Dear Bulimia, You fought hard but I WON

This past week I revealed the only skeleton I have ever kept in my closest.  I was recording a podcast with my amazing friends Abel from Fat Burning Man and Kaleigh from The Paleo Angel.  We were discussing Intermittent Fasting and body image issues at length due to some complications Kaleigh had experienced.  During the end of the podcast, for the first time, I revealed that I have struggled with bulimia for the past 12 years and have never told ANYONE. Shortly after sharing this on the podcast, I had the amazing pleasure of recording a very intimate podcast with one of the most compassionate and caring human beings I have ever met, Stefani Ruper from Paleo for Women.  In conversation, I had shared with Stefani my struggles and she wanted to talk to me about it.  I trust her and felt comfortable to share, so we dedicated an entire podcast to my issues, as well as body image issues in men and women and within certain communities like Crossfit.  If you would like to listen you can find that HERE.

Builimia

For my amazing friends and family that have always been there for me, please understand that the reasons you did not know had nothing to do with you.  I love and cherish every one of you with my entire being. This was something I struggled with alone, and therefore wanted to attempt to remedy alone.  I ask that you please support me and respect my decisions, and support me from this moment forward on spreading a positive message and using my experience to help others get healthy and love themselves.

There are many things about my past that I think contributed to what lead me to this struggle. I am not going to look for a sob story, but I was not the most popular kid growing up. The first time I ever purged was sophomore year of high school.  It is one of the clearest memories of my life. I managed to muster the courage to ask someone to a formal dance.  That was huge for me.  I went to the store to get fitted for my suit, but I was timid and just going through the motions.  The immature asshole helping me was having trouble finding pants to fit me that matched the jacket size.  He was making it loudly obvious that I was an inconvenience and my weight was an issue.  It was the longest hour of my life. I had to try on multiple pairs of pants and with every pair, came a comment to go with it. I remember acting like nothing had happened the whole time driving home.  This was the most dangerous part. This is where the slippery slope started. I cried for HOURS that night when I got home.

I hated myself!

I hated my family life!

I hated everything about my existence!

 

I snuck downstairs to the bathroom at around midnight and for the first time ever, I forced myself to purge.  I had not even eaten dinner that night because I was so upset, so there was nothing to get rid of. Even so, I felt like it made me skinnier because I was in control and it would work.

As anyone with this disorder will tell you(that I have personally known), it’s a rollercoaster.  I had weeks, sometimes  MONTHS of consistently purging and also then years where I was able to fight the urges.

Shame was my motivating force.

At the height of it, during 2005, I exhibited symptoms of anorexia as well as bulimia for 6 straight months.  I had just had my final surgery out of 5 on my legs, and I was at my heaviest weight, around 250lbs. This was the dark hour for me. For six months, I was alone in my barracks room. Sometimes 2-3 weeks without seeing anyone. I would sit in my wheelchair and stare at myself in the mirror.

I would PUNCH MYSELF in the stomach while crying because I was so depressed!

 

I would go three days without eating, and then eat an entire pizza and purge it up 10 minutes later.  To be honest, I am surprised I am still alive for how low my depression was.  I really saw no light anywhere. Bulimia

One of the biggest episode triggers I dealt with was the loss of ability to participate in anything fitness related. I WAS SO CONCERNED WITH BODY IMAGE, I would violently spin out of control.  The other triggers were always social events, big ones.  Every time I had to participate in anything that required me to wear a dress uniform, or suit, I would dread going to a tailor. I had flashbacks of that day of my sophomore year so I avoided it the most I could. There were also the simple things like my negative body image when I was in the gym or at the beach. Even being tickled caused negative thoughts and a downward spiral.

One of the hardest things for me to cope with was being a male and experiencing this!

 

It is so rarely talked about and mostly avoided to maintain some macho complex.  Well guess what, F$#K THAT! I am a man, I HAD body issues, I WAS bulimic, I HAVE emotions and I am going to SHARE them with the world. I want to share this with you in the hopes that this may reach even just one person. I’ll know then that I did my job.

I spent so many years of my life feeling inadequate. Throughout my life I believed the only way people would value me was if I gave every ounce of myself.  Problem was, I would often come across as an egotistical asshole while I tried too hard to hide my secret.  I was misjudged because I was too busy crying on the inside to be myself and ask for help.

Those days are behind me!!!

 

This part is the hardest for me, mainly because I know I am past these demons but it is very fresh for me.  The last time that I forced myself to purge was in March of this year. I was competing in the Crossfit Opens and I broke my right hand. Once I was injured and unable to perform at the standards I had created for myself, it forced me to spiral back down the dark path. I was also getting ready to head to PaleoFx and meet all of my Paleo idols for the first time. I started to doubt myself and I was convinced I would be judged solely on my physical appearance.  Once that ball started rolling, it just didn’t stop.

Once I was there though, I met so many amazing people who just loved me and I was so supported.  Strangers, online friends, and friends I already had, were gracious and encouraging on all I was working on and trying to do. Not once, did anyone ever say anything to me about the way I looked.  Not once did any of them ask about my crossfit abilities.  It forced some self-reflection and I realized that if all of these people I didn’t even know treated me with dignity and respect, why would the people closest to me ever do that?  They must not care either how many pull-ups I can do, or how fast I can run a mile, or whether I have a 2 pack, 4 pack, 6 pack or Keg.

They are going to love me and support me.

 

Even though I reflected, and I mentally had beaten my demons, I was still not ready to tell anyone.  I had the mindset that because it was always only my battle, that since I conquered it, no one else needed to know.  Until one night this past summer, I was attending the Ancestral Health Symposium. I did not have any anxiety leading up to or during the event for any fears of judgments from others (this was huge for me). I ventured out to a bar in downtown Boston with my friend Abel and my new friend Stefani (remember these two from earlier? See a connection yet?). It was 1 am, and the three of us were socializing about websites, goals, dreams, drive, and visions. After a few NorCal margaritas, Abel asked me why I push so hard and do what I do for others. In response he got a 12-year synopsis of my entire history. He showed so much compassion and love for someone he had barely known, it finally clicked with me that I was almost ready to share this part of my story.  I will thank Abel in a later post, but for your reference, he is now my Best friend, business partner, and the man who asked the right question to save my life.

Thank you Abel!!!!!!

 

Here are my thoughts on what I have learned through this journey. I hope that they may help you or someone you know in any way:

  • Write “it” down. Admit it to yourself. Putting it on paper makes it real.
  • Tell someone. Accountability is something some of us struggle with and telling a friend or family what your plans are will help keep you on track
  • DON’T be afraid to admit your struggles and tell someone you need help
  • Being proud should be saved for another time. Your true friends and family are going to love you for you and support you regardless
  • LOVE YOURSELF. When you wake up in the morning every day, think of 3 positive things that you love about yourself and write them on something. Put them on a post it and put it on your mirror. This may sound cheesy, but that sets the tone of your entire day. Positive thinking breeds positive results.
  • Don’t sweat the small stuff. The small stuff were my tipping factors until I learned that even if my car breaks down, or I get a flat tire, or I have a bad day at work, that I am still alive and able to influence this world in a positive manner. Always be the optimist in every situation. There truly are two sides to every story and I want you to be the positive side.

My name is George Bryant. 

I suffered with Bulimia and body image issues for 12 years!!

 

I am a man and there is no shame in admitting I needed help!!

 

Here is my promise: I beat this and will remain strong and love myself from this point on.  I will lead by example and do my best to guide others on the same!!

 

I can not give you any medical advice on how to address your problems legally.  This post describes what I learned and how I overcame it.  If you or someone you know needs help, check out these resources below:

 **If you chose not to leave a comment, but you would still like to talk to me, You can email me at civilizedcaveman@civilizedcavemancooking.com and I promise I will read it**

There are a lot of people struggling with issues, some will open up and some are not ready, but reading this could benefit them all.  Please share and let’s make a difference!!

 

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228 Comments

  1. You are one of my top three bloggers I follow, and this was quite the eye-opener for me. I’ve had serious body issues ever since high school. I was always the athletic one in my group, and you’d think that would mean I was the thinnest, but no. All my friends were very slender, but not really in the same physical shape as me. However, because that number on the scale read 130 and theirs was 95-105 I felt like the fat friend. I look back at pictures now and can see that there was absolutely nothing wrong with me. It’s still something I struggle with. When I can stick to a fairly consistent Paleo diet, I feel better and the weight drops off. I don’t feel guilty about eating.

    I’m so glad you opened up and shared this! It really puts things into perspective that none of us are perfect and without our own skeletons in the closet. I wish you the best in everything you do, George!

  2. Thank you SO much for posting this. You are such an inspiration and proof that EDs are not limited to a niche group, subculture, or stereotype. I felt like I was reading my own story… I very distinctly remember my first time purging (I was in the 6th grade) and have since struggled with it on and off. Every day is a fight to stay healthy, but as time passes it only gets easier and I get stronger. I believe that I, too, have won.

