Well, the usual definition of Bulimia or Bulimia Nervosa is that it is an eating disorder characterized by regular episodes of binge eating followed by purging – compensatory behaviours to prevent weight gain – which include self-induced vomiting, abuse of laxatives or diuretics, excessive exercise, eating very little or starving.
The thing is–that’s rather like reading the back cover of a book and thinking you know the story. There’s no way from that definition that anyone who hasn’t had bulimia will understand.
The reality of bulimia is a life of obsession, compulsion and loss.
You are engulfed with an urge to eat, which you’re compelled to carry out. You can’t understand why you can’t stop yourself.
It drives you to become secretive and lie to act out and cover up your behavior that you feel compelled to do, you feel as if you have no control over your own body and mind. It’s like you’re possessed.
You’re over whelmed with shame, guilt and self-disgust and still you can’t stop.
You’re terrified that there’s something seriously wrong with you but the shame stops you telling anyone. It’s isolating and lonely; terrified that you can’t trust yourself around food you shun social occasions but then alone you find yourself binging. You feel right that you can’t control yourself.
Your emotions and moods swing all over the place and food seems to be the only comfort. It really seems that you can’t cope with life.
It’s exhausting and soul destroying as you try to hold everything together and pretend everything is okay.
Bulimia hijacks your life. It’s not interested in your hobbies and interests, dreams and desires.
You feel anxious, stressed and depressed.
It saps your energy and vitality, robs you of your self esteem, cuts you off from fully enjoying your life and threatens your health and well being.
You’d love to be free but are trapped.
Unfortunately bulimia is on the rise regardless of age, gender or ethnicity.
And there are many people of both sexes turning to bulimic behaviors and using various forms of purging to compensate for broken diets and overeating – kind of like an emergency strategy – but they’re putting themselves precariously on the edge of full blown bulimia.
The thing is, at the beginning it’s very easy to think you can have your cake and eat it and you feel you are in control. But as I know only to well from my own experience of bulimia, that control soon slips away and the cycle of binging and purging quickly turns into an addictive habit.
It is worth pointing out at this stage that although medical branches may have laid out the diagnostic tool – ultimately it is only an identification tool. This should no way reflect the way you feel ‘pigeon-holed’ into some diseased subject. You must keep your focus on how you can identify with some of the criteria, and remind yourself how you, with your individual difference would contribute to equally varying degrees of the same condition (minor to major). All of these are curable.
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Bulimia Recovery Coach
Julie won a 15 year battle with bulimia over 20 years ago and now mentors and coaches others to bulimia freedom. She is a compassionate, caring bulimia recovery coach who brings a unique and powerful perspective on recovery that has helped people from all walks of life, not just stop bingeing and purging but learn how to love themselves and their bodies and create a life they love.