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Bulimia Recovery #28 - The #1 Meal You Must Not Miss in Recovery
April 23, 2012

The #1 Meal You Must Not Miss in Recovery!

Early on in my teenage years, when I was severely restricting and then falling into HUGE binges... I would always try to skip breakfast...

When I woke up in the morning, I liked the 'empty' feeling inside. I'd try to hang onto that emptiness for as long as possible... I'd have a cup of tea and head to school.

Sitting in the classroom at 10am, my tummy would rumble so loud that it became a bit of a class joke.

Yes I was hungry... But worse than the hunger was the mental fog.

'Learning'... There was not much of that going on.

Inside, I was fantasizing about the gigantic chelsea buns at the cafeteria... 1/2 the size of a loaf of bread and covered in pink icing... I couldn't get them out of my head.

As soon as the bell would ring at 10.30 for morning tea, I'd make a run for it.

I was always first in line, buying the super sized chelsea bun - plus as many pieces of candy as I could with my remaining money.

I would devour it in a zombie-like trance, wishing I had money for 10 more...

Of course, then it was off to the other side of the school to use the most isolated toilets possible. I had to get it out of me.

My friends would comment "How the hell do you eat that whole thing to yourself Shaye?" - I'd always say it was because I'd done a huge workout before school.

I never understood those mad mid-morning high carb binges. I thought I was pathetic and weak... Why couldn't I be satisfied with a sandwich and a piece of fruit?

Now I can see so clearly that there was NOTHING wrong with my self control. I was not weak at all...


What Skipping Breakfast Does to Your BRAIN

Every time I missed breakfast, I was setting off a chemical reaction in my brain that literally FORCED me to binge on carbohydrates. Neuropeptide Y (NPY) is a chemical created by the brain that sets off carbohydrates cravings - the bodies first choice for quick energy. There is a huge amount of evidence that shows this chemical (NPY) can have a massive effects on your eating behavior. NPY causes an increase in the size of your carbohydrate binges and the time span that they last for.

It's dieting, food restriction and purging that causes NPY to jump into action... When you are limiting your food intake, NPY will literally make your brain scream out for carbohydrate rich foods like bread, chocolate and chips... Anything refined for quick absorption and energy.

Any restriction throughout the day will result in NPY spikes and carbohydrate cravings... BUT, we are especially vulnerable in the morning...

During the night when we sleep, we're in a sense fasting for a number of hours between dinner and breakfast. It's this natural fast that causes our NPY levels to be higher in the morning than they are throughout the rest of the day (when eating normally). Our bodies use up carbohydrate stores while we sleep and these important stocks need to be replenished in the morning...

If you skip or purge breakfast, your NPY levels go through the roof by the time mid morning rolls around. The longer you leave your body screaming for food, the louder NPY will make it scream!

There is only so long you can say no to those relentless NPY binge urges... Eventually you will eat and eat and eat...

Just like I did with the giant Chelsea bun!


Turns out Grandma was right when she said "Breakfast is the most important meal of your day"

To this very day if for some reason I miss breakfast, I crave bread rolls and toast at lunch time. It's a natural response to the release of NPY. So if there is any meal not to miss, it's breakfast! Replenishing your carbohydrate stocks after a night long fast is super important :)

In saying that, of course I think the best idea is to eat (and digest) all your meals and snacks... The tip of 3-3-3 (3 meals and 3 snacks a day, spaced 3 hours apart) works perfectly to keep neuropeptide Y at normal and balanced levels!

So next time you're having a super carbohydrate craving - ask yourself...

"Could this be my brain chemicals screaming for food?"



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I was asked the other day if I ever find it draining or depressing working with people who are in bulimia recovery. My answer was no ways...

I find it exciting and beautiful because I feel SO much hope for every single person I talk to, meet or email. I know without a doubt that they can recover - and most likely will... So I just feel excited for them because I know what lies ahead - a beautiful life full of freedom and peace!


Sending you lots of love,

P.S. VERY exciting news... I just added "The Bulimia Recovery Email Course" to The Bulimia Recovery Program... It's 2 inspirational emails or videos delivered to your inbox each week for 6 months to keep you on track with your recovery! If you haven't signed up for it yet, check your inbox for details! If you are not part of The Bulimia Recovery Program yet - see how you can join by clicking here.

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