    Thank you again for sharing your story and being a guide for others seeking a strong, healthy, and happy life. You’re helping show others that there are HEALTHY ways to have your cake and eat it too!! :)

    http://www.redwinelipstick.wordpress.com

  3. And what if, like me, you have BED but never, ever had a body image or self-esteem problem?

    Body image issues are not the root of EDs; they are yet another symptom for most people. OA was useless for me because they only wanted to talk self-love, support, & spirituality, all of which I’ve been blessed to have all my life. Only amino acids (in serious ways – IVs, for 10 days straight, custom supplements in massive amounts, tons of meat) have helped. They are literally the only thing that have helped end the massive sugar cravings that have been quite literally killing me.

  4. Thank you so much for sharing this. I’ve struggled with my weight my whole life. I clearly remember binging as a child when I was left home alone. I would hide evidence of my eating so my parents wouldn’t find out. Guess what? As an adult I found myself doing the same thing. Once I came to the clear realization of how crazy my relationship with food was… and how much I wanted to change it, I started to make positive changes.
    Being addicted to food is rough. It’s everywhere. You can’t avoid it. My skinny friends would constantly complain about how fat they were… while eating a huge plate of macaroni and cheese. All of those mixed messages were hard to wade through! I’ve gone up and down a roller coaster of emotional eating. It’s been a long road, but I’m finally in control of myself. The paleo lifestyle has certainly played a part in that. I eat a lot, I get full, I don’t snack, and I’m eating food that is good for my body. It makes me feel powerful and I’ve lost a lot of weight without feeling obsessed.
    Thank you so much for sharing your story with the world and for helping others find their own sense of control. It’s a crazy world we live where one part of the population is addicted to food and the other can barely find enough to eat. We’re blessed to have what we have and we shouldn’t abuse it.

  5. Wow, my head is spinning, my heart is racing, I am sweating, I am crying. Thank you George.
    I am a week away from my 46th birthday. I thought I would not make it. I have battled with anorexia and bulimia since I was 14!
    The last 8 months I have been in the grips of the worst bout of bulimia I have ever been through. My life has become a process of hiding, eating and purging. I have no energy, no concentration, I live in pain, am unable to sleep, have erratic heart palpitations, frightening headaches, but still cannot stop as I hate myself so passionately.
    I have been searching for a lifeline, I’ve found it. I am going to walk out of this nightmare one day at a time, your posts will be my support and courage when mine deserts me. I currently hate food, but know I have to eat, I will quietly choose recipes from your collection and hopefully find joy in good food. One step at a time.

  6. This was beautiful! I came here for a banana bread recipe and found treasure instead. I do not suffer from an eating disorder but have suffered nearly my entire life from negative self image and body image issues. I grew up with an anorexic/bulimic and some very negative ideas and habits came from that. Underlying it all is the insecurity and desire for a perfection that doesn’t exist. Why is it so hard to love ourselves? I find it very easy to love and care for others. For years, and especially since I’ve had my own children and realized that I do not want to spread the sickness of “body-hate” and insecurity to my children, I’ve been trying to learn to love myself, accept my body, and do what I can to improve in a healthy way. Being healthy is beautiful. Your thoughts/tips section could be helpful for anyone and everyone. Thank you for sharing your story.

  7. I was bulimic for 14 wasted years, as I don’t purge anymore… It will haunt me for ever… I can not stand the sensation of being full but try and lead a good example to my 3 girls in fear of displaying bad behaviour!

  8. Congratulations George, you choose freedom over the lie that keeping this part of your life secret would keep you safe. You not only released yourself, but in sharing and being transparent, you have helped many others.
    Although I have never personally struggled with this, I have had a love-hate relationship with my body from a very young age, especially being a dancer.
    God bless you and may you continue to stay free!

  9. Hi George,

    One bit of advice I give to you and in fact all those on here. All I ask is for you to trust in I. (this will seem funny later on as you read the book mentioned below)

    You must purchase yourself a copy of ‘I AM THAT’.

    As you read this book things may not become apparent at first, even if you have to re-read and read again. You will come realise that things are not as you have come to imagine.

    Best wishes!

  10. George,

    Thanks for sharing this and thanks so much for your service to your country. As the mom of 4 daughters, these are the types of issues I worried about for them while growing up; there are SO many stressers in life today. It’s amazing how something that may seem so trivial to someone (the comments made during your experience of buying a suit) can have such a monumental impact on another person. To me, it’s just a different form of bullying and harassment that is harder to accept because it’s psychological, not physical. Another stereotype is that these illnesses only impact girls/women. I think it’s motivating, inspiring and so informative to others that you shared this story as I’m sure there are other men out there dealing with similar issues that feel it would make them less of a man to admit it openly. If we all had the innocence of children to be able to love and accept people without any kind of preconceived judging, the world would be a more positive place overall. Good for you for taking this path as I’m sure many people will be able to relate and it helps bring awareness to so many of how our words and actions can impact fellow human beings. I’m absolutely loving your posts, the journey to your book launch (especially the UPS guy saga!) and all the recipes. Keep up the good work!

  11. George,
    Above everything else, thank you for your service. After reading your story, all I can think of is that our inner demons do not care what we have accomplished, what the world thinks of us or how much others make look up to us. The world at large saw a squared away Marine, the very institution of fitness and confidence. Yet you struggled to see that reflection. I hope that you can share that story, that struggle and that WIN with other youth who for whatever reason are fighting the same fight. Hopefully you can help some young minds before that demon overtakes them. I applaud you for staring into the truth and light and seeing what the rest of us see. Demons always lie.

  12. I know this comment comes late, but I can’t express how much this resonates. I listened to your podcast with Abel when it first came out, but somehow it doesn’t have as much weight as it does now that I’ve been following your blog as well as your newest interviews about your new cookbook!

    My story is very similar to yours, and I still often find myself in that dark corner of my mind. I now know that I still need to focus much more on loving myself than I thought I needed to. Since I thought I had already accomplished that, I started focusing on physical appearance and body health (notice I didn’t say overall health). I can feel old thoughts and my old pattern of self hatred and negative judgement bubbling up within my mind every time I see my reflection. Mental health and happiness needs to come before anything else, because all the healthy exercise and eating won’t do anything if I still hate myself in the end.

    Thank you, and please continue to do what you do. You are helping more than you know!

    <3 Emma

  13. George…when I first went Paleo over a year ago (doctor’s orders) I dabbled around the internet trying to learn all I could about how to eat this way…I came across your website and read your story. It was very inspiring to me and helped me feel okay with myself. Then, I heard Abel’s podcast a few months ago with you as his guest talking about this very thing you write here in this post. It was SO moving and took a lot of courage to admit. Please remember, you ARE an amazing person…no matter what! You make a difference to so many especially those who may not express it via comment, etc. You help more people than I think you are aware of…I have a very hard time with my own body image (always have), especially now that I’m fighting a knee injury…but I keep on moving forward because this is the only shot we get at life, right? You ARE important…and I just wanted to tell you that. :-)

  14. George, I’m so proud of you for how strong you’ve become through your journey.

    I also was so surprised, but also not so surprised, to hear that it was Abel who helped you to open up. I, too, think he is such an awesome guy. I only know him through his podcast and blog, but I sense that he is so genuine and compassionate. This blogpost just confirmed what I thought about Abel.

  15. Wow. That was intense. Thank you for sharing. I don’t even know where to begin, but I’ll try to keep this short. I’ve been fighting bulimia nervosa and anorexia nervosa (ED) for 7 years. ED almost took my life, multiple times. I was a fast moving NCO and it destroyed my career. I was med boarded 2 1/2 years ago because of my obsession and strive for perfectionism. I absolutely commend you for beating ED and all the horrible things that come with it. Your story has touched me so deeply. Very inspiring. I cannot wait to listen to your presentation on my Paleo Con download. Keep up the good work. Oh and BTW I’m 2 months symptom free now. 8 months Paleo. I think as long as you keep sharing your awesome recipes and raising awareness for eating disorders a lot of people dealing with this wretched disease will benefit.
    Forever grateful.

  16. I don’t even know where to begin, other than a big fat THANK YOU. I randomly found this article, and it has changed my life in the last couple of days. After reading through this, listening to your podcast with Stefani, plus her next one with a woman that suffered through bulimia and body image issues as well, a light bulb went off. I can’t even remember how long I’d been unhappy with myself, my body, my personality, everything about me wasn’t good enough, ever. Hearing other people’s stories of their transformations always gave me hope, but I would usually fall back into a pit of self pity and self loathing. You were completely right when you said that if people don’t have the right mindset for why they want to lose weight, workout, change their life somehow, it doesn’t work. I’ve been beating myself up for years for not being fast enough, smart enough, creative enough…. insert any kind of admirable trait here, and then somehow hiding my overwhelming insecurities behind a mask of shyness and silence. I’d been saying to myself, “if I just…” over and over, as if losing 10 pounds, moving to a new place (which I recently moved to Denver) would somehow fix me. Funny thing, I didn’t need to be fixed, I needed to be freed. That lightbulb went off when I heard you say that once you learned to love yourself exactly the way you were in that moment, despite where you were physically, it hit home. Real hard. I’ve been fighting myself for years, it’s exhausting, and downright blows. I’m not saying this change in perspective it’s going to be easy or automatic, but you and all those that have dealt with body issues and eating disorders similar to my own and overcame them by learning to love yourself first have inspired me and changed my life forever. For that I say thank you a million times and I would hug you shamelessly if it were geographically possible.

