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I was bulimic for nearly 30 years AMA

36 replies

ToiletWitch · 02/08/2018 11:08

That's it, really. I was sexually abused, bullied and severely depressed as a child, and I started making myself sick 2 - 3 times a day at the age of 22 to control my weight, and deal with feelings of being out of control. This continued for the best part of 30 years. I'm now in my early 50s and haven't made myself sick since I was 48. I'm not an expert or anything, but if anyone has any questions about my experiences, feel free to AMA!

OP posts:

WeirdScenesInsideTheGoldmine · 02/08/2018 15:15

I didn’t know you could even lose your gag reflex!

Congrats on your recovery and well done xx


ToiletWitch · 02/08/2018 15:29

Thanks so much, everyone! It's good to hear that other people have got over it too: it becomes so much a part of your life that I'm sure lots of people reading this who are still caught up in it think, well this is just me, this is what I do.

Pooshy that sounds awful; did being locked in help?

OP posts:

Lollipopp · 02/08/2018 15:49

Any advice you can give to families or close friends of those with eating disorders to help support and/or help recovery?

Thats so amazing how far you've come by the way! Thanks for starting this thread Thanks


ToiletWitch · 02/08/2018 16:45

@Lollipopp Gosh, I don't know what to suggest, so forgive me if this rambles a bit. I didn't talk to my partner, family or friends about the bulimia, and I would have been very embarrassed if they’d tried to talk to me about it, but it depends on the person. I think it tends to be a private thing in any case.

I only spoke to my GP, my dentist, and my shrink. When I told my GP she was initially surprised because she said I always seemed so happy and confident, and I wasn't overweight. I thought if I had told people they'd just say, "You don't need to throw up to control your weight, you're not fat" which wasn't really why I was doing it, as the Maudsley Eating Disorders unit realised.

What started the ball rolling for me was going to my GP and being referred for long-term psychiatric help to deal with the underlying issues, so I would suggest starting there.

I was put on a couple of different anti-depressants until we found the right one (the first two were quite unpleasant), and that was helpful, because it took the edge off my anxiety about control.

CBT didn't work for me, but the following practical things do:

  • I leave my purse at home and take a packed lunch and sensible snacks to work so that I don't usually have any money on me to buy bingeing food on the way home.
  • I use MyFitnessPal, and set it to maintain my weight, not lose weight. I add calories gained by exercise, but I cut back on carbs to around 60g a day. That helps because carby chocolates, cake and ice cream were my go-to binge foods. After a while I lost my sweet tooth, and they’re not so tempting these days.
  • I bought a couple of Kitchen Safes (boxes that lock with timers; highly recommended) and use them to lock up all the foods that my partner enjoys that I might binge on if I come home stressed and the house is empty (peanut butter, biscuits, cheese, butter, etc.). I tell him it’s for the sake of my diet.
  • I said I was trying to cut back on spending money, so I asked my partner to keep hold of my debit/credit cards for a few weeks: that REALLY helped at the start because even when I got home I had no access to money.
  • I didn’t beat myself up about bingeing and purging if I felt I needed to.
  • I joined a gym and started weight training two or three times a week. I have a monthly session with a trainer who checks my form, and occasionally gives me a new routine to go through. He is only interested in how strong I am getting, not on whether I am big or small, which was so liberating.
  • I purposely eat things I know I can’t throw up and it stops me stuffing myself with food. For example, fish and chips mushes down, is filling, and is easy to throw up, whereas steak with broccoli gets stuck in your craw and takes longer to digest.
  • I play time management and searching games on my iPad because they keep my fingers busy on nights when I come home from work stressed.
  • I got a pet. It’s harder to binge when there’s an animal following you round the house that wants to hang out with you.

    Sorry, that was a long one. There are loads of other things but I think those are some of the main things that have worked for me.
OP posts:

ToiletWitch · 30/04/2019 09:37

Hi there - at the risk of reviving a zombie thread which I started, my bridge fell out this morning, so I thought as a public service, you'd like to see what 30 years of vomiting has done to my teeth before I have it glued back in.

I'm a regular poster, BTW: NC for this, obviously.

I was bulimic for nearly 30 years AMA
OP posts:

Libby16 · 22/05/2019 20:01

I know this an old thread but I found it googling.

I am 30 years old, my bulimia began at the age of 14, I have managed long periods without purging, when I was pregnant and for a good few months at a time. My purging generally starts after I’ve been on a diet, lost lots of weight and then I start bingeing again, gain weight, I start purging, making myself throw up and eating large amounts of sugar free sweets which has a laxative effect.

At the moment I’m in a purging episode. I have two children and I want to speak to the gp so badly but I’m petrified they will judge me and think I cannot parent my children well enough whilst having an ED? Is this rediculous?


Kiwiinkits · 24/05/2019 02:13

ToiletWitch. I’m sorry you have had to live through such traumatic experiences. I can’t imagine Flowers


Kiwiinkits · 24/05/2019 02:14

Libby16 Flowers for you too.


Iamtinkabella · 28/05/2019 21:28

@Libby16 your GP won't judge you.. they see this often enough and are trained. They understand it is an illness and you sre not soig it for the sake of it. I have no personal experience in this so hats off to you and the OP for being so open about your experience in this illness. Big hugsThanks


Cahuita1 · 28/05/2020 19:12

Hi Toiletwitch, I searched for a bulimia thread as I have relapsed badly in lockdown. Yours came up- thank you so so much, it is the most honest account that I have read and feels like you are describing me. Really helpful to me to read your recovery tips and that there is hope.


MinnieJackson · 06/09/2020 19:20

Would you use a marker food to make.sure you purged everything? Flowers

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