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I Have a Confession:

February 19, 2011

I used to purge like craaaaazy!

I have a really long and complicated history with puking. I can’t remember exactly what day it started, but I do remember one specific instance that made purging seem very useful.

It was 2 years ago in May; by then, I had lost about 10 pounds and had cut out all desserts. My school was having a bake sale. My technology teacher was running it, and I was one of her favorites. She had let me skip my classes after lunch so that I could help her set up. Just as the last bell was ringing, she told me I could pick one treat for free. At first I declined, because I knew that the less I ate dessert, the less I craved it, and I didn’t want to break my streak. She kept insisting though, and my deprived body finally broke down. I went back and forth deciding what I wanted, and finally chose a double chocolate-chip cookie.

My dad picked me up from school and I ate it during the car ride home. I then calmly walked up to my bathroom, and threw up all of the sour, acid-soaked, soupey cookie. I’d purged a few times before then, but that was the first time something clicked in my head. It was like I had thought, “Hey, now I can eat whatever I want and as much of it as I want, because I can get rid of it.” Oddly enough, after that one instance I didn’t change my eating habits, even though I knew I could purge. For months I continued to eat very ED-approved meals, but I only purged when they made my stomach too bloated. That went on for about one year, where I purged occasionally, maybe once a week at the most.

After that, I started to purge more frequently, and shortly after that, I started to have mini binges. I can’t remember when I first binged. I just know it started as eating a second brownie because I knew I didn’t have to digest the calories, and it quickly escalated to full-blown binges where I would eat whatever I could get my hands on. I even specifically purchased food to binge on. I would cook meals ED decided were otherwise unsafe, and ate them because I knew purging was an option. I would eat until it hurt to stand up straight and all I wanted to do was collapse on my bed, then vomit until only acid came up. My bedroom and bathroom are connected; you have to walk through my bedroom to get to my bathroom, which made hiding the purges very easy. The fact I don’t share a room with anyone made it even easier.  

My first attempt at overnight oats. The overnight mix was 1/4 + 1/3 cups rolled oats, 5 0z of chobani, 1/3 cup milk, 1/4 banana, and cinnamon. In the morning I topped it with 1/2 pear and…

From about March to October of 2010, I purged almost every day, and binged whenever I was home alone. Sometimes I ate until I thought I’d burst, throw up, and then go right back and binge on different foods I deprived myself of…only to purge again. I remember one specific time I couldn’t purge. The binge wasn’t huge, but I was furious that the food wouldn’t come up. That was the start of my trying to quit. The binging made me feel so out of control, which is everything anorexia goes against. The purging just plain hurt: my throat, my eyes, my nose, my hands, and my cheeks were all either sore or stinging. I B/P-ed a few times after that, but soon I was strong enough to resist a binge. Once I stopped binging, I was petrified to start again, but I continued to eat regularly and purge occasionally. Thankfully, I have stopped doing that too!

My purging was sort of like a hill. It got worse and moved up, then it peaked and started getting better, moving down. I didn’t purge, then purged, then binged and purged, then purged, then didn’t purge. Now I don’t do any of that crap at all. I haven’t for over a month and a half, and I never plan on going back to that. There are better ways to get rid of my emotions than by flushing them down the toilet.

…1 tbs soynut butter and 1 tablespoon almond butter. It was divine. I ask you, why have I spent so much of my life not eating this amazing bowl of yum?

I seriously believe that the cycle of purging is like a drug. Even if you purge just once,  restisting the urge to purge the next time becomes nearly impossible. And, like all other drugs, it is easier to never start than it is to quit. In the moment, I didn’t think I was harming myself that badly, but my mildly stained teeth and scar on my hand (from my teeth scraping against it) are proof. If any of you are thinking about starting to purge, I beg you to decide not to. It is not worth the physical and emotional harm. If you are currently struggling with it, try to find the strength in yourself to stop. It is so hard, but it is very possible, and I know you can do it! If you ever want advice, or just need support, drop me a comment and I’ll let you know my email address (I don’t want to post it here for anyone to get a hold of). It took me 1 1/2 years to learn my lesson and stop purging; I am so happy I did! I know that any of you dealing with this issue can stop too!!!


Have you ever purged…or seriously thought about doing it?

Have you tried overnight oats?

11 Comments leave one →
  1. February 19, 2011 11:06 pm

    Yay for overnight oats! I’m so excited to make my second batch…I think I’m gonna do it tonight 😉

    I’m so glad you were able to put your history of purging out in the open. I think it’s so great to be able to put yourself out there and realize that talking about it makes you stronger. And I’m even more glad that you were able to stop purging. That’s a HUGE accomplishment, especially after 1 1/2 years!

    I have absolutely no experience with purging. I have been deathly afraid of throwing up since I was little and it always just grossed me out. So it was never an option for me in my ED, though I have to admit that sometimes I did think about it but I just couldn’t make myself do it. I’m really glad I never did, because I messed myself up enough with restriction. I also never binged, even when I was starving. I wish I could say I don’t struggle with restricting anymore, but I do. However, I’m working on it.

