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Overcoming Bulimia

For over 10 years, Suzi battled with bulimia. Here she shares her journey of overcoming this eating disorder using the tools of Weight Loss Resources to put her in control of gaining and maintaining a healthy weight.

Whiskas

Age33
Height5' 6"
Start Weightprobably about 9¾ stone
Lowest Weight7 stone
Goal Weightthere - although would prefer to be 9 stone!
Current Weight9 1/2 stone

Perhaps you could start to say a little about when the eating disorder started...

To be honest I struggle to remember just when how or why I started to suffer from bulimia.

I'd split up with a boyfriend and started renting a room from one of his friends. I wouldn't say I was THAT unhappy over the break-up. Thinking on things I'd say it was more to do with not having many friends at that point. My best mate from school had moved away and as I left school halfway through A Levels I'd lost touch with school friends. I'd had a bad experience with a bloke when I was 16 and was with someone for 4 years after that - walked out of that relationship with no self-esteem and thought I was boring, ugly and had not an awful lot going for me.

This was very probably why I slipped into being bulimic. Food was one thing I guess I felt I could control.

Have you followed any diets in the past to lose weight? How much were you eating in the past?

How much was I eating?!!! At the start I would have breakfast fine, have a sandwich, crisps usually a cake of some sort during the day, just normal stuff really for a 21 yr old. Evenings were a nightmare more often than not. I would be so happy when my landlady was out so I didn't have to try and hide what was going on. I would go out to shops, maybe two or three different ones as I felt far too embarrassed to get the amount of sweets, pastries, chocolate and any other thing I wanted from one shop alone.

Have you gained weight before and lost the weight?

Before I was just normal. I used to eat quite a bit but then most teenagers do. I started riding a motorbike at 17 and I guess that kept the weight off without me thinking about it at all.

Tell us how your weight/disorder has affected your lifestyle/mood/stopped you doing things/other people's affect on you/people's perception?

Hard to put into words how bulimia affects you and the people round you - living hell would be the closest.

Over the space of 10 years I can't remember a time when I wasn't bulimic. Some periods were worse than others but I couldn't seem to stop myself. It got worse over the last few years.

Before that, because I was eating normally throughout the day my weight didn't really change and only the people really close to me knew. My parents didn't know but as I got worse and aspects of anorexia slipped in as well the weight started to drop off. Everything I did was governed by food. It got so bad that despite going out running for an hour I would feel guilty at having a salad and make myself bring that up.

My ex had 3 kids who we had to stay every other weekend and I dreaded those weekends so much. It wasn’t because of the kids but because I knew there would be sweets and treats in the house and that as he was working all day Saturday there would be no way I would be able to stop myself.

As for how it affected the relationship, well, going out to dinner was something I avoided at all costs and when I did have to I just couldn't deal with it. I hated it and I hated myself every time I ended up looking in the mirror after being sick and seeing the pale faced puffy eyed person looking back at me.

My parents were worried stiff by the time my weight dropped to just over 7 stone and said that to me but I although I hated worrying them I just couldn't stop myself.

Christmas was a complete nightmare. I would sit down, have the bare minimum of Christmas dinner and then slip upstairs to make myself sick. What a horrible way to spend Christmas day.

The problem then was that I liked the way I looked. 5' 6" and I fitted into teenager’s clothes - my stomach was concave and I thought it looked great.

Tell us what has motivated you to want to gain weight and eat healthily.

Well, it wasn't the doctor I eventually went to see that's for sure. He just wanted to put me on anti-depressants! It was a mixture of WLR and deciding that life was just too miserable to carry on as it was. Everyone round me was suffering as well seeing me look and be like I was and I knew I had to stop being so selfish and try to sort myself out.

How did you discover WLR?

I can't remember!!! I think I was trying to find out how many calories was in something I'd had and stumbled across this site.

How has/is the site helping you? Give specifics of gain/change in eating patterns/benefits from advice and support etc? How has your lifestyle changed since recovering?

Blimey, this site has helped put my life back on track.

It was so so hard at first - trying to believe what figures I was given! I looked at the weight range for my height and settled on the lowest that was healthy – 8st11 I think. Put the goal as maintaining that weight and off I went!

I took a long long time and for 2 years I would faithfully input every single thing that passed my lips. Still had a long way to go then. I remember going away with my ex to the Dominican for 3 weeks and most meals didn't stay down because I didn't know the calorie content and so couldn't deal with the thought that I might put on weight. At this point I was at my lowest weight ever.

I did the London marathon last year and that seemed to be the trigger for me sorting myself out a lot more. Because I was doing so much training it sort of got through my head that I could more or less eat what I wanted and there was no way I would put on weight.

I started trying to have one night a week where I didn't worry about going over my allowance - sometimes it worked and sometimes I panicked and reverted back to making myself sick but gradually those times got less and less. I started having a sandwich from the food van; no idea what calories was in it each day – and I felt confident enough to not use the food diary.

Basically, WLR has taught me so well what's healthy and what isn't in food that I've relaxed. I know that WLR is always there if I do have a bad day or week. I remember I had a zinger burger from KFC - first time I've had ANYTHING like that in over 4 years now and did it taste good or what. And I enjoyed it so much because I was so well informed as to what was the healthiest choice (apart from the salad of course!).

I can't praise the members enough as well. They've been there without fail every single time I've doubted myself and WLR wouldn't be the same without them. Doesn't matter what sort of help or support I've needed or when - there's always someone (usually loads) to make you walk away thinking far more positively.

I do work down my mates stable every morning now and usually do about 650 cals worth of exercise so it's helped not to stress about food too much now but I'm just happier. There are and probably always will be some times when I panic and it will still take a bit more time until I can have something as bad as a takeaway but I think it will happen one day.

Finally being able to overcome 10 years of bulimia by myself has given me back a sense of worthwhile and it may sound over dramatic but the fact that life is good now is almost entirely due to this site. Maybe one day I'll settle down with someone and be able to deal with getting fat due to pregnancy - although I'm not holding my breath on that one!!

Are there particular areas of the site you solely use or mostly use to recover from the disorder??

As above - food databases are just the best. I have a heart rate monitor as well and the values that gives me are pretty much the same as the exercise database so that's pretty spot on.

And the boards. Life without the boards - unthinkable!

Do you have any tips you would like to share with others; how the site has helped you to over this particular type of eating disorder?

Take it slowly. The mind takes so much time to believe what the head knows to be common sense and fact. I KNEW that I could eat loads and loads but I wouldn't let myself believe it. Eating ONE thing a day where I didn't know the calorie content was the starting point. Yes, I did still make sure it was a healthy option but it was still hard enough. Then having ONE day a week where I didn't use the food diary but trusted myself. Then I saw that the scales didn't change and I didn't go past my maintenance weight and eventually I had to believe in myself.

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