  17. George, Just now read your message and really admire you for sharing your life. It actually must have felt good to get it out, you have been holding all this in for such a long time. I can say I have never gone through this, but I can imagine how hard this and any other addiction would be to overcome. You are a remarkable person and have come a long way. I’am so happy you’re doing so well with your cooking and writing cookbooks, I can’t wait for your cooking book that will be coming out shortly. You are such an inspiration to others dealing with the same problems. Now they will be able to reach out to you and feel better about themselves. They now can feel they are not alone when dealing with their bad days, because of you, they can choose a better life. So proud of how you have changed your life, and you will change the life of others. Keep up the good work, two thumbs up to you. Debbie S.

  18. George,
    I recently discovered your blog. I am also a former (female) Marine! When I read this post, it was a little shocking, not because you are a man, but because until this post, I saw you as this physically fit person who is *obviously* awesome in the kitchen ;) I admire you for being brave and sharing your story. I have lived with (not suffered, I refuse to let a mental issue control me) anxiety for a long time. At one point, a corpsman wanted me kicked out for it. This was before Iraq and anxiety in uniform was less common. For so long, I was afraid people would judge me because I was not “normal”. It is a scary feeling and such a lonely place to be. I finally went to therapy and sought help. It changed my life, but I still have to work to never get to that scary point again. Anyway, Thanks for sharing something so personal. Thanks for sharing your love of food and cooking. I am going to attempt to be patient in the kitchen and try some of your recipes this week :)

  19. Thank you for this. Ive always had body image issues and suffered from depression, then struggled with an eating disorder and even worse body image issues being a dance major in college. Just recently diagnosed with many food allergies and health issues that have caused weight gain and major life changes, I have found myself in that dark place once again the past year. Your story makes me feel a little less broken also having an off and on struggle with food for 10 years, and gives me a sense of comfort and confidence that I can too find the strength to get back to my usual self and stop letting it control my life again. I love food, am new to paleo, and suck at actual cooking haha so your story and site have been perfect for me! Thank you so much for sharing you are truly an inspiration :)

  20. I have to be honest, when I first saw the title to this blog I just stared at it… I was thinking to myself I am so proud that he has the courage to talk about this part of his life. I too have suffered with Bulima and Depression. A lot of feelings you talk about I’ve been there also. Thank you for being so vulnerable and speaking from your heart. You have given me the courage to share my own story one day and I too hope to touch lives even if that may be one. Keep being you, you are incredible and inspiring man.

  21. George, thank you for sharing this. I can’t say i wasnt floored by your admission of being bulimic. After reading your story about an altercation at your local whole foods and your military background i took you for a rough and tough guy with no weaknesses. You reminded me like i have to remind myself who used to box as an amateur that just beacuse we did tough things, we are still people and its ok to have an issue like this bulimia, depression and anxiety. Thanks for sharing.

    On a side note my ex wife was bulimic so I understand the struggles. I wish you well in your continued recovery.

    Anthony

  22. WOW! This is me. I missed it the first time you posted it. So glad I found it now. I am at the lowest point of my life and struggling to get back on track. Thank you for sharing. Now I’ll go listen to the podcast you mentioned.

  23. I wish I could hug you. You are an amazing person. Brave and amazing. I was a fat kid and asthmatic. A nightmare in gym class. I fight with body image to this day…..and I am almost 50. :(. But it is nice to know we don’t fight alone. I started going to hot yoga, and my teacher is big on nonviolence….especially towards yourself. It is helping! So know that you don’t fight alone….and you are amazing. Thanks for all you do!

  24. George, I must have missed this before as well, but it appeared to me now at just the right time. My daughter suffers with body image issues as well, and happens to have arrived last night for a week-long visit… I’m sure that once I share this with her that you will have the same positive impact as Abel had for you.

    As for me, even when I was at my all-time best physically, I was never satisfied. I was always pushing, pushing, pushing (typical type-A personality, Leo, stubborn red-headed Irishwoman with a military mindset… YIKES!!!) Having been injured and broken myself, and having to take the baby steps on the road back to wellness have been a life-changer for me as well. The stories of so many folks in the paleo community on how they have turned things around for themselves have been inspirational to me… and you are no exception. I admire you even more for having the courage to speak out and share your backstory. Thank you… even though I never did the binge and purge thing, other parts of your story resonated for me as well.

    “It takes the strength of a warrior to ask for help”. You are a true warrior, George. Keep on rockin’ with your bad self!!

  25. This is kind of amazing timing. I struggled with bulimia for 5 years through high school and college and never told anyone beside my parents and therapists. Paleo has been so important in getting my health back on track. But every once in a while, like last night, I’ll slip up and binge and purge. I’m sitting here in bed feeling horrible about the havoc I’ve wreaked on my health once again! It’s so nice to hear about someone who kicked it completely. Thank you for sharing.

  26. Thank you for sharing! I have been following you for so long, but missed this insight in to your history. I have always struggled with body image and feel that I am at a pivotal point in my struggle. Thank you for sharing your story and know that it will change many because of it.

  27. George,

    Thank you for sharing this. I missed this in October. Probably because I haven’t struggled with bulimia so I passed it over the first time. But now that I’ve read it, I realize that it’s more about body image and struggles with those emotions and how they relate to food and that COMPLETELY relate to me. Wow, everything really does happen for a reason. I am here teary-eyed that you have yet again touched my life in a way that I needed at exactly the time I needed it. I am ever so grateful for what you do. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. And thanks to Abel and Stefani as well. I think how they have helped you is how you are now helping me.

    (((HUGS)))

    Mindy

  28. I firmly believe everything happens/comes to you for a reason. To be honest, this is the first time I have ever come across this website and I am just now looking into various options for better eating/health.

    This is so interesting this came to me at this time. I have struggled with emotional eating for years, a true problem that is so hard to stop. I went through a divorce and other life changes and I finally started getting a handle on it. I lost 2 dress sizes. I was doing alright. Well, in the past few months, more life changes occured and here I am again…unable to stop or control my cravings/hunger when life gets stressful.

    I have tried everything I can think of and quite honestly it makes you feel like such a failure when you can’t control those cravings and the urges become so strong you give in. I was doing so well and now I have no idea how to get back on track again.

    I wish to God I didn’t have an issue with food. My dad was bulimic so I know how terrible it can be. While I dont purge, I do use food as my comfort/cruch and its a horrible feeling!

    Even worse, I too have the worst issues with body image. I would have hoped that would improve after losing some of the weight, but its only become worse and I believe its because I dont have a handle on the food. I have 3 kids, one of which is a daugter approaching her teenage years and I definitely need to be a good example for her and get past this!

    Thank you for posting this…makes me feel like I’m not so alone or crazy for having this problem. I wish I could overcome this and see the beauty (any!) that God gave me.

    Thank you,

    AC

  29. Hey George,
    I just read your story and said a little prayer for you. Thank you for being able to share that, and the fact that you did will make a huge difference for many others in the same boat. God made you to be exactly the way you are, scars and all. And you are perfectly equipped to continue doing what you’re doing and helping thousands of others in the process. Thank you…and know that you are loved!

  30. Thank you for sharing, you are truly inspirational. I suffered terrible depression from poor body image, wasted 8 years of being miserable daily and crying myself to sleep thinking I was fat/worthless. It took having children to change how I view my body and learn to love it instead. I look back at photos and all I see now is skeletor girl, strange that I never saw that in the mirror. Now I’m free of body image concerns my main goal is to make sure my daughter doesn’t throw away her youth being so depressed about body image. Being able to show her blog posts like this when she is older and being able to discuss these issues openly is what I hope will make the difference. So thank you for sharing your story, you are so brave.

  31. THANK YOU!!!! Thank you for being in recovery and beating this awful, misunderstood disease. You give me so much hope. I am a 48 yr old mom and I have fought bulimia on and off since I was 18 (wow!! that’s 30 years!!). I have recently started eating Paleo and I feel full-which in the past was a brutal trigger for me-but now I know I am full on healthy food so the eat/full/guilt/purge cycle is gone. The ED used to be how I found my “control”, but I really think I can replace that with controlling what I put in my mouth. I am tired of the years of therapy, antidepressants, diets etc. I want to live and have energy. Thanks for being there for all of us, George.

