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Weight gain in recovery

I'm Meah, nearly 17 and I have had a bad relationship with food, whether that be in the form of eating too much or too little, ever since I was about 10. The first time I threw up my food was when I was 13/14 but I wasn't thinking about what I was doing, and it wasn't a regular thing at all.
Ever since moving in with my Grandpa 6 months ago I began thinking about losing weight as it was just after Christmas and I was over X stone (not a good look for someone who's only just 5ft). Dieting wasn't working, and as I now had an en suite bathroom it was easy to sneak up into my room after meals and purge. It wasn't something I was new to so I was pretty comfortable with it at first, and it seemed to be the only weight loss method that worked so I got into a routine of starving, binging and purging, oblivious of how bad it would inevitably get. Sure enough, 5 months down the line and I'd lost about Xlbs, however I wasn't Meah anymore, all the colour had drained from my face, I felt dizzy, exhausted and my heart beat was going crazy. I was scared to go out in case I would succumb to the temptation of food and then panic would take over because I wouldn't be able to throw it up. I was a bulimic robot.

Recently, after 5 days of starvation, I decided I absolutely need to stop this now because it was just getting seriously worse and morphing into an addiction that was taking over my life- I had to be losing weight every day and that mattered more than anything else.
I have been in recovery for 3 days now following a structured eating plan and although I'm feeling really positive, this weight gain is causing me to become really anxious and paranoid. I'm trying so incredibly hard to realize that it will be worth it in the end yet I'm so scared I'm going to just relapse again like I have with my 2 other recovery attempts, although admittedly they were a lot more half-hearted.
A part of my mind keeps questioning whether it will be worth it, as also being a sufferer of depression I doubt I'll be happy bulimic or not because I wasn't before that and I haven't been for years but now I feel I'm just going to get fat and simultaneously miserable. My thoughts keep on battling each other, but one thing I know for sure is that I don't want to be bulimic at all, but it also feels like all that effort has gone to waste. At the same time I know I'm not going to put on Xlbs and know I'm exaggerating things in my mind but I can't help it. I don't know what to think anymore or whether to carry on trying. This is so difficult.

After taking a deep breath, and reading that paragraph back I realize that's what bulimia does to you. It makes you panic. Yes, I am putting on weight but to be honest so far it's maximum Xkg and I was previously Xkg, which was underweight and becoming concerning to people. I've realized that with recovery I can maintain a sense of control which is what originally got me into my daily purging cycle. After not long, I lost that control and by that time I was already fixed in the horrible eating and purging routine. In recovery, the structured eating helps you feel in control and gives you a different sense of pride at the end of the day, which is pride not that you're slimmer, but being proud that you're well on your way to being a healthier and yes, happier, individual. People have already seen the difference in me. Bulimia had deprived me of a personality, and now I'm gradually getting it back, and that alone makes me very happy. Not to mention it's so refreshing to be able to be excited about food again instead of seeing it as the enemy. So that's my story so far!

Ooh, P.S. MY OWN PERSONAL TIP- I really would recommend cooking and baking to anyone starting off recovery like me. It's helped me so much to be excited about food and most importantly become connected with food again. If you're connected with it, the last thing (hopefully) you'll be thinking about is throwing it up, especially if it's healthy and you can see what's gone into it, and obviously if it tastes good too. I've cooked at least 1 of my meals every day so far, and it's making the whole recovery thing seem more like a something fun rather than a daunting challenge.

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Article by Shaye Boddington
Author of your-bulimia-recovery.com
and creator of The Bulimia Recovery Program and Community


The Bulimia Recovery Program