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the question of the swollen cheeks

by Clarissa
(Canada)

Hi everyone,

I binged and purged every day for over a decade, with occasional periods of strained abstinence that never lasted longer than a week and ended in mountainous relapse binges...

Two weeks ago I stopped binging and purging for good. The "how" of that will have to be another post for me, but I can say it involved reading Brain over Binge by Kathryn Hansen.

I wanted to post something about the swollen glands because when I was trying to find the motivation to quit my addiction I looked for answers on the net about the swollen glands and never really found an answer that satisfied me.

I quit B/P-ing about three and a half weeks ago for about a week and found, to my delight, that my cheeks were starting to lose their swell. Now, having been so constantly bulimic for so many years, my face was constantly swollen—in every single photograph of me over the past decade, including drivers license etc. my face is swollen—people just knew my face to look like this. So I was pretty excited when my face started to get less swollen...

Then I relapsed hard for three days. My face swelled up again. I also got other scary symptoms (vertigo) showing me my body was really not handling the relapse stress like it had handled the stress of constant, though relatively tame, B/P stress of the past decade.

Anyway, so I got back on the wagon with more determination than ever. It's now been 16 days since that relapse and my face (not to be vain...though I think maybe I deserve to be a little vain!) is beautiful! My check bones are more chiseled and refined than I ever knew them to be before. I can't get over myself. Lol! Incidentally I also got corrective laser-eye-surgery (to reward/motivate myself) so I'm not hiding behind glasses anymore. I am so proud of how pretty I look!
I did some things that may have helped with the swelling and general bloating: I am taking herbal diuretics (not the same as laxatives!), I am eating totally 'paleo' as carbs and too much veg-fiber can make you hold water, and I did a Candida cleanse (you can get a kit at your local health food store) to help get my digestion going.

Swelling and bloating can be a major deterrent to sticking with recovery. These steps have helped me get through this stage and are having encouraging results: my thin pretty face. so give a week, maybe two, and you should see the swelling subside. But then take note: one binge-and-purge and it comes back with a vengeance.

I hope this post helps out some folks.

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