  32. this is some seriously inspirational suf….very impressed and amazed that you shared this for THE FIRST TIME ever .. kudos

    I suffered throughout high school and uni. with horrid body image issues— at my prom i probably weighed in at 110 pounds at the most ( at 5’4″) … I would run every single day, and limited what i ate. I though ti was in control. not the case… I am now a bit more than 20 lbs over that weight I once was, and am reaching my athletic goals in Crossfit and Powerlifting and NO one judges me based on whether i have a six pack or not… love your blog, and this story. thank u!
    Lexi from Toronto

  33. You are so brave. I want to hug you.

    It took me having Weightloss Surgery 7yrs ago [RnY Gastric Bypass] to figure out that I had an Eating Disorder.
    I never Yo-Yo dieted.. So i thought i was fine. There was a reason a 16yr old was 200lbs. There was a reason that at my highest i was 270ish, type 2 diabetic @ 5ft, 3in tall. WLS ‘cured’ my diabetes, not my addiction.
    I can’t gorge anymore, but you learn the ‘hacks’ to get around the small pouch that is now my stomach.

    I eat when i am bored. I remember walking back and forth to the cupboards and fridge and not getting anything. Only to do it again. mins later as a kid.

    I eat to not Feel. I have a shitty family background, and my Mother in Law has lived with us since we got married who is a nighttime alcoholic.. [‘nuf said…lol]

    It’s the only thing i can Control. Right?!

    Accepting that we need Change is the first step.
    Accepting that we can only Control ourselves is another.
    I can’t change that my MiL lives with me…
    but i can choose to take care of my health.

  34. Hi George,

    I admire the courage it must’ve taken you to post this. I had bulimia for 5 years, and overeating for most of my life. Personally, I have found that my ED is related to control – feeling out of control in my life, so needing to control food/weight to feel better. Also I feel it is related to perfectionism – either eating perfectly clean or perfectly off. What I have found to really help me is being more relaxed about eating in general, getting rid of the guilt-factor and idea that to be healthy you need to eat 100% perfect. Its great that you have worked through your bulimia and have realized your triggers. I feel the best way to move past it is to understand what you get out of bingeing and purging — really digging deep into it — and knowing what your triggers are so you can avoid them – for example, I don’t have a tv in my house! lol

    Just wanted to say its awesome of you to post this and share your ‘skeleton’, as your story will help others know they aren’t alone! =)

  35. What was the biggest thing that help u end your bulimia. I suffer from B and always seem to be in good recovery then I spin out of control and it starts all again you’re.. Loved your recovery story

      1. Thanks for the response ;) I really enjoy your blog. Do u strictly only eat Paleo did that help with the food obsession ? Lovin the pumpkin. Thx again

  36. I just cried and cried when I read your story. I am still struggling with body image at 39. I have been crossfitting for about a year but only got really into it this summer. Sadly I am going to have to scale way back. As much as I love it, it spikes my metabolism to the point where I am so ravenous I can’t control myself.It feeds directly into my “disordered eating” habits and the spiral begins. I will continue eating mostly paleo and I just love your site. I am not going to give up crossfit completely, it is such an amazing sport. It gives me hope to know others struggle and succeed. Keep up the good work!

    1. Thanks for the comment Heather, I really appreciate the support. And honestly, your health is the more important thing. Crossfit is not going anywhere and will be there waiting if you ever choose to go back. Its amazing that you can recognize your triggers and work past them. Keep up the awesome work

  37. I just found your blog today, and i couldn’t be happier. I have been, and am currently, battling bulimia for the past seven years. I have always struggled with my weight up until the beginning of this year when fitness and healthy eating were introduced to me. Even though my urges aren’t as intense as they once were, it is still an everyday struggle for me. i just want to say THANK YOU for showing me that it is possible to overcome the battle with ED, and also that i’m not alone. You have given me a new-found hope.

    Sending loads of love your way<3,
    Briana

    1. Briana,

      Thank you for the brave comment and welcome. I am glad my post was able to help you and even happier you found my site :) I look forward to hearing from you as you try my recipes and kick this ED ass :)

  38. Hi George,
    Thanks for sharing your story. I struggled with bulimia for over 10 years and I really resonate with your story. I’m also glad you put resources at the bottom… would you consider adding ABA (Anorexics and Bulimics Anonymous) and EDA (Eating Disorders Anonymous)? I have found them incredibly helpful.
    Thanks for sharing!!

  39. It’s so amazing to find someone who not only had the same issues most of us have, but also someone who won against them. Thank you for starting the blog (and thanks to all those women wanting your recipes) and thank you for not giving up and giving us hope :) You’re such a sweetheart and you have the sexiest voice (yes, I said it!). I can’t wait for the book of yours (hopefully they ship to Europe) :)

  40. This post couldn’t have been at a better time. I have battled myself for so long and tonight I reached such an absolute low point. Your words urge me to get some help and heal. Thank you for putting yourself out there. Makes me feel less alone in this.

  41. Dude, whatever you do, don’t beat yourself up over your silence. That’s over, you were brave to finally admit it, and you’re right; you will continue on and help the rest of us live and eat better. I see a pretty clean slate from here. Rock on.

  42. Thank you so much for sharing. I’ve been the fat girl all my life. Fought with depression for years. Went through many of the feelings you did. Now, at a healthy 135lbs, I still look in the mirror and see the fat girl. I recognize that it’s fallacy and I fight it. It helps tremendously to know that you’re not really as alone as you think you are. I mean who didn’t idolize the trim, athletic people and assume that they didn’t have any demons?

    You’re an amazing man George. Remind yourself every day and we’ll keep reminding you too!!

  43. What a beautiful yet sad story. I am so grateful that you shared it. Unfortunately my older sister, my only sister, could not escape it’s grasp. She suffered from both A and B. I lost her in May 2012. May perpetual light shine upon her.
    May you continue to heal!
    Peace and Raw Health,
    Elizabeth

  44. Great post and while I am not a man ( at least last time I checked!) I can completely relate to sooo much. A while back l took the step of sharing my inner roller coaster/battle with a random unexpected acquaintance who to this day I don’t know why him but it was the step to breaking the cycle and changing to a healthier more positive life. So I have had bulimia for 18 years ( even just saying the word was and is hard???) and am kicking, screaming, digging heels and fingernails in to climb the recovery slippery mountain and so far ( this phase !) lasted 15 days purge free. It’s nice I read and see that others are going through similar that overcoming this is possible and that recovery is a life long journey with ups and downs. It’s so nice to realise that I is not fixed just by planning a strict food regime but by addressing the REAL issues and being kind to yourself. Ok rambling in now, but just wanted to say thanks and keep pushing forward

  45. Reading this helps. I was never bulimic — I was a starvation girl. I’ve starved myself at least once a year since I was 12. I’m 34, and this is the first full year I’ve not starved myself. However, due to hormonal issues associated with my birth control, I’ve put on 15 pounds. For someone with body issues, and who was quite happy with herself for the first time in her life, it has been devastating, and the image issues are waving huge flags at me. I know I’m more than they are — I will get through it. But the temptation to starve myself has been intense. And the self-loathing is often overwhelming. Realizing that this can be beaten helps.

    Thank you.

  46. This took HUGE balls to share. From one man to another, my props go out to you. I’m a therapist and I know how difficulti it is (both personally and with my clients) to share your struggles with others. I realize it took a lot of courage to do this and it will benefit others. Period. You may never see the results of the seeds you planted but trust me they’ve been planted.

    On another note, I’ve been wanting to share with you how you’ve positively impacted a young man I work with. I won’t go into details, I can’t. I have been eating paleo for almost 2 years now and it has really helped my health both physically and mentally/emotionally. So, I try and bring it in to the work I do. In my practice I have access to a kitchen and I utilize it as a way to provide nurturing activities for some my client’s. Basically we cook and talk.

    Recently, I turned one of my clients onto your website and he got excited, and a bit skeptical (no sugar, no white flour, c’mon!!) to try some of the recipes you provide. Now every week we pick one out and do it. It’s been an amazing experience to see this young man’s face light up when he tastes the awesomeness he’s just cooked. A lot of healing has taken place over these past few months! Thanks for giving me tools to help others!

    Thanks again for doing the work you do and again for sharing your story.

    1. Bret,

      Thank you so much for sharing this with me. It just pushed me that much more to keep pushing. Thank you sir for doing what you do, and please keep up the amazing work. Thank you

  47. Thank you so much for sharing this post George. Thank you for your courageous openness and your touching honesty.

    Even though I’m at work I had tears in my eyes as I was reading this post. Although I haven’t struggled with eating disorders as such (aside from my on-going battle with sugar addiction, which isn’t even close to being in the same category), I think it is so important to share these things. I believe being open about our struggles is one of the best ways to inspire and help other people. And I know personally, when people open up about their struggles and issues, it only increases my admiration for them.

    Many hugs and thoughts from here, and don’t forget to continue to look after yourself.

    I hope you won’t mind if I share this post on my next Link Love.

  48. You the man George! Thanks for sharing, I have had (and still do to a milder extent) similar body image issues and as a ma you think you’re strange. Evidently it’s not. And keep the recipes coming!

  49. You are such an absolutely beautiful soul.

    I am honestly so moved by your words–have been, as I’ve been listening to your journey through Abel’s and Stefani’s podcasts…thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing such a deep and deeply impacting part of yourself with the world. I’m convinced that it’s people like you who will “be the change” as Gandhi put it.

    I’m a recovering anorexic and exercise bulimic. I started blogging just a few months ago, and reaching out to others kick started the recovery I didn’t even know I needed. It was the moment of exposing myself–getting psychically naked and letting the world see that I had an ED–when the flip was switched inside of me. And beyond that, by baring my own struggles, others started to reach out. It was amazing…facebook messages from girls I hadn’t talked to since high school, confessing that they were fighting the same or similar battles. Emails and phone calls from friends who I had written off because I was too busy dealing with my own image to try to hang onto friends. Incredible intimate blog comments and stories from people I’d never heard of, who’d found me because of a desperate google search.

    All I can say, is that there is no step more important than the one in which you admit to yourself that there is a problem, and that your life has become unmanageable. As soon as you admit to defeat to ED, you can begin to defeat him. The tools are out there, and with the support of people like you, George, I believe that so many people can start to heal.

    Thank you again for all that you do.

    – “Miss Skinny Genes” (inmyskinnygenes.wordpress.com)

  50. George, thank you so much for sharing your story. I am only able to say “I was anorexic” here under the title Anonymous, but you can see my email so you know who I am. I suffered this eating disorder and depression for about a year when I was 12, and it is so painful to remember it. It was a time when I felt deeply abandoned by my parents and very helpless and alone. Food was the only control I had in my life, so I clung desperately to that control. But, ironically, I soon lost control over food and food (and the depression) started to control me. Thankfully, I recovered completely but I believe that and the family trauma contributed to my autoimmune disease.

    I admire you so much for writing your story down and sharing it. Really, really, really admire you. I don’t think I could ever even say out loud that “I was anorexic”–I am only able to write it down anonymously. Thank you so much for sharing this. I am sure that this post will be a blessing to so many people.

  51. It’s been such a busy week for me, and I saw this on the Facebook feed very quickly and I honestly thought you must have had a guest poster, a woman. I feel so closed for that. I know this disease does not have boundaries. I sat through many nutrition classes on how to help people with eating disorders and it’s always talked about as a woman with the disorder.
    I’m so grateful for your willingness to share. To explore who you are, what you’ve survived and your ability to reach out to others. I cannot imagine how hard it was to hit publish. Your courage is beyond most men I know and I’m almost at a loss for words.
    I hope all the best for you and your continued healing. Your strength, all of it, is encouraging to so many people. And so is your compassion. It truly comes through in your presence online and I’m guessing in person as well.

    1. Sarah,

      Thank you for clicking through and reading it, even though you didn’t think it was me. It was really hard to hit publish but the benefits are way more rewarding than the fear was. People needed to read and know this. It has truly helped me be an amazing human being and proves we can conquer anything. I look forward to meeting you one day, you are AMAZING.

  52. Thanks George! I loved listening to the podcast and your story. I am trying to change my body composition and just finished a half marathon. I was just advised by my md to cut back on exercise and focus on my nutrition for right now. This is for many different reasons. Now I need to adjust to a lower exercise intensity. Your experience gives me hope as I do this I can lose these 10 lbs and learn how to eat paleo at the same time. Paleo is a whole new world for me. Thank you.

    1. Rachel,

      First off thank you. Second, welcome to Paleo. Make sure you do heed your doctors advice and yes you can kick ass eating paleo. But remember, I don’t care about you losing 10 pounds, I care about your health and wellness. If you strive to be happy, the body will follow

  53. Thanks for your openness George. I was bulimic for a number of years after always being the fat kid in high school. While I still struggle with my body image and weight to a certain extent, I have come a long way in the last 10 years and following your lead, maybe I’ll use my experiences to help other males gng through the same issues.

  54. Thank you so much for sharing this with us. I’ve always thought that you were one of the sweetest of all the paleo bloggers that I follow, and I am so darn sorry that you have had to deal with this. I am so very happy for your recovery, and please know that there are a lot of us out here on the interwebs who may never meet you in person, but are definitely sending you the biggest mental hugs that we can think of (and I can send some REALLY big mental hugs, trust me!!). Good luck with everything and again, thank you for everything that you do for us…both as followers of your website, but as citizens of this country you’ve spent so much time and effort defending. There are a lot of us out here who think you are FANTASTIC…and that has absolutely nothing to do with the state of your abs, or anything remotely like that. YOU are awesome. Period.

    1. You are welcome Austin Girl. I really appreciate all your kind words, I try to be sweet :) I am feeling those huge mental hugs and they feel great :) Your words made me smile and I appreciate all of it, really

  55. Thank you for sharing your story. I have to stop crying so I can type. Sometimes I forget that other people go though this stuff too. I was bulemic from 12 until 22, and still have days where I have to fight the urge 5 years later. Days like today (Halloween), used to be the worst, sitting alone eating bags of chocolate halloween candies, and then bringing it all back up. I even purged while I was pregnant with my daughter. My husband, paleo eating, and CrossFit saved my life. As a box owner, my story is something that I share with as many clients as I can, I want them to know what excercise and good nutrition can do for them mentally as well as physically, also letting them know that they have support if they ever need it.

    1. You are amazing Quintina, I am so glad you share your story with your clients. You are right, people need to hear the truth and understand we all go through struggles to get where we end up. I hope you keep up the awesome work and wish you the best. Where do you own a box, I will add it to my list to visit when I get out of the Marine Corps and visit.

  56. George,
    Thank you so much for your courage and bravery. I am a social worker in an all male high school and so many of my students over the years have struggled with body image, self-esteem and eating disorders. Our society has labeled this as a woman’s issue for so many years and thankfully that myth is being corrected. Thanks to men like you who have the strength to share their struggles. I have and will continue to share your site with my students. So many young people struggle with body image and/or getting bullied and take out their pain on themselves. Be it drugs, alcohol, or food. Any way to escape the hurt and find temporary relief and comfort. It becomes such a vicious cycle and getting help/talking about it can be the start of breaking that cycle. I encourage people too, to seek support.

    It is no accident that you felt so compelled to share your life in that moment during the podcast. You can and will help so many people. I can only imagine the wave of emotions you must have felt during and after sharing. The relief/release and then the concern for your family and friends that did not know. I hope your family and friends are able to get through the shock and emotional roller coaster and love you and support you. You deserve that! Keep sharing your story! You are not alone and now so many others will know that too.

    Peace & blessings to you George! Stay strong and remember what I always tell my students…”whether you belive you can or you can’t…you’re right!” ~be well

    ~Laura

    1. Laura,

      Thank you so much for the email. Thank you for sharing my site with your students, I hope it can truly help some of them find peace and beat these battles early. I just wanted to say you are amazing for doing what you do and I love your outlook. I wish I had someone like you when I was in high school

      1. Thank you George. I feel blessed and humbled every time someone trusts me enough to share their life experiences with me.

        There are so many resources out there that people can turn to. A book I often suggest for those I work with is “Boys Don’t Cry; Men Do” by Alberto Minzer. We need to empower men (and women of course!) to feel and express their feelings. It is so much healthier and makes relationships that much for fulflilling. It is a quick read & his philosophy is “It’s what you choose to do with your emotional and psychological baggage and pain that determines our healing. Pain is inevitable; emotional suffering is optional.”

        May your journey continue to bring you peace, strength & true happiness.

        ~Laura

  57. I want to hug you for posting this. It helped me understand my older brother better: he suffered from bulimia when we were growing up, back in the ’80s. He is recovered now, but never talked about his struggles. (We only found out because he ended up in the hospital from electrolyte imbalance.)
    Thank you for your bravery and honesty.

    Rella

  58. Thank you for sharing. I can only imagine the courage it took for you to put yourself out there on your blog for any and all people to see and read. I applaud you! As a fellow crossfitter, I can empathize with your desire to always be on top of your game and worrying about how your performance looks to the others in your gym. I can’t and won’t attempt to understand your struggle with Bulimia, as that would be insulting to you. I don’t know where your views on this are but if I could, I’d like to suggest that you turn to one other for support in struggle of yours. I am of course referring to God. I only found Him this past year myself but I do take a great amount of comfort in looking to Him for support and guidance in all aspects of my life and I truly believe that He could bring you even more comfort in your life. My intention here is not to offend of to even push my views upon you, I simply wanted to express support for what you have shared and to offer my own support in the best way I know how. Regardless of whether you have a relationship with God or not, I still thank you for sharing. God Bless!

  59. George, I’m sending you a bear hug. Just because. Thank you for your bravery, honesty and vulnerability. Your message is inspiring, and I know it will benefit others to have it out there in the world. I am proud of you for loving yourself!

