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- A Guest Post by Our lovely Bulimia Recovery Mentor Clara Toronto
One of the more stressful parts of bulimia and bulimia recovery is going out to eat... I remember getting so anxious whenever my friends wanted to go out for a meal. That anxiety was even more extreme if that meal out was on a date!
Beforehand, I'd stress out about what to wear, if I looked good enough and if they’d notice me disappear to the bathroom after eating... the process was exhausting!
In this article, I'd like to offer bulimia recovery help for when you eat a meal out. The tips below are what helped me in my recovery journey...
Take each part of your bulimia recovery in steps. If the situation is simply too stressful for you, remember, you are allowed to turn it down. Maybe choose to have a meal at home with a good book or movie in hand, maybe invite a friend over for a girls night to cook and eat dinner together. Whatever you feel comfortable with at this stage is what you need to do.
When going out, check out the menu beforehand. These days we are blessed to have almost everything online. If you decide to go out with people, ask where you are going, look up the menu, and choose a few things off of it that look yummy to you and fit into your structured eating plan. For more information on structured eating (and how it eliminates a common response in bulimics called primal hunger) check out "Secret #1 - Primal Hunger is Making You Obsessed with Food" on Shayes recovery program.
Pick a favorite snack that fits into your structured eating plan and eat it an hour or so before so that you don’t fall into primal hunger. During my recovery I learned a very helpful trick that still helps me to this day… it’s called the hunger fullness scale. It’s based on a scale from 0-10. 0 = state of starvation and 10 = over full. I always try to maintain my number between 4-7. Whenever I am at an event with a lot of food I stand and up (because, for some reason I can only tell how hungry/full I am if I stand) and decide where I am currently at on the scale. To read up a bit more on primal hunger and other common binge triggers in bulimia recovery, read this wonderful article by Shaye "Overcome Bulimia By Preventing These 3 Triggers".
And again, beautiful girl… please be kind and understanding to yourself. Use positive affirmations instead of negative or hurtful words.
• Either I will find a way - or I will make one
• Even baby steps lead to recovery
• I ACCEPT THIS CHALLENGE - BRING IT ON!
...and one of my own…
• You don’t own me!
Self kindness is a critical part of recovery. Please, Please don’t let a lack of self kindness hold you back in your bulimia recovery journey. Start now in treating yourself like the Queen that you are! When getting ready for a meal out - be extra vigilant on your self talk... Whenever it leads towards unkindness - turn it around and talk to yourself with respect.
It’s so close you can almost touch it (whether you believe it or not!). Every step forward is a step in the right direction. Just keeping moving and progressing and you’ll reach your goals for a healthier and happier life!
As Tom Petty sings “You belong among the wild flowers, you belong in a boat out a sea… you belong somewhere you feel free!”
Start setting yourself free from Bulimia today :)