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I feel my head is very distorted...

by Sharon

Hi Shaye,

Hope you are well.

I really enjoy exercise and like to go to the gym around 5/6 days a week and do a mixture of cardio and weights. I especially love spinning and running. I really do not want to give up exercise as it helps my mood no end. The problem is when I am having good days I keep to eating very healthily and keep to about 1500 calories and tend to burn around 500-750 calories per session at the gym. If I do not go to the gym I think well I may as well binge and purge all day and not keep anything down.

I do not just binge and purge a couple of times a week. If I eat something I consider bad I keep nothing down at all that day. Therefore I am in a viscious cycle of either eating very healthily and keeping calories to no more than 1500 plus exercising or I am binge/purgeing constantley. This makes me feel so weak. Is this normal?. It is just that I do not understand this.

I am getting married in 3.5 weeks and went for my final wedding dress fitting. This upset me as for the first time I saw my shoulder blades sticking out and my dress has to be taken in again. I do not understand I am so scared of weight gain but at the same time do not like to look skinny. I feel my head is very distorted and need to get this sorted. Any suggestions?

I just want to say thank you for this wonderful website I no longer feel alone


Shaye Says

Hi Sharon,

What your talking about is very normal... It's a common mindset in bulimia sufferers and it's called "ALL-OR-NOTHING" thinking...

It goes like this...

If I'm being 'good' I am going to be very 'good'

If I 'slip' at all... I may as well slip 100% for the rest of the day...

It's a vicious cycle... But, once you know to look out for this "all or nothing" thinking... It can help...

When you hear those voices in your head say...

"That food is bad" challenge it saying "why is it bad... It's just food... All food is just energy"

Or if you hear "I'm not 'good' unless I've burnt X number of calories at the gym" challenge it by saying "I am good no matter how much exercise I do - exercise is just an action and it can't make me good or bad"

Whenever you notice this extreme type of thinking... Challenge it... It can be tiring at first - but it's an important step...

On another note... It's interesting that you say you feel your head is distorted in the way you think... This is also very common - and it can be a symptom of poor nutrition... There's a saying in eating disorder recovery...

"You can not recover before you mind is nourished enough to allow you to do so"

The only way around this is to start a plan of structured eating... And, to try and get your daily food intake to normal levels... I wrote about structured eating here... Please give it a read

I hope this advice helps Sharon... I want you to know that all of what you talk about is common amongst bulimia sufferers... You are definitely not alone - and you can beat this!

Keep putting one foot in front of the other!

Bye for now,

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

The Bulimia Recovery Program