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Terrified of gaining weight in bulimia recovery...

Hi Shaye,

Just to say I think this website is wonderful and I thank yourself and everybody who contributes to this site, as I no longer feel alone.

I just feel at such a low end and do not know where to start. I have been having good days but when I have a blip I drop to such a lonely place. I can't bear it. As mentioned earlier I am getting married in 5 weeks and therefore so want to beat this but I just don't know how, as I feel a failure.

I just do not want to put weight on as I am so frightened. I do not know what my natural weight is and this scares me so much. Does anyone relate to this? I used to be an over weight teenager. I have had bulimia since I was 13 and I am now 31. I have remained at around 7 stone for a long time but want to be healthy. People keep saying that I will not put on weight as I do a lot of exercise and eat healthy (if only they knew the truth about my awful eating habits.

Please could you give me any tips on how to start. I am having CBT which is releasing some anger from my past. I would do anything to beat this.

Keep positive all


Shaye Says

Hi Sharon,

I can definitely relate to your fears about gaining weight - and not knowing what your natural weight is... I was terrified - and felt like I was swimming in the dark as I had nobody to talk to - and I had nobody to ask questions.

The truth is that often we digest more calories in a binge than we would have digested if we just ate normally... So majority of the time bulimia sufferers are already at their natural weight. Normally, the 'weight gain' that we experience is fluid and re-hydration. Most bulimics are living in a state of dehydration - and that's why we often gain a quick 3+ kg's in the first week of recovery... There is no way that this is fat - you would have to be eating for an army and watching TV 24/7 to gain this much fat in a week...

So try to remind yourself of these things every-time you feel fears of weight gain creeping in.

One good exercise that I used was - project forward into the future and write down two scenarios...

Scenario 1 is what your life will be like in 5 years if you keep living by the scale - and in fear of weight gain...

Scenario 2 is what your life will be like in 5 years if you accept your body, live healthily and base your life on what truly matters to you...

I expect scenario 2 will be a lot happier?

Keep these in your handbag to pull out and read whenever you start panicking about your weight.

Using structured eating will help you get back into normal eating - without feeling like you're losing control. I'd definitely suggest that you give it a try.

Be kind to yourself especially when you have a blip... Kicking yourself when your down is no way to get back onto your feet :) Try to talk to yourself as you would your own best friend - or child - if they were in the same boat.

Keep walking this road - I promise you - you will get there!


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

The Bulimia Recovery Program