Hello, my name is Kaylee.
I just read your story about recovery from bulimia. I am 24 and have had an eating disorder for 6 years. 4 of which have been on the very worst end of bulimia... All I do is binge and purge and I spend so much money on food and I'm just sick of it all. I've been wanting to recover like everyday.
Heres my thing though, how can I get my stomach to function normally again? I do not think my eating disorder is as emotional as it is physical. Like you said its a physical addiction and im wondering how I can recover physically.
I feel every time I eat my stomach wants to reject it and becomes so bloated and then that leads me to binge and purge. I dont even think my stomach can digest anymore?
How was this like for you and how did you get through it? I actually want my stomach to process food again so I can kick this habit. If the food just went down and didn't make me feel sick or so bloated I think I could recover from bulimia. The physical part is holding me back.
Also, what are some ways to curb cravings... I'm obviously addicted to sugar so there must be some advice on how to trick my body into thinking I ate sugar or binged or something?
Please help me. I need it badly!
I used to think the exact same thing as you "I don't think my stomach can digest anymore" In fact, I was almost certain of it!
I remember thinking that if I stopped bulimia - I would be forced to live on a diet of lettuce because any calorie that passed my lips would sit in my tummy for eternity and end up on my butt!
It took a leap of faith to eventually prove this wrong...
Before I started on the bulimia recovery journey, I couldn't and wouldn't hold anything down. Once I had set my mind to recovery I set little challenges for myself to get my stomach used to digesting. I started off holding down small breakfasts... Also making sure that I had a snack in-between my meals - which I would digest. I did get bloated from it - but I kept reminding myself that bloating was temporary - and recovery was forever!
For 9 months I improved gradually and slowly... but, I was still bingeing and purging about 2-3 times every evening. Until one day, something came over me and I decided I would never purge again...
I got through the day purge free and that night as I lay in bed I felt AMAZING... yes, I felt full and bloated - but I knew I was finally on the home stretch of a life free from bulimia.
That day was the first of many, many more... In fact, it signaled the end of my bulimia...
For the first month of my new bulimia free life - I felt incredibly bloated. The years of bulimia had taken their tole on my stomach - and I had to get used to digesting again.
I tried to eat foods which didn't make me feel to uncomfortably bloated - nice salads with tasty dressings... fruits... stir fries... and so on. I did allow myself to eat fun foods though - and had a little bit of chocolate almost every day. I stayed away from breads because they made my tummy blow up like a balloon.
But, slowly this bloating got better and better. After 1 month it was mostly gone. It came back from time to time for a few days - but on the whole my digestive system was almost back to normal. It was still a little slow - but even this improved in time.
Now, 5 years later and I have faster metabolism than most girls I know. I eat basically what I want and my weight is stable. This proves that your stomach can recover from the damage bulimia has done to it - but it will take a little time and patience.
Remember - bloating IS temporary... It will go away. Recovery is forever!
Go and buy some comfy baggy cloths to help you out on very bloated days. Baby doll dresses, baggy pants, hippy dresses and so on. This is a very important step in your bulimia recovery... It will help you push through the bloating and recover.
With your other question about being addicted to sugar - yes, I was terribly addicted to sugar! But, I didn't cut it out completely during my recovery. I just ate it in moderation. When I felt craving for sweet stuff - but had already had my fun foods for the day - I would have some sugar free jello (Jelly as we call it here in New Zealand)... I found this helped.
I hope these tips make your bulimia recovery journey a little easier and more straight forward.
I'd love to hear from you again to see how you're getting on!
Stay strong and remember to be kind to yourself :)
Shaye P.S. Here is an article I've written on how to survive the bulimia bloat!