Alright, truth time.
There’s an elephant in the room, and it has to do with refeeding in recovery. And that, my friends, is bloating.
This is an uncomfortable topic to talk about, because it has to do with body image. During recovery, we’re working on accepting our new body and learning to love it. We’re overcoming body dysmorphia, and #realtalk: we’re working on weight restoration.
Frankly, bloating makes progress in those departments rather difficult.
My biggest fear during weight restoration was that I was going to wake up one morning and just be massive. I was afraid that my body would just balloon out of control. There was so much anxiety about that allusive “weight range.” I journaled about it a lot:
I am nervous and weary of how my body will be at the end of my stay [at inpatient]. I am scared that if it changes to a point beyond where I am comfortable, that when I get home I will be depressed and unhappy. Lord, please give me the strength, courage and endurance to get through today. I know You will protect me from anything that scares me.
So let’s have some #realtalk about bloating. Spoiler alert: it happens in recovery.
During your eating disorder, you’ve been in a state of starvation. Your body has been feeding off of its own muscles. That’s why you become skeletal: because your muscles are literally deteriorating in order to keep you alive. But here’s what we so often forget: your organs are muscles too. So they deteriorate and shut down too — all in an effort to keep you alive. That’s why your menstrual cycle stops – because your reproductive organs have failed. You’re cold all the time because your circulatory system is shutting down. You can’t sleep because the adrenal and hormonal levels are off, because they’re shutting down. Your digestive system and metabolism as slowed to a halt. Your organs are literally wasting away, day by day, to keep you alive. And that’s why girls die from anorexia: because your heart is a muscle too, and it shuts down. Let that sink in: 1 in 10 people die from eating disorders. It’s nothing to joke about.
But what does all this have to do with bloating?
Well, since your body has been in a state of starvation during your eating disorder, it doesn’t trust you to nourish it. So, when you finally do begin to feed it again, it still thinks you’re going to deprive it in the future. So it holds onto the nutrients. Just think of a cave man, or a prehistoric animal: they would stock up when they could, because they never knew when a famine would hit, or they’d have to hibernate for the winter. That’s what your body is doing. It just thinks that it’s a temporary “feast” period, and that it should hold on to all those nutrients because you’re heading into another famine.
So in an act of self-preservation, your body insulates the most vital organs first, again, in an effort to keep you alive. And where, might you ask, are those vital organs? Around the trunk of your body: your heart, your lungs, your liver, etc. So it initially stores the nutrients around your midsection.
Before you start panicking, “Oh goodness, it’s true. My worst fear is actually a reality. I’m going to get fat!”
NO. YOU’RE. NOT.
After a few weeks of getting consistent calories and adequate rest and restoration, your body will begin to trust you again to nourish it. Then, it will redistribute evenly. You will fill out beautifully, and in all the right places. I promise. 🙂
But here’s the kicker: In order to “beat the bloat,” you have to keep eating. You have to keep nourishing your body with adequate nutrients and sufficient calories consistently, or you body will stay in that starvation mode, and hold on to every nutrient that you consume.
This is very hard for a lot of girls in recovery, and is the moment where the “rubber meets the road,” and your recovery is tested. Your perseverance and will to fight are tested. Will you keep going or will you fall back into old ED habits because of poor body image? Will you continue to banish ED to the fires of hell, or will you let him creep into your mind because you are scared of a temporary bloating phase?
This is where the true warriors rise to the top.
This is where you become gold, refined by fire.
Finally, I’ll leave you with a few tips that I found helpful dealing with my bloating during recovery.
- Wear loose, comfortable clothing. This really goes without saying, but tight clothing is very triggering in recovery. Stick with clothes that give you room to breathe. Yoga pants, hoodies, t-shirts. The stretchier the better.
- Avoid the mirrors. Again, this is something that is intuitive, but scrutinizing your body in the mirror is not going to make the process any easier. In fact, just the opposite. Your body is blooming into the woman you’re meant to be. Trust the process. Learn to love yourself.
- Take a gentle walk. This can be tricky, as a lot of women and girls abuse exercise as a way to purge calories, but I’m not talking about a power walk here. I’m talking about a gentle stroll — Something that will help to take your mind off of a bloated and triggering tummy. Talk a walk in your backyard and take pictures of flowers. Take a stroll through the park and look up the different plants on your phone as you mosey along. Be outside. Surround yourself in the beauty that God created. Remember that you’re also His creation, and are covered in His fingerprints:)
- Drink water! Another aspect of bloating is that your body is holding onto excess water, otherwise known as edema. It’s counterintuitive, but the more water you drink, the less your body will hold on to.
- Be with supportive people. It is so important to surround yourself with supportive people. In your recovery, you need people by your side who lift you up and support you in your recovery, not bring you down.
- Dwell on the Truth. Lastly and most importantly, keep your mind focused on the Truth. Otherwise, ED will find a way back into your head, and this time he’ll bring 7 friends with him. So remain centered on the Truth. These were some thoughts I found to be helpful in recovery.
Hang in there, sweet girl. Bloating comes with the territory, and is only temporary. You’re doing the right thing: you’re sticking with recovery, nourishing your body, and learning to love yourself. The bloating will pass. Keep doing the right thing. One day at a time. One meal at a time.
I believe in you.
Click here to get your copy of my recovery tool: Bloom: A Journal by BeautyBeyondBones
“This is what the Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.” Ez 37:5
MAGIC TOOTHPASTE? Yes! I am in love with this superior whitening toothpaste. It keeps my smile sparkling, without sensitivity or bleach! I made a website where you can directly order this miracle product! So if you want to give it a try, you can go ahead and grab a tube for yourself. I promise, your smile will thank you!Get a tube!
@beauty.beyond.bones – Instagram
For Podcast versions of my posts, please check out Patreon! It’s only $2 a month!! You make this blog possible 🙂
And really quickly, I’ve had several questions concerning my Amazon link (amazon.com/shop/beautybeyondbones) — You do not need to buy one of my specific highlighted products on my page, in order for it to “credit” my account. Any purchases that you search or make from anywhere on Amazon, after first visiting my Amazon page, will credit this blog and help support this blog ministry. I am truly so grateful and appreciative to those of you wanting to do so! So thank you! Again, it is an absolutely free, and easy way for you to help keep this blog going!
649 responses to “The Truth about Bloating in Recovery”
Thank you so much for this
No prob! I’m glad you found it helpful xx
This was beautifully written.
Thank you so much:) xx
Great article from a very positive perspective!
Reblogged this on Ancien Hippie.
Thank you so much for the reblog!! hugs!
Thank you for dropping such wisdom. Not many people have actually recovered enough to help others. Keep going and trust God.
Thank you for the reblog! Means a lot! God is good! Hugs and love xox
Reblogged this on InspiredHopes.
Thanks for the reblog! 😊😊😊
Great article. Yes, drink water. I sometimes retain water, especially at the ankles. Then I start drinking water to get rid of it. It works.
Thanks for this! Yes kind of goes against what you’d think would reduce bloating, but sure enough, drinking water helps! Thanks for stopping by!
As a paramedic, your posts help me to understand what is happening within the body. Better yet, it also helps me to know what to say and what not to say when I encounter someone with an ED. Keep up the good word.
Thanks Patrick. I’m glad my post could help! Glad you stopped by 😊
Great post – another tip might be “avoid fitspro posts and magazines” so you’re not being bombarded with unrealistic images of what the female body ‘should’ look like.
Hi Emma! Thank you! Oh my gosh you’re so right. I had to unsubscribe to self magazine. Dotson can definitely be very triggering. Thanks for the tip and for stopping by xx
So beautifully written! Although I do not share in this condition, through your writing I can relate. Thank you for sharing. May God bless you, and may you feel His presence throughout your recovery. Have faith!
Thank you so much. I appreciate your kind words and encouragement. Blessings to you friend
Thank you so much for your kind and relieving words! ♥ I’ve been abroad for a month during September to join an intensive recovery program, where I ate around 2200 kcals a day. Until just before I left I had a low and unhealthy intake, but still I didn’t gain a lot of weight (only one kilo in the entire month!) and I didn’t get too bloated though I always encounter (extreme) bloating when I start to eat more. But since last week (I’ve been home for twoo weeks now) my belly looks like it will explode; I’m constantly bloated from the moment I wake up until I go to sleep. I gained more weight since my return than during the entire month. I eat around 1800 kcals a day now but very healthy. This bloating makes me want to throw in the towel because I look twice my size now and I’m afraid to leave the house. How was this not happening last month when I actally ate more? Is this normal or did I get intolerant for certain foods? I’m sorry for al this nagging but I’m so desperate… 🙁 Again, thank you so much for your uplifting words and love, it helps a lot!!
Hugs from the Netherlands!
Thanks so much for stopping by. Good for you for adopting recovery and going to an intensive program. That’s amazing! Bloating is a tough aspect of recovery. I’m sorry you’re experiencing this. But the important thing is to just keep nourishing your body and eating through it to “beat the bloat.” I think I would say to make sure you’re getting at least 2000 a day, and if that’s difficult from a volume standpoint, try more calorically dense food – nut butters, avocado, dairy. I know it’s hard when you’re bloated to want to keep eating, but it’s the consistent Intake of nutrition that will get you through it. I hope that helps. Keep fighting, warrior. I believe in you xx
Beautifully expressed and explained!
Thank you James. I appreciate it:) have a wonderful night
Beautifully written and very informative. Thank you for speaking out on this topic. I love your blog. I recently started my own and would love to collaborate sometime and maybe even learn some more about your blog. 🙂
Thank you so much Spencer! I look forward to checking out your blog! hugs ox
Thank you so much Sarah! I appreciate it 😀
EXCELLENT article on the re-feeding process! I only touched briefly on this issue in “Redeemed from the Pit”, but it’s important and you did a superb job of explaining it medically AND how to renew one’s mind from the fear and anxiety a recovering anorexic or bulimic goes through. Mind if I re-post with a link?
Sure thing Marie! Thank you so much:) I appreciate your kind words! Blessings to you
Reblogged this on Juliet Van Heerden: Same Dress, Different Day and commented:
If you love someone who struggles with an eating disorder, perhaps this blog will lend some insight into their thinking.
Thanks so much for the reblog, Juliet! I appreciate it:) hugs to you!
Thank you for an insider’s view of the painful reality of these issues.
Glad you have this website, so many today need this kind of great help.
Thank you so much! Glad you stopped by!
[…] –The Truth about Bloating in Recovery […]
Great read, I’m sorry you’re having to deal with this. I’ve often struggled with my weight thankfully I had supportive people around me helping me to accept my body. Keep up the great job and I’ll say an extra prayer for you. God Bless….
Thank you so much! I appreciate the prayers. Supportive and loving friends and family are so important in life. thanks for stopping by!
Enjoyed reading your blog, and thanks for sharing 🙂
Thank you so much:) I appreciate you stopping by!
Reblogged this on Prism Integrative Acupuncture and commented:
A great article about recovering from eating disorders.
Acupuncture can help get your digestion and other systems back on track again during recovery! Acupuncture helps to return your menstrual cycle, reduce bloating and edema, and restore muscle strength and organ function.
Thank you so much for the reblog! Fascinating information you shared too! Thanks for that! blessings and hugs!
I’m sure this will help a lot of people. Great post.
Thank you so much Tricia! I appreciate it! That is my true hope! Thanks for stopping by!
Great post! I think it’s so awesome that you are sharing your experience with others. Thanks for following my blog. Although we are recovering from different diseases, I can relate to what you wrote. 🙂
Thank you so much Anne:) I’m glad you stopped by! Blessings to you xx
Reblogged this on Br Andrew's Muses and commented:
This hits below the belt, that is where I feel it – what the mind will do to us and it doesn’t know it is killing itself!
Blessings to you Br Andrew. Thanks again:) glad you stopped by!
I like the way you write – You liked my Theology Post – though I have reblogged you on my general blog – Br Andrew’s Muses
Thank you so much Br Andrew! I really appreciate the reblog! Have a beautiful day!
