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eating enough in bulimia recovery

by R

I find myself still restricting, like an apple or one of those small boxes of cereal (about 80 cals before milk), for breakfast, an apple or small salad for lunch and then usually a small dinner of soup or a 1/2 sandwich... everyday.

Then when I get hungry or snack when I didn't mean to I will sort of mini-binge, nothing like when I was right in the midst of bulimia, but still enough to at least be a "mental binge" in which I feel very guilty and gross and just resolve to skip meals and restrict more the next day...

Is there a way to find out what "normal eating" is for me again? I find it very hard to just "trust my body" when I know the calories in EVERYTHING... Any advice on balancing out again?

Shaye Says

Hi there R :)

I remember when I first started recovering from bulimia - I had no idea what 'my normal' food intake was supposed to be like... Throw into the mix that I had terrible bulimia bloating and a slowed metabolism from all the years of bulimia - I was really confused...

I think that you're on the right track... I definitely think that you could do with eating more... But build it up to a level your comfortable with slowly. Try add in an extra banana for breakfast - have an entire sandwich for dinner... See how you feel. If you still get hungry - then you need a bit more.

Restricting is definitely one of the major causes of bingeing and purging - so you want to try and avoid that trap. It's very easy to fall into.

It may take a bit of time for your metabolism to speed back up to pre-bulimia levels... but it will happen. You just need to persevere with eating healthy and substantial meals. Also try throw in 2-3 snacks a day - this really helps eliminate the need to binge.

I eat at least 4 times what you what you're eating at the moment. I'm a stable and healthy weight... I look and feel good... So know that the amount of food I'm getting is what my body needs.

It takes a bit of testing and patience - but give yourself time and you'll figure out what you need... Just remember a good place to start is 3 meals and 3 snacks :) Also try to forget the calories in foods - they really don't mean anything. Focus on eating things that do good things for your body and recovery. Nuts, fruits, healthy meats, etc... Some health foods might be high in calories - take avocado for example - but it is so nutritious that the energy it gives your body is burnt up on making your hair shiny, skin glow, cells move faster and so on...

I used to be obsessed with calories and only ate weight watchers jelly... I hate to think what this would have eventually done to my looks - there is no nutrition in that! Now I'd rather eat an avocado... Or dates... Or a banana milkshake! Yes, the calories are higher - but my body needs them because I have so much energy :)

Hope this help!

Stay strong and keep up the awesome work!


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

The Bulimia Recovery Program