Posts By: Jen Knaebel

Bulimia bloating and other body changes in recovery

Girl holding her stomach due to feeling bloated

When entering recovery from bulimia, one of the first (and scariest) challenges is accepting the changes your body may experience. As a recovery coach, I’ve not only helped people make it through the various body changes that take place; I’ve actually experienced them myself.

Things are typically less scary when we know what to expect. While everyone’s body reacts differently to the phases of recovery, here are some common changes that most do experience, along with a few helpful tips for handling them.


I am scared to show my real emotions. What should I do?

“I am known as Smiley by my work colleagues because I am always smiling, they really have no idea that I am struggling. I’m scared people will notice and not accept me when I am physically showing emotions other than happiness. How should I deal with this?”

This is a great question, and something I think many people struggle with even if they don’t have an eating disorder.

The first thing to realize about the state of happiness is that it is a state. Nobody is happy all the time, and nobody expects you to be.

There are lots of truly happy people out there who live satisfying lives but are not necessarily happy or in a good mood all the time. We place a tremendous amount of pressure on ourselves to act in ways that please others.

After all, nobody wants to be the office grouch, but it is ok to be genuine when you don’t feel like smiling.

Trust me; I know just how exhausting it is to put on a façade of happiness when you are actually suffering on the inside.

Throughout my entire battle with bulimia I maintained a ‘happy-go-lucky’ attitude when around others, but really felt down most of the time.

Three things you need to know about this situation are: (more…)