Hi, this is my first post. I started being bulimic at 18 and I'm now 43. When it started, I didn't even realise it was an 'addiction' as there was nothing in the media, newspapers, tv etc on the subject, so when I read an article in a magazine about a woman who had the same problems and 'it' had a name, I cried my eyes out.....unfortuently I didn't know at that time, that 25years on and this disease still would have such a hold over me.
I have and always will, try anything to get rid of this demon and still believe that one day I will be free of it. One of the things I tried was a rehab for 6weeks, where I think I overcome the mental side of my ED and managed 6months to be free of it....unfortuently a relationship break down triggered it again and still I am struggling to be free!!!
I have just been onto a site by a woman called Karly Randolph Pitman, who had bulimia and a sugar addiction(which I feel convinced I too have)....she has her own strategies to beat the addictions and I'm really wondering if anybody else reading this has tried them?
Being perfectly honest, over the years I have spent 1000's of pounds on,
hypnotherapists, nutritionists, books, personal trainers, rehab, councillors etc, etc and am therefore weary of parting with anymore....Although, I would sell my soul to be rid!!!!
I know, I AM THE ONLY ONE, who can truly help myself at the end of the day, but I, like all you other people with this crucifying disease, need as much help and advice along the way, on this torturous journey, as possible!
So if anyone has tried her methods or anything else that works for them, please, please share it.
Also if you are reading this and have this disorder but are unable to admit it to yourself, or maybe you have just started it and think you can control it, please seek some sort of help or share it with someone, as believe me it WILL end up CONTROLLING your life......x Mel x
The following user gives a hug of support to Lewisbertie1:
I know I havent had the disease as long as you have, so maybe what worked for me may not help as much but I figured I'd give this one a shot. Find someone you really trust that already knows you have this problem. Give them the heads up before you do this and ask if its okay with them. But the way it works is everytime you want to purge, YOU MUST CALL THIS PERSON (S). Thats the one and simple rule. You have to tell them you're thinking about doing it and if they are a good friend, they will try to talk you out of this. Sometimes, they will be successful and sometimes they wont. But either way it forces you to confront the fact that what youre doing to yourself is ultimately hurting others. And it also forces you to be accountable for this. I know its kinda intense, but thats what finally got me to stop the behavior. And believe it or not, the behavior is easiest to break. Its the reasons that you do this that take the longest. But I wish you the best of luck, and I hope you find the strength to put this thing to rest, because life is too special to let something like this tear you apart. Feel better soon
The following user gives a hug of support to Eyes2thesky:
Thanks, those are very wise words and perhaps I will give them a try.....I did something similar after I left rehab, unfortuently the old ways kicked in eventually.....at present I am feeling quite confident as I am on day 4 of no sugar, apart from fruit, dates, no added sugar yoghurts and the occasional square of dark chocolate if I really feel the need.....so far I haven't binged and haven't felt the urge, but having said that, I have been getting withdrawal symptoms from the sugar, very tired, lethargic, aching body(similar to flu feelings) and tears....but I have read that these are all normal reactions to coming off sugar and should last around three weeks.....I realise now that I mainly binge on sweet things and the more I eat the more I crave, so I know that I'm defiantly addicted to sugar so I want to try and stop the cravings, therefore stopping the bingesand being sick(I hope)....but 4 days for me without chocolate, cakes etc etc is an amazing achievement, so I'm taking one day at a time....also ive ordered the book I mentioned in my first email, so when I get it, hopefully it should be able to guide me better and help me handle the slip ups etc...I'm not perfect and I'm rational to know that after all these years I will have them, but I now know it's the way I cope with them that will make the difference...anyway I will keep you informed of my progress, thank you so much for your support and kind words and well done you for getting over it, that's a real challenge!!! xxx
You must understand something about the "addictive" cycle of what scientists call "palatable foods," which I will call PI. Perhaps you already do, but it is not often talked about in ED circles the way I've come to understand it, so I'll explain. Please forgive if it seems condescending.
A PI is most often sugar, but can also be fatty and salty food. Humans have a natural yearning for these elements, but in hunter-gather times, these were distributed among the food sources so people had to want them a lot to get enough calories. Fast forward to 20th century; it is easy to engineer foods with these elements and get the body to surpass its normal appetite controls. We develop cravings for these foods and when we restrict them too much, we intensify the brain pattern for craving. Then, if we do have the food, it is very likely that we will feel we have to overeat the food. AND THIS REINFORCES THE INTENSITY OF THE CYCLE. This is a brain pattern and is very hard to counteract. but, unless you think you can abstain from the food forever, you must learn to eat the food in moderate quantities.
There are two steps to do this.
Step 1. Decrease exposure to the worst offender--here, sugar-- for several days while eating adequate calories, including about 1/2-2/3 volume of food as dense calories (protein and carbs), some of that small-to-moderate amounts of other PI. This means have good meals with all your food groups and several servings a week of something seemingly forbidden, such as a slice of pizza, a piece of fried chicken, a fist-sized portion of French fries, etc.
Step 2. Then for a couple of days, include a moderate portion of sugar at a meal and HOLD ON! The urge to overeat may be very great but can be quelled by using classic diverting tactics, both mental and physical. Attack the thoughts that say you must have the food, and then force yourself to participate in another activity that has nothing to do with food or weight loss.
Keep repeating this cycle. A logical pattern for our culture would be to abstain from the worst offender M-F, and have it on weekends.
Though controversial, there is some evidence that eating less often, say three times a day rather than the recently recommended 5 or 6 times, will regulate hunger hormones better so that overeating becomes very much more unpleasant with smaller amounts of food.
