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Bulimia Help: Escape the Diet & Exercise Mindset

I joined an online fitness community today just so I could post a bulimia help answer to a recovering bulimic’s question about meal plans.  In her question she asked the community to share their food plans (how many times a day, what are you eating, etc).

I shared with her my experience is that everyone’s bulimia recovery food plan is unique.  It’s best to look at the options out there and devise one for yourself.  If you’re in early stages of recovery, I highly, highly recommend working with a licensed nutritionist.  Especially important for those of us who don’t eat meat.

It was this woman’s question that first caught my attention, but as I spent a little time in the forum reading people’s posts and questions I wondered how many of them were anorexic or bulimic (either undiagnosed or untreated) and how many might be in bulimia recovery.  In less than a minute I had my answer.  I received an email invite from someone in the community inviting me to be her friend because she was a recovered bulimic, too.

At first I was delighted to connect.  I love connecting with my tribe. But I start to ask myself…

How many women might be stuck in the diet and exercise trap?

Were there others out there like me I could connect with?

I had a huge ah-ha moment that my tribe might be found inside of diet and exercise forums – still striving to find their way out of the beauty at all costs rat race.

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Sick of Diet & Exercise

I bring this up because for 20 years while I had bulimia I struggled with numerous relapses.  As you may have read in my story, I found lasting recovery and escape from relapses in 2005.  While I may have beat bulimia I still found myself in the diet and exercise trap.  My mindset was that I was supposed to exercise a certain amount each week and eat only good-for-me foods and those off-limit foods were “bad”.  I’ve only come to realize in the past year that I had this mindset and it was still driving me.  Driving me nuts!

Last year I did my last structured fitness plan – Body For Life.  I realize I was still trapped in the diet and exercise mindset.  When I look at and listen to women in their 60’s they don’t struggle with food and their looks.  They’ve finally come to accept themselves as they are.  My goal now is to accept myself unconditionally more and more every day.  Total self-acceptance of my physical body is my intention.

How to Create a Shift

If you’re picking up what I’m puttin’ down here then I’d like to share how I’m going about it, but I would like your input.  I don’t claim to have all of the answers for bulimia help and I think if we can all share what works for us here, we’ll collectively be able to accept ourselves more.  Right?

1. Think Differently – our thoughts create our lives.  I am choosing to look at my body and lifestyle as one of allowing my body to be healthy and strong rather than obsessed with weight and good vs bad foods.

2. Appreciate What I Have – my body is a magical temple for my soul to experience this reality.  When I appreciate its magnificence and respect it for how well it cares for me, heals itself, and allows me to express in the world…I am in awe.

3. Listen to My Body – I’ve heard that our bodies have an inner wisdom.  At the cellular level our physical apparatus knows what it needs.  Tuning into our body’s wisdom and listening for what it needs will always be better than trusting some diet book or exercise guru’s program.

4. Recognize My Intention – when I let go of looking good for social reasons, I get back to my intention for health.  For me I believe it’s ultimately important that my body be fit and flexible, I eat foods that give me life instead of take them from me, and feel comfortable in my clothes, enjoy my fitness activities (like hiking) and have fun always.

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Bulimia Help - Diet and Exercise Mindset5. Realize That Food is Life – I’m reading this cool book right now called Eating for Beauty and a powerful realization the author shares is that the food that we put into our body is  literally going inside of us.  We are what we eat so eat for the life you want to live.

Ok, that’s how I see it.  Please share on my bulimia blog below

What do you think about the Diet & Exercise Mentality and how it hinders overcoming bulimia?