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psychological causes of bulimia: Understanding these saved my life - and can save yours too

I used to search desperately for the psychological causes of bulimia - I thought that if I could understand what went wrong with me - I could fix it. I thought that maybe, just maybe, if I understood why I was bulimic, I could stop the binging and purging.

So I looked into it...

Maybe I was bulimic because...

Or maybe it was none of those things?

Sometimes, I felt like banging my head against a wall... I felt like screaming in anger at myself... I'd tell myself I was disgusting, useless, a waste of space...

I came to the conclusion that the only reason I was bulimic was because I had no self control.

I was so wrong.


Take the time to love yourself

I wish I had taken the time to stop and hug myself. To treat myself with the loving care that I now know I deserved.

I can see it now - the psychological causes of bulimia... Why I developed bulimia... And why so many other girls, boys, men and women have developed bulimia too:

My life was lacking self kindness.

And so when I started dieting at a very young age, instead of stopping at the first grumbling of my tummy, like most regular girls - I pushed further and harder... I had to be perfect - Even if that meant being cruel and hostile towards myself.

My lack of self-kindness made me diet to the point of cracking... To the point that I felt so deprived and was so terrified of being hungry that I would binge.

Once I had binged, my self abuse would kick in again... Telling me that I was weak and just needed to diet harder. I needed more self control.

And so it went, for nearly 10 years.

Dieting caused the bingeing and purging (find out more about dieting and bulimia here) - but my lack of self-kindness was the glue that held bulimia together.

And it was this same lack of self kindness that presented me with most of my challenges in bulimia recovery...

When I'd slip up and that voice would whisper in my ear "I knew you couldn't do it"

and so my slip would last far longer than it needed to...

When I'd eat a treat food and I'd hear that snickering voice say "You're fat enough already, you better throw this up... And since you're going to throw it up anyway - you may as well binge now"

BUT, I am a smart girl...

...and as I moved forward in my recovery journey, I spotted this unkind voice that whispered these mis-truths in my ear...

I noticed that this voice only kept me stuck. I began to understand that this voice was one of the psychological causes of bulimia...

And the more I ignored this voice and the more I challenged it with kindness...

The more enjoyable my recovery became.

The easier my recovery became.


Replace self criticism with Self Love and kindness

In time, I managed to replace self criticism with self love and kindness...

...And this is when my life began to transform.

Self love allowed my to nourish my healing body. It allowed me to hold down my food and to reject the dieting mentality that had kept me stuck in bulimia for so long.

Self love enabled me to accept my body - despite the fact that it wasn't perfect.

Self love is a beautiful thing... It saved my life... It has saved the lives of many of the women in the online recovery program that I run...

And precious soul - it can save your life too!


Self kindness will always make You thrive.

Treating yourself with love and kindness will help you find joy in the simple moments of life.

It will help you find satisfaction in your own company.

It will help you love your body... Your freaking awesome body that breathes, runs, swims, stretches, changes and thrives on this amazing earth.

Self kindness will help you to get up after setbacks in recovery.

It will help you to move forward in this journey... and not stop... until you have total freedom from bulimia.

There is nothing cheesy about loving yourself.

Self love will help you heal the psychological causes of bulimia and live a life of abundance.

So next time you hear any unkind thoughts entering your mind... Gently release them, apologize to yourself and replace those words with words of love and kindness.

Allow this to become your new habit.

Wishing you a brilliant day full of peace and love -




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

The Bulimia Recovery Program