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‘Looking to See How Bulimia Works’

By November 26, 2012

I came across this website while looking to see just how bulimia works. I am 20 years old (almost 21!), 5’4 and I got sick recently from mono and for a whole week I couldn’t eat, b/c I couldn’t swallow. I was throwing up all the time and I felt so weak. When the symptoms all went away, my mom told me I looked like I had lost weight. I, of course, ran to the scale to find that I had lost ** pounds while being sick! I was about *** and went down to ***! I am wearing clothes that I couldn’t for a long time. My stomach is flat and I actually wore a bathing suit! My boyfriend noticed and said I looked great. I have always obsessed about my weight and am always trying some diet. I have kept those ** pounds off, but lately I have seen my stomach getting bigger and I keep thinking, “If I could throw up maybe just once or twice a week, then I could keep thin.” So, I researched on the internet just now to see what exactly it does to you, but the results I found were for people who “binged and purged” about 6 times a day. Is it just as harmful to only throw up a couple of times a week? I was talking to my boyfriend today about how I wanted to lose 10 more pounds and I wanted to do it by dieting and exercising (which is new for me, b/c I hate exercising). He wasn’t impressed and suggested I go bulimic, but I couldn’t tell if he was kidding. Also, my family has always made comments about my weight and I would try to ignore them and not let it get to me. After my boyfriends comment, I couldn’t shake the idea that throwing up just a couple of times a week might help me either maintain my weight or lose more. I know it’s harmful, but after seeing how it worked while being sick I am contemplating it. Still, here I am zipping through websites, trying to find out if throwing up my food is okay. I started crying. I just want to be thin and wear shorts and bathing suits and not be ashamed of how I look. It felt so good to have my stomach flat and when its not, I hate myself. I want to be a size 1 or 2 and right now I am a *. I don’t want to turn to throwing up my food, but I have seen that it works and I don’t know if it’s worth it. I didn’t realize that my obsessing about my weight and my constant dieting with different diets was a problem until now. Acceptance is the first step to recovery, right? I just want to be thin!!! *I posted on the message boards, but I really need a response, so I thought I would email ya’ll.* I don’t want to harm my body, but I am so tired of being the “average” that I am. – Contemplating….riley

Riley,

1. Listen to me and read this, out loud, six times over: “It is not good for my body, my mind, my desire to be healthy, or my future life as a woman and/or mother to throw up.” Read it again.

2. Now, stop searching on the internet for sites that will advise you how to use bulimia as a weight control technique.

3. Consult your primary care physician for the name of a registered dietitian in your area that would be able to meet with you to discuss how to eat in such a way that you are (a) healthy and (b) able to reach realistic and appropriate weight goals. Also see “Finding a Nutritionist.”

4. Realize that the throwing up did not make you thin! Did you read that? The throwing up when you were ill was not what made you thin? You were sick. Mono is a very serious situation that demands medical supervision to insure vital organs are not damaged and that secondary problems do not set in. Your body was most likely struggling to fight off infection and was not able to process all that it needed to do. You lost weight because you were ill. Do not use ill ways to get to goals. You will lose.

5. Finally, I do like that you were willing to research a “How To.” What would happen if you decided to research the cultural pressure on females to be a certain size? What would you learn if you researched on the internet the negative effects and long term consequences of bulimia? What would be different for you if you researched and learned that there were professionals dedicated to helping young women be healthy and wise about their bodies and not just listen to boyfriends, relatives, friends, and advertisements to make their choices?

I think one answer might be–you would feel more free to love yourself at size *. You would start to understand that there is more going on in this world then the positives associated with you having a flat belly. You survived mono. Stop obsessing over what you think the illness did for your figure and be thankful that the mono is over. You can work with a registered dietitian and exercise physiologist to reach a weight goal. But we can not always recover from illnesses.

Good health! And know that I am thankful right now, this minute, that you sent an e-mail. Go in peace!

Leanne