Bulimia is an eating disorder that is typically characterized by uncontrolled bouts of overeating (binging) and then, often due to guilt, a method of purging the food from your system. It’s one of the most common eating disorders and can be highly destructive to your body; if left untreated, bulimia can be fatal.
Seeking professional help is always advised, but if you’re not yet enrolled in a formal treatment plan and are wanting to know how you can begin recovering from bulimia right now, you’re in the right place.
Here are six steps for your personal recovery plan for bulimia.
1. Decide you’re going to recover
This might sound like an obvious sentiment, but it’s one that’s often overlooked due to its simplicity. When you’re struggling with an eating disorder, it can feel like you’re drowning; it might feel like it’s never going to get better and that you’re going to be battling this forever, but it doesn’t have to be that way.
Instead of indulging these self-sabotaging thoughts, challenge them. Remember that just because you think something, doesn’t make it true. Remind yourself also that plenty of people successfully go through bulimia recovery — as can you. And it all starts with making and committing to the decision to recover.
2. Identify your triggers
Bulimia, just like any other addiction or eating disorder, has triggers that are going to be unique to you and your own specific weaknesses and struggles. The more you learn to recognize your triggers, the more you’ll learn how to combat them with healthy responses, and the more you’ll also learn to develop healthier, even productive, coping mechanisms.
3. Break up with the scale
Eating disorders make you hyper-fixated on the number on the scale, regardless of how your body looks. Social stigmas around certain weight numbers can cause us to be discontent with our physical appearance, even if it’s healthy, and it can perpetuate the binge-and-restrict cycle.
Throw away any scales in your house, and if you go to the gym, don’t step on the ones there either. Removing scales from your life will help bring you genuine peace with your weight — no matter what it is — but it will also help improve your relationship with your body overall.
4. Prioritize your sleep
Sleep plays one of the main character roles in the story that is our overall sense of well-being. When you don’t prioritize your sleep —you consistently sleep poorly, or you struggle with insomnia—both your physical and mental health are going to suffer. Even without struggling with an eating disorder in addition.
Some of the ways you can start prioritizing your sleep include:
- Exercise in a way you enjoy every day, even if only for 10 minutes
- Instead of having a caffeinated drink to combat mid-afternoon slumps, have some fruit
- Turning off electronics an hour before you go to sleep (this means no phones in bed)
- Creating a relaxing wind-down routine for yourself in the evenings to help you relax
Sleep impacts every area of your life; instead of writing it off as a hopeless cause, learn to prioritize it, and you will absolutely notice a positive change in your life.
5. Manage stress and anxiety
Stress and anxiety, much like sleep, can actually take a toll on your physical health, if not managed properly. Bulimia, being an eating disorder that directly affects our physical health, is only going to become more severe with external, constant stress.
Many of us have stressful jobs or relationships, or we constantly find ourselves in situations that spike our anxiety; but we don’t make any attempts to change it.
You know best what — and who — causes you stress in your life. While it’s true you cannot control people or situations, you are in charge of how you respond to them and how long you let them bother you.
6. Reach out for professional support
Bulimia, like many eating disorders, can be fatal if left untreated, or if professional help is not quickly sought out. Between the distress that your body — especially your organs, the stomach most notably — is constantly under, the severe nutritional deficiencies, and the potentially lethal complications of the disorder, bulimia can be deadly.
If you or a loved one is struggling with bulimia, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team here at Seeds of Hope. Reaching out for help truly is a sign of strength, and we’re committed to helping you find the best bulimia recovery plan for you specifically.
Treatment for bulimia can include both psychological and nutritional counseling, as well as having a support group for those struggling similarly, and occasionally some sort of medication.
Start your recovery today by giving us a call at 610-644-6464. We’ll be with you every step of the way.