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Causes of Bulimia Nervosa: How To Reverse Them and Make Peace With Food

I believe that the causes of bulimia nervosa are often misunderstood.

When I was bulimic, I tried to look deeper within myself to discover what may have triggered it...

I felt like a normal person with one exception... This overwhelming, unrelenting need to eat all the time.

If I could just kick that out of my life, I felt like I had a real chance at happiness.

But for more than a decade, those urges got the best of me. I felt like an out of control animal, on the constant prowl for food.

I knew why I purged... Because I was terrified of weight gain from all the bingeing... That was clear to me...

But what I didn't understand was why I binged.

Why as soon as I was left alone, I would bee-line to the pantry to eat cereal, bread, chips, left over mashed potato, cheese and anything else I could get my hands on... And I'd eat it in a complete daze.

Once it was done, I could hardly remember it.

I could not for the life of me understand why when my family were watching TV, I'd be pretending to 'tidy the kitchen' - all the while bingeing on left over's and purging quietly into the kitchen incinerator.

My sheer obsession with binge eating did not make sense to me back then...


Now, I understand the causes of bulimia nervosa - and it all makes total sense...

I agree with conventional therapy that there are elements of low self esteem, perfectionism or both that make up the causes of bulimia nervosa... But this is only part of the picture.

It's like painting the mona lisa, but forgetting to paint her eyes. It just doesn't work!

I know plenty of girls with low self esteem that do not binge and purge.

I believe one of the most significant causes of bulimia nervosa is when the perfectionist mentality drives somebody to diet... And then they take that diet too far.

Depriving our bodies of the food they need is possibly one of the most unnatural things we can do...

As human beings, we are designed to eat. Every cell in our body depends on being nourished...

When we limit our bodies and minds of the nourishment they need, things start to go wrong in the sub cortex of our brains...

The sub cortex region of our brain is responsible for our basic instincts... Like the fear of danger and famine. When we restrict our food through excessive dieting, our sub cortex reads this as a deadly serious situation - famine.

If there is a threat of famine, our sub cortex will put us on the look out for food every waking hour of the day.

Your binge urges are born!

It is this basic fear of going without food that has kept the human species thriving on this beautiful planet for thousands of years.

And our sub cortex will not forget easily... Even if you have stopped dieting and starving yourself... Primal hunger may still be present...

You need to prove that the famine is over, by feeding yourself frequently, holding that food down and working on eliminating the dieting mentality from you life.


3 key ingredients for your bulimia recovery plan

In your bulimia treatment or recovery plan, it's super important that you work on:

  1. Nourishing your body with enough food (to eliminate primal hunger)
  2. Replacing perfectionism with a more flexible attitude towards yourself and the world
  3. Self kindness and self love so that you base your self worth on not only your body - but who you are as a whole

Those 3 points right there helped me to completely recover from bulimia... and they have helped many others in my online recovery program and community to do the same.

Eliminating primal hunger and re-wiring the habits of perfectionism and self abuse won't happen overnight...

It will take time to get your body into the cycle of digesting food again. It will take persistence to make flexibility and love your automatic attitude towards yourself...

But I promise if you give yourself that time and persistently take baby steps forward - a complete recovery is yours for the taking!

And oh my goodness, recovery is beautiful! You will love it... and you'll see that every challenge along the way was entirely worth it :)




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

The Bulimia Recovery Program