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My Bulimia Nervosa Treatment: Why Past Recovery Attempts Failed & Why This One Worked!

Sometimes at night, I'd sneak onto the internet looking for suggestions on bulimia nervosa treatment...

But they all left me feeling even more scared and confused. I'd find doctors talking in cold and clinical language that I hardly understood.

I'd always decide, I'll just try one more time on my own. I thought if I could muster up enough self control, then I could beat bulimia.

I'd devise my own bulimia nervosa treatment plan which normally went something like this...

"As of tomorrow, I'll never binge and purge again. I'm only going to eat fruit and vegetables... If I can avoid eating - I will be able to avoid purging! I'll be cured!"

Unfortunately, for reasons I now understand... My bulimia nervosa treatment plans always flopped BIG TIME!

In fact - all of these recovery attempts only ever made me more bulimic!

Why You Can't beat Bulimia With Self Control

My recovery attempts (bar the one that worked in the end) came from a place of fear and restriction...

I was scared of gaining weight in recovery and so I tried to diet my way to wellness!

I'd try using self control to cut right back on food...

My self control was great - until about 9am! It was around this time each day that I'd give in and eat, eat, eat...

Then my 'all or nothing thinking' told me I'd blown it and that I may as well binge and purge for the rest of the day. Everyday I'd promise myself that "Tomorrow will be different".

Self control is not a realistic bulimia nervosa treatment! Trying to use self control to recover from bulimia is completely missing the point...


We don't binge because we have no self control!

Far from it...

We binge because once upon a time we had FAR too much self control... To the point that we dieted and restricted and made our sub conscious mind absolutely terrified of being hungry again.

I first started binge eating because I had activated my primal fear of famine. This fear exists within every single human being, in a part of the brain called the sub-cortex.

The sub cortex is the 'animal' part of our brains and it's in charge of our basic instincts Eg...

and more significant to bulimia...

These parts of our brains are pretty basic... They don't understand dieting. When we diet, we are effectively saying to our sub-cortex "There is a famine".

Most bulimia sufferers have an ultra-primed and sensitive 'famine mode'... Why?

Because they often have a history of severe dieting or restriction... In fact, many bulimics have a history of anorexia (I did). Our sub-cortex isn't quick to forget and stays on famine-alert for long after the dieting may stop.

eating disorders in children
Losing weight for my sport
on crazy low calorie diets
triggered my 'fear of famine'


For me, it was dieting that set the wheels of the binge and purge cycle turning all the way back when I was a kid, trying to stay skinny for gymnastics...

When I hit my teens and decided to go on crazy low-calorie diets to try please my coach - my famine mode went into overdrive...

This is when the binge eating hit me so hard, it knocked me off my feet.

By the time I reached 20 years old - dieting had helped to keep me stuck in bulimia for nearly 1/2 my life.



How I reached COMPLETE Freedom, Health and Happiness!

I didn't have the opportunity to go to a bulimia nervosa treatment center. This was partly because I was too ashamed of my secret to open up and tell my family and friends...

But I did make the massive step of opening up to a counselor at my university. She gave me a piece of advice that was priceless...

She told me that in order to recover from bulimia, I could not diet... I would have to eat. I would have to nourish my body with enough food.

This sounded bizarre to me...

For so long I had thought that in order to recover from bulimia, I would need to have MORE self control and stop eating.

My fear of eating too much was causing me to try and under eat - but this always failed thanks to my sensitive sub-cortex.

Slowly but surely, I began to put my fear of famine to rest by eating 3 meals and 3 snacks each day. I slipped up many times on this journey... but I kept pushing forward.

I was rewarded with fewer binge urges...

And, in time, I made peace with my body and mind and the urges disappeared altogether :)

Ditching the diets and the diet mentality was a MASSIVE step forward in my bulimia recovery...

I talk about this step in more detail - plus the other important steps to recovery - in my online Bulimia Nervosa Treatment Plan and community. I'll also tell you about a study where healthy men were made to diet - and some of them developed bulimia!

Whatever you decide is your next step towards recovery, please remember... Diets can't be part of it!

You don't need diets... You can trust your body :)



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

The Bulimia Recovery Program