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Recovering From Bulimia: My Top 6 Tips To Beat The Bloating

The worst side-effect of recovering from bulimia is the "bulimia bloat". Haven't heard of it? Allow me to introduce you. It's when your...

Bulimia bloating is horrible! Unfortunately, it's an unavoidable part of recovering from bulimia.

The good news is that it doesn't last forever.

When I first stopped throwing up... My bulimia bloat hit with a vengeance. My tummy went from flat as a pancake to 'is there a baby in there?' within just a few days... It lasted for about a month.

The important thing to remember is that this is temporary. It is your body healing and if you hang in there it will go away!

Recovering from bulimia is challenging enough without this uncomfortable bloating, so to help get rid of it as quickly as possible, please follow these 6 tips...

 

My Top 6 Tips to Kick The Bulimia Bloat

There were times when I was recovering from bulimia that I felt fat, bloated and ready to give up...

These 6 tips helped me fight the urge to give up on recovery.

They will either...

a) Help make the bloating phase more comfortable to give you a psychological boost or

b) Help with the healing of your digestive system and metabolism so you can digest food normally again, without bloating and pain

 

1) Buy some baggy clothes... Don't worry they'll just be temporary!

bulimia dangers
Baby doll dresses were
my clothes of choice to
hide my bulimia bloat!

Buying bigger clothes doesn't mean you're going to get fat...

What it does mean is that your tummy will feel fat for a while. It'll be bloated and you'll probably feel embarrassed about it.

A simple way to overcome this is to wear clothes that allow your tummy to poke out without being noticed and without making you uncomfortable.

Think baby doll dresses and trendy sweatshirts... My checkered baby blue dress was a lifesaver when I was recovering from bulimia!

I can not express how important having these comfortable loose clothes is. It is far easier to accept the temporary bloating of recovery when you are not wearing tight clothes.

 

2) Probiotics to Help Heal Your Gut

Our bodies are not designed to binge and purge repeatedly over long periods of time. All of this stress causes bulimia complications that range from mild to severe - from those that wreck your looks to those that wreck your health. (To learn more about the complications of bulimia, click here). The side effects of bulimia that are most closely linked to bloating are an imbalance of healthy gut bacteria.

To heal your digestive system you need to get this healthy bacteria back into balance. It's critical. When they are out of balance you'll experience bloating, tummy pain and farts that will scare away any potential suiters. (Trust me, I know!)

The good news is that our bodies are amazing at healing when we give them a chance. As you walk the journey of recovery, binging and purging less and less (and YES, you can do this, click here for proof!) your healthy balance of gut bacterial will re-establish naturally. Without actively working on it though, it can take a long time...

To speed things up significantly, you'll want to boost the number of beneficial flora that you're putting into your body. There are two easy ways to do this (and I'd recommend doing both).

1) Take a probiotic supplement - these normally come in capsules. Make sure to ask your pharmacist or naturopath for a top quality brand that contains many beneficial strands of bacteria.

2) Eat fermented foods. Fermented foods are the most cost-effective way of re-balancing your healthy gut bacteria. By fermented I don't mean that old orange that rolled under your car seat 2 weeks ago... I'm talking about high quality yogurt, lacto-fermented pickles, kimchi, sauerkraut, and kefir.

 

3) Sleep Through The Worst of The Bloating

When I first started recovering from bulimia I felt so uncomfortable after eating that it was difficult to go about life normally. The most difficult time was the first hour after eating.

Thankfully my schedule at the time allowed me to take a nap after lunch. I'd eat my meal and go straight to bed, sleeping through the most triggering time period where I'd be tempted to purge. The evenings were the same, I'd have dinner and shortly after I'd be in bed, sleeping off the discomfort.

This did 2 things...

Thankfully it wasn't this hard for long. My body began to heal and before long, I was able to go about my day more-or-less normally after eating.

If you don't like sleeping after a meal for fear of weight gain - please can cut yourself some slack (I believe this is a myth anyway!) Do whatever it takes to make yourself feel better and resist throwing up.

When you wake up, your food would have digested a little and things won't seem quite as serious.

 

4) Drink 3 Cups of Herbal Tea Each Morning to Get Your Bowels Moving

Hydrating your body with some warm tea in the morning is a brilliant way to assist yourself in going to the toilet. I found that I simply wouldn't poop in the morning until I'd done this. Normally 2-3 cups was enough for me to get things moving.

