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Women with bulimia make one critical mistake in recovery, time and time again... (And I was no different!)
The mistake is that of tough love and the use of self cruelty.
You know the thinking...
"If I'm hard enough on myself, maybe I'll be better... maybe I won't be so weak... maybe I'll be able to resist the food!"
And so the cruel words begin to flow... each and every one chipping away at an already low self esteem.
I used the strategy of self cruelty for years on end, with no success.
Every night I'd promise myself "Tomorrow I won't binge or purge"...
..and when I did binge and purge the next day (which was always), I would be unbearably nasty to myself. I'd say things like...
Deep down, I thought that by saying these things to myself, I'd be motivated to work on recovery... That I would be too scared to binge or purge - because of the beating I'd get when it happened.
But this wasn't the case for me - and beautiful girl, it isn't the case for you.
Self cruelty and hate were part of what lead you into bulimia and because they are part of the problem - they can never be part of the solution. In fact, I believe that self cruelty is the #1 trigger for bulimia. You can read more about this and 3 suggestions to overcome self cruelty here. (Opens in a new tab)
It was only when my I started practicing self love, that I began making progress in bulimia recovery. Now I've been recovered for over 7 years - and I know I'll never go back to being bulimic, because my self love is strong.
So beautiful girl, love yourself because only love can heal you.
Love yourself through it all...
No-matter what happens, love yourself - and you will heal!
Love will inspire you to keep going, through all the challenges of recovery - until you get to a point where you can say "I'm free!".
Working as a recovery coach in The Bulimia Recovery Program and Community, I see women with bulimia healing each and every day... Beautiful souls who have chosen the path of love and kindness... The only path that leads to a complete recovery.
Here's what some of them have written about self love...
"I think self-love is the most important ingredient, not only in Recovery but in Life."
"By beginning this recovery journey I have learned to love myself again. I have learned what normal eating looks like and that I can do it, and someday do it effortlessly. I have learned what I really value in life, and it’s not my dress size."
"I know I might still slip on this recovery journey, but I know how to forgive myself and move on now. I know what I am fighting for. I know that I can do this."
"The more I love myself, the more I eat what I love, and the better I feel."
Starting today, work on adding more self love into your life...
Let go of cruelty and come back to kindness.
When you hear a critical voice entering your mind, remind yourself that it only hurts you and it only prevents recovery - then let it go. Replace that voice with words of reassurance and love.
You deserve recovery... And you will achieve recovery, so long as you approach it with a loving heart.
Wishing you beautiful day :)
P.S. If you would like more help in your journey to self love and bulimia recovery, feel free to have a look at The Bulimia Recovery Program - an online program that I run for women in recovery. It's 3 guiding principals are:
Article by Shaye Boddington
Author of your-bulimia-recovery.com
and creator of The Bulimia Recovery Program and Community