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I'm going to tell you about the 3 bulimia treatment options which saved my life... But first listen to how deeply lost in bulimia I'd become...
I started 'playing' with bulimia when I was 8 years old. I had been trying to stay skinny through dieting... I believed that being thin would help me become an olympic gymnast, which was something I prayed for every night.
Somewhere inbetween these dreams and diets, I discovered bulimia. When I overate, I could easily get rid of it and go back for more!
Little did I know what I was getting myself into.
By the time I reached my 20's bulimia ruled me life. I knew I needed to look into bulimia treatment options, but I felt that I was a lost cause. Plus, I could never imagine sharing my secret with anybody!
Constant thoughts of binging ruled my mind. I could not go without food for even 30 minutes! My life was a vicious cycle of eating as much as I could get my hands on, getting that food out of me - and keeping it all a secret.
I was so determined to keep my bulimia hidden - I went to all lengths to hide it!
I even had tricks for when I was in a public toilet and was scared somebody might hear my vomit splashing into the toilet bowel...
I would fill my cheeks up with regurgitated, food, get in as close as I could to the edge of the toilet bowel (I'm talking an inch away from the water!) and spray my vomit into the toilet in a controlled way... This made it sound like I was peeing!
After throwing up for so many years, all this happened so easily.
That's why I thought that even with the best bulimia treatment options, my bulimia recovery would be impossible. I thought that physically, I had damaged myself beyond repair... I thought that I had to throw up because I could no longer digest food.
Despite all these fears and negative voices in my head, something deep inside me dreamt of a normal life... I dreamt of freedom.
It was these dreams that made me take my first real steps towards recovery in 2005... I booked to see the counselor at my university.
Fast forward one year and I was COMPLETELY free from bulimia...
Fast forward 6 years and I am now one of the most normal eaters I know! Ironic isn't it?!
I love life and I love food. I eat whatever and whenever I want while still honoring my taste buds and my health. I listen to my body and it tells me exactly what it wants and needs :)
Below are the KEY bulimia treatment options (which I used in combination) that helped me reach this beautiful and peaceful place...
Opening up and talking was the bulimia treatment that scared me the most. To make it easier for myself I decided not to open up to somebody I knew in person... I went to my university counselor - her name was Amanda. Talking to Amanda took a weight off my shoulders...
Talking took the battle of bulimia out of my head and into a place where I could share it, talk it through and get support and advice.
Think carefully about somebody that you could open up to... Try to pick a good listener who is a loving and supportive person. If you feel you can't open up to somebody you know, you could consider a therapist or a counselor. Alternatively, the girls in The Bulimia Recovery Program say that they find the programs online recovery community helps them feel supported in this journey.
If all of that seems too much at this point, sharing your story (even anonymously) online on my bulimia stories page can be a healing first step.
Bulimia makes you do things that feel crazy, but you are not a crazy person...
You are a wonderful human being who is worthy of love and support in recovery!
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) has been used for many years as a successful bulimia nervosa treatment. It was an important part of my bulimia recovery too...
CBT worked for me by helping identify my negative thought patterns that added to my binge and purge urges. Once I identified the negative thought patters, I could plan new thought patterns that I wanted to engrain into my mind. I could turn unhealthy beliefs about weight and food into positive ones. I could work on turning negative self talk into loving, caring and healing self talk.
One of the beliefs I managed to alter through cognitive behavioral therapy was the belief "I have to be thin to be loved". Now I know that my weight has no say in how loved I am... People love me for ME, not for how much I weigh!
There are plenty of ways that you can start practicing CBT based exercises to help wire positive beliefs into your mind... You could look up a CBT therapist in your area who specializes in Eating Disorders, practice the CBT exercises in my online Bulimia Recovery Program or purchase CBT self help books. All of these are great options :)
I can not even explain how life changing this is! Bulimia is a problem that manifests through dieting and restriction... So ditching the diets is an essential part of recovery and a life free from bulimia!
Before your bulimia intensified, or even began, I am guessing that you either went on a diet or fantasized about the idea of losing weight on a diet...
When you did these things, the fear of famine in the sub-cortex of your brain was activated. The sub cortex is quite an "animalistic" part of our brain without rational thought... The threat of food shortages cause it to activate "hunger alerts" which say "be on the lookout for food all the time!". In modern society where famine isn't really an issue, you read these alerts as binge urges...
Often, the greater your dieting/restriction prior to bulimia, the quicker you can fall into the consuming world of bulimia.
Now I'm not just pulling this scientific mumbo-jumbo out of nowhere... there have been studies done on the effects of food restriction/dieting and they are scary! In one of these studies, healthy men who were deprived of food developed bulimia! I won't go into that too much here, but to read more about how to give a healthy man bulimia, click here.
I wrote about ditching the diets in more detail here: Bulimia Nervosa Treatment: Why Past Recovery Attempts Failed & Why This One Worked!
I can honestly say that my complete and lasting recovery from bulimia is largely thanks to:
I believe in these two points so strongly that they make up a large part of my step by step recovery program... Where they have helped other people reach a full recovery too!
It still blows my mind that I have a completely normal relationship with food. It's been 7 years now and the feeling of freedom is overwhelmingly beautiful!
And do you want to know what's really cool...
A complete and lasting bulimia recovery is possible for you too! In fact, it's not just possible... it's likely... if you put the steps above into practice - bulimia recovery is yours for the taking!
I hope this info on bulimia treatment options has motivated you to take one step towards recovery today :)
Lots of love,
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Article by Shaye Boddington
Author of your-bulimia-recovery.com
and creator of The Bulimia Recovery Program and Community