MORGAN COUNTY, AL (WAFF) - *This story runs March 10th*
At 29-years-old, Chase Erwin said he had a weight problem throughout childhood and has battled Bulimia since he was in high school. "Often times I would get teased about my weight. My weight had grown steadily since about 3rd grade," said Erwin.
He said he trained himself to regurgitate at will when various diets his family put him on didn't seem to work, and got a diagnosis his first year in college. "A university campus doctor and nutritionist both said, 'you know you have this problem.'"
Erwin said stress was the trigger. "Something wrong would happen in my life and I started stress eating... then it was just a mad dash to the restroom."
His research into Bulimia found only female patients and those who were thin to begin with, so he decided to talk to a nutritionist. "And she was like, 'makes no difference... just like drug addition, just like alcoholism, anybody can develop an eating disorder.'"
According to the National Eating Disorders Association, just as with gender, a common misconception is that only people who "look" thin to begin with are susceptible to eating disorders. Just like Chase, people legitimately trying to lose weight can also develop a disorder.
That's when the behavior stopped with the help of more therapy, but all the purging had left the enamel on his back teeth gone.
"I've just completed over a thousand dollars worth of repair work. I have to wear a night guard at night and they've put in five or six fillings and bond to kind of protect what's exposed now," added Erwin.
And he is exposing his own story to help other men know it can happen to them. Doctors tell him no one is really cured, but he is on the right path to wellness with fresh fruit smoothies, proper diet and exercise.
Chase said he battled both weight gain and the desire to purge until he started on the path to recovery in 2010. With sensible meals, changes in stress management, and continued activity, he has been steadily losing weight - the healthy way.
Find out more information about Bulimia here.