National Eating Disorders Association

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Recovering from bulimia

So I've managed not to binge/purge for the last three days (Woohoo). I've been eating my exact recommended calories. I've only suffered from bulimia for three months (granted pretty intensely) but it still doesn't seem like three months would have caused enough damage to send my metabolism THAT out of whack. How is it possible that I gained weight? Will it go away?


Hey! As you are experiencing, our bodies during recovery do go through some changes. Because we have put it through such trauma (for however long we have suffered with an ED), our bodies have to readjust to being fed again and being nourished again. Our bodies have been trained to believe it's not going to be fed, so it starts to shut down some. During the re-feeding process, our bodies get a bit confused - it wonders if it's going to be nourished or not.

Remember to focus on being happy and proud of yourself for your 3 days of no behaviors! That's a big deal!! Your ED is stealing your ability to focus on your wins. You fought hard for those 3 days - don't let ED take that away!


Hi oatmealrecovery (love your username by the way!),

Congratulations on your three days of no binging/purging! That's great to hear!

Recovering from any ED differs from person to person. Everyone's body reacts differently to the effects of the ED, and weight fluctuations can be a normal part of this recovery process. Even three months is enough to cause some imbalances in your body and it will likely take just as long, if not longer, to correct those imbalances. However, you CAN reach health and happiness again! It takes consistency in your healthy behaviors and a lifestyle change that you can maintain. Slowly but surely, your body will get used to your new eating patterns free of binging/purging.

It may also help to check in with your doctor as well if you're concerned about how your recovery is going. They can help assess your nutrition goals and make sure you are following a realistic and maintainable plan. Setting up appointments every few months, or at least bringing this up at your next regular physical, can be a big help. Plus, our weights will naturally fluctuate, even in the same day! Focusing on your small victories each day and overall health rather than numbers on the scale will lead you to peace and recovery.

It sounds like you are on the right track - keep going!

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