Allow about 30 minutes between drinking your herbal tea (peppermint or green tea is perfect) and eating breakfast. This will make sure that the extra liquid doesn't cause you to feel unnecessarily full after eating.

A few months into my bulimia recovery, I no-longer needed to do this but still chose to a lot of the time... it's a healthy lifelong habit, which I still sometimes do to this day.

 

5) Exercise to Boost Your Sluggish Bulimia Metabolism

recovering from bulimia

Exercise speeds up your metabolism and helps food move more quickly through your digestive system. I found that that helped with my overall feeling of bloatedness when I was recovering from bulimia.

It's important to be aware of when you find exercise most helpful. For me, exercising shortly after eating was a big No No. It only made me more more conscious of my bloated belly. I found exercising a few hours before meal times most helpful.

It's also helpful to figure out a type of exercise that makes you feel awesome. In my recovery, I enjoyed lifting weights (and still do!). It built muscle mass which in turn gave my metabolism a powerful boost. I also just enjoyed it - seeing my muscles grow made me feel gratitude towards my healing body. Find a type of exercise you enjoy and pick a time of day that works best for you.

Remember though, some days you might feel too exhausted to exercise. All the healing that takes place during recovery can leave you feeling quite tired. Be gentle with yourself and only exercise when it feels right :)

 

6) Use Meal Plans That Heal Your Body and Help Your Recovery

It can be so tempting in recovery to go to your 'default' safe foods - fruit, vegetables, low-fat and low-calorie. This way of eating simply wont work becaue attempting to restrict and diet will always lead back to binge eating. This way of eating is only going to keep you bulimic. It's going to prevent you from healing and make that bulimia bloat stick around. Dieting helped cause your bulimia and it can't be part of your recovery.

If you're serious about recovering from bulimia for life, you need to learn how to eat in a way that creates a healthy body and a healthy mind. This way of eating isn't based in restriction, rules and diet food. It's based around foods that taste amazing and heal and nourish your body.

Think whole foods like creamy yogurt, amazing cuts of meat, salmon, avocados, your favorite fruits, beautifully prepared vegetables, herbs and spices, dark chocolate, cheese, coconut.... And SO much more!

Food that makes your mouth water...

Food that makes your body and mind thrive!

...And I promise, you can eat these amazing foods and be slim too.

In your recovery I'd suggest following meal plans written by a nutritionist who specialises in bulimia recovery. Alternatively, I've created The Bulimia Recovery Program which has meal plans designed by nutritional expert Kate Skinner, who has herself been through bulimia recovery.

 

Day 3 of my bulima recovery and my jeans wouldn't do up...

bulimia bloating

I remember threading a hair tie around the button, through the button hole and back around the the button of my jeans (A pregnant lady trick!). Although it gave me a little more space, I was horrified that it was something I had to do. I was terrified that I would keep getting bigger and bigger. I had no idea that I was experiencing was the bulimia recovery bloating - I thought what I was experiencing was the beginning of my obseity! I remember thinking that I'd have to live on a diet of lettuce for the rest of my life - or become fat.

I'm so grateful that during this time that I had support. Only a month earlier I'd started seeing a counsellor at my university and although she wasn't an expert in bulimia recovery, talking to her about my fears was priceless. She was the voice of reason when I told her that I'd ruined my metabolism and that I'd become fat if I ate normally. She was somebody to be accountable to. She was somebody to remind me that it was all worth it. Opening up to her for the first time made me feel nauseaus with anxiety... but once I did, I felt like the weight of the world had been lifted from my shoulders.

Support can be the difference between staying bulimic - or discovering a beautiful life of freedom... A life where you are slim, healthy, happy and can genuinely say "No thanks, I've had enough" after a delicious regular sized meal.

If getting support still feels a little too terrifying - my online recovery community is a helpful way to get supported by women who understand your journey. To find out more about my recovery program and it's supportive community, click here.

 

Have You Ever Felt 9 Months Pregnant From The Bulimia Bloat?

What's that? Yes? It sux big time - doesn't it! Share your bulimia bloating story here... Let others know that they're not alone... Lets beat the bloat together!

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Article by Shaye Boddington
Author of your-bulimia-recovery.com
and creator of The Bulimia Recovery Program and Community


The Bulimia Recovery Program