  60. After ten years, multiple hospital and therapy visits and countless relapses later, I too can stand with you and say “I WAS bulimic”. It’s an active mindset to keep the “was”..during what I refer to as my “active recovery” ( heh) I felt like I was waging war against my own brain..how are you supposed to tell yourself that you’re wrong, to use the same mind that is forcibly telling you you MUST binge and purge to keep you from it? But their is hope. It IS conquerable. One thing I found tremendously helpful was sharing my story. Telling people, yes, I was bulimic. At first it’s terrifying…it’s admitting to weakness, it’s opening yourself up to the very same type of judgment that probably helped get you there in the first place. But when you can share your story of hope, can relate to someone with similar struggles or someone trying to help a loved one with it, it is amazing. THAT is who you are, not the bulimia. And now you’re one of the few who can help others who are in the shoes you once were. Bulimia is a terrible thing, it can and does ruin lives every day. But, it doesn’t have to. You can flip it on its head and use IT to HELP others. Thank you, thank you, thank you for so candidly sharing your story of HOPE. I know you’re going to help so many, some that you’ll know and some you’ll never know. KEEP sharing!!! Not only will it help countless others, but I think you’ll find it’ll help bring you continual healing as well.

    1. Thank you so much for the comment Jenna. I love your approach with the active mindset. You are totally right, sharing does make it easier. I wish you all the best and appreciate your support more than words can describe.

  61. Thank you, George! I have struggled with bulimia since my mid-teens, and was starting to think that an eating disorder is something you never truly beat. So to hear you declare you’ve got it beat gives me real hope! I hope to be able to say the same one day!

  62. Thank you for sharing that, George. I know it wouldn’t have been easy, but you should be proud of yourself.

    And yes, Abel and Stefani rock! :) I’m looking forward with interest to hearing that podcast.

    All the best. xo

  63. Hi George,

    First off, I absolutely love your blog! Secondly, thank you for sharing your story. I know exactly how hard that must have been for you, since I have been in the same situation for a long time. I was struggling with bulimia for about 11 years and it completey took over my life, my mind and my time. I finally managed to beat it last year, making a clean break (without anyone even knowing I had bulimia in the first place). It was hard not to fall back into the same “easy” ways, though. I have only, up and till today, told 5 people about it and that was only after being “clean” for about a year. It does get easier, but the the progress will always be a steep hill. Good luck with your ongoing recovery – as a bulimic can never really be cured completely, I believe.

    Hugs
    Dean

    1. Thank you for the Comment Dean,

      I am sorry you had to struggle with this for 11 years as well but I feel your pain. I am glad you reached out to a few people and told them though, that is something I wish I did. I appreciate all your kind words and wish you the best in the future. And thank you for loving my blog :)

  64. George,

    Thank you so much for your honestly and your openness. I, too, am recovering from bulimia. I was bulimic from 14-21 and then binge eating for a year before I got into therapy and began my recovery. I’ve had a few relapses into anorexia, but have not purged for over 8 years. Loving yourself is key. Once I began to love myself, I began to heal from my shame and from all of the pain I was trying to punish myself for. You are amazing for being so open with the world and for sharing your story.

  65. Thank you so much for sharing your story and I know you are an inspiration to many. This isnt exactly an easy topic to talk about – especially to people who’ve never dealt with it because most people dont understand the whole thought process of it nor see what we see when we look at ourselves. I’ve too struggled with these same issues for 12 years. Though I’ve beat this demon physically, I still battle with it mentally and I think that is the most challenging part. But being aware of your situation and the different triggers that can set it off puts you one step ahead of it. You have a powerful testimony and what a gift you are giving others who have or are dealing with this same problem. I wish you all the best!!
    God Bless

    1. Thank you so much for the comment Amy. You know exactly how I feel. I know the mental part is the toughest right now, but when you are past it there will be no battles. You have come so far and you are going to continue to progress. Your kind words alone show me you have the outlook to smack this thing in the face. Thank you again for all the encouragement.

  66. So amazingly brave for you to share this story. There is no telling how many people you might help in coming out with this. We are worth more than numbers on a scale. Much love to you.

  67. Thank you so much for sharing your story! You give so much it amazes me – and now you give us yourself as well. I didn’t travel the hard road you did, but I did learn several years ago to look for the bright side of everything and it was a game changer for me. Thanks for your words of encouragement – I will try the post-it on the mirror thing (modified to a post it on the edge of my computer monitor so I can re-read it during my work day).

    1. Thank you so much for the comment Kai. I love the idea of putting the post it on your monitor. I set reminders in my phone sometimes so Siri yells at me and tells me I am awesome sometimes :)

  68. Thank you for sharing. You are amazing. Truly amazing. And sharing your story will have positive effects on many, including myself, and hopefully it can help you heal. It really is a slippery slope and a constant battle with what can be your worst enemy, your own mind. Thank you again.

    1. Kristi,

      You are so welcome and thank you SOOO much for commenting. This whole journey has helped me heal. I am finding happiness knowing I can impact others healing processes and hope to continue to do so

  69. Thank you for sharing this. No one will ever be able to know how you felt for all those years, but now you at least know you will never be alone again

    <3
    Mel xx

  70. Wow! Thank you for your bravery and strength–and thank you for sharing your story so that your readers can know you better, be inspired, and make a difference for others. Awesome.

  71. George –

    I have been following your site for some time now, always looking for new recipes and paleo stuff, I have found your positive Facebook posts inspiring and your general attitude about life wonderful to read and feel a part of. Thank you for reviling your struggle to the world, none of us are perfect and we really are our own worst enemy. I often tell that negative voice in my head to F-off and tell others to do that too! Congratulations on taking control of that voice, to know that people will love you, to use this negativity to inspire positivity, we need more of that in our world!

    Thank you – Good luck – :)

  72. It took tremendous courage to share this and it was so powerful to read. Thank you so much for putting yourself out there to help others!

  73. I first heard you on the Fat Burning Man podcast a couple of weeks ago. You came across as so kind, compassionate and caring that I looked up your website and have been following it. Now I understand– you have used the struggles in your life to change you into the person you are today. Thanks for sharing your story so that more people will be helped.

    1. Kathleen,

      You hit the nail on the head. For many years my outlet away from my own struggles were helping others with theirs. I didn’t know that it would only last so long. Now I can truly say I can help others because I am healed. I hope you remain around my site.

  74. Thank you so much for your authenticity – I wish I would have come upon this sooner to share with a loved one. I am very impressed with the love and support in the cross fit community ; it makes me intrigued to come on board…

  75. I am sitting here on the verge of tears and I wish I could give you a hug through the screen and just hold you! You, my dear are so brave and commendable for what you’ve written here and I am happy for you and your progress. I pray for you and everyone on your situation and I think it’s the most amazing thing you’re willing to share your experiences and use them as a tool for learning and bonding…amazing and just so awesome, I applaud you and you are loved just as you are…how could you not be with a heart like that!?!?!? :) Much love from Texas!

  76. George,

    Thank you for sharing your journey with us. It is not easy to do. For so many of us, the hardest thing for us to do is to have faith in ourselves for who we are. Honestly, there is so much that I want to to write but can’t find the words. I have only been following your blog for a couple of months, but I can tell you that I really appreciate the time and effort you have put into it. I love your recipes and your banter. Thank you!

  77. I have also struggled with this for 30 years… yes, I said 30 years! Pretty much on a daily basis. I am physically fit, crossfitter, runner, and I am an advocate for healthy eating. Many people look to me for advice on how I stay so fit. Little do they know my secret.. I feel like a hypocrit! Bulimia really does have control of my life. I have failed to help myself and have just recently been tempted to open up to a close friend. I tried to get help when I was in college (many years ago) by talking to my Mother. But, she betrayed my trust and spoke of my problem to everyone! I vowed to keep it to myself from then on and people assume I am recovered… just like that! I hope that someday I can say that I beat this. In writing about this… wow, how therapeutic! Is there any blog sites for Bulimics to talk to one another on a regular basis.. like an online therapy session?
    Thank-You again for your honesty! Tomorrow is a new day.. I believe in miracles and I believe the Lord can heal me. Teamwork :)

    1. LB,

      I am sorry you have been struggling for so long but I am SO HAPPY you are posting this here. It is a step in the right direction and I now know you are going to beat this. You yourself said it was therapeutic and that is a huge step in self reflection. Besides the websites I listed, you can get involved with Stefanis forums on her site linked here: http://www.paleoforwomen.com/forum-2/

      1. I have such a different mindset since reading all this. One thing that had obviously not worked well in the past, was that I tried to be”in control”, rather than avoiding triggers! Kinda like waving a piece a cake in front of myself and trying to walk away. Yesterday..I really avoided triggering foods, boredom and kept my mind busy with other thoughts than food! Yesterday…binge free, day one! Today is another strong day. Will be binge free day two;) And..I have felt it to be very therapeutic to read Stefani’s forum. Love it! Can so relate to the posts. Thank-you again!

        1. Day 6….still kicking ass! Still struggle with food , reteaching myself how much to eat and how to listen to my body. But, not giving into urge to binge. Really not been bad….I thank the Lord for every ounce of strength and every binge free day. Will continue one day at a time and continue journaling my thoughts and feelings. It helps! Amazing how your admission George set me on this new journey. Thank you!

  78. I listened to your podcast appearance on Live.Love.Eat the other morning on my run. Thought it was great! And I heard you and Abel on Dr. Lo’s show a few weeks ago as well. You are very entertaining, comedic and REAL. Your recipes, as well as your story and your life are a great inspiration! Way to serve your country (even more), Thank you! Oh and SlackLining rocks! :)

  79. You are an amazing and brave person. I know the internal struggle you must have felt all these years, as I’m a recovered Ana/Mia as well. The key now is the you’re healing and have the pressure off of your back.

