SO, WHY LISTEN TO ME?
If this is the first time to my website and you haven’t met me in person or virtually (online) you may not know, that I too struggled with bulimia for over 15 years - that I recovered without any outside help and that the last time I binged and purged was over 20 years ago.
You will probably get what I’m talking about when I say, that the last time I binged and purged passed unnoticed, without any celebration or fanfare because I’d promised myself so many times that I’d never binge and purge again – but always did – I never recognized or acknowledged that - very - Last - Time.
But one day I realized… that not only - had I not binged and purged for ages, I hadn’t even thought about it! At the time, I didn’t give it much thought, I was just SO happy to be free.
However, several years ago whilst training to be a life coach, I was chatting with a psychotherapist who was on the same course and I mentioned I'd had bulimia. To my surprise - she told me that you never really recover. When I said I absolutely had - she asked me what I’d I done.
The thing was I couldn't answer her - I hadn’t got a clue!
I WAS SHOCKED...
So, that evening when I got home, I Googled bulimia to see if I could find some answers. Now you’ve probably guessed, if you’ve added up the years, the Internet wasn’t around when I had bulimia, so I’d never searched for anything about it before - and I was shocked.
I couldn’t believe how big the problem was and how many people were struggling.
You know I was reading this stuff and perhaps you’ve read it to, just like the therapist had said, it was telling me things like, “you never really recover”, “it’s a life-long battle” and that “you’ll always have to be careful around food”.
To me that was just wrong. I hadn’t binged and purged for years. And despite having some very difficult periods in my life, bingeing had never returned, not even the desire. And I hadn’t ‘worked’ on my coping skills, emotions or any underlying issues and hey, like most people I had some (and still do!)
And the more I read the more confused I got. What was bulimia really all about? I mean there are so many causes cited and so many are at odds with each other. I wondered what I’d actually recovered from!
And perhaps more importantly, with recovery rates appearing so appalling low, how had I recovered?
What had I done, what had happened that had enabled me to go from bingeing and throwing up, sometimes multiple times a day, to never?
From exercising like a person possessed to burn calories, to exercising for fun and if I don’t exercise – so what? From being terrified of food to really enjoying it - without any fear, without going out of control and without getting fat? From hating myself and my body, to feeling really comfortable with myself and being happy in my own skin.
And from feeling totally powerless and trapped to empowered and free.
THE PAST LEAVES CLUES AND IT’S ONLY WITH HINDSIGHT WE CAN SEE THE COMMON THREADS & LINKS
So, from where I was then, some 15 years bulimia free, with the knowledge and insights I’d gained from training in various coaching and healing modalities, I picked apart my bulimia years and my recovery.
As I began joining up the dots, I saw fundamental mistakes I’d innocently made that had kept me trapped in a living hell, struggling unnecessarily for years. I saw connections between things, that had I not struggled with bulimia and recovered myself - would probably on the surface – have appeared unrelated or insignificant, but these seemingly unrelated and insignificant things were in fact key to my eventual freedom from bulimia.
And as always with hindsight, it was so obvious - that if I’d had this understanding, this knowledge at the time I’d have recovered far quicker and with far less struggle.
I COULD HAVE REALLY ROCKED MY RECOVERY INSTEAD OF THE PROTRACTED, PAINFUL PROCESS I’D GONE THROUGH
And it appeared to me that recovery, just didn’t have to be so darn hard and painful. It didn’t have to be so long or so miserable. It didn’t have to be the end of your dreams of having the body you desire AND probably more importantly it also seemed possible that you could discover some pretty amazing things about yourself along the way, things that would have a positive and powerful impact in all areas of your life, moving forwards.
HAVE YOU BEEN GETTING THE WRONG INFORMATION?
However, from what I’d been reading online, much of the information about bulimia and bulimia recovery painted an entirely different picture. It seemed to me that rather than helping anyone, the information could actually be keeping people stuck!
I wondered, could it be that many people were simply getting the wrong information about bulimia and how to recover and therefore coming to the wrong conclusions about what they needed to do?
So, I created a recovery program that reflected my own journey and began, somewhat tentatively, coaching people through it because to be honest, I did have some self-doubt. I mean who was I to be doing this? I wasn’t a therapist or counsellor and had no medical background, so I wondered if my own experience and what I’d learnt was going to be enough.
But I’m so glad I didn’t listen to that “little voice in my head” because what I shared with others, worked for them too.
“I truly am so incredibly grateful that we started working together 🙂 It's been, as you promised, an incredibly fun, eye-opening and rewarding journey and it's only getting better and better”. ACK
And it’s been so incredibly inspiring and exciting to see past clients maintaining their freedom from bulimia: Loving food, loving themselves and loving their lives.
Now don’t get me wrong here, these women don’t live some Pollyanna other worldly existence, no they live in the real world. They still have personal challenges and problems. In fact, many of them have more as they’ve taken on bigger challenges and goals, in the pursuit of their passions and purpose but it’s no longer food that they turn to.
As I discovered and they’ve discovered too, when you have the right relationship with yourself, the right mindset, information and skills, anything is possible.
And what we found, my clients and I, is that you don’t have to wait until you are free, to feel better – YOU really don’t. Even in recovery you can start feeling a whole lot better about yourself and your life.
Now I’m sure you’re aware that bulimia can be life threatening and it can have many serious side effects, so what I’m sharing with you should not be substituted for proper diagnosis, treatment or advice by an appropriate health professional.
Please don’t under any circumstances ignore any medical advice or delay obtaining a medical opinion because of something I say.
And if you have very low body weight and or encounter problems such as chest pains, heart palpitations, aches or swelling in any area of the body, please go and see your doctor immediately. Complications are unlikely, but it is always best to get checked. So please, if you feel unwell make an appointment to see your doctor.