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Binge without realising that it's happening

by J

Hi again,

Thank you so much for answering my previous question. And as things are going further more questions rise.

So yesterday was day number 8 and a strange thing happened...

I went out to get some money from a cash machine coz I had to pay my rent then. I have been having problems for a few days and I was really worried, coz in that card are all the money I have and the bank is stated in my home country, coz if something is wrong I can't do anything. Normally in such situations I would start b/p even if it's the morning, coz that was my drug. So was so stressed, I hardly hold my tears. I had the default thoughts very strong urges but I resist them. Finally I found that it was the machine not my card. But the adrenaline and the other stressed hormones were still in my blood...

So I went home and intentionally waited for a while, distracted my self and tried to relax before my lunch. Then I was preparing my food with care, how I do when I am healthy. I had chicken curry, I know it's really not the thing to eat now, but the woman I live with insisted that I should try it and she is so great, I couldn't say no. Anyway, this wasn't the problem. I suddenly saw my plate, I huge plate overloaded with food...I had prepared it..I didn't realize why I put so much food in it and bread. But I said to myself I don't have to eat it all. Coz when I am ok, if I don't feel like it I don't 'clean' my plate. So while eating I felt that something was strange, something was not quite right, I was trying to eat slowly, but there was something happening I couldn't realize. Then I found my self finishing most of the hugeeee dish +bread then I had my chocolate, but usually I do it to change the taste in my mouth and like a reward that I am eating right. Coz when I am b/p I don't really eat dessert.

Anyways, Afterward I was suffering for 6 hours, my stomach was about to explode, it was so hard to resist the urge to get rid of my pain 'the easy way' but I resisted it. And I am so proud. But what I am worried about was that reaction it was my subconscious the old pattern is still there and activates when I am really stressed, so I binged and didn't realize it! It is scary!

Is it going to be always like that, or I can force my self to get rid of it? I read that it takes about 2-3 weeks to form a new habit, no matter what is it, to change what you are doing without thinking with another action that in the beginning you intentionally do.

So do you think it could happen with this nasty old habit? And how can I figure out those hidden wishes? I do stop my self when I recognize them, but that was a hidden one. I felt something is not quite right but I didn't quite recognize it.

Thanks for the support and that you are here to answer our questions! You are great!


Shaye Says

Hi there J!

Your story of eating without even really realizing it is very normal for bulimics in recovery...

You see when you're bulimic you train your brain to eat on autopilot... This habit gets so imprinted on your brain - that sometimes during recovery it can slip back up.

Remember you had bulimia for a long time - it will take more than 8 days to kick the habits. For me it was about 1-2 months before my eating patterns started becoming a little more natural.

I have also heard that it takes 3 weeks to break a habit... I think bulimia is maybe a little stronger and you need to be cautious for a little longer. But everyone is different - and perhaps some people can kick bulimia urges this quickly.

A good practice to put in place until you've fully recovered is to:

a) Try not to 'pick' at all whilst preparing your food
b) Serve up as much as you intend to eat - not more (It's too hard to say no sometimes during recovery)

Don't worry - it won't be like this forever - it will definitely improve!

You did so well to keep that food down yesterday - that is a massive challenge - and you did it!

I am happy to answer any bulimia-related questions - so if you have any others during your recovery - just drop me a line :)

Keep up the fantastic work!


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Article by Shaye Boddington
Author of
and creator of The Bulimia Recovery Program and Community

The Bulimia Recovery Program