guilt, shame, desperation and anger at myself for not 'snapping out' of this awful illness. I have tried everything and spent so much money on therapy. I am just desperate. I feel so ungrateful to have such an amazing life and family that i seem intent on destroying. I feel so weak and pathetic.

I know i have no option now but to heal - on all levels. My childhood and parents divorce i know has a huge amount to do with my eating disorder and i almost feel as if i want to start all over again! So many patterns and 'beliefs' that have become so ingrained.... i just don't know if i can ever change these after so long. Will i ever know how to eat properly again... and feel at peace. Thank you for listening, S

Shaye Says

Hi Sarah...

I am so sorry to hear that you have struggled for so long with bulimia... I know how draining it is and how it can be so consuming...

Firstly, I just want to say that I know you feel weak and pathetic... But it's not the case. I used to feel the same - but now I can see so clearly it's not true at all! In fact, to live life with bulimia you are ANYTHING but weak... Bulimia is so hard to live with and it takes a special type of person to complete day to day functions AND have bulimia constantly on their shoulder! From my experience working with women in recovery - it's some of the most incredible people that for some reason get bulimia.

If you are strong enough to live with bulimia - I promise you are strong enough to beat it!

I am sorry that your husband is not understanding... It's hard thing to 'get' when you're not going through it, or when you haven't been through it. Perhaps getting him to read my bulimia story might help him get an insight into bulimia? If not tell him I'll kick his Zimbabwean arse :P You deserve a loving husband who understands - and I hope that you can help mould him into that supportive role.

Sometimes it's when we are at out very lowest that we decide that it's time for change... It's when we are ready. It feels like you are reaching this point Sarah? I just want to remind you that just because recovery attempts haven't gone your way in the past - doesn't mean they wont now, or in the future. Weather you see it or not, you would have grown as a person over the years - and you are more ready to beat bulimia...

Try to do something each day that will keep up your recovery motivation and momentum. Maybe you could find a counsellor or therapist who you really connect with and see them frequently? Check yoruself into a trusted treatment center? Or you might even like to join the online Bulimia Recovery Program and Community that I run.

Whatever you decide to do to keep up your recovery momentum is up to you... Challenge yourself gently - and above all, work on being super kind to yourself :)

Lots of love,

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

The Bulimia Recovery Program