National Eating Disorders Association

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binging after anorexia

Back in September I was hospitalized for anorexia and received treatment for 2 months. once I was released from the program, I still had minor setbacks on the daily but was ultimately stable in weight and was keeping on track. however, in January when I went to a check in at the hospital, I saw that I had gained weight from Christmas and I relapsed. Now, it's May and I have been really determined to stay on track but it has been getting more difficult and I weighed myself the other day and saw I am at the weight I pretty much was at when I stopped eating. lately, I have been binging and feel so out of control and unhappy with myself and I don't know how to go back on a steady path without completely relapsing again and being in a bad mindset.

Hit Me Like a Mack Truck

I am 47yrs. Began my struggle with Anorexia at 15, hospitalized at 31, struggled with cycles of relapses until I was 35. I met my beloved husband and I was good...healthy. My trigger is abandonment so with a man that loved me and continues to love me unconditionally, I just was really unaware of what was happening until yesterday. Three and a half years ago I began experiencing loss, death of my step-dad, 7mo later my brother, a job, spiritual leaders, and recently a best friend. To add to this was guilt and shame as I watched my daughter also go down the road of anorexia/bulimia. Then this Covid isolation. During all this time I was steadily gaining weight, I thought it was my hypothyroidism and to be honest I do not have a below the breast mirror in my house (subcontious decision really) so I had not seen myself and just how bad it had gotten. I was at my mum's and she has full length mirrors and I was astonished! My mum took the opportunity to share her concerns over my weight and said to me "Nicki, I don't think that you ever fixed the core issue with your eating and it is getting out of hand on the other end." She is right. I have gotten on the phone to arrange psychotherapy as I desperately need help. I am on this stupid app for eating but I am angry at it, I don't want to feel this guilt for eating...I don't like the feeling of hunger I had 20 years of it...and I feel it is pointless to add to my shame before I am in a safe space to help with the core issue. I am so angry, not at myself, I need to be compassionate there but at the situation. I am angry and frustrated.

Dear NickiB

We are sorry to hear you are struggling and wanted to leave some resources for you. Our confidential NEDA Helpline can be reached at 800.931.2237 M-Th 11am-9pm ET and F 11am-5pm ET. You can also chat with us online M-Th9am-9pm ET and F 9am-5pm ET. Our trained volunteers and staff can assist you with finding other resources and support in your area. Stay well and take care!

Hi Everyone

I can relate to the eating issues during anorexia recovery completely! I developed anorexia in 2011 while in college. I had been very active facing since childhood and always underweight. I started lifting in HS, finally hit Xlbs, gained a bit more weight when I stopped dancing but wasn't perturbed until I was alone away at college, had a very unhealthy long distance relationship, and started ritualized excessive exercise, very restrictive but consistent eating patterns and habitual weight taking. My weight never fluctuated ,I was in excellent cardiovascular shape but I lived off certain food. One time I ate something someone left in the garbage in my dorm building at midnight after a run. I could not help myself. Luckily because I was constantly exercising I never developed purging.

When quarantine hit I had been 2 years out from an awful breakup from the man I had been with in college after 11 years and step children. My anorexia came back horribly after having crept back for the 2 year post breakup (at that time I first developed binge/purge issues when I drank and laxative abuse not helped because I was experiencing legitimate chronic constipation), but in quarantine I stopped drinking alcohol, started ritualistic eating and would perform compensatory exercise after bigger than normal meals. As I've tried recovering I started eating, but I developed horrible purge disorder after basically normal eating. I have developed horrible swelling and my weight at the Dr.s office was Xlbs 2 days ago. So I can tell everyone here that your weight going up from purging daily will happen. It decimates your metabolism and the electrolyte imbalances will cause water retention. Ladies I understand the frustration, especially since now I literally keep nothing in and the scale has climbed and my body can change hourly. It is very emotionally and mentally challenging and the identity crisis is real.

I am also a registered pharmacist and have a BS in biochemistry so have a lot of knowledge on nutrition and body chemistry. The more I restrict the less control I have when I do eat and that is the issue because even after eating a "normal" amount of food then purging all the time I am "gaining" weight and my body is constantly changing, bloating, my face bloat really is alarming, and pitting edema is horrible, uncomfortable, and it literally hurts my skin to wear jeans.

I don't mind eating healthy, I developed gastroparesis from my restrictive eating so that prevents me sometimes from even eating healthy stuff without bloating which makes my brain feel like I'm gaining weight, but I understand that's hard for lots of people. The key then is to find "healthy"alternatives.

I would love to chat or help or commiserate with anyone that wants to! I have been very isolated due to my eating disorder and my parents don't understand at all. My mom was insisting they weighed me wrong at the dr office rather than listening to me that yes I can be eating like nothing, constantly purging, but still gain weight from metabolism crashing, electrolytes disturbances, and water retention. Please reach out. I have the knowledge to help and am going through the same thing as you!

Dear ecapel, we would like to

Dear ecapel, we would like to inform you that we edited your post to remove weight numbers, specific food items, detailed descriptions of disordered eating behaviors, and nutritionial advice, since they are not allowed on our forums and could be triggering to other users. You can review our community guidelines here. Thanks for your understanding!


This is one of the most triggering replies I have ever read. You are not a registered dietitian. The advice you are giving is very toxic and harmful, especially for people suffering from eating disorders. Posting your specific weight is highly triggering and unnecessary.

I want to feel content

Hello. I am currently binging right now, which is why I registered on this website tonight. I have binged on and off for about a year now. It came back this summer...I'm not doing any academic work so I don't really know what the problem is. Any words of wisdom?
Hello? Is there anybody out there? Plz help, Pink Floyd >.<


Hi Annie676, welcome to the forums, it's great that you posted. We're sorry you're feeling this way but the NEDA helpline or chat can offer you some support. You can call 800-931- 2237 or chat,  Monday-Thursday 11am-9pm EST and Friday 11am-5pm EST. We hope you find the support you are looking for and keep posting!