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Questions about my track to recovery

Hey Shaye,

I just want to say first off that this site has been really helpful.

Now, I have been bulimic for about a year (extreme calorie restriction 5 months before that). I am trying really hard to recover and get back to a normal diet and healthy relationship with food. I haven't been too successful, I can go one day without purging, but then the next day it comes back scary bad.

Lately I have been experiencing a nauseous feeling after I eat, which makes it hard to not want to purge. Question 1 - What causes this, and how can I deal with it to keep me on a healthy track? Question 2 - I have been experiencing really bad pain in my lower back. Did you ever experience that, and what could be the reasoning for it? And 2 more questions. How long did it take for your bloating to go away? Same for chipmunk cheeks?

Thank you so much.

Shaye Says

Hi Jessica,

Well done for deciding that you want to get back to a normal relationship with food :) Bulimia sucks the energy and life out of you - and I am so glad that you have realised this before it has taken up 1/2 your life.

The nauseous feeling after you eat could be simply because you are not used to keeping food down. I know I did experience this in early recovery and it made me feel really yuk! It did last quite a few months for me before it began to go away - but I had been bulimic for over 1/2 my life so the digestion thing was very strange to my body! Experiment with a few different types of foods and see if any help reduce the nauseous feeling... some foods were definitely worse for me than others - especially very milky foods.

I never experienced the pain in my lower back that you talk about. But, your lower back is where your kidneys are located, so it is possible that you have some sort of Kidney infection and for peace of mind, I'd definitely suggest you visit your doctor and explain your recovery and back pain to him. Please don't feel shy - I promise you, doctors see ED patients often and a good doctor would not think badly of you.

Bloating... Mine took about 3 months to more or less go away. This is very different for everyone though - some people don't even really experience bloating... Others only have it for a few days/weeks. The good thing is that nomatter how long it lasts - it will eventually go away! Good probiotic pills will help this process too.

Chipmunk cheeks are similar to bloating in the sense that nobody can tell you how long they will last... But - they will also go away given time and recovery :)

I'm sorry if I couldn't answer your questions with the exact answers you hoped for... That's the thing about bulimia recovery - it's not set out in black and white... It's somewhat different for everybody.

Wishing you lots of strength for the rest of this journey!

Love Shaye

P.S. Sorry for the delay in replying - I have been on holiday :)

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

The Bulimia Recovery Program