National Eating Disorders Association

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I'm a male about to turn 18 and I have been in recovery for just under two months, and for the past few weeks I think I have been quite constipated and bloated. I have also been feeling fat more and more of the time. I guess I'm quite uncertain as to whether I am feeling unhappy because I just am gaining weight? I've heard that can make everything look a little disproportionate... or could the bloating and constipation be creating an illusion?

Also, is there anything I can do that'll help me to be more accepting of my body right now, or do I just have to go through the unhappiness first? Some sort of reassurance would be great, as the thought of looking/feeling like this for the rest of my life can be quite daunting at times, and I'd really appreciate some sort of way to console myself and tell myself that it'll all be okay.


P.S. Are there any methods of reducing bloating/constipation? It can get quite painful at times...

Dear peacefulprinter214, we

Dear peacefulprinter214, we would like to inform you that we edited your post to remove language that could be triggering to the community. You can review our community guidelines here. Thanks for your understanding and please continue to post! 


Welcome to the forum.
It can take a lot of time and work to improve feelings around body image. My treatment team, when I was in treatment last year, told me that body image is usually the last thing to improve in recovery. I’m doing fairly well in recovery but I still struggle with body image sometimes. Usually there’s some underlying issue/ emotions going on that trigger it. I’ve heard that ‘fat is not a feeling’, it usually means there’s some uncomfortable emotion going on. It takes time to identify these things, so be try to be patient with yourself. Are you seeing a therapist? It can be really helpful to have a therapist help you work through these feelings.
Take care and keep posting if you need to!


I am glad that you have started recovery, but I am sorry that you feel so bad right now. When I was gaining weight, I also felt very bloated and thought I looked really disproportioned. If yo have concerns, I would talk to your primary care physiscian. But from my experience, some of the disproportion was from bloat and constipation. And some of it is because of weight gain. Our bodies are so used to having so little that when it finally gets the nutrition it needs, it tends to store it where all our vital organs are. My doctor says that if I continue to nourish my body, everything will redistribute. But I am not a medical doctor and every one is unique in their recovery. So go to your doctor with any questions as they are more qulified than i am. I hope you find some relief.

Medical Signs and Symptoms

Hello. You mentioned some concerning symptoms so we are providing you with this list. The following are just some of the signs of a serious problem that demands immediate medical attention:

  • accidentally or deliberately caused themselves a physical injury
  • become suicidal
  • confused thinking and is not making any sense
  • delusions (false beliefs) or hallucinations (experiencing things that aren’t there)
  • disoriented; doesn’t know what day it is, where they are or who they are
  • vomiting several times a day or has uncontrollable vomiting or diarrhea
  • experiencing dizziness or fainting spells
  • too weak to walk or collapses
  • painful muscle spasms
  • experience pain in the lower legs
  • complaining of chest pain or having trouble breathing
  • blood in their bowel movements, urine or vomit
  • a body mass index (BMI) of less than 16
  • an irregular heartbeat, and fast heartbeat, or very low heart beat (less than 50 beats per minute)
  • cold or clammy skin indicating a low body temperature or has a body temperature of less than 35 degrees Celsius/95 degrees Fahrenheit
  • experience dizziness, nausea, fever
  • wounds/cuts heal slowly
  • feel tingling in the hands or feet
  • blurred vision

If you experience anything above, we highly recommend seeking help from a medical professional as soon as possible. Seek medical help soon on an outpatient basis if you:

  • have significant heartburn and/or a burning sensation after eating
  • have other gastrointestinal concerns
  • have high blood pressure
  • struggle with significant joint or muscle pain
  • have difficulty sleeping (falling and/or remaining asleep)
  • struggle with fatigue, sudden weight gain, and/or hair loss
  • have frequent urination or unquenchable thirst
  • have gained and lost significant weight repeatedly
  • have gained significant weight in a short period of time
  • struggle with chronic diarrhea or constipation

NEDA is here to support you during the evolving COVID-19 outbreak. The health of our community, especially those who are most vulnerable to the virus' serious complications, remains paramount. To access resources that can provide free and low-cost support, please click here.