It is of course usually much easier to master the days without the most problematic food first; it will likely take longer to master eating small amounts and then refusing to give in to any urges to overeat. But, these will likely keep decreasing with occasional spikes that are ameliorated by returning to the days off the substance. What this means in real terms is that the number of days per week that you are dealing with the problem is decreased and over a period of months, will likely get even easier. You will have interrupted the brain pattern sufficiently that it becomes manageable and even negligeable. The more years a person has participated, the more relapses there will probably be before the offending behavior is extinguished. Because of its similarity to classic addictions, it may be something to monitor for quite some years, but it can be de facto in remission for decades with few problems.
It sounds like you have had some recovery, and if you can accept that this is a temporary resurfacing of the problem that can be nipped in its most recent bud, and you return to your healing behaviors, this relapse will be temporary. The relapses will get farther and farther apart and be much less of an issue such that you can throw your attention into much more important life pursuits.
I realize you don't want to waste any more money, but you might avail yourself of someone who specializes in supporting generic habit change for just awhile more, until you feel a bit more confident.
Part of what will help is if you have confidence that most of your eating is supportive of good health. EAting a good plate or bowl of food, not excessively diet-y, low fat meals three times a day is definitely adequate. Drinking milk in between if there is excessive hunger is a good way to assuage hunger and keep from reinforcing the habit of chewing, and thus possibly escalating to eating larger between-meals amounts of food.
Good luck! You can beat this.
The following user gives a hug of support to oolala53:
Thankyou so much for your lengthy and very detailed reply, it is so much appreciated and you are so very kind to give me such good advice.......I have only just come back on here again as I have been off sugar now for four weeks!!!! And I am doing amazingly well! I have only had two binges in that time, although they weren't large ones and I actualy didn't want to be sick, I just classed them as hiccups and so I wasn't! Which for me is unheard of! I had a few headaches and felt crap for a bit in the first 7-10 days, but feel a lot better now....I am not completely off all sugar, I have fruit sugar on my porridge, no extra added sugar yoghurts, 70% dark choc(which I used to hate and love now), fruit, dates etc for a bit of sweetness......also I've had the odd dessert if I'm out and I know it won't escalate into a binge....I've lost some inches rather than weight, but it's early days and I definitely don't have such ups and downs that sugar gives you. I'm not having diet coke or anything with sweeteners in if I can help it, diet tonic water or fruit juice......I was terribly constipated for years also(understandable with being sick)and a nutritionist I
went to see, Glenn matton advised bimuno sachets you can get from boots and I have been regular every day!!!!....I'm not suggesting what I've done will be
the way forward for everyone and I'm sure I'll have more relapses, but I'm
taking it day by day and if I can handle it without coming off sugar totally,
then I will continue as I am.....for me sugar was mainly the foods I binged on
when I was going threw a binge/purge cycle, so without eating it in the first place, I'm not triggered into stuffing loads.....I am very much and always have
been into my chocolate, cakes, anything sweet etc, but I can honestly say I'm
not craving it, because I'm not eating it, so the triggers arent there....and if I
do crave something sweet, I find for me dates are sweet enough.....I'm eating
a well balanced diet alongside this, brown bread, brown rice, sweet potatoes,
plenty of protein with every meal, so that I don't feel hungry in my head and I
did have fish and chips and some chocolate the other night, which I
automatically wanted to throw up as I felt it was 'bad fattening' food, but I
forced myself not to and carried on my routine the next day.....for me, the act
of not actualy being sick if I felt I've eaten fattening stuff, is a big
achievement and Im trying not to break the 4week cycle, so that it doesn't
start all over again......anyway I will keep you posted with my progress, but god I feel good right now!!!!!
I have had bulimia for 13 years and just recently have started recovery. It has not been easy, and sometimes I feel, is even harder than when I was in denial of this disorder. The 13 years of bulimia has resulted in numerous health issues, such as chondromalacia, bad teeth, self-hate, and depression. I used to be a bright, energetic, happy human being, but have turned into a depressed, moody person who is angry and frustrated at myself and the world. Although recovery may seem like forever and every day is a struggle, please hang in there and remember that you are the one who is in control of your life and that there are others out there doing the same! I am currently reading a book by Jenny Schaefer called, "goodbye ed, hello me", who is a recovered bulimic/anorexic, and am trying to believe that true recovery is possible. Hope is the only thing that will keep us going. Hang in there, everyone!!
Hi everyone, just an update......It's been nearly seven weeks and I'm doing amazingly well!!! Yes I have binged about 4 or 5 times, but I didn't throw up after and I just carried on with the sugar free regime the next day......I'm totally convinced, that for me, sugar was my trigger as I don't find myself wanting to eat loads of crap now, anywhere near the amount of time I used too.....I'm sure the more cakes, choc, buscuits, basically crap you eat-the more your brain will tell you to eat more, so you have to re-train your brain to not letting it think it can eat as much **** as it wants to then go throw it all up!!! I still have a cake or chocolate or a treat as such, but try to limit it to a time and place where I don't feel tempted to keep on eating....yes I feel guilty after I've eaten it, but the feeling soon goes and the next day I'm bak on track.....I know this may all sound to good to be true, but after 25years of bulimia, this is a bloody miracle!!!!!! I'm not perfect and it's scary when I do have an odd binge, but I force myself to text a friend, who reassures me it's ok and I haven't put on weight and by the next night I'm back on track and feeling good again.....I feel the longer this works for me, the less I'll feel tempted to binge, as all the 'pull' from the sugar(which is like a drug)slowly, is beginning to leave my body and make me crave it less and less!!!!!!!......will update you all again soon....but anyone who is reading this with the same problems, why not give it a try, it can't be harder than the he'll you're in at present....good luck, big love and tender hugs xxx