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One more thing...

by JS

When I was a senior in high school, leading up to the prom, interestingly enough, I became obsessed with my appearance. The scale became the barometer of my life. As a lifelong athlete who'd always had success and stayed active, I was pretty fit. Playing 3 varsity sports kept me very active physically. I found the gym during my junior year and truly enjoyed working out. However, exercising suddenly became about the number on the scale. I'd often restrict my fluid intake to effect the number on the scale. A typical day of eating would be maybe a piece of fruit in the am before walking 18 holes of golf, working out for an hour at the gym, and sometimes, playing a hockey game at night; only to go home and eat a gallon of ice cream. On the nights I partied, usually once or twice a week, I tried to confine my caloric intake to alcohol, but when drunk I tended to binge eat. I only remember contemplating purging once, when after a large binge, I panicked and went to the gym late in the evening. I felt nauseous after doing quite a bit of cardio and went to the locker room. I thought of vomiting, but thought it was only for girls. My disordered eating worsened to where I only ate a small meal midday, with drinking and random drunk eating rounding out my caloric intake. The pressure to succeed after I graduated college in May of 2006 was intense. My friends, family, and myself expected me to work in a high power/paying position. My admittedly alcoholic partying worsened leading up to a DUI crash in which I drove into the woods at a high speed and sustained a Traumatic Brain Injury. I lost a lot of weight over 3 the mos I was in the hospital. Everyone wanted me to gain weight and "fatten me up" when I came home. As I put a little weight on; I became terrified of gaining weight. I was facing a felony because my BAC was extremely high with my weight and calorie obsession forcing that fear out of my mind. I had become Anorexic. With treatment including intensive outpatient and inpatient therapy my eating normalized, but not my thinking. I became a binge eater soon thereafter. With my weight ballooning I turned to fasting and over exercising to manage my weight. After a stint at a residential treatment center last summer I returned to my disordered eating, only now I purge almost every day. I don't know whether alcoholism, poor body image (did I mention that I'm only 5'4"), ptsd, or impulsivity issues from the brain injury have led me here? It doesn't matter, it sucks. I'm trying to build a new life with the left side of my body weakened and cognitive issues (both from the TBI), which is a challenge in itself, but Bulimia is the thing that may beat me. I've been treated for depression and suicidal ideation (one attempt) with ED behaviors being the trigger. I don't have any answers, just my experience.

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

The Bulimia Recovery Program