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The Secret to Beating Bulimia

written by: Suzanne Florin • edited by: Paul Arnold • updated: 5/20/2011

Overcoming bulimia will not be the easiest challenge you have ever faced, but with determination, faith in yourself, and by following these tips, you can learn how to conquer this eating disorder.

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    Finding Your Way Out

    Perhaps you only wanted to shed a few pounds to achieve an ideal body shape, but for some reason, you have found yourself attached to this weight loss method that you have engaged in. You might have realized that your delight for food could not help you stay thin, that is why you secretly (and triumphantly, even) purge after gobbling up a huge meal. This addiction has probably been going on for a few months already, but unfortunately, you have noticed several undesirable changes going on in your body. Your period has become irregular, your face, hands and feet have begun to swell, and mood swings have become quite frequent. You also feel depressed most of the time.

    Finding your way out of this vicious cycle of bingeing and purging can be a challenge, and relapses are likely to happen. But with your determination in following these tips and advice, you can overcome your bulimia - one step at a time.

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    Confide in a friend

    There is nothing more stressful than keeping your problems to yourself; you need moral support from a friend - to lift your spirits and to give you a helping hand in your difficult moments. By confiding in a friend everything you are going through, you will no longer find yourself alone in your struggles. Whether you are in need of a helpful advice, a listening ear that will patiently let you pour your heart out, or simply a shoulder to cry on, your friend can be all that you need to cheer you on and to help you get back on your feet. And if you have finally considered attending therapy sessions, you can ask your friend to accompany you now that he or she is aware of what you have been going through.

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    Write in a journal

    Take some time each day to reflect on your thoughts, feelings and motives and to pour out your emotions. Use this journal to write notes or vows to yourself, to jot down plans for a healthier lifestyle, and simply to vocalize everything that you are feeling and thinking, instead of keeping it all bottled up inside your head.

    According to Dr.Tristine Rainer, an author and the director of the Center for Autobiographic Studies, keeping a diary is ''an active purposeful communication with the self'. She stresses the benefits of personal writing as a way to 'record whatever their immediate feelings, thoughts, interests, and intuitions dictate. They write whenever they wish - for pleasure and for self-guidance.'

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    Join a support group

    Discussing your struggles with people who are going through the same experience will give you a sense of encouragement as you realize that you are not alone in this battle. You can also listen to success stories of those who have overcome bulimia and you will find many allies there who will offer support and guidance on how to stop being bulimic.

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    Seek professional help

    Talk to a nutritionist who can provide you with a healthy meal plan to follow regularly. They may also give you more information about the required calories that are suitable for you, as well as the proper way to maintain an ideal weight. You could also seek help from a counselor to assist you in rebuilding your self-esteem, as well as to help you overcome depression. Be very open when discussing your issues to these professionals, as their expertise on nutrition and mental health can help you greatly in recovering from bulimia.

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    Move forward

    Be kind to yourself, and keep in mind that you cannot simply glide in the road to recovery. Relapses and disappointments may come, but with determination, faith in yourself, and the love and support of your family and friends, you can learn how to stop being bulimic.

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    Resources

    McCabe, Randi, Ph.D, et.al "Overcoming Bulimia: Your Comprehensive, Step-By-Step Guide to Recovery" (New Harbinger Pubns Inc; Workbook edition, January 2004)

    Hall, Lindsey & Cohn, Leigh, MAT, "Bulimia: A Guide To Recovery" (Gurze Books; 25th Anniversary Edition edition, November 1, 2010)



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