[…] Always being cold is not fun, or attractive, or something to be proud of. It is a sign that your circulatory system is shutting down: read: your heart muscle is weak. […]
This is a very useful article on bloating, something I recently experienced and also had to overcome. My situation is a bit different but the bloating prevented me from eating enough and now that I am ok with the felt sense of a bloating stomach and understanding that my body needs the nourishment, all the anxiety about it has evaporated and I have more energy. I hope lots of people read this blog. Anna
Hi Anna, thank you so much for this feedback. I’m so glad that you found this useful. Sending love and blessings to you on your journey xx
I every time spent my half an hour to read this blog’s articles or reviews everyday along with a cup of
Aw, thank you so much Sakila. That really means a lot! Have a great evening! xx
I lost my period last year. What should I do?
Hi love. Thank you for your question. Well, first I think you should talk to your doctor. Losing your period is one of the signs that the body is not receiving adequate nutrition and the hormone levels are off. Exercise plays a factor in this as well. I would just say to make sure you’re meeting your calorie needs sufficiently and being gentle with your body. But definitely talk to your doctor. Fertility is not something to mess around with:) thank you for reading and for asking this question! Sending lots of love and hugs. Stay strong, warrior xx
The truth is I’m currently dealing with bulimia. I talked to a doctor, but he recommended me to take hormone pills and I didn’t. I’m scared of gaining weight and I don’t know. I just want my period back…
I know, it can definitely be scary. But not all hormone pills cause you to gain weight. I’d talk to your doctor about your trepidations about that side effect and see if he has a particular pill or patch that doesn’t have that side effect. Hang in there love. You are strong. You are worth a life free from the bondage of bulimia. Love you Xoxox
Very informative article. Well thought out and organized. Thank you for sharing this with us.
Thanks Richard! I appreciate you reading!
Thank you for liking my post today.
You’re welcome! Thanks for stopping by!
Thank you for liking my post “Christmas on the Creek.” I hope you come back soon. God bless.
Thanks so much! I’m glad you stopped by! Hugs!
Courageous honesty. Thank you.
Thanks so much:) I appreciate you reading. Hugs xx
It’s so amazing what God has programmed into our body system. Your post allows one to appreciate HIM the more. I thank God who has given you the knowledge to do this great job. I’ve learned a lot. I want to thank you for liking my post, “It’s Christmas”. More grace to your elbows!
Hi friend! You’re so right. Our bodies were designed to be well oiled machines! It’s so incredible to think about all the complex systems and make up of our bodies. God is good. Thanks for stopping by! Hugs!
This is so interesting and informative. I have a niece with an eating disorder and I shared your blog with her.
Hi Marie! I’m so sorry to hear your loved one is battling ED. I’m glad you passed this along to her. Thanks for stopping by. Hugs, friend! Xoxo
You liked my post today and I decided to check out your blog. I’ve been praying about how to deal with my 10-year battle with what I’ve finally decided was an eating disorder. Due to lots of health issues and huge amounts of water retention, I never have appeared super skinny/underweight. In fact, just the opposite. I’ve always been over my weight range even when I lived on less than 800 calories a day for years. Still, the struggles are there. Thanks. I needed this today.
Hi friend, Thank you for this reflection. It definitely takes a lot of courage to really confront ourselves. I want to encourage you that there is freedom out there to be found. The body is a well oiled machine and needs adequate fuel to flourish. Eating issues are definitely hard, but the freedom of recovery is truly glorious. Feel free to email me if you want! But know that I am rooting for you. It is amazing how much food the body can process when it trusts itself to nourish it properly. Sending love and prayers your way❤️ thanks for stopping by xx
So thankful for this! Yeah, I’m a guy, 32 years old, and has had an eating disorder as a result of a (too) successful weight loss from a low calorie diet in early 2014. I’m on a constant calorie deficit. 1500 calories and I work full time as a landscaper. My pulse clock showed that I burned over 4000 on a work day. My issused with bloating began when I reached 6.5% body fat. The bloating would come and go, but since November last year it has been constantly bloated. One problem that I’ve had ever since I started, was if I ate a normal size dinner portion, I would get bloated and constipated
Hi Mats, thank you for sharing this. I’m sorry that this common link connects us. Yes, bloating is definitely a bane of existence in recovery, but eventually, it will pass with constant, adequate nourishment. Wishing you all the best on your recovery journey. You got this☺️ thanks for stopping by!
“Since your body has been in a state of starvation during your eating disorder, it doesn’t trust you to nourish it”. I think that is true of those of us who struggle with anything – from joy to happiness to self-confidence. When one gets used to living in poverty of spirit, it can feel quite unnatural to have joy be our regular rhythm. I know for me, I have to “feed” myself constantly. The goal is – when in the future I have an off day – it’s because I am missing the constance of joy and not the other way around. I will pray be praying for you as you journey toward nurturing yourself spiritually, mentally and PHYSICALLY. You are worth it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Oh thank you so much Andrea! What a beautiful perspective! I’ve never bought of that before. How incredible. You’re so right. Thank you so much for the prayers. They mean so much. You will definitely be in my heart and prayers as well:) thanks for stopping by! Hugs and love to you friend!
This post was very helpful but very hard for me to read because I’ve been in recovery for a little over a year now eating completely unrestricted and the bloat and constipation is just as bad as day one. So to read that for most people it only lasts a few weeks is extremely discouraging 🙁
Hi friend! Oh I’m so sorry to hear that you’re still experiencing bloating. Keep fighting the good fight. Nourishing yourself is so important. Proud of you:) thanks for reading!
Good job! Keep it up 🙂
Thank you so much Vonnie! I appreciate it 🙂
Wow as someone who has suffered with an Ed, thank you for opening up and sharing your story. Thank you for your tips and tricks. You’re a beautiful person. I love reading about your faith.
Thank you so much Jaclyn. I appreciate your encouragement. A lot❤️ thanks for reading! Have a great weekend!
Thanks for sharing your experience with others. Lots of food for thought. No doubt that one must start at the source of the problem. And that is your inner Self. And as long as you are feeding yourself, the proper nutrition/thoughts, it will begin to show on the outside as well. Unfortunately we must reflect on the innermost mirror, in order to change the image in the mirror on the wall. And you are doing a great job, keep up the good work.
