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[Maybe a trigger warning? Dunno. I feel honestly like it’ll help more than trigger, but just so you don’t get mad.]
We’ve all been there. Oh my dear, recovering bulimics. We have all desperately tried to eat. Maybe we’ve even made it a few days purge-free. But it just takes one day; one glance in the mirror; one graze of your bloated stomach to send you into autopilot. Autopilot that leads to directly to your most concealed bathroom. Your solace. You go through your purging ritual and you realize you’ve been set back once more. This was me this entire past year of college. I truly thought it would never end. It didn’t seem to matter what or when I ate. Until I realized it did. What always tipped off my purging was how severely I’d bloat after I ate. Anything. Sooo, this was how I got to where I am. Keep in mind: this list is primarily a physical solution, not a mental one. I fully understand the mental side that comes with bulimia. But for me, when I really started recovering, I felt I was fighting my body more than my brain. And also, helping relieve some of the physical strain makes it easier to think clearly.
My Tips to Stop Purging
- WATER. Every single morning. Big glass. Right as you wake up, before you eat. Seriously. And all through out the day. But especially first in the morning.
- EAT EARLY. I cannot stress this enough. Force yourself into a routine where you get up early enough to eat breakfast. Eat a protein-carb combo of some sort to get your body going (I’d give examples, but you all already know that, I’m sure.)
- COFFEE. Okay, so not the healthiest. But it has been a godsend in my recovery. During breakfast, I just drink about 8 oz. of coffee. I dunno if it speeds up my bowels or what, but it seems to really prevent bloating. This is only my personal experience, but hey, if it helps anyone, I should at least say it. Tea probably works just as well.
- DO NOT RESTRICT. Ever. At some point further down the road, maybe your body can handle it. But right now, as you start/continue recovery, your body takes restriction as a signal to hold onto the food you do eat. This is a foolproof way to fall back into purging.
- MOVE. Maybe it’s brisk walking. Maybe it’s running. Maybe it’s weight lifting. Or yoga. DOESN’T MATTER. It diffuses bloating more than I can explain and your body, once functional again, will crave food and USE it. Eat within 30 min after working out. [disclaimer: if you are not yet weight restored, follow this with discretion]
- AVOID PROCESSED SUGAR. Fruits are fine. But processed sugar leads to bloating, hormone imbalances, cravings, and digestive issues. Stick with the natural stuff, or at the very least, sweeteners with a low glycemic index.
- WEAR LOOSE CLOTHING. Re-feeding sucks, and bulimia is a judgmental bitch. Dress accordingly.
- STRUCTURED EATING. You can find meal plans online, but basically, 3 meals and 2 snacks daily. At set times. Your body has to get used to eating before you can go back to/start eating intuitively.
- AVOID CARBONATED DRINKS. They lead to bloating, especially in bulimics. I’m your stereotypical “eating disordered diet coke-addict” too, but seriously. Cut it out and you’ll feel a world of difference.
- GIVE YOURSELF SOME SLACK. Face it: re-feeding will not make you feel pretty. You will feel fat. You will want to purge. Maybe your body will do so voluntarily. But that is not forever and it’s not too late to fight it. Some days you might need to curl up in a ball and let your stomach digest while you sob and watch Grey’s Anatomy. But then, after what seems like too long, it will get easier. It WILL.
This is just how I got by. Maybe it’ll work for others, maybe it won’t. Maybe it seems too simple. But if it helps ANYONE, then I’m happy. Otherwise, I’m just happy it helped me. Because I am okay now. Some days are harder than others. But I am successful. But if you see this and it helps, or you have bulimia, or you have followers with bulimia, ‘like’ or ‘reblog’ because you never know what may push someone into recovery. It was a simple list like this that helped me start. So, I feel it’s time to pay it forward.