    Stay strong, girl 🙂

  2. February 20, 2011 12:44 am

    Hey Bryana,
    This post is really relevant to me right now.
    Even though I’m not literally purging, I have been restricting, sometimes bingeing, and then over-exercising to make up for it. I hate it.
    I don’t know what it is that makes me restrict one minute and binge the next.. It’s strange, but either way, it’s unhealthy.
    I have tried purging twice, once was Christmas eve, and the other in early January. Both times have been after major binges where my stomach felt like it was about to explode.
    It didn’t work. And honestly, I didn’t try all that hard to make it work in the first place.. Thank goodness.
    After bingeing lately, I have definitely thought about purging; however, I won’t let myself do that cuz I don’t want to go back to ED, at least not as deeply obsessed with it as I once was.
    Anyway, your honesty means a lot to me 🙂 Thank you for this post.. I’d love to hear more about your bingeing sometime if you don’t mind sharing. I find it rare among us. ha

    As for the overnight oats, obviously I have never tried them considering I first made oatmeal tonight! Ha. But how do you do them? Also, do you have any good oatmeal suggestions for a newbie like myself?
    Thinking of you.. 🙂
    ❤ Haley

  3. Hedda permalink
    February 20, 2011 2:58 am

    You are brace for sharing this with us, and I know that your honesty about personal experiences will help and motivate others who struggle with bingeing and purging.
    It’s a vicious circle, and ED get a quick hold of us. There is no such things as balanced eating in a disorded mind, it’s either severe restriction or bingeing.
    I had a period where I binged, but I’ve never purged. My body broke down, it was so malnourished and desperately needed food. If I couldn’t control this cry for food and decided to eat just the smallest piece of food more than the anorexic voice told me to, it was down the bingeing lane. Like anorexia was so pissed off of me that I couldn’t control myself, so why not go all the way and feel how painful food is?
    ( if that made any sense )
    I have stopped bingeing, but I still feel the desire. Especially on days where I don’t eat enough, or on days where I am so desperate to get my body back in a healthy and strong state. I know that I can’t obey these voices though, because bingeing is not a sustainable solution. Eating frequent meals and snacks is.

    Again, thank you for sharing – you are a true fighter. Be proud of yourself.

  4. February 20, 2011 10:13 am

    Like the others, I really appreciate your honesty for bringing up this topic. I have never binged or purged, but I’ve definintely thought about it. I know that if I started, I wouldn’t be able to stop, so, thankfully, I’ve been able to resist. I have overexercised, which I consider to be a type of purging and that is hard enough to overcome.

    It’s wonderful that you’ve been able to overcome the b/p cycle. You are so strong and you should be proud of yourself! 🙂

    On a happier note, I have NOT made overnight oats, but I was just saying how much I want to try them. I think this week may be my first attempt!

  5. Inês permalink
    February 20, 2011 12:00 pm


  6. Lucy permalink
    February 20, 2011 5:12 pm

    I have always wanted to purge, but have been grossed out and scared to all at the same time. I do binge sometimes and that’s when I want to purge. Yet I am also thankful that I don’t have to struggle with purging because that would just be another layer of the ED. I’ve only used laxatives a few times yet felt that they didn’t do anything.

    Thanks for your honesty it’s really helpful and inspiring for my recovery!

  7. February 20, 2011 9:39 pm

    I myself have never dealt with purging, but I can imagine it was really hard to give up, and I am so proud of you for letting go of it! You are so so great 🙂

    And I LOVE overnight oats! Especially in the summer 😉 The only issue is remembering to make them the night before haha

    Have a great weekend!


    • February 20, 2011 10:25 pm

      Thanks so much Scott! I truly appreciate that!!!

      I just realized overnight oats are the perfect solution to oatmeal during the summer. A steaming bowl during the hot weather seems so unappealing, so when I crave oatmeal, the cool, creamy overnight oats will be perfect!

  8. Sarah permalink
    February 21, 2011 10:48 am

    Beautiful post Bryana! I really admire your honesty about the b/p cycle.

    I have tried to purge 2 or 3 times but have not been able to do it. I’m not sure if this is because I’m really not trying my absolute hardest or because my gag reflex just sucks, lol. Either way it’s good that it hasn’t worked for me because I know it would be incredibly hard for me to stop. I think I purge in the form of exercise. I have binged before, and after my binges I would restrict like crazy and exercise like a mad woman for however long that I felt I needed to afterwards to compensate. It was an awful cycle.

    It’s brave of you to bring up how the binging made you feel out of control, exactly opposite from what anorexia wanted. I can sooo relate to this. It got to point for me where I felt I could never tell when I was going to binge, so I had to just restrict all of the time incase a binge was coming soon. Towards the end, when I sought help, I would try and plan my binges throughout the week so I didn’t have to live with the unknown because it was just exhausting.

    I’m very proud of you for stopping b/p. When we nourish our bodies correctly, the desire to binge lessens pretty dramatically, which is something I didn’t expect to happen. You’re definitel nourishing your body in a more balanced way now and I am SO proud of you! You have come a long way, love!


    • February 21, 2011 3:16 pm

      Thank you so much Sarah! With me too, the desire to binge has almost disappeared now!

      I am still happy to hear that you haven’t been able to purge. You are completely right: it’s soooo good you haven’t physically been able to. It is too hard to stop, and before you know it, you’ve got a whole nother ED to deal with. It’s better to not even go down that road. 🙂

  9. July 16, 2011 5:36 pm

    When my eating disorder first started I just restricted like crazy, all the time, and what little I ate I quickly compensated for with exercise. I always swore to myself I would NEVER puke – it’s dangerous, disgusting, revolting, “weak”, and dangerous again! But of course one thing led to another and I started trying to throw up – it took me a lot of tries but eventually I got it and was purging about once a week. Then it slowly escalated to where last year I was doing it 3 times a day or more most days! That is SO sick and disgusting and unsafe but I couldn’t stop. But I’ve slowwwllyy slowly stopped and now it almost never happens. Almost. I do it sometimes when I lose control of my emotions/life. But its even more disgusting now that i’ve stopped, I never want to go back.

    Im so glad you were abke to stop for good. ❤ 🙂

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