Love your dedication, firstly to yourself, and the sharing of the experience with others. Giving strength to the weary, restoration to the broken hearted. Returning to the former glory. It’s as a cup of cold water, too ease the flame within. And a cool breeze from the blazing heat of the Noon Day Sun.
Hi Day Sun, thank you for this beautiful reflection. Learning to love myself — who I am inside — has really been the ticket to my recovery. I appreciate your response and for taking the time to read! Hugs to you xox
This is exactly what I’ve been suffering from for almost three years- on and off. Thanks for this encouragement!
Thanks for your response, friend! Oh gosh, I’m so sorry that you’re dealing with bloating. Just stick with your plan. It will eventually get better. Hang in there love, I believe in you! ❤️❤️❤️
Good tips. I really enjoyed your post.
Thank you so much Gwendolyn. I appreciate it:) thanks for stopping by! Hugs!
Great advice. I enjoyed reading your post.
You have a gift when it comes to explaining the mental as well as the physical and how they intertwine. In my opinion, a brilliant post.
Hi Gail! Wow thank you so much for this! I so appreciate your kind and affirming words. Hugs to you xx
Very informative thanks!
Thank you for reading! Hugs:)
Brilliant! Well done indeed! Sound, to the point, positive and helpful, and centered on the One Who can help! Thanks!
Thanks again Stephanie! Jesus was 100% the source of my healing, so it’s GOTTA be centered in Him! Hugs!
Being scared of ones own body and being scared of food is awful.
Hi friend. You’re right. It is. That’s why I’m so grateful for the freedom and healing of recovery. It is possible. ❤️❤️
Reblogged this on ItzMio and commented:
A good thought <3
Thank you so much for the reblog! I really appreciate it:) hugs! Xox
No problem!!! It was a good read!
What an amazing and honest read! It takes a lot for most people to get to place where they can love their bodies again and feel comfortable in their own skin. I hope they read your blog and get comfort in that fact that it is possible.
Thank you so much. That really means a lot:) loving my body has definitely been a journey. And though I’m not completely 100% there yet, I am in a far far better place than before. Thanks for reading. Hugs xox
Spot on truth! It’s also a great reminder of some scary statistics for those of us further along in recovery. My digestive system is still prone to days where it simply doesn’t want to work. reason #104 to keep up with recovery. Thank you!
Hello again friend! Thanks for this reflection. You’re right-so so so many reasons to stick with recovery! I appreciate you taking the time to read my stuff this morning☺️☺️☺️sending hugs!
You write a lot of sense, and that will carry you through anything. You’re not just sitting back feeling sorry for yourself — you’re finding out WHY and HOW, and that puts you back in control.
Thank you so much Felicity! I so appreciate the encouragement and support:) glad you stopped by! Hugs and love xox
Marvelous post, I’m dealing with a colestomy bag over the next 6 months until another abdominal surgery puts my intestines back together and the issue of body image is massive. My family who loves me find it difficult to help with my care because looking at my stoma is gross. And I have the hardest time myself. My body looks mutilated and there’s an overwhelming urge to withdraw frim the world and wallow in self pity. I know I shouldn’t and I’m working at not doing this but it ain’t easy. Your post really helps with its positive attitude towards this period in your life
Hey friend, thank you so much for sharing this. I’m sorry you’re going through that–I will definitely keep you in my prayers for quick healing. So glad you stopped by. Sending you big big hugs.
Reblogged this on JB Group Fitness Blog and commented:
At JB Group Fitness we like to ENJOY getting in shape through fun exercises. Although exercise is important, proper nutrition is a vital part of the equation. The blog post shared here is a beautifully written piece that has an excellent explanation of what the body goes through when we do not get the nutrients our body needs, and the difficulties that our body (and emotions) go through to recover from these circumstances. In order to perform at its best, our bodies need nourishment. Only with proper nourishment and love, can we move forward and reach for new goals.
Very interesting and true. Our body also seeks a homiostates level. “What it is use to” being aware is half the battle and leading to except and enjoy yourself is key to development.
Thanks for this great insight, I really appreciate your encouragement. Thanks for reading! Hugs and love xox
Hey thank for the informative article, it’s really reassuring since I’m about two months into recovery and bloating and elephantine looking body has been bothering me so so so much every single day, until a point I even wish I have not started with my recovery. I’ve always been a tiny person even before I got stupidly anorexic. This stage has been more difficult than ever. Would you mind if I ask whether you have any idea how long the bloating will last and how long does it take to completely go away. I have been eating pretty well constantly despite some regretful thoughts on starting the recovery process. Your reply and help will be greatly appreciated! Thank you!
Hi Serena! Thanks for reaching out. First of all, I’m so happy for you that you’ve embraced recovery. That’s amazing. This is YOUR life and I’m cheering for you that you’ve reclaimed it! You know, it’s hard to say how long the bloating will last. Every body is different. For me, I think it took about 3 months 😬 I’m sorry it that’s not what you want to hear :/ but hang in there. You’re doing the right thing. I believe in you love. You’re a warrior and I couldn’t be more proud of you. What you’re doing is hard. You’re a freaking rock star xox
Hi, thankyou for your super nice write up about the truth about bloating, of course here I was at google experiencing the bloat, I am at those early stages of recovery, on my own this time with supportive people around me and in my life. Seems to be working, not always smooth sailing. I am learning to love my real beauty instead of idolizing those bones. Thank you for your website, I am yet to explore more of your advice and speck with you sometime. I am 32 female from Nelson, New Zealand. Currently live in Picton NZ. My name is Amy.
Hi Amy! Thank you so much for this response. I’m so glad you’ve embraced the freedom of recovery! So awesome. You’re a freakin warrior and deserve it☺️ yeah, the bloating phase is a thorn in your side during the recovery process but hang in there. It gets better! Sending so much love and hugs and prayers! Xoxooxx
hank for the informative article, it’s really reassuring since I’m about two months into recovery and bloating and elephantine looking body has been bothering me so so so much every single day, until a point I even wish I have not started with my recovery. I’ve always been a tiny person even before I got stupidly anorexic. This stage has been more difficult than ever. Would you mind if I ask whether you have any idea how long the bloating will last and how long does it take to completely go away. I have been eating pretty well constantly despite some regretful thoughts on starting the recovery process. Your reply and help will be greatly appreciated! Thank you!
