Feeling Fat

I know, I know, I know. You can’t feel fat, because fat is not a feeling. So why am I still feeling a curious sensation shooting up towards my arms and down towards my legs? It’s a strange tingling that occurs whenever food is present in my stomach. It’s as if all the calories, the energy, the fat from the food in my stomach is dispersing throughout my body at a million miles per second. I can feel the flesh on my arms, my legs, my waist grow thicker, thicker, as I contunue to take up too much space.

In an effort to halt this thickening of my flesh and be rid of the tingling in my body, I decided to go for a jog yesterday. This jog was to no avail, the feeling is still there. Now I have to deal with sore, aching muscles in addition to the feeling of fat. I feel restless, full of electricity, electricity that can only eliminated by constant movement. Even writing this blog post I feel like I should be getting up from my seat, moving around and actually doing something about this energy that would otherwise get stored as fat.

These feelings have not come out of nowhere. It is not some random thought with no origin that came wandering into my mind. It stems from the confirmation of my largeness by that oh so wonderful machine with the numbers, that we call a scale.

I’ve been feeling fine as of late. My mood has improved, I’ve not self harmed in weeks. The unfortunate trade off for this has been my eating.

In my mind, being home alone equates to the chance to go into the kitchen to eat without anyone knowing. Late at night when everyone’s asleep, equates to the chance to go into the kitchen to eat without anyone knowing. Basically anytime my family are not in the kitchen presents that opportunity. It is now at the point where I’m bingeing and purging most days. I know that this is compartively mild to the extent of others’ eating disorders. Some do it multiple times a day. But for me, I know it’s getting bad when I’m doing it almost everyday, especially when there’s been a couple of days I’ve binged and purged more than once.

I can’t help being envious of those who manage to remain the same weight or even lose weight in correlation to their bulimic behaviours. Me? I manage to gain weight. With the increase in bingeing and purging, my weight has also increased correspondingly. In just a couple of weeks, I’ve managed to gain over 1kg. And no wonder, given all the food I’ve been consuming. Being unhappy about my weight and knowing that I’ve gained hasn’t deterred me from eating, and eating and purging, then eating some more. Food has become my way of coping with unhappiness, boredom and loneliness.

Right now I feel as though I don’t have an eating disorder, as much as disordered eating. In the beginning of it all, two years ago, I might have felt justified in calling it an ‘eating disorder.’ That was when I was restricting, as well as purging, and I actually managed to lose some weight. These days I’m hardly even restricting. The only symptom that points to ‘eating issues’ is bingeing and purging. Other than that, if I’m not restricting and I’m not losing weight, it means I do not have an eating disorder. Simple.

Even health professionals I’ve come accross put much emphasis on weight. The school counsellor I saw in Year 12 expressed her concern because I was ‘looking thin.’ My previous psychiatrist commented that looking at me, he could already tell that I’m underweight. Just this week, my GP, instead of asking me about the extent of my eating disordered symptoms, chose to weigh me and upon comfirming I had remained the same weight, assumed that I was doing alright with my eating, despite an increase in bingeing and purging. In fact, the only person who recognised that weight does not necesarilly correspond to how much a person is struggling with bulimia was my clinical psychologist. So because I’m not severely underweight (‘You’re perfect the way you are now and if you lost anymore weight, you’d be underweight’ says my GP) I feel as though I won’t get taken seriously and I do not have a proper eating disorder. It’s just a shame that my non eating disorder involves so much bingeing and purging.

6 thoughts on “Feeling Fat

  1. I don’t think you can say that you have disordered eating while you are binging/purging – because that is ed behavior. I don’t know if you are trying to justify it to yourself, but no matter how many times you do it (even if it’s not as much as other people) – it’s still DANGEROUS every single time you do it! I have been struggling with binging/purging too. It’s not a behavior that I struggle with often. I usually just restrict but sometimes the binging/purging creeps up on me and I start doing it everyday and then to counteract it – I restrict a ton. It’s a bad cycle to be in, but I can completely relate to what you said about “feeling fat” and the sensations you feel in your body… I feel that way too.

    I am worried about you and I hope that you can recognize that the behaviors you are doing are still dangerous and STILL under the ED’s control.

    All of this I say out of love. I don’t want you to take this any other way except that I care about you. I DO. Please try to be gentle with yourself : )

    Lots of hugs,

  2. I agree. As you are binging/purging more than twice a week then that is technically Bulimia, and if it were less often than that then I would say EDNOS. You clearly have disordered thoughts about eating and your body, as well as engaging in behaviours.

    I don’t know how much the label matters to you, but in my opinion you are definitely still suffering from an eating disorder. Although emphasis is often placed on weight, it is not the only problem, and for some people the purging can be far more dangerous than a low weight would be.


  3. I agree with Jenn and Bippidee – you still have an eating disorder. Though I can identify with what you say – I’m at a normal weight now too, but almost everyone with an eating disorder starts out that way, right? Bingeing and purging is dangerous, no matter what anyone says about your weight. Remember that, it is easy to forget when you are in the cycle of it.

    I’m thinking of you. xx

  4. Although I don’t have an ED I can sort of relate in another issue. I’m in DBT treatment. Most people in DBT have BPD. I just have traits though so I don’t really see myself totally as a borderline. That’s really a statement of denial for me though. I don’t have the typical symptoms like self harm or frequent hospitalizations and so forth. So those kinds of typical emergency situation don’t happen with me. But as my DBT therapist put it, every borderline (like I imagine with every ED patient) expresses the issues in different ways. The core issue is still there. The core issue of fear of abandonment or emptiness or what have you. I don’t know a lot about ED but I imagine you do. What’s the core issue? And do you have that? Isn’t that the real question?
    I agree that it would be very frustrating to know you have the core issue and considerable sypmtoms of the ED but still not be seen as authentic just because you’re not underweight. You might have to have more initiative to seek help with your symptoms than those with the issue of being underweight.

  5. Sounds to me like you DO have an ED, and something that really bugs me is the emphasis that professionals place on weight. Note – you do NOT have to be underweight to be suffering from or even to DIE from an eating disorder. Everyone deserves help and so do you.

    I know what you mean about ‘feeling’ fat, and I think it’s more a case of being uncomfortable about having food in your stomach, or at least it was for me anyway. It’s a case of sitting though that feeling I guess. I’ve had my problems with binge-purging and it’s a difficult one to crack, I still have the odd episode now, but the key is to keep a regular and sufficient eating schedule, recognise your triggers and do plenty of problem solving. For me, b/p behaviour was often my way of saying that I was stressed about something, but didn’t know how to deal with it.

    Oops that turned into a long comment sorry 😉

    Sarah x

  6. I agree with everyone. It does sound like you do have an ED. Even if you technically didn’t, you are still suffering and have disordered thoughts. I know how miserable it is.

    As far as feeling fat, I’ve learned to substitute the word “full” for fat. They are interchangeable to me. So I say “I feel full”; that is more accurate. Feeling full feels like feeling like a failure, feeling out of control, feeling un-special.

    Maybe if you substituted other words for “fat” you might get closer to how you’re truly, emotionally feeling.

    Just a thought.

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