Famous American dancer, recording artist and American Idol judge, Paula Abdul, admits her life is a perfect learning example to anyone suffering from bulimia. Known for her great dance moves, figure hugging outfits and a string of 80s hits including, “What have you done for me lately?” she enojyed critical acclaim in the public eye but away from the glare, lurking in the shadows she quietly battled against bulimia.
She used to binge eat for short periods before purging however possible, a process which lasted for 17 long years.
“Battling bulimia has been like war on my body. Me and my body have been on two separate sides. We’ve never, until recently, been on the same side.”
She says she always saw herself as a little too short and fat, and claims that her eating disorder was a punishment for her body. She was a constant source of disappointment to herself and when eventually speaking openly about it she said, “I learned at a very early age I didn’t fit in physically. I learned through years of rejections from auditions…. I would ask myself, “Why can’t I be tall and skinny like the other dancers?”
Years after overcoming bulimia, Paula reflected on those horrendous times: “It became a living hell for me. I wanted to get help. I want to be free from weighing myself on the scales”.
“I used to be a fanatic. I used to exercise four or five times a day.
“Now it’s different. I don’t exercise too much for the wrong reasons. Three times a week I’ll do some cardiovascular or aerobic activity.”
She sought treatment in 1994 opting to take psychiatric treatment to end the 17 years of ‘living hell’. She spent a solid month in treatment after which she began the slow process of healing.
Always her own harshest critic she reflects on her time in rehab where she had a series of epiphanies: “I thought `God I’m not perfect. I’m going to disappoint people. That’s what I thought.”
But nowadays looking in the mirror is no longer a traumatic affair and her issues about her height and weight are a thing of the past.
“I have my moments when I look in the mirror and say, ‘I’m okay.’ I refuse to weigh myself. I don’t have scales in my house”.