Hi Serena! I’m sorry to just now be getting back to you! For whatever reason, WP filtered this into my spam folder!! But I’m so sorry you’re experiencing bloating. Hang in there. For me the bloating lasted several weeks. But with consistent and adequate caloric intake, the bloating does get better. I’m so proud of you for taking the steps to freedom. You’re a warrior and i believe in you. hugs and love xox
Very inspiring! Thank you for sharing.
Thank you so much:) I appreciate he encouragement! Hugs and love to you xox
Hi Amy, I just wanted to respond to your post. As a dietitian working with clients with disordered eating, I agree that bloating is really common. The bloating is caused by gas production by the bacteria in the colon (large intestine). When you have been severely restricting what you eat for a prolonged period of time, it affects the balance of the bacteria. When you start nourishing your body there are more gas producing bacteria which feed off some foods, causing the excess gas. There are a number of particular foods that can make the bloating worse. It is possible to reduce bloating by choosing particular foods, but obviously this needs to be done very carefully and cautiously with anyone in recovery. Sarah X
Thanks for this insight Sarah! I appreciate you taking the time to respond 🙂 sending love and hugs! ((And my name is not actually Amy…😬😬 I’m staying anonymous, at least for now ☺️☺️☺️)) have w great day!! Xoxo
I’m just recently into recovery again but the bloating is worse than ever. Do you have some suggestions of food to avoid or to eat more of to help? I know I shouldn’t “avoid” any certain foods, but just during the bloating phase?
Thanks for sharing. Very informative article, and it explainns where I almost found myself when I was losing weight because of anemia as a result of heavy menstruation. I started to recover with iron supplements and a diet to gain weight.
Thank you for sharing this. I appreciate you taking the time to read and respond! Sending hugs and love xox
Reblogged this on healthtidbits and commented:
Although I have never had an eating disorder, I have however had bad body image before, and thought I was fat. So often we can become obsessive to the point of becoming ill. For those who are recovering, I found this piece incredibly beautiful in that it encourages people to love themselves and their bodies, and it gives valuable advise to those who were ill and are going through the recovery phase.
Thank you so much for the reblog! I really appreciate your kind words. Glad it resonated with you:) hugs and love xox
This is a beautiful article. I want to encourage people to be as healthy as they can be and to love themselves. I have reblogged it on my blog as it not only helps those in recovery, but reminds all of us to love our bodies. I hope you don’t mind. Thank you for writing this 🙂
Aw thank you again for the reblog. I’m so glad that this spoke to your heart. Sending hugs and love my friend! Have a beautiful day! Xox
This the truth. After years of on again off again recovery I still get bloated after a large meal but I know that tomorrow morning I’ll wake up and look like I did earlier today because you CANT get fat overnight. And besids your nutritionists pick a weight range so it is physically IMPOSSIBLE for you to get fat. Just keep on fighting.
Thanks Jules! You’re so right. Gotta trust the process:) thanks for stopping by! Stay strong warrior! Xox
I’m thankful for the reminder that there are people out there with problems I’ve never even thought about. I have problems, but so do others. In my case, it’s depression. And to what is depression often linked? Self image. So, here’s what I’ve learned by reading your post: We all have problems, and they may all be different, but we are not THAT different. God bless you as you continue on the journey to full recovery.
Hey Anthony! Thank you so much. You’re so right. We’re all in this together. No matter what our “thing” is, we all need encouragement and hope. Hugs and love xox
This literally saved my recovery
Hi friend. Oh my gosh I’m so glad. It seriously brings my heart so much joy to know that this resonated with you and was a little bit of help. Stay strong warrior. Know that I believe in you and your strength and courage. And know that you’re in my thoughts and prayers. You can do this. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️
I believe your every recovery process is a success that will bring wonder to your kindled spirit.
Thank you so much my friend. That really means a lot. Hugs and love to you this beautiful Tuesday morning!
This is so beautiful… Thank you for the encouragement and tips. Low key crying rn. Thank you.
Thank you so much. Aw I’m so glad it resonated with you:) offering a Kleenex through the comp ☺️ hugs and love xox
No honestly. I needed this today. You’re going to go places & help so many girls. Xoxo
❤️❤️❤️that means more than you know. Thank you xox
I’ve been in recovery for bulimia and anorexia for 2 months now, and perhaps this article is the ONLY thing that reassured me that I am still normal, that all this bloating, indigestion and gas is normal and temporary. This is a beautiful article and I truly appreciate you writing it. You have no idea how much it means to us in recovery. I do however have some concerns if you don’t mind. Is bloating still normal even though I’ve been eating consistently for 2 months? Also, is it normal to ALWAYS be bloated, as in even when I first wake up in the morning? The bloat is just always there. I’ve not had a flat stomach for 2 months now which makes me go into a frenzy that it will constantly be there. I just want it to go away.
Love this – it’s so real and authentic. I also appreciate the gentle kindness I sense with your writing <3
Thank you so much. That really means a lot. Glad this resonated with you. Hugs and love xox
Very powerful…very real. Thank-you for spelling out the facts, illuminating the reasons, and for sharing your own personal journey. Big hugs to you!
Thank you so much! I’m so glad it resonated with you. Hugs and love xox
Thank you for liking my latest post. I want to take this opportunity to congratulate you on the wonderful service you are offfering through this blog.
Thank you so much! That really means a lot. Hugs and love xox
I am enjoying reading your posts. Very commendable how you have explained the fears and how the body responds to being nurtured once again. You are a great example to others to follow and you were supported by God. God helps all to restore their lives. Blessings to you and all you help along the way.
Thank you so much! I’m so glad you enjoy them! That’s so kind of you to say. God is good! Hugs and love xox
Such good sense and so valuable to so many! Thank you.
Thank you so much 🙂 I appreciate your kind words and encouragement. hugs and love xox
This is an excellent post. It so important for people to talk about their fears without feeling judged. You are helping a lot of people! Keep it up. And thank you for liking my post “Could it be Me?” I am new out at blogging so i appreciate the support. xoxo
Thank you so much! That really means a lot. Welcome to the world of blogging! I look forward to reading more from you! Hugs and love xox
As one who has never had a problem with self-image*, I can still very much relate to this. It should be read by all, those afflicted and caregivers, and innocent bystanders.
* I believe there’s only one opinion of me that matters … and that’s my own. (As defined by me, on my own terms, against my own standards. Think it’s easy? Take a look at my Gravatar—that’s actually an old passport photo …)
Thank you for your reflection and kind words. I’m so glad you have that freedom! I appreciate you taking the time to read. Hugs and love xox
I’m not exaggerating, I’ve been bloated for a over a week now and feeling pretty upset about it. In one of my psychology courses, my professor had said that when you’re stressed, your body thinks its in danger, so it holds on to all the calories it gets. She talked about how it was an evolutionary process that was meant to help us survive (so the purpose of anxiety was to save us in life/death situations, unfortunately that is not the case with most of us) and that meant that anything we ate would make us instantly fatter! That truth frightened me, but reading this article made me feel at such ease. Thank you thank you! It’s so nice to know that the way to get rid of me growing is to continue to eat well and healthy.
Much love for this blog.
Hi Fatimah, thank you so much for sharing this. I’m sorry that you’re experiencing bloating. I know how discouraging that can be. But you’re wh absolutely right-hang in there. Continuing to nourish yourself is the key to get through it. I believe in you love xox
Thanks for your support and kind words 🙂
I appreciate your kindness in always “liking” my blog. It won’t be long until I post the first, full chapter. Thanks.
Hi friend, you’re so welcome. thanks for stopping by! Hh
I started recovery5 months ago with my pcp he put me on a diet of5 small meals a day breakfast strawberry pop tartYes he let me keep the pop tart snack 3pieces of dried fruit lunch a big size dish of yogartfresh vanilla fresh fruit and granola snack fiber one 90calorie bar supper smaller portion of family dinner snack 12 plain almonds and 3pieces dried fruit then I do 25po laps I have gained 25 pounds all over but a large fat jelly belly I am 55 I was always 99pounds but pcp and me have agreed on 105,why am I gaining so much weight still I am desparate and did not want to relapse and even had desparate moments where I just want to cut it off HELP!!
Hi Rebecca. Thank you for sharing this. I just want to encourage you to keep going. I know it is scary to get to the target range but there really is so much freedom and life to be had in recovery. I know the temptation to deviate from your dietitian’s meal plan, but just keep doing the next right thing. One meal at a time. You CAN do this. You CAN reclaim your life. You are worth it. I believe in you. Hugs and love xox
Very good blog! I must say, I greatly appreciate coming on here and seeing what you have to say… as someone who has come through an eating disorder as well I must say: you are very insightful <3
Thanks Katie! I really appreciate it:) so glad you’ve also found the freedom of recovery! Sending big hugs! Xox
Hi, God bless you for your good works. I just wanted to know if it is normal to still have digestive problems 2 years into recovery. Thanks.
Thanks Sandy for this insight. It really appreciate it! So glad you stopped by. Hugs and love xox
You have such courage to have faced your affliction and worked your way through recovery. Keep it up! I recently read a wonderful book by shame researcher Brene Brown called “I Thought It Was Just Me” about women’s shame issues, a prominent one being body image. Her goal is to teach women (and men) to develop resilience to shame by having the courage to tell their story, having compassion for themselves, and connecting to empathetic listeners and friends. An excellent read that you might enjoy. Keep up the good work!
Thank you so much for this encouraging note. I so appreciate your support and kindness. That sounds like an incredible book. I’ll have to check it out. Thanks for passing it along. Hugs and love xox
You’ll have to let me know what you think. She also has a Ted Talk on YouTube.
Great article – and so true! Having just finished a 21-day water fast a week ago, I’m going through that period of feeling bloated right now. Believe me, I don’t feel like eating because of the feeling of internal bloating – but I know I have to. One thing I’ve found which can help is to do gentle aerobic exercise like a little running. Physically it doesn’t feel particularly good, but it does help the nutrients to get out from the core of the body to nourish the muscles as well.
Thanks Tallis, for this response. Wow, a 21 day water fast, that sounds pretty extreme. Glad you are okay. hugs and love xox
Loving and forgiving yourself is one of the hardest thing any of us can do, but it is one of the most important things we can do. Here’s my story: https://justbeloveblog.wordpress.com/2016/02/02/one-year-ago-today-everything-changed/
That’s so true. Thanks, Eloisea, for sharing this. I look forward to reading your story. Hugs and love xox
[…] The Truth about Bloating in Recovery […]
I love the honesty in your writing. It’s like you reach out and grab hold of your readers hand and say, c’mon, we can do this together. Thank you!
Thanks Jennifer! I really appreciate your encouraging words. So glad you enjoy it! Hugs and love xox
Beautiful. Thank you for helping me understand.
Hi Paula, thank you for this wonderful encouragement. I appreciate you taking the time to read. hugs and love xo
Also check for food allergies that cause bloating!! This was the case with my sister-in-law who has recovered from an eating disorder.
Thanks for this tip! I appreciate it! Hugs and love xox
Ahhh the beast of bloating…. thanks for the subject choice, it definitely resonates with all of us women!
Thank you for the encouragement. So glad you enjoyed it! Hugs and love xox
Thanks for replying back! Happy 4th Darling!
Same to you!! 💙❤️💙❤️💙
Forged in the fire. I admire you!
Thanks friend. I appreciate it. Hugs and love xox
Great writing. Clear, compassionate, accessible, supporting. Just wonderful.
Thanks friend glad you enjoyed it Hugs and love xox
I’m starting to think that I might be in recovery too, although it’s not so easy to tell, because I was never anorexic or bulimic. But after my weight loss in 2009, I stopped mensurating, I’m always cold, and even though I eat almost everything I want, it’s been a slow process, but i still feel so guilty after words. Mentality, I haven’t fully recovered. I’m not exactly sure what I should do now. But I’m glad I came across this post and your blog!
Hi Rafia, thank you for sharing this. Yes, there are so many different faces of ED that don’t necessarily fit into a definite category. I’m glad you’re journeying towards full recovery. Thanks for stopping by. Feel free to email me too:) Hugs and love xox
<3 for your loving post, xXx
The post is so wonderful, keep it up.
Thanks Jide. I really appreciate your encouragement. Hugs and love xox
I appreciate you sharing your journey. Thank you!
Thanks Sue! I appreciate it! Hugs and love xox
Hi, Just a quick thank you as a regular reader of my postings
Came across a quote (By Ralph Noyes) the other day that reminded me of you in particular, but also of all we other mortals who each have his/her own battles (perhaps wrong word?) to challenge them. Here it is: ‘ We are a haunted species. The spectres are among us. They continue to come. They rattle their chains. Yet it is ourselves who have chained them’.
A good deal of truth in that quote.
Keep on fighting! Break the chain. You are actually much stronger than you perhaps consider yourself to be.
Hey john. Thank you for sharing this quote. What a powerful quote. Yes, break the chains indeed! Hugs and love xox
Almost every night, especially in summer, I have this debate with myself before enjoying ice cream. Will it make my stomach stick out too much? Do I care? Will a prospective partner care? Should I care if she cares? Do I care if she’s plump? Do I need the fat in my body for health and maybe psychological reasons (dairy products are chemically calming)? And so it goes… 🙂
Those are all viable questions. Being in dialogue is healthy. Hope you enjoyed that ice cream 🙂 and very interesting about the calming properties! Thanks for stopping by this morning and for your comments! Xx
I think it’s wonderful that you’ve opened up a place to talk about body body image feelings. I don’t know why I didn’t stop by earlier. 🎆🌷
Thanks again:) I’m so glad you did!! ❤️
Thanks friend. I appreciate you taking the time to read and respond. Hugs and love xox
Your posts really hit home with me. I was an anorexic long before I ever heard of Ed. When my middle child was 20 she also suffered with it. Even when I told her what she was doing to her body she ignored me. It took her collapsing at work and becoming unconsciense to realize she needed to do something. Just like a recovering alcoholic someone who has had an eating disorder will from time to time wonder “why did I eat that? ” I guess it comes with the territory but over time it will become less of a worry. I have found out for myself that I just try to eat healthy and avoid foods that make me bloat which a usually some of my favorite veggies. I stil eat them occazsionaly. I live in sweat pants and elastic but then I am 58 years old Keep doing what you are doing and I will keep reading.
Hey again friend. I’m so sorry that Ed is the common denominator of our pasts, but I’m so glad that we’re both living in freedom now. You’re right-we’ve gotta just keep on keepin on ❤️ sending the biggest hugs xox
[…] Source: The Truth about Bloating in Recovery […]
Thanks for the link up! Hugs and love xox
Thank you for sharing this information with us in such an honest way!
It’s been close to 30 years since I went into self recovery! (I was twenty pounds under weight.) I turned my inner self talk life around before I became pregnant and now my daughter is 29!
I haven’t owned a scale in all those years! I still avoid owning one! That was the one thing which I obsessed over: the numbers, my weight!
I learned to focus on healthy habits! I still try to keep that as my primary goal!
Sending love out to everyone who is struggling! You are worthy! You are stronger than you know! You deserve to be healthy!
Thanks Jake. Hugs and love xox
You have a great blog. Thank you for writing it. I can see that it’s helpful for many people. I believe it comes down to loving your body. It’s too fat, it’s too thin, it’s not attractive enough, it doesn’t work right, etc. Will it serve you better if you reject it? Love God and love your body.
Thanks for this great perspective Dr. Whittaker. You’re right- love God. Love your body. Boom! There it is! Hugs and love xox
Great post, my friend, Remember …
“And the Lord shall guide you continually, and satisfy your soul in drought, and make fat your bones: and you shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.” – Isaiah 58:11
“The light of the eyes rejoices the heart: and a good report makes the bones fat.”
– Proverbs 15:30
Thanks Handley. I appreciate it. Love those verses. Hugs and love xox
Thanks friend. Big hugs xox
Great article on bloating and creative illustration!
Thank you! Hugs and love xox
Always wonderful to see someone use there experience and knowledge to help others, keep up the great work 😀
Thanks so much Josiah! I appreciate the support. Hugs and love xox
Thank you for liking my post and thank you for being so courageous and sharing these awesome posts, we all need to lift the mask on the reality of what we feel and experience so that people know they are not alone.You are awesome 🙂
Thanks so much. I appreciate it! Hugs and love xox
Encouraging post, I pray it helps those who struggle with an eating disorder, I can’t imagine what they go through. It’s awesome to see your testimony on this.
Thank you Lamar. I really appreciate it. I hope it does too. Hugs and love xox
Thanks so much for this- i am currently struggling so so badly with my bulimia bloat and feel like a fat whale. I am hating that it makes me feel so fat and uncomfortable and this really helps <3
Hi Emily, I’m sorry you’re dealing with that right now. Know that I am cheering for you in your recovery. It is so worth it. Hang in there, beautiful. It gets better! Hugs and love xox
Thanks for liking my blog post. Our daughter had an eating disorder in 8th grade. She’s doing fine now, helping other people as a nurse at a major hospital. You’ll do fine, too!
Hi Pete, I’m sorry to hear that, but I’m so glad she’s doing well! Thanks for stopping by! Hugs and love xox
I never had an ED, however, I have dealt with issues from PTSD/abuse issues. The darkest before it’s light is consistent with what I went through too. The closest I’ve ever come to losing the fight against all the behaviors/patterns came at the very end. The defenses, my old “truth” was what I knew and had protected me lo these many years. And they were screaming at me not to hold onto the change, it was harmful. That was possibly the toughest piece of my fight, because it would have been really easy to just let go of the new truth. Great post, thanks for writing it!!!
