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What Happened?

by Lu
(Canada)

What happened? I was always so confident in my body. I loved curves, I loved creases; I loved thick thighs, big bottoms, full breasts and round stomachs...other girls took notice in this confidence of mine. I was the one they went to for help when it came to body issues (and a lot of other things). I didn't bat an eyelash to all those phony mag covers. I hadn't ever wanted to look like those photoshopped, plastic women in playboy. I was happy to help these girls, too. But I guess it started to get to me.
Many of these girls were smaller than me. I was 5'6 and x lbs (167.64 cm and x kg). One girl in particular was tiny (both height and weight-wise...5'0/152.4 cm and x lbs/x kg). She was bordering on anorexic, and I was most certainly concerned for her. I didn't sugarcoat the advice I gave for her, and I knew that any compliment I gave would go right over her head.
As I kept attempting to help these girls on my own (facepalms), I started taking their self destruction and lack of self-worth more personally. Like, 'if they think they're fat, then what the hell'm I?'
I started doing mini daily workouts and eating strictly healthy foods with less carbs involved in the diet than before. I was doing alright, as I was still eating actual healthy meals daily, even if they were smaller than they should have been. I started counting my calories constantly.
This went downhill fast.
I started pretending I was just looking at the ingredients lists whenever I checked out the number of calories on the packaging for any type of food before deciding whether to consume it or not.
I remember the first time I forced myself to puke. I was still getting the hang of it and kept gagging when ramming my index finger down my throat. Then I ended up puking through my nose. It burned all that day.
I began refusing to eat (just coffee with sucralose, calorie and aspartame-free sweetener for breakfast, skip out on lunch) for most of the day, until I started getting really dizzy whenever I made any sudden movements, and so I'd binge, binge, binge...then drink water/alternative milk (I went vegan about 2 months ago, yes, this story's still fresh) or whatever kind of beverage that would make my throat burn less and not hurt it so much after purging. I'd leave a little bit of food remaining in my stomach so I could still feel somewhat full and not get the urge to binge again. I'd lie that I had eaten earlier in the day, and I'd ask what others ate throughout the day. I'd attempt to act as casual as possible about this.
I felt like a disgusting pig whenever I just couldn't vomit. I would have a meltdown and claim I was a big fatass and how horrible I'd look once I reach adulthood and let go.
I would run tap water/play music whenever I went to the washroom to vomit, to cover up the sounds. I'd wipe out the loo with toilet paper and flush...sadly looking at what had been in my stomach get flushed away. Careful to keep my hair out of the mess, I'd put it up in a ponytail. I'd take necklaces off. I'd take my glasses off in case my eyes got watery and tears would drop onto the lenses (which often occurred). I used one of my hands to press hard onto my stomach, and the other to ram my index finger down my throat. I learned that using more than one would cause bite marks, and I didn't want anyone to spot that.
After purging, I'd take my hair out of its ponytail and brush it so it didn't look like I had just put it up to puke. I'd put my necklaces back on and wash my hands of the smell, also pop a cough drop or mint into my mouth and blow my nose, as my nose would begin running as well. All done...not looking as if I just puked up my dinner.
I lost x lbs in 2 months. I weighed myself and stared...x lbs. I told everyone I was x. People COMPLIMENTED me on my 'success'. That only made me feel worse, that I must have been a huge fatty before and must only be average now...that I must be slim.
It was also a control thing. Lots of drama was occurring all around me, my family life wasn't/isn't too swell. I felt like I had lost all control of my life, and that this was something I COULD control. Beeeeeeeeeeeeep.
Wrong.
Very wrong.
I am still suffering from this, and even knowing that I am underweight, I still do this. I can't stand the feeling of a full stomach for more than a half hour max. My girlfriend (yes, I am a lesbian, and we get homophobic comments sometimes, but overall we're standing strong in that department...my mother is bisexual herself and my girlfriend's family is very accepting...my father, who lives 14 hours away, has a hard time understanding but tries and his wife just uses it to put me down amongst other things...anyway, I'm getting off topic) was the only one who noticed how negative this really was. She expressed concern almost immediately. My ribs clearly show, even if only a little when standing straight up. When I lie down, my stomach seems to sink in and my hip bones jut out. My spine clearly shows whenever I bend over even a little. I pinch the little bit of fat I have on my stomach in disgust, still...
My girlfriend says that if I lose any more weight, she'll voice her concern to my mother, but she'd just say that beer is the solution to the problem as beer is high in calories. Yes, my mother would say that...she believes dark beer is equivalent to all other forms of sustenance.
My girlfriend also threatened to basically force me into counseling. Whenever her fingertips touch me, she is careful to be gentle. It's as if I were a freaking china doll.
I don't want to lose her over this, or anyone. I'm not sure what to do, really. I am so afraid of letting the word 'bulimic' when referring to myself aloud...as if not voicing it makes it not real...makes it okay.
I know it's not. I know I'm not drastically underweight, but I can feel myself being pulled farther into this horrendous routine more and more every day.
I can feel my body weakening, no matter how much I work out.
...and I'm gradually disliking myself more and more, too. It's hard not to when experiencing this everyday. No one feels like a million bucks after vomiting.
So...that's my story so far.

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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