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What helped you overcome bulimia the most?

I’d like your input about what helped you the most to overcome bulimia…please read on if you’re willing to help me here :)

A few weeks ago I posted about the website Operation Beautiful (no longer live/active, sorry) and suggested you check it out.  I hope you have and enjoyed reading Caitlin’s uplifting posts about how beautiful you are – just the way you are.

Well, since then I had the opportunity to virtually meet Caitlin and she’s offered to host a Bulimia Awareness Day on her blog and allow me to be the guest writer.  I’m so unbelievably honored and humbled by this opportunity I can hardly sit still.  Caitlin has tens of thousands of followers on her blog and I would expect a good amount of the women who read her blog are suffering with or recovering from an eating disorder (or have a friend who may be).

I’ve been doing some thinking (in the shower, of course) about what the nature of my article might be about.  What I came up with today is to share about the four most important factors I think someone suffering with bulimia can help them to overcome it.  Here’s what I thought of to start:

  1. Face Your Feelings – a lot of what keeps us in the endless binge and purge cycle of bulimia is avoiding facing those feelings we don’t want to feel. We don’t feel good about being bulimic, in fact we feel like crap.  Guilt and shame are pretty much the order of the day when you’re hiding out and compulsively overeating every day.  When we find recovery, feelings are not always our friend because we used to be able to check out by turning to food instead.  Recovery is about coming clean with each and every feeling we have and facing them – or feeling them.
  2. Change Your Environments – our inner (mental, emotional and spiritual) and outer environments (physical) all play a part in our recovery.  If we continue to surround ourselves with things from our eating disorder days like trigger foods, negative friends, and frequenting our favorite grocery stores we are only reminding ourselves of the past. The person we no longer want to BE. We have to do a complete overhaul of the environments that make up our physical reality in order to reposition ourselves for recovery. This applies to our inner environment especially when it comes to embracing positive self-talk.
  3. Practice Self-Love – There is no greater tool I have found to ride the waves that come up at times during recovery than having a solid foundation built upon self-love.  Self-love is the key to lasting recovery if you ask me – hands down.
  4. Coping Mechanisms – I’ve read a lot about the process of recovery and find that in each and every instance coping with what life throws at you will inevitably come up.  Addiction, whether it be food, alcohol, sex or gambling usually is a means of coping with something we as addicts aren’t prepared to deal with.  Developing coping mechanisms that allow us to manage what comes at us in life is key to putting the food down when something uncomfortable comes up.

These are my initial ideas about what is most important to successful bulimia recovery.  Granted, I’ve had one recovery road (mine) and I know there are many.  What I’d like to ask is if you’ve overcome bulimia or anorexia (or are somewhere in the process of recovery), can you please share with me here what you felt was the most important lessons or tools you learned along the way?

It will be helpful for me to learn what worked for you and for others to see what’s useful to actual recovered bulimics.  If you’d go so far as to share your bulimia story with me, please email it to me or use the page on my eating disorder recovery website to share your story.

I totally appreciate your input and respect your privacy.  If you’d like to remain anonymous, please just enter a different name below on my bulimia recovery blog.  But, don’t hesitate in sharing what you’ve learned because there are so many who can learn from you.  You can really make a difference in someone’s life…today!