Community Stories

Sylwek: Free from Bulimia

Freeing myself from bulimia by following the guide (not rigid rules!) of Intuitive Eating was only the first step in my journey. Now, I know that I am enough.

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After a long period of starving myself, I went from being morbidly obese to losing about one-third of my weight. But one day I realized that I wasn’t actually happy. Not only did I lose eating–one of the most pleasurable things in life- but I also felt empty, without any meaning.

Sylwek: Free from Bulimia | Libero

I didn’t accept myself back then. I hated myself and felt like shit.

The abominable hanging skin on my stomach, falling hair, pale skin, dark circles under my eyes. I hated my new thin body, which I had previously yearned for. I sought love in all sorts of wrong places. And even greater suffering came to me when I was raped on my first date at age of 16. I felt dirty and loathsome. I thought, “Can even someone like me be loved?”

One day, when my mother came back from grocery shopping, she had a big box of Nougat Pillows cereal. I slowly grabbed it, feeling guilty. I ate one bowl. Then another. Then another-until there was nothing left in the box…

I felt comforted and numb. I could forget for a short while about all the shit that I was going through. Afterwards, I felt scared. Scared of becoming fat again. Without any second thoughts, I went to the toilet purged for the first time.

It was funny. I was utterly thrilled. I could eat anything I wanted and then just throw it up. So simple, isn’t it?

But one day, I didn’t even notice when I had to pay for this…

I started the cursed and never-ending cycle of overeating-purging-starving. I started skipping school, shutting myself in home, terrorizing my mother who was buying sweets for my brother (which of course I binged on), and going to the gym and over-exercising even when I was sick.

Many times I changed diets, religions, worldviews, alignments of décor in the house.

I tried to modify everything and everyone instead of myself.

In the span of 2.5 years I tried everything: Yoga. Meditation. Therapy. Drugs. Nothing seemed to work. All it did was delay my bingeing attacks for a few days, and I usually ended up having them three days a week anyway.

My throat was sore, hearing my heartbeat at night stopped me from sleeping, and each night I was scared that I would once again sneak to the fridge and my half-asleep, starved body would just eat everything in sight.

I was ashamed of waking my mother during the night and being caught overeating. I was ashamed of losing control with my bingeing, and “regaining” it with purging.

One night after an enormous binge, I was at the bottom of the pit of self-hatred. I wanted to die. I’d had enough of everything, and I was truly ready to give up dieting, bingeing, purging, compulsive exercising, and hating myself.

I burst into tears and called Jesus for help.

It was a spontaneous and sincere cry. A cry for salvation. For a hand that would lead me out of this blind alley. I was weeping there in my bed like a little baby calling for help. Like a child lost in the darkness of the night.

The next day on July 21, 2012, I saw a topic on a message board about Intuitive Eating. At first I thought it was bullshit. How could possibly one eat anything that he wanted and not feel guilt, shame or fear!? But, it interested me. As I read about the principles of Intuitive Eating, I felt that it was just what I wanted and yearned for in my relationship with food and myself. It was just what I wanted my body to be: peaceful, grateful, nourishing.

I noticed some water drips on my hand. Tears were streaming down my cheeks.

That day I began my journey to self-love, self-compassion and self-understanding. From that day on I never had a bulimic attack.

Freeing myself from bulimia by following the guide (not rigid rules!) of Intuitive Eating was only the first step in my journey. My negative body image and self-loathing were still enormous, so I started reading the books Mindful Path to Self-Compassion and Radical Self-Acceptance and practicing loving-kindness meditation.

I started loving my body the way it was: my body that went through obesity, self-harm, depression, and bulimia. My body truly deserves respect. I have finally learned to love and respect myself with all my inadequacies, faults, and flaws.

Now, I know that I am enough.


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