How I got the monkey off my back re dealing with bulimia.
I received this message last week:
Just read some of your story on your meet the trainers page, saw you struggled with an eating disorder till into your 30’s. Thanks for being honest, I have had a massive struggle with bulimia since I was 16 (now 38) and am so sick of it and want off the ride so badly, how did the shift happen for you,
Just looking for open and honest ideas… Cheers.
I responded the next day and you can read my response below. I wasn’t gonna blog about it but then I wondered why I had made this decision. I guess it was because: as open as I am, some things are tough to think or write about. Especially when you have left them far behind you. I have successfully jolted the monkey fair and square off my back and into a far away land of past negative behaviors.
The reason I changed my mind is because I figured that if one person reads this blog and it helps them create positive change in their life then that is pretty cool and my small discomfort of writing about something that I have put behind me would be more than worth it.
So here is my response, I hope that it helps those of you that may be struggling:
I have struggled with my body image for many years and it is only in the last 5 years or so that I have been able to leave all of that behind and actually think that I am alright, both my physical self and also me as a person.
I have been thinking about your question in the hope that I could give you some advice that might help you with your journey. I guess this is what I did:
I took control of my eating and habits
I made a conscious effort to only have small portions of food in the house so that I couldn’t binge. My thing was bread. I would eat shit loads of toast until I ended up eating the whole loaf. I would get so full that I felt compelled to get rid of it. I stopped eating bread! No bread in the house at all. I still don’t eat it very often as it makes me feel bloated and that reminds me of the trigger I would have to get rid of food. In restaurants I would only order what I knew I could eat without feeling over full. No massive bowls of pasta or shit loads of pizza.
I started saying daily affirmations in the mirror every morning before I went to work… insert yours here but mine was:
You are a pretty cool chick, know it! (it sounds wanky when I write it but it really worked for me) other people would tell me this, the only person that didn’t think it was me (well I am sure there were some haters, there always are).
I told people about my bulimia
This was a tough one as my secret was out. My friends would then look at me if I popped off to the toilet after eating out or if I returned from the bathroom after dinner having been in there too long. I hated it if they questioned me and I hated it and I hated it and I H……A…..T…….E…….D…..it but it kept me accountable.
I identified my triggers
Being alone and feeling sad is when I used to binge and even though I had lots of friends I wasn’t a happy chick for many years. (Only recently a friend from University said to me: ‘You were one mixed up girl in those days. We all loved you but we could see how much you would struggle’) I guess the whole coming out thing was challenging for me at that time too.
So got out more and kept myself occupied. Things started to change for me using these things and now I think I am a pretty cool chick.
I never overeat to the point where I am so full, it makes me feel sick and if I did I know that there is a potential trigger there.…….. but then eating to this capacity is not healthy anyway right?
Babe, I hope that this helps. There is nearly always an underlying reason why people do this type of stuff too. I worked with a good counsellor to sort out my other shit and it had a knock on effect when mixed with the stuff I have just written.
Good luck and let me know if this was useful to you.
FYI here is a pic of me last weekend enjoying a 7-course degustation with matching wines. I enjoy my treats, I eat healthily, I train regularly and I talk to myself like I would a good friend, girlfriend or family member: with respect and love. That monkey has no chance!