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3 Main Causes of Bulimia - And How You Can Reverse Them!

For years the main causes of bulimia baffled me. I had never been sexually abused, I had an amazing family and an awesome childhood...

I had no idea why I had fallen prey bulimia.

I had no idea why this monster ruled over my life... Telling me to EAT-EAT-EAT every second of every day.

Bulimia made life so hard... and I always thought that if I could just understand the main causes of bulimia, then I could possibly recover.

I had been bulimic for over 10 years before I slowly (very slowly!) started walking the rocky road to recovery. I felt like I was walking in the dark as I still didn't understand the reasons I did what I did. But I experimented, I explored and I made slow but steady progress.

And through my journey to recovery - and in the years since that I have been helping other women recover through my online program... I have grown to understand the 3 main causes of bulimia... And, I can now see - with crystal clarity - that anybody can reverse them!

Yes precious soul, this includes you :)

Below I'm going to go over the 3 main causes of bulimia - and after that, I'll give you tips on how to shift them out of your life...

Cause of Bulimia 1) Lack Of Self Kindness

I'd always been the 'strong' one - the one who could handle anything that was thrown my way. Treating myself with kindness seemed like a stupid idea. I was too tough for that...

But where did this toughness get me? It made me repress my feelings, push away my needs and turn on my body...

It made me think I wasn't good enough, that I needed to be better. It made me cut back on my food to change my body...

My lack of self kindness caused me to develop anorexic tendencies at a very young age...

It made me treat myself with cruelty when I'd 'break' my strict diets. My lack of self kindness told me that I had FAILED on the diet - not that the diet had failed me...

And since I had failed, I was fat, lazy, useless - and I ought to throw up that food because the last thing I wanted was to be fatter.

Lack of self kindness was the seed that planted eating disorders in my life.


Cause of Bulimia 2) Cutting Back Of Food

It was my lack of self kindness that forced me into dieting at a young age... And it was this dieting that triggered my binge eating...

There is only so long our bodies can be denied of the food they need before they say ENOUGH! They retaliate with powerful biological functions that trigger obsessive thoughts of food. This biological hunger makes eating your #1 priority.

As human beings, we're evolved to fear famine... And dieting is in a way, forcing famine upon ourselves. Our bodies don't know that there's a KFC around the corner, or that the pantry is stacked full of food...

Our bodies think that finding food is a matter of life and death...

It has been proven through many studies on both people and animals - that binge eating is a natural biological response to food restriction.

And it was my biological hunger that made me steal food, eat out of the garbage and binge eat at any possible opportunity.


Cause of Bulimia 3) Neural Pathway Habits

Whatever you focus on in life, or practice repeatedly becomes wired into your brain as neural pathway connections...

This is true for language, sports, musical instruments, positive thinking, negative thinking and everything else...

It's also true for bingeing and purging.

By practicing bingeing and purging for a long length of time (for me it was over 10 years!) I successfully wired it into my brain as a powerful habit.

Now this was a habit I practiced frequently - 15 times a day or more - and so the habit was strong. Like a thick rope running through my mind. Because of this, my brain automatically sent me messages, multiple times a day, to binge and purge.

Through repetition, I had trained my brain into believing that bingeing and purging was an important habit for my survival.

And it was these neural pathway habits that helped to maintain my bulimia for all those long, crazy and confusing years!

But thankfully, our brains are magnificently adaptable... And just as bulimia developed into a habit through repetition... This habit can be broken through lack of use. In it's place, you can develop a habit which stems from a normal and fun relationship with food!


The Solution To Overcoming Bulimia

So if a lack of self kindness, cutting back on food and neural pathway habits are the 3 main causes of bulimia... Then what is the solution? You guessed it...

Treat yourself with loving kindness!

Nourish your body with enough food!

And repeatedly practice these two things until they become your new neural pathway habits!

Yes, the solution to bulimia really is that simple. BUT, although it's a simple solution - that doesn't mean recovery is easy...

There will be times when you feel like the urges are just too strong. There will be times that you feel you have failed after a slip. There will be times when you think it's easier just to stay bulimic...

But I promise precious girl, you can overcome all of these challenges in recovery! The 3 main causes of bulimia can all be reversed... You can be free!

Whenever things feel too hard - gently remind yourself that "This too shall pass". Around the corner, the sun is shining brightly for you...

Love yourself through every phase of recovery... setbacks and all!

And if you need any help along the way, The Bulimia Recovery Program (which is based on the 3 principles above) with it's loving and supportive online community could help you along.

Or you could call in a support buddy - somebody you know and love to motivate and inspire you in this journey.

Do whatever it takes - because you deserve joy and freedom in your life.



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

The Bulimia Recovery Program