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I have suffered from bulimia for about five years. However disordered eating has been a part of my life for about eight. The first time I can remember trying to make myself sick was five years ago at my ex-boyfriend's house. We had just eaten a horribly unhealthy deep-fried chicken Chinese takeaway and probably a lot more chocolate & sweets after that. I felt so disgusting and all I wanted to do was to get it out of me. I didn't really succeed, it was very difficult and sticking my fingers down my throat felt so unnatural. Now it sadly feels like the easiest and most normal thing in the world.

As a teenager I was never happy with my body. It all started when I hit puberty at about 12 years old and that was the first time I remember feeling "fat". In reality I was not fat or overweight at all, weighing about Xlbs at 5'5". I had no clue about how to lose weight healthily or exercise/nutrition so I went on many failed diets which only led me to feel even more depressed.

At age 16, the binging started. I would babysit for some extra pocket-money at the weekends and the parents would leave food out for me to eat. I would devour all of it, and more. This became a nasty habit of eating healthy during the week and then binging on tons of "bad foods" at the weekends. I gained about 20lbs, shooting up to Xlbs which put me right on the verge of being overweight for my height/frame. I felt absolutely awful about my body and how I looked. I remember my 17th birthday which was spent in Germany. The whole time I was there I gorged myself on cakes, brownies, pasta, bread, pancakes and any kind of "binge food" I could get my hands on. I felt disgusting, and didn't even feel like I was myself anymore.

A year later after my 18th birthday I decided to make a change. I was sick of feeling so miserable about my body so I came up with a "structured eating plan" to lose weight and get healthy, which was not restrictive and very sensible... much like Shaye's eating plan except I limited sweets to one day a week (Sunday), which was my cheat day. This worked extremely well for me, as I never felt hungry or deprived and for the first time in my teenage years, I actually felt good about myself. I stuck with this plan for about 4 months and still look back on those months as some of the happiest in my life. I didn't obsess over numbers, calories or food, I lost about Xlbs, my skin was glowing and I felt healthy. Sadly this happy period came to a halt when I met my ex-boyfriend and started up a rather unhealthy relationship with him. He made me feel bad about myself and I succumbed to disordered eating once again, and finally bulimia.

I am now 24 years old and a lot of my bulimic habits & thoughts have subsided but not enough for it to be totally out of my life. For example, I can eat perfectly normally for over a week (no restricting behaviours, etc.) I can eat out with friends, eat dessert & not binge, I can eat "binge foods" when I'm not binging and still keep them down, I'm fairly happy with my weight and my body image is quite good and MUCH healthier than it once was, but most nights out of habit, I still give in to the urges of binging and purging. I normally binge and purge once a day, at night time. I am working SO hard to get rid of the last part of my bulimic behaviours and I thoroughly believe that once I have conquered this, it will be out of my life for good.

Thank you Shaye, for reminding me that a full recovery is possible.

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

The Bulimia Recovery Program