Are you experiencing the Bulimia bloat? It’s quite probable, because of the causes of bulimia bloating, everyone with bulimia will experience it at some time or other. And especially in the early stages of recovery.
It’s a lonely process and huge long bridge you get over to reach recovery! The hardest things to keep telling yourself are that;
- Bulimia bloating does not equate to getting fat, being fat, or ‘real’ weight gain: Any weight gain from bloating is temporary.
- For most people, bulimia bloating does not last.
However, regardless of knowing the above…
when bulimia bloating hits, it is incredibly challenging physically, mentally and emotionally.
- Not only has your belly ballooned into a rock-hard ball, making you look several months pregnant so nothing fits, it’s incredibly uncomfortable, often very painful and sometimes embarrassing.
- The swelling can be quite rapid and sudden, triggering all sorts of scary thoughts and feelings, not just because it can make you feel fat or believe you’ve gained weight, but because it can make you feel unsafe and vulnerable and even wonder if there is something seriously wrong.
- And it can negatively impact your work and your social life, causing further distress and isolation, especially if bulimia is a secret
When I look in the mirror and see someone who looks 6 months pregnant is the hardest thing ever for someone with body dysmorphia! “I’ll just take some laxatives/throw up/ starve myself & it’ll go away”
- Canceling arrangements last minute because I was in too much pain, nothing fitted, or I felt too fat to be seen.
- Undoing the button on a skirt or letting out a belt, one hole, two holes, sometimes four or five holes, to accommodate a belly that seemed to have taken on a life of its own.
- Times when I could barely stand up straight and one time even being carried out of a restaurant.
Whilst uncomfortable and sometimes embarrassing, the greatest distress came from …
- Equating the bloating with being fat or gaining weight.
- Feeling totally let down by my body and that I couldn’t trust it.- I didn’t realise I didn’t trust my body until my therapist mentioned it. Then I realised it all leads back to control.
All too often those thoughts, of being fat or let down by my body, would trigger a “WTF” moment and I’d binge and purge. And, all too often I’d slip into the mindset that recovery just wasn’t worth it and end up relapsing. Needless to say, I’d be super upset and frustrated with myself
If anyone has any tips on how to get through the Bulimia bloat stage and has come through the other end, please let me know….