Reader Submission: I Used To Be Bulimic

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Being a teenage girl is probably one of the hardest things in the world. There’s just so much pressure on us to be skinny, beautiful and perfect in every way at all times. This pressure causes a lot of girls to get stressed out and do things that hurt themselves just to become or stay skinny. I was one of those girls.

I used to be bulimic. I started dealing with these issues at a young age. By the time I was 13-years-old, I had already been dealing with bad depression and had been self-harming. I had low self-esteem and the fact that my two best friends were super skinny and beautiful didn’t help with that at all. I had always been slightly overweight, so I was very self-conscious, especially around them. They could wear whatever they wanted and look gorgeous in it and every guy in school wanted to be with them – but no one wanted me. I thought that guys only liked super skinny girls and that if I ever wanted to have a boyfriend, I needed to become super skinny.

At first, I tried losing weight the healthy way. I started becoming more active and eating healthier – but it wasn’t working fast enough for me. I felt like I had to take drastic measures in order to get drastic results. So I started purging. Every time I ate, I immediately went to the bathroom to make myself throw up.

The first time I made myself throw up, I didn’t know when to stop, so I just did it until my stomach hurt too bad to do it anymore. I cried the whole time and afterwards, I felt even worse than I’d ever felt before. My hands were extremely shaky, my heart was racing, my stomach hurt too bad to move and I felt sick and drained. But I thought it was worth it, so I kept doing it, every chance I got.

I thought of new places I could purge all the time. I would go to the bathroom in school at times when I knew no one else was in there. I made myself throw up in stores, restaurants, friends houses... pretty much anywhere. I felt sad that this was my “only option” for losing weight, but I thought that it was just what I had to do, that it was completely worth it.

After about two or three weeks, I started getting compliments left and right. I felt like I was on top of the world, so I kept purging on and off for about two years. I was starving myself too, on and off. One time, I actually went three whole days without eating. I was falling apart, but all I could see was that I was getting thinner every day. I never got to the point of being dangerously thin, but I easily could have.

The weird thing was that no one ever noticed that I was purging. I pretended to be perfectly happy and I guess I’m a really good actor because everyone believed me. No one noticed all of the bad side effects that were starting to show, like my hands shaking or my hair becoming really brittle and sort of falling out – none of it. No one knew about any of it until I told them.

The first person I told was my boyfriend. When we met, he made me feel like the most beautiful, sexy, gorgeous girl in the whole world. He helped boost my self-confidence by showing me how great I was. When I told him about what I was doing to myself, he was shocked. He couldn’t understand why I would try to change when in his eyes, I was perfect.

I’m not going to lie to you, I have had a few relapses – but that is just a part of recovery. Relapsing is really hard to deal with, because I really want to stay strong – not only to make my boyfriend proud of me, but also to make myself proud. I try to stay strong because of how much better I feel when I don’t purge.

Through listening to inspiring music and seeing self-love Tumblr posts, I have come to love my body just the way it is. I have embraced my curves and have taught myself that it’s okay to have them. It took a long time, but I feel like I’ve gotten through it. My boyfriend helped me through it, but I also have to give some credit to myself. Now I am comfortable in my own skin and I love myself.

To any girl out there who is struggling with an eating disorder like bulimia: you are beautiful and one day you will find someone who loves you just the way you are. You might thank that starving yourself and purging will make you pretty, but it actually takes away from your looks. Your teeth, nails and hair get yucky and brittle. You have bad breath all the time, your skin is pale and you have dark circles under your eyes. It’s really not worth it. Just stay strong and you can and will get through this.

Have you ever had to deal with an eating disorder? Can you relate to this story? How did you get through it? Tell us in the comments.


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  • Cherriz

    I used to be bulimic too, I purged for about a year and lost 40 pounds. I thought that would make me happier but it actually didn’t, although everyone gave me compliments I was still pretty unsure about my body. One day my mom caught me purging and she reacted pretty badly. I realized how I was affecting the people that cared about me, so I stopped because of that. I have had some relapses too, but it’s been almost 4 years since I’ve been healthy. I regained all the weight I had lost and I’m now loosing it the healthy way, plus I’m fitter and feel so much better. I love my body, and I think everyone should, no matter the size, because if you have a healthy lifestyle nothing else should matter. 🙂

  • kg

    i started to binged in my 2012 summer i have always been the fat friend ive just never felt confident with anyone not even my mom i still binged every day or two ive gotton use to my eyes get watery when iam done but at time i do wonder what am i doing to my body !?

  • Lena

    I used to be anorexic. My best friend finally cracked all the lies I told a few months ago and she’s helping me through it. You’re right, relapse IS apart of recovery and that really helps me hold hope. I thought relapsing was weakness, you know? Like I was giving in again. This really helped me hold my chin up higher.
    Thank you so much.

  • Ashely

    .-. Anorexica is one of my biggest battles. I used to self harm and was bulimic but now I’m fighting Anorexica. My friends are so gorgeous and skinny and smart. Every guy I ever meet and actually like, we’ll they like me back until they meet my friends witch kinda sucks because I’m always watching the guys i like run after my best friends and that’s not fun… I started cutting when I was 12 because I was just so depressed (still am) but I stopped when I started dating this guy I’m with now. He’s always telling me how my scars won’t bother him (we’ve been together for almost two years now) and he hates that I’m anorexic but I can’t help it. I’m already 5’1 and I weigh 86 pounds and every time I step on the scale I wanna cry. I’m just not as gorgeous as all the other teens in my school and they all tell me it- Constantly. My friends both weigh 110-120 pounds so I guess I should be happy that I’m skinnier than them but they always seem to have 30 guys staring at them where ever we go. Which makes since I mean I’m a teenager I am still a Cup A bra. But… I guess all this is happening for a reason… Right?

  • Andrea

    I use to rember I like this guy he only liked size 0 girls while me trying to lose like 15 pounds to just pleased him I found out is not worth it I find your story very inspirational and true and rember your beuituful and strong and don’t change who are

  • Lilian

    I was seriously thinking about trying to throw up after dinner tonight for the first time. I am so glad I read this first. Thank you. You just saved me.