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Dealing with the stress of change during recovery

Hey Shaye!

Thanks to the wonderful support of this website and my amazing boyfriend, I have been able to successfully recover from my bulimia. I have not thrown up for just a little over four months and I am very proud of that! I have developed consistent and great eating habits during the course of my recovery.

Ever since I was in the 7th grade, I would eat for whatever emotion I felt- happy, sad, mad, or bored. And right now, I'm going through a change in my life and I find myself going back to food out of bordem and stress. Me and my boyfriend go to colleges in different cities, so that adds to the stress and loneliness, and I'm turning to food again for the comfort that I don't have when he is gone.

I have done so well up until this point. I am not going all out and binging, but more like grazing and it is becoming an issue because I have recently had thoughts of throwing up again and this new 'turning to food' habit needs to stop because it could ruin my recovery! I have not actually thrown up, but my thoughts aren't great thoughts to have. It has been four months but I still take it very seriously and realize it is something that I need to continue work on, even when I feel like I'm absolutely fine (which I have been for the most part, until this change arose.)

What should I do to kick this turning to food habit? I don't want all of my hard work and recent great health to be wasted, and I'm just not sure what would help me. What did you do when you started to turn to food again?


Shaye Says

Hi Claire!

Firstly, you are doing so incredibly well with your recovery - and I feel so blessed to have your contributions on my website - thank you :)

Emotional eating can be a tricky thing to get a handle on... But I know that you are more than capable of doing it...

The key is to think of your uncomfortable feelings as an emotional messenger... Whenever you want to eat - but you are not hungry, or it's not on your structured eating plan (if you are still following one) remind yourself that this is a sign you are blocking and emotion. There's something incoming that you're trying to push away...

Take this opportunity to learn how you can improve your life for the better... Listen to yourself... Pick up a pen and paper and just write, everything and anything you can think of. From what you write, do you think you are lonely? Bored with life? Frustrated about something? When you discover what it is that's bothering you, you can take action to making it right...

Eg, if you are lonely, you can write out a timetable of all the different friends you are going to make an effort to catch up with over the next month.

What you decide to do is up to you... But as soon as you allow yourself to embrace your feelings, you open yourself up to the opportunity to improve your life :)

Your question moved me into writing an article about emotional eating... here it is, I hope it will be helpful to you - and many others! :

Emotional Eating And Bulimia

Thank you again for having the courage to share on my site - I know your words and questions will help so many other people :)


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

The Bulimia Recovery Program