Anorexia, Bulimia And Binging: How I Went From 56 To 221 Pounds

by Brittany Burgunder

At the beginning of 2009, it looked as though I had finally lost my seven-year battle with anorexia and exercise addiction.

I had become so sick, I had been asked to leave in the middle of my freshman year of college. I wasn’t allowed back until I had achieved certain health requirements.

So began my next six months in a hospital, on the brink of death.

With my weight dropping to a low of 56 pounds, I lost all mobility, faced liver failure, had to relearn how to walk, couldn’t think or recognize people, went bald, needed blood transfusions and was given almost no chance to survive.

The universe must have had other plans for me, though, because miraculously, I pulled through.

August 2009 would change my life forever.

I binged. After many years of controlling, resisting and depriving myself of food, I gave in. It was an exhilarating, wonderful and scary sensation. I didn’t know how to stop.

I was now 75 pounds and climbing. What I didn’t realize was I had traded anorexia for binging. My disease took on an entirely new appearance, even though the same inner demons were driving it from the inside.

As my body changed more quickly than I could comprehend, I found myself in a trance of disbelief.

I shut myself in my house, embarrassed someone I knew might see me looking so drastically different. I would only leave to buy food, so I could binge.

By the middle of 2010, I hit rock bottom again; this time, on the opposite side of the scale.

All I could see in the mirror was a stranger, but the scale confirmed my illusion and worst nightmare as the digital number "221" flashed before me.

My struggle only continued as my eating disorder once again transformed into bulimia.

After 10 years filled with restricting, over-exercising, binging, laxatives, colonics, hospitals, treatment centers, fat camps, psychiatric wards and hopelessness, I have taken all the diaries I have kept over the years of struggle, and turned them into a story of hope.

"Safety In Numbers: From 56 To 221 Pounds, My Battle With Eating Disorders" is a real-time account of the chaos, depression, destruction of opportunities, obsessions, rituals, treatments and family traumas I have had to go through.

It shows my slippery slide into madness. It explains how I gave up tennis, horses, school and a potential social life.

It shows how I gave up everything for isolation and control. I took my eating disorder to the brink of death, at both ends of the weight spectrum. Therefore, I have a unique perspective on the full range of the disease.

Now, I am coming out on the other side. I want to share with others the personal darkness and torture I experienced while I was trapped by my eating disorder, and I want to demonstrate there is always hope to get better and recover.

You can experience a brief glimpse of my profound story by watching my video below: