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Today I'm talking about treating bulimia and in particular the very first step of the treatment of bulimia. This is the first step that I took and I believe and that the majority of successful recovered bulimics would have taken this step too...
The first step in treating bulimia is to begin nourishing your body again.
What I mean by this is holding down food and letting those nutrients absorb into your blood stream to nourish your body and your mind.
The reason why this is so so important is because if the mind isn't nourished you can't think rationally. Thinking in a rational and normal way is important for moving forward with your bulimia recovery.
The way that you get back into a routine of nourishing your body and eating normally is through structured eating. Structured eating is basically eating 3 meals and 2-3 snacks a day. I'd like to recommend 3 but some people find that the third snack is just too much of a big ask for them.
But work on it, you can start off with 2 snacks and work on adding the third one in later on in your recovery.
I suggest you eat your meals and snacks no more than 2-3 hours apart. The reason why this is so important is that you need to get your mind used to knowing that food is never far away. This is essential in treating bulimia...
Part of the reason why bulimia is so consuming is because your mind thinks that you're always going to be restricted of food. It's never sure, it 's never got a set time for when food is coming and when it's going to be fully nourished.
So setting up these meals and snacks on a regular schedule is very important... Especially in the first few months of treating bulimia.
The way I did it...
I liked to have a treat, or a fun food for my evening snack. Something yummy, that reminded me that I wasn't depriving myself of the things that I liked to eat. Other foods that you should be putting into your structured meal plans are...
All of these food groups, joined together will help to nourish your body and mind so that you can work on your psychological aspects of treating bulimia.
So yes, as I say, the first step in treating bulimia is to get into this routine of structured eating.
Please don't overlook the importance of this step! A lot of people do and try go onto other things first and when this fail time and time again they come back to the structured eating. So often they say "Why didn't I do this right from the start".
Pease don't make that mistake and start with your structured eating as soon as you can!
This action step is to plan your structured meals for tomorrow. So I want you to grab a pencil and paper and start writing...
Write down a time that will be convenient for you to have breakfast. Maybe half an hour after you get up
Then 2-3 hours later write a time that you're going to be having your snack. And so you have these 2-1/2 to 3 hour intervals.
Not only should you plan the time your eating, you'll also plan specifically what you're going to eat. For example, in my bulimia recovery, my breakfast plan might have been porridge and fruit with yogurt.
But be quite specific with your meal plans so that there's no room for your mind to wander and get lost and confused.
Do this for each of your 5-6 meals/snacks that you're planning for tomorrow.
Try to make sure that you add a least 1 or 2 fun foods or 'treats' into your meal plan...
What I did, was to add 1/2 a chocolate bar as my evening snack each day. At first this really worried me as you might imagine... Eating this chocolate and holding it down was scary for me. But as I continued treating bulimia with structured eating, I saw how important this step was... It enabled me let go of that feeling that I wasn't allowed these foods and they were put up on a pedestal. Being allowed them took away some of the urgency to eat them!
At first I thought of chocolate as 'bad' or 'binge' food... Eventually it just became chocolate. A regular food. If I wanted it, I could have it. Allowing myself to eat it, took it off that high pedestal I had held it on for so long.
So yes, plan your meals for tomorrow if you're not doing it already. Do your very very best to follow that structured eating plan. But of course, it's early days and slips are very common and most likely actually.
If you do slip up, just be kind to yourself, remind yourself that this is a journey and it's most likely going to take time.
And, if you feel yourself starting to talk negatively to yourself or criticizing yourself, just remind yourself of me. I slipped up time and time again when I first began my structured eating - but I got there...
There is no quick bulimia cure... But, persistently getting back on track, and finishing off my day no matter many slip ups I'd had... Planning for the following day time and time again... That got me to recovery. And it will do the same for you :)
If you slip and get up again, and keep putting one foot in front of the other you can't help but reach your bulimia recovery.
Article by Shaye Boddington
Author of your-bulimia-recovery.com
and creator of The Bulimia Recovery Program and Community