I struggled with bulimia for over a decade.
Bulimia was my last stop on the road of eating disorders (I literally tried them all). Bulimia seemed to be “the one.” My soul-mate-eating-disorder that made me feel alive, or so I thought. The reality was, it was slowing killing me on a spiritual, emotional and physical level.
I loved my bulimia so much that a breakup seemed impossible, unrealistic and like something I would never do.
Mainly because Bulimia gave me control and it kept me thin. It was my escape from reality, an illusionary world where I was in control of my fate and destiny. Even if the only control I had was over my body frame and weight, it felt like I had all the power in the world.
To surrender and breakup with bulimia took time but through these simple steps I transformed my life.
1. Find a higher power relationship.
When I developed a relationship with a higher power of my own understanding, I was able to truly surrender my will and my life. Most importantly, I was able to surrender my eating disorder one day at a time to this higher power. Every time I had nasty, judgmental thoughts of my body, thoughts of binging or thoughts of food, I got on my knees and asked this higher power to lift the feeling. I wrote letters to the higher power turning over “my will” and “my control,” instead asking for support, love and guidance. In moments when I thought I would turn back to my bulimia or disordered food behaviors, I asked for help from my higher power. I asked for guidance, I prayed and I meditated for the answers. I always got them.
2. Develop a network and community who supports me.
Being isolated and alone was an easy way for the eating disordered behavior to grow and thrive. Being in community and with others made it harder to be bulimic and made it easier to participate in life. In a supportive community I decided to be vulnerable and share with others I trusted and loved in my recovery journey. I knew if I told them my journey it would be harder to go back to the secretive lifestyle bulimia creates. It is also made it easier to ask for help in moments of desperation, since others were aware of my situation.
3. No restrictions.
Breaking up with bulimia for good gave me the opportunity to stop limiting and restricting myself from life, especially when it came to food. There are many yummy and delicious foods I didn’t allow myself to eat unless I could purge it afterward. In my recovery, I allowed myself to eat whatever I wanted. In the beginning I craved things I restricted myself from, although the cravings were less and less as time passed. As time went by, my body craved healthy foods. I even craved kale.
4. Love myself hard.
I hated myself and therefore I used bulimia and other disordered food behaviors to punish myself. It was a terrible cycle. In my recovery, loving myself unconditionally was a must. No more criticism, judgment and anger toward myself. In moments when I looked in the mirror and I heard that judgmental voice, I closed my eyes and asked for love to be the only thing I saw. The transformation was immediate.
The process of breaking up with bulimia took willingness and a desire to change. It didn’t happen overnight, but any result worth creating takes time.
Be gentle with yourself and know that there truly is nothing in life you cannot do.
Author: Malaine Lea
Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock