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How to just start bulimia recovery?

by Ally

Hi Shaye,

Every since I came across your site I have felt like I suddenly have 'friends' its a weird thing to say, but I mean like finally my doubts and questions have been answered in a straight forward and no nonsense way.

I am really so unbelievably determined to recover (I have been bulimic for 11 years) but I just cant seem to 'start'. I always have a plan.. for example, ok. I will start next week, then next week comes and I have plans for parties and meeting up for coffees with friends etc. which completely throws me off and I find I cant stick to anything.

The thing which is scaring me most is this feeling of being full and bloated and the thought of putting on weight is my biggest fear - I was 92kg when i started bulimia, I am now at 50kg; so this makes me nervous to start eating again as I hear you have to go to your original weight in recovery (I am 164cm)?

I am struggling.. I have all the knowledge and also the support from your site (which is so so comforting) but I am having a very very hard time just starting with recovery.. How to begin with recovery and continue to be social?? Furthermore, I have sessions with a dietician, eating disorder counselling specialist and (less frequently) a psychiatrist, but its not enough to just make me end this behaviour..
AND the fact I am on Potassium pills, having painful teeth, numbness in my limbs, problems sleeping and bad bad hair somehow isnt enough to push me (even though it really scares the hell out of me). I really really need some words of motivation..

Good news though, I have not weighed myself for a week, and I actually dont care at all about knowing it!

Shaye Says

Hi Ally!

SO great to hear from you! I'm so happy that you feel you have 'friends' on this site... Because, although non of us have 'met' I agree that we 'get' each other! It's impossible for somebody who has never suffered form bulimia to fully understand how confusing, exhausting, terrifying and addictive it is. BUT, although it is all of those things... It is also an illness that can be beaten. You can 100% recover! I promise!

You're making good progress already in your recovery... The first step is wanting it really badly... Which you have. The second step is looking for answer, information and seeking help -which you're doing... Then, it's about gradually putting everything you learn in to action. One of your action steps you're already doing... not weighing yourself - is fantastic progress!

I have been using the word action on my site so much lately because I think it is a key part in recovery. We can know all the info in the world - but without action it would be wasted. Action doesn't necessarily mean success right away... It means just diving in and getting started! Of course there will be slips, ups and downs... But all of these are an essential part of recovering from bulimia once and for all!

The first action step that I suggest you take is to start off on a structured eating plan. You can read about using structured eating to end the binge urges here Structured eating might not seem like it could be that helpful - but I promise you it is. Of course it's something you'll get the hang of in time - and you won't do it perfectly right away... but, that's okay. The most important thing is to just start! There is no time like now to start taking action!

I think the key to 'just starting' is to not put overwhelmingly high expectations on yourself. Remember, this is a journey - and you're not expected to get to the destination overnight! Starting with little things - even holding down your breakfast - is progress!

Baby steps will get you there!

You'll be amazed at how many calories you digest during a binge, so once you start eating naturally, chances are you won't gain too much weight. Although it does sound that you are low for your height, so you may gain some. But just keep reminding yourself - you are so much more than a number on the scale!

Please post on this site as often as you need for motivation, support, venting.. whatever! I will always reply with whatever advice I can offer :)

Keep up your amazing work!


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

The Bulimia Recovery Program