    I enjoy reading your posts, and I don’t care how many packs your abs are or aren’t. :-)

  80. Thank you for posting this. I grew up with a best friend who suffered from anorexia. It was extremely difficult and painful to see someone self destruct in front of me. I visited her countless times in the hospital when she went too far. I watched her suffer from seizures when she wasn’t eating for days. I also had the privilege of seeing her overcome her battles and become the person I knew she could. Keep up the good work.

  81. thank you so much for sharing your story!! i’m so glad that you are recovered! ive dealt with anxiety/depression, anorexia and general body image issues/restricting/emotional eating for probably about 12 years too, and although it isn’t severe now, i definitely don’t feel like i’m totally “recovered”… actually, i don’t think i ever will be. even though i’m a normal weight (5’6″ and around 125 – 130 lbs) and eat pretty healthily most of the time i still desperately fear being fat and have a lot of compulsiveness with food. in the past ive gone to numerous counselors, group therapy, etc. and felt like nothing really was able to totally cure me. maybe its just one of those things some people feel like they have to wrestle with for longer than others, or maybe some people can’t ever be fully cured? i sometimes think that its harder with anorexia/restrictive eating/orthorexia issues because they are so gray. bulemia seems to be more black and white because you can say “i haven’t purged since this date” but with restricting it is sometimes harder to identify the behavior… anyway, thanks for sharing, i can really identify with the feelings described here and it helps to know i’m not alone

    1. Kristin,

      Everyone has their own struggles. Though I centered this post around bulimia, the truth is the underlying issue was always my body image. I went through 100 lb weight swings to get to look a certain way. I made it all the way up to 230 trying to be a bodybuilder because I felt the need to always be bigger and better. Trust me there is no black and white when it comes to any of these issues. Instead, I think it is a journey for each individual to figure out their path and suppress their demons how they see fit. I think you can recover and you will never be alone. Keep finding your path and love yourself and you will get better

  82. George – you’re amazing…..thank you for sharing such a personal & heartbreaking story with us. So proud of you for what you’ve overcome! <3 ya

  83. I am so glad you posted this! How amazing brave and powerful this message is for others to hear. Your story is totally inspiring, and I know it will be a light to others struggling right now. I listened to the podcast and now reading this post — and these are coversations that we (not just the paleosphere) need to be having. There is no shaming in the struggle. We are humans and we are all capable of so much good but also the bad. Judgement is my least favorite game to play. I feel that we should accept ourselves for the wonderful people we are that the wonderful things we do — and just for being people. We all deserve love and acceptance and so does the world around us.

    Anyway, off soapbox. Speaking as a lady who battled an eating disorder from age 13 to about 23 — and went to multiple treatment centers and saw so many beautiful wonderful people battle this demon has truely shaped the person I am today. I am a more grateful, humble, and resilent person for all the trials I went through. For me it was never about weight. I didnt care what the scale said. It was about people “liking” me and be acceptable. And I was also stubborn as hell and didnt want others to tell me what to do and how to live my life. I came to recovery on my own terms — and found healing in everything pretty much that wasnt food.

    I also was in treatment with several men dealing with disordered eating — male gymnists, adult overeaters, and even a 10 year old boy who would get angry at himself if he ate too much. The world is a different place for those who do not have these issues — and they definitely can make you feel like an outsider. But the older I get — the less I worry (“sweat the small stuff”). I also had the honor of being on Stefani’s podcast too! What an honor to share with such a kick ass lady. Yay! So cheers to you George. HERES TO RECOVERY!

    1. Becky,

      Thank you so much for all your encouraging words. Your story is amazing and I can totally relate as you read above. Stefani sure is a kick ass woman and I was glad I was able to share my story with her cause she is such a great friend.

  84. Slightly sensitive question:
    Having had body-image problems and been both under and overweight due to them, I was wondering if it has left any permanent effect on your appetite, like it did mine. I went through a phase of continual dieting (even going as far as to just drink coffee for a few weeks) during my early teens and it left me feeling continually hungry until, a few months ago (5 years later!) I went Lacto-Paleo and, through IF, learned when I was hungry and when I wasn’t. Until then it was just continual hunger. I still have that sort of hunger sometimes, but am finding it easier to eat based on appetite WITHOUT putting on weight (previously impossible).

    I find even a short period of poor dietary habits or purging (in my case a year of strict dieting) can cause problems with eating habits, exercise…etc even when your self-respect and confidence are restored.

    Sorry if it’s an awkward question, I just wanted to know.
    I don’t know you, but I’m still proud of you for what you’ve managed to achieve. You’re a Grok to be admired. :)

    ~Alice

    1. Alice,

      It hasn’t left a permanent effect on my appetite, nothing more than I create with my mind. Since I have gotten to the point of being better, I have been completely fine with my appetite. I think the rollercoaster is different for everyone but the fact that you recognize your triggers you are on the right path. Keep up the great work

  85. I am so happy you told someone…and now everyone! That is usually people’s first or last step in healing and it’s so important to realize there is no shame involved in this struggle. To have beat it and now have the courage to spread awareness is truly inspiring. I battled my eating disorder for many years and can say now that I’ve been in real recovery over a year but it wasn’t until I started my paleo journey about 3 months ago that I really began to heal and experience freedom in a way I never thought possible. I know you recovered alone but eating disorder survivors are family for life. Recovery never stops and we only become stronger.

    1. Sara,

      This was my last step. I knew when I could share I was completely past it and time to hold myself accountable and use my lessons to help others. I am here for anyone also, thank you for all the support.

  86. George… You’re amazing man… Stay strong, you know you are. Stories like yours always send me into an emotional roller coaster, I feel everything from when the pain started to when you have now become VICTORIOUS! I have a feeling I know exactly how you are feeling today with posting such a story, it is a huge release and often emotionally overwhelming for many if not all who do get to this stage. Whether it be the fact that you are strong enough to share or the very likely heavy outpouring of support you are getting in response. Be proud of yourself for getting here first off second for reaching out to those who are very likely looking for help who may not know where or who to turn to. Hope all of the emotions you feel today are from a good place, they should be. Will definitely be sharing your post today, you’ve got my support!

    1. Troy,

      Thank you so much for all the support. You have always been so kind since the first time we ever interacted ages ago and I truly appreciate the support. You hit the nail on the head with your comment and it is amazing.

  87. Good for you admitting it. I know the struggle you face only too well. Don’t give up, you will move beyond. I was anorexic and bulimic for five years before I reached out for help. When I did the doctor didn’t believe me and my parents were mad about the wasted food. Thank goodness this coincided with going to university where I was able to spend 4 year with little opportunity to binge and even less to purge. Over the years I have learned how to move beyond these feeling of self hate and take steps to care for myself. I’m still not able to get on the scale regularly or even think about severely restricting food because I’m too scared it will send me back there. Having kids who look up to you as a role model and my wish for them never to experience such a thing is good motivation to keep moving forward. Watching my body respond to good nutrition and exercise and accept it is a fabulous reward.

  88. George your post moved me to tears. The bravery it took to write all of this down publicly is just mind blowing to me. It`s hard enough to admit things to yourself, much less put it out there for everyone to see. It must be very theraputic for you at the same time as helping others that may have a problem. I love your heart George Bryant; you are a very special man. God Bless you <3

    1. Thank you so much Patty. I would give everything I have to help others. It is so needed and not done enough. I have created an outlet for myself to be able to share with thousands and I intend to put it to good use.

  89. We see a lot of women talking about overcoming bulemia or anorexia, and we forget that these illnesses can and do affect men also. Thank you for sharing this with everyone. You are a REAL man – bravery, honesty and empathy are just 3 of many good traits that shine through your blog, podcasts and social media pages!

  90. George,
    You moved me to tears. To be so open and honest takes a lot of strength! Thank you!
    When I was in high school I was 5′ 7″ and 98 lbs soaking wet(not that that matters.) People always commented “how skinny I was.” I was a teenager still growing, eating like a weed, who was on the track and the swim teams. I took it all in stride, but the comments pissed me off. Would those same people say inconsiderate and rude things to someone who is overweight? Most of them would not have the guts! People don’t always think before they speak.
    My son came home one day and said he was fat, (he is 9 yrs old, 53″ and 65lbs). I quickly gave him a hug and told him he was and is the most beautiful person inside and out. We talked for a while and I figured out that some kids were making comments about a friend of his. I told him to be strong and stand up to those individuals and defend his friend. He did just that!
    I applaud you George! Keep up the fight! You are amazing!
    Ali

    1. Alison,

      Virtual hugs for you as I hope those tears were mending some hurt. I love the story as your son and he is going to grow up to be an amazing man. You are doing an amazing job and I love the way you handled that. Those moments will define him.

  91. George,

    You truly are so special. I love your site, your recipes, your honesty, and most importantly, your passion to be better for others. Thank you for sharing such a heavy, personal piece. You give hope and courage to others that may need this but don’t know how to ask for it. I’m so proud of you, proud that I follow you, and so proud to constantly be inspired by you. They say surround yourself with people that bring you up, and even though I don’t know you personally, you are a person that was meant to inspire.

    Keep that chin up. You did an amazing thing today. Well, you do that everyday with half the stuff you do, but today, this one of definitely a defining moment in your life. I’m glad I was one of the recipients that felt the impact of it.

    1. Teri,

      Thank you so much. Your words make me want to go run a marathon (if it wasn’t unhealthy for me) and you just single handedly motivated me for years to come. You hit the nail on the head with what I am trying to do to make this world better.

  92. Holy shit dude!! I don’t know what to say other than thank you for that personal bravery and thank you to Abel and Stefani for being there for you!! You have so many friends on this journey and I am proud to call you friend and interact with you as we have. Those are some powerful demons to exorcise!! I am so happy you found the courage to do so!! I don’t see how it couldn’t help others!!

    Tim

    1. Tim,

      As always thank you for all the support brother. You are a huge pillar in this community and even more as a friend. Your always encouraging and forgiving when need be. Thanks for being a great friend.

  93. Thank you so much for sharing. I think it’s so important for all people (men included) to know this is an issue. There’s been so much good information going on for paleo women about true health and what our bodies look like, but men have not been really given much attention. You have given so much to help people and it is only right that you know how many people care about you and whose lives have been influenced by the work you do. I personally am an avid follower, checking your website daily for new postings and always sharing my favorites with many of my friends. Courage, honesty, and bravery are markings of a true man, and you certainly employ all of these and more.

    1. Meaghan,

      Thank you so much. I am blessed to have you and your kind words as an avid follower. I am glad I can help shed light on the truth and hopefully help people through their struggles.

  94. You are so brave and I am so proud of you for it! I know (I really know) how hard it must have been for you to come clean about this but HELL YEAH YOU DID IT!!!! You are such a good role model and deserve all the success in the world! This is such a touchy subject and I am happy people are being made aware.

  95. Your story is truly inspirational. I have struggled on and off with bulimia for about 12 years as well. I though it was out of my life 8 years ago, but it came back just over a year ago when I went through a divorce and multiple other stressors. I am currently conciously trying to kick it to the curb once again, but I’m finding it quite the roller coaster. Knowing that there are others out there – in the fitness community, and in general – that know exactly what I’m going through is very helpful, and reading these kinds of posts on an almost-daily basis give me a boost when I’m beating myself up for not being “strong enough” to get completely past this. I have not yet built up the courage to do what you have done and admit to anyone what I’m going through. I thank you so much for being able to come forward with your story as it REALLY DOES make a difference to people out there like me still struggling! Thank you!!

    1. Jackie,

      You are not struggling Jackie, you are fighting and you are fighting hard. You had the courage to comment on this post and open up. That is huge. Keep fighting and know there is a world out there to support you. I am proud of you and mostly grateful for you commenting. Thank you for the support and keep kicking ass.

    1. Lani,

      I love you from the bottom of my heart. You are an amazing friend and I am the one who is blessed. You make me want to be a better person with your kind heart and compassion.

  96. George I am so proud of you for sharing such a deep, personal story with so many people. I hope you realize the potential you have to change a lot of lives, and I know you probably just changed more than a few by sharing this. I had no idea that you had been struggling with bulimia, and I have just developed an even deeper respect for you than I had before, now that I know where you’ve come from on your journey.

    You are such an inspiration! I really admire you and have greatly enjoyed getting to know you as a person rather than just a fellow blogger (ever since our first crazy housing situation in Austin!) I hope you count me as a friend and I’m really glad to know someone as caring and compassionate as you are.

    Love and hugs!!!
    Laura

    1. Thank you Laura. My intentions were to change thousands and to help people who are struggling. Maybe this helped shed some light why I was so animate about people not prejudging others for certain things ;) I count you as an amazing friend and I admire everything you do. You are a beautiful young woman which is why I talk to you when I can. I appreciate all your kind words every time we exchange them.

      Love and hugs right back

  97. I am LITERALLY sobbing at my computer. Thank you for sharing this. I read so much of myself in your words. For as long as I can remember, I have suffered with compulsive overeating and as a teen bulimia. I had gastric bypass about 12 years ago and was able to lose weight (400 lbs down to 180) and sought therapy for the bulimia, but I continued to struggle with my relationship with food until I had my son 5 years ago. Being a single Mom now it’s hard, and being physically limited to how much food I can eat keeps me from binging, but it’s still there mentally. I have found ways to channel the unhealthy compulsive energy to productive things to refocus my brain, but it’s a battle everyday.

    <3

    1. Kyndra,

      Thank you so much for sharing. I just want to point out that it may be a battle everyday, but you are WINNING. I can sense your positivity in your words and they gave me goosebumps. We are even now (sorry for making you cry). Please keep kicking ass like you are and the battles will subside when you win the war; persistence will get you there.

  98. Thank you for sharing your story. I found your website a couple weeks ago and love it (and your recipes). You are very inspiring and I really like your sense of humor! I’m sending good internet vibes your way to stay strong and true to yourself. I have said for a long time that I need to kinder to myself. It’s hard to reverse many years of beating myself up… Thanks so much for the reminder to keep trying.

    1. Cyndi thank you for reaching out to me. Welcome to my website, hope my food tastes good and I love you think me talking about living in sweatpants is funny, I am glad someone reads that stuff haha. It may seem hard to reverse the negative energy, but it is a conscience decision, seems to me you are ready to make it. I will be here if you need a swift kick in the butt :)

  99. Learning to love yourself is the most challenging and rewarding journey. Thank you so much for sharing.. You are so brave!

  100. Brave! Now let the healing begin.

    I struggled with anorexia for years in my late teens into my mid 20’s. ( I so wish i knew about paleo then) I’m vocal about my stuggles with all 6 of my kids and I’m not ashamed. I want to teach them better then what I knew then. When you know better, you do better. Body image is so big in our society, I’ve heard my 7 year old son cry about looking too ‘fat’ in a winter coat. This isn’t ok for me, so we talk A LOT about eating healthy, how our body talks to us and moving. Being happy for who we are, for our special gifts and forgetting what everyone else see’s as ‘perfect’. Our bodies are not a mistake.

    I do hope you realize you are a gift!

    1. Lesley,

      Thank you for sharing your story with me. I think we all wish we knew about Paleo in the past, but the best thing we can do is forget about it and move forward. Use our past to mold our future and pass our knowledge on to others. I love how you treat your children and you should be proud of yourself for being such a shining pillar of what they should strive to be. Mistakes are what make us human, and I am proud of all mine. Keep on keeping on

  101. Wow George, very brave. By writing this and admitting your struggles, I guarantee you will help many others. You are a great guy and certainly deserve to be happy. Keep on keeping on and hold tight to all of these awesome people you now have in your life.

  102. Amazing post. Your bravery and honesty sharing your experiences is inspiring George. Thank you for being so open. It will definitely help others, I know it helps me.

  103. I’ve binged/purged on-and-off for about 5 years and have not told anyone. I find your story to be truly inspirational and hopefully I can find the courage to tell others about my troubles. Until then, thank you for getting me to think more about needing to open up about it.

    1. Me,

      You already told someone, you admitted it to yourself and you just told me. You are already on the path to success. Keep loving yourself and always find the positive and you will be successful. Remember though, there is always someone to help before you go down the bad path.

  104. George – I thank you. I am so refreshed, reading your unadulterated truth. You are a beautiful, powerful man. Keep speaking your truth. Love is the truth. Keep on loving yourself. I have more hope than ever for the future of our world. Thank you!

    Lucas

  105. George, I appreciate you even more now. My best friend in Italy went through this and I know very well what it means…. Thank you for being the special human being that you are.
    Much love to you!!!!!!

    1. Elena, I am blessed to have both you and Paul in my life. You are both amazing souls and I could not be happier having you around. I love your words of encouragement and appreciate everything. Thank you

  106. all the more reasons I love you.. I too have suffered with Bulimia for.. hmmm more years of my life than not.. 14 years..
    Its started when I was 14 and I also remember vividly the first time.
    Many treatments and groups proved to be helpful for short times..
    But THIS year was the turning point for me.. I had my adrenal fatigue to make me “get fat” and face my worst fear… and I was still ok.
    and people still liked me.. and FUCK was it scary.
    I love you so much and am so glad you came forward with this. I cant even imagine, as a male, how much more difficult it would be to talk about it.
    I know that for more than a dozen reasons you are my friend.

  107. You are so brave for opening yourself up to everyone like this. I pray you’ve found your peace, and that others who suffer read this and are inspired to end the torture in their own lives. You, sir, are awesome.

  108. Wow! Thanks for being brave enough to be open and honest! That is the only way to be truly free but most of us are too afraid. Congratulations on your many victories!

  109. Thank you for saying the things you have said when some of us are not strong enough to say it. You are a true inspiration and make me want to take that step forward in loving myself more, rather than destroy the most precious thing in my life. Thank you.

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