Well for me, and from the many other stories I’ve heard it really all started with dieting and what I’m about to share may well resonate with you because a very common pattern seems to emerge…
For whatever reason, you want to loose some weight and go on a diet – either restricting calories or food types, and perhaps exercising some more.
And for a while the diet goes well, you lose weight and feel you great. I remember feel quite exhilarated watching the downward trend on the scales. But at some point the scales no longer follow their downward trend and so you restrict further – I mean it seems like a logical thing to do if you want to loose more weight.
The hunger pangs you’ve been managing to ignore get stronger. You start to feel hungry shortly after eating and pretty soon even the act of eating makes you want to eat more. Trying to resist becomes harder and the tension mounts.
The hunger pangs become urges – you try to resist but…
One day you cave in and it feels so good to let go and eat what you want but then comes the guilt and the panic. You are terrified of gaining weight – all your good work undone – and so you throw up. Although you may feel disgusted the instantaneous relief that throwing up brought felt great and a ‘seed’ is sown that perhaps this could be the solution to breaking any dietary rules in the future.
However you’re convinced you won’t be needing it because you truly believe that if you exert just a bit more will power in the face of those urges you can overcome them.
You begin to think about food all the time; one part of you wants to be ‘good’ and stick to the diet but another part of you wants more and probably everything off your diet, and that ‘voice’ gets stronger.
The next time you feel an overwhelming urge to eat, the memory of the last binge comes to mind and the idea becomes irresistible despite your best intentions not to.
Whilst you may start planning binges, for the most part they come ‘out of the blue’ and increasingly they seem to be the thing to do when you’re upset, overwhelmed or stressed. And you can come to rely on the feelings of euphoria or numbness that bingeing brings, as it helps block out uncomfortable or unwanted thoughts and feelings and for a [short] time bingeing brings relief from the relentless suffering and struggle.
So the bingeing becomes more frequent as does the purging and before long control or any choice in the matter has slipped out of your hands – this is a clear bulimia symptoms. Bulimia has got you and you find yourself trapped in a vicious cycle of bingeing and purging.
If you’ve had bulimia for sometime it can seem as if your inability to deal with unwanted emotions is the cause of your bulimia, you may have even read this online. This can cause a tendency to overlook the very core of the problem; your relationship with food and may set you on a path of looking for some deep rooted emotional cause. This is a fundamental mistake because it is the under-eating; the dieting and restricting that keeps you trapped.
If you’re not convinced check the side effects of under-eating they may surprise you.