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I must beat bulimia

by Katie

Hi Shaye

Its Katie i've had a real tough week with the bulimia this week its been awful as usual...

I went cinema with my boyfriend last night and even then the popcorn/sweets etc was all a big tease I couldn't just say no so I sat there watching my film eating away then comes the "oh i just need to use the loo speech" I find it all to much to resist but my days or evenings are constantly ruined and ruled by food .

I was very very tearful the last few days and tried talking to my boyfriend but he seems to be bored of listening to me go on about my food habits so i shut up as soon as i start talking as i can see the look on his face that hes bored of listening to it.

I have tried to get a grip but so far i'm still failing. I did try showing my boyfriend your page but he wasn't overly interested he used to be really good and sensitive to my subject but lately hes changed a little towards it. I've said to myself that tomorrow i'm gnna give it my all i'm gunna go gym come home and keep busy and NOT BINGE i really wanna try and give my all tomorrow so we'll see there.

I suppose my question is did you ever think of going into a proper eating disorder unit? I'd really hate to go into one of those so wanna do all i can to stay well away from it... Can they ever force someone with bullimia into one without their consent? I see an eating disorder counselor but shes crap to be honest!

Sorry if i seem a moaner today just im loosing hope and when i loose hope my bulimia gets worse. I need the willpower from somewhere but i need that to last longer than a few hours how do I build it up I have been doing the things you said to me about waiting five minutes before a binge and even that I struggle to control.. Oh Shaye i really don't know what to do anymore..

I'm so scared of what it's doing to my health I must beat this :(

love Katie xx

Shaye Says

Hi Katie!

Isn't it a cruel twist how when we really, really want to recover... the pressure of it makes the bulimia spin out of control?

It's a difficult game of cat and mouse really...

I've been doing a lot of research lately and looking into recovery methods, psychology of bulimics, and most interestingly the physical brains of bulimia sufferers...

What I discovered was SO interesting and it shed light on why the methods I eventually used to recover from bulimia worked...


Have you ever wondered why, when you promise to yourself that you will not binge and purge... despite wanting that more than anything - the binge and purge wins and you give in... Normally with very little fight?

Almost as if there's something physical pulling you towards it...

Something that you can't fight against?

Well... That's because there is.

In the past, every time that you have thought negative thoughts about yourself and your body, and every time you have binged and purged... You've been creating real connections in your subconscious brain (called neural pathways) that tell your brain to BINGE and PURGE, feel ugly, hate yourself, etc...

Now, the subconscious part of the brain is possibly the most powerful part of our brains... It will win over the conscious brain pretty much every single time...

Thats why when you (your conscious brain) says TODAY I WILL NOT BINGE AND PURGE... It looses to the sub conscious brain which says BINGE and PURGE pretty much every single time...

The neural pathways that you have built up over time in your sub conscious mind are simply too powerful.

Now, this might sound like bad news - but it's not... It really isn't!

it's good news... Why?

Because neural pathways in your subconscious mind CAN be changed, altered and even BROKEN!

Now, you know what that means... If you can break the pathways which say BINGE AND PURGE and keep feeding you all this negative rubbish about yourself... then you can be free of bulimia!

So, the question is: How do you break the bulimic neural pathways and re-wire your brain with healthy connections about yourself and food...

There are a number of ways to do this... all equally important. You can read all about them in this bulimia self help book written by Karen Phillips (I purchased it the other day and got so much useful information on "re-programming" it)... If you can't afford to buy the book, I'll try to explain them briefly below (although I'm not sure if I'm allowed to according to their copy-write) anyway...

1) Try to discover who you truly are...

In the book they have this 'game' which you can play that really helps you break down the barriers to discover yourself again... But, if you don't have the book, start off by getting yourself into a relaxed state... and then writing... whatever comes to your mind... In relation to yourself. Just let your thoughts flow through your pen...

Keep these in a record to see how they change over time as you do some of the other re-programming exercises...

2) Change The Way You Speak...

The words you say throughout the day really do influence and effect who you are... Even on a physical level - they change your brain. So, if you're wanting to influence your brain in a negative and bulimic way - then use negative words. But, if you want to influence it in a positive way - then try to use ONLY positive words and sentences throughout the day. This will be really hard at first - you'll be surprised (as I was) at how much negativity we are constantly feeding to our sub conscious brains...

When you catch yourself saying something negative, yell STOP inside your head... then say your sentence with a positive twist.

You'll start feeling like a much better person - and your subconscious brain will be influenced every single time.

3) Praise Yourself...

Always give yourself praise and positive feedback. Even whens something that you perceive as negative happens... Look into it and see what positives you can draw.
Write a list and add to it everyday with positive thoughts and comments about yourself...

"I am feeling happy that I managed to keep down my special K"
"I have an abundance of happiness and energy that I am going to release"
"I am beautiful because I am ME and I am UNIQUE"

Add to the list each morning and re-read every single positive comment about yourself that appears on it.

4) Relax and do things that make you feel peaceful...

Be that meditation, listening to relaxing music, stretching, walking in the forest or parks, etc

Try to discover things that help you find a piece of silence and quiet in your mind.

Stretching/simple meditation is what I find the best - but this does take practice because a bulimics mind finds it hard to stop moving (it's exhausting!)

Karen's book goes into much more detail on how to find this inner 'quiet'

5) Think to the future...

This is fun :) Think of everything you want for yourself in the future. Health, happiness, a big house, a swimming pool, travel, children, etc, etc. What is it that YOU dream of?

Now, flick through magazines (don't use magazines full of unrealistic photoshopped girls!) and find pictures of all the things you want... Cut them out and make yourself a dream board. Your dream board can be as big as you want and on white card. Put it up somewhere where you can see it multiple times a day...

This will start programming your sub-conscious mind into believing that you can achieve all these things in your future. It makes you realise that there is a future beyond bulimia.

6) Have Fun!

Do things that you truly enjoy... Things that make you smile and laugh! Look up all the latest funny videos on youtube, buy a jokes book, get out a comedy... whatever it takes to make yourself laugh!

Having a good laugh will influence your brain on a sun conscious level to be happier.

These are just a few of the techniques I learnt from that book. There are another 6 in there including:

Learning how to believe in yourself
Creating new mental associations with food
Eliminating limiting beliefs
Modern technology to treat bulimia
Giving gratitue
Breaking trigger associations

but they are quite in depth and I can't really cover them here... I'd be writing for 6 weeks (and I might end up with a hefty copy write fine!)

Perhaps I'll make it my mission to write a few articles that cover pointers from them - so keep an eye out for that Katie!

PLEASE don't brush these points off - they might seem a little insignificant... but they really do add up and in the end help change the big picture. They're very similar to what i used to recover from bulimia - so I know that the work.

Remember Katie - You CAN beat this. You just need to slowly start re-programming that belief into yourself!

Stay strong girly!


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

The Bulimia Recovery Program