Thank you for sharing this, teacup:) I’m so glad that you’re fighting that and embracing the freedom of the truth. Thanks for your encouragement. Hugs and love xox
I have dealt with chronic PTSD and there was a time when I was in the skin and bones category. Not because of ED, but usually it was a reflection of what I was battling with deep down inside. I can totally understand what you are saying. I love how you use the term “old truth”!
Thank you for sharing this. I’m so glad you had to go through that. I’m glad you’re living in freedom now! Hugs and love xox
Thank you so much for writing this. Your supportive words and even your experiences and tips are so helpful. I am finally facing my Bulimia head on and entering recovery for the first time. I can’t afford treatment so am doing this on my own and of course freaked out when I started bloating when not engaging in my usual ED behaviours. I’m so glad that I found this, and I’m so glad that it’s so normal. Thank you again for having the bravery to be so open with your story, it will help so many and makes me feel not so alone through this hard journey.
Thank you for this kind note. I’m so glad this resonated with you. Know that I’m cheering you on as your journey towards full recovery! So happy and excited for you that you chose freedom! Woo! Rock on Amy! You got this! Xoxo
Thanks again for the Like, Beauty.
Peace be the Botendaddy
Reblogged this on penpowersong.
Thank you so much for the reblog! Hugs and love xox
A wonderful post!
Thank you so much:) big hugs xox
Thanks for your courage in sharing this. God continue to bless you, as you help others
Thank you so much! I appreciate your kind words. Big hugs xox
Thanks for following my blog, and for your like of my post on Bible Translations. You are very kind.
no prob! hugs xo
Love it, very encouraging and insiteful!
Thanks friend. I appreciate your kind words! Hugs and love xox
This is a really good post, thanks. I take aloe vera gel to reduce bloating and it really helps my other digestive and anxiety issues too. I’ve got a couple of customers who have found it really helps them get through their ED recovery stage, and have heard some amazing success. Would be nice to know if others have found the same with drinking aloe vera gel too.
Than you so much Phillip! How interesting! Thank you for passing that info along. I’ll have to try it! Hope you’re well. Hugs and love xox
Are you more afraid of bloating or being overweight in general?
Thank you for this question. I am not afraid of either, per se. The bloating is just troublesome to people with body dysmorphia, trying to recover from a life threatening eating disorder. It makes the recovery process difficult from a mental standpoint:)
It’s really reassuring to read this and know that other people experience and have experienced it. Because of my body being in starvation mode for 6 years during my teens and the way my treatment worked, my digestive system is taking literally years to recover. Despite generally eating well for the past 4 years I still suffer a lot with bloating and abdominal distension. It is a total nightmare in terms of body dysmorphia as it just confirms everything I fear, but knowing other people also experience it makes me feel less alone. Thank you for writing this – I wish someone had written those coping strategies when I first started experiencing it!!
Often people forget that some of the really tough times come when recovering from any illness, EDs included, and I think the way the body can respond to refeeding is a perfect example of this. If you are someone who is supporting someone trying to recover from an ED, don’t forget that although things may seem to be improving on the outside and that is great, the person may be struggling with less obvious aspects of recovery like bloating and the conflict between ED urges and the healthy steps to take. Recovery is complex but worth the effort. I am now in a long-term relationship and I’m independent, and I would never have been able to be when I was in the throes of my anorexia.
Thank you so much for sharing this. I’m so glad that you’ve found the freedom of recovery. You’re so so right-recovery IS worth it. Know that I’m cheering for you. Sending massive hugs xox
Excellent post! I am sure many will find this most helpful.
Thanks friend. I appreciate it. Hugs and love xox
Aw thank you so much Teena! 🙂 so glad you stopped by! Happy Tuesday xox
continue the connection to your soul – it is far more than skin and bones. In my youth I was thin, but had an emotionally abusive husband and needed to be perfect. As I have aged, time caught up with all the eating issues and I am now a normal older woman (pudgy for me lol) but I know it is right. Keep up the positive!
Thank you so much for the encouragement. In sorry to hear that you had to endure that. Sending hugs xox
Thank you. It’s a tough subject and BDD is tough, even as we age – maybe especially as we age. Thank you for the encouragement.
Thanks for this reflection. Definitely true. Thanks for stopping by 🙂 Hugs and love xox
Thanks Katherine! Hugs and love xox
Thanks! Appreciate you stopping by! Hugs and love xox
Rereading your post brings me to greater empathy and understanding. Thanks for liking my post.
Thanns Paula:) I’m so glad you enjoyed the read! Thanks for stopping by! Big hugs xox
I really like the way you’ve addressed this issue. Lovingly and gently with encouragement for your readers who are recovering. Bless you.
Thank you so much Peachy 🙂 I appreciate your kind words! hugs xox
Honestly I really needed to read this! I’m 14 and In my second week of recovery and eating full meals- and my stomach is the size of a whale! I really hope it goes away and I can focus more on this recovery. (It definetly is temporary isn’t it..? Xx)
Thanks Holly. So glad it resonated with you. Definitely temporary! I’m cheering you on in your recovery! You picked life and freedom and that’s so awesome:) stay strong, warrior ❤️ big hugs xox
This is quite beautiful, like its author. You are certainly recovering substantially. Impressive. Thank you for sharing so much.
Thank you so much Ekurie:) what a kind thing to say. So glad you stopped by! Hugs and love xox
[…] The Truth about Bloating in Recovery […]
Thanks for the share!
[…] The Truth about Bloating in Recovery […]
You inspired me to write this post when you followed my last one – thank you – sitting here bloated as heck! https://mickirose.com/2016/10/04/recovery-bloating/
Hi Micki! Oh no! I’m sorry you’re bloated right now. That’s the worst. But hang in there. It does get better!! Cheering you on in your recovery! Woo!! Hugs and love xox
Thank you for your honesty and openness. I feel your gentle spirit and quiet strength!
Hi Scotty Jo! Thank you so much:) what a kind thing to say:) I hope you have a great day! Hugs and love xox
This is such important information. Thank you for explaining why the specific body changes occur!
Thanks Dawn. I appreciate it:) big hugs xox
Wonderful truth sister! Great writing!
Thank you so much! So glad you stopped by:) big hugs xox