Bulimia is more than just occasionally eating more than you should. Most people have a binge now and then. But when bulimia takes hold, it feels like it controls your whole life. There may be many different reasons why bulimia starts. It could be that you learnt the bulimic pattern from people around you. Perhaps you have issues with perfectionism and/or body image and/or self-esteem. Overcoming bulimia can help normalise the tyranny of perfectionism, regulate distortions of body image and, of course, raise self-esteem because you’ve taken back real control. Sometimes when the symptoms of – for example – low self-esteem are improved, the original cause begins to improves too.
Some or all of the following description of the bulimia cycle may sound familiar to you.
A typical bulimic cycle often starts with a feeling of stress or a build up of tension. Next there may be a period of planning (sometimes just a few minutes) during which time you decide when, where and on what you will binge. Next comes that ‘tranced out’ state, where everything else seems to fade into the background and you can even forget time passing, and all outside thoughts and ideas, as you pile in to the particular food you are bingeing on. Eventually, of course, the specific binge episode will end. Next in the bulimic cycle comes the purging, which can be making yourself throw up or taking laxatives or both. This is like an attempt to ‘have your cake and eat it’. The purging phase ends when no more can ‘come out’.
Afterwards you may be left with feelings of self disgust. You may hate yourself for bingeing, and feel as if bulimia has stolen your energy, time and health, as well as your dignity and self respect. You may feel it has even stolen your ability ever to enjoy food naturally and normally.
Constant vomiting erodes the enamel from your teeth and can damage the delicate structures in your throat. Over-use of laxatives may seriously damage your long term health. If your health has in any way been detrimentally affected by bulimia, you must consult a medically trained professional immediately.
There are sure to be certain ‘risk times’ in your life when bulimia is more like to rear its ugly head and tempt you with what it can’t (in the long term) really deliver. Bulimia promises you very attractive things, like a feeling of security, or a sense of control, or sometimes even relief from boredom.
When is it more likely to happen? When you are bored, stressed, disappointed, home alone? Just consider that for a moment.
An episode of bulimia is very much like a negative hypnotic trance state. While it is in play, your focus of attention becomes locked, you forget everything else, certain ‘post hypnotic’ triggers set it off. Using therapeutic hypnosis with a trained professional can help you un-hook some of those trigger points and get you feeling more relaxed and confident and in charge of it for a change.
If you want to learn more about overcoming bulimia from someone who actually did it, go to Laura Teodori's blog at https://laurateodori.com