I am having a rough time with my BULIMIA this week, but really, I don't want to dwell on negativity and destructive behaviors in this post. You are an intelligent reader and hence I assume you can understand what devastating effects an eating disorder has on anyone unlucky enough to suffer from one, without the need for me to point out the finite and mostly dirty details.
Instead, I want the spotlight of this late-night post to shine on a combination of resources which can be used to combat the BINGE/PURGE cycle. I am not saying that I have mastered them all, far from it, but I have tried some with great success. And the way I look at it, at least trying some of these suggestions has to be better than continuing to destroy my body and mind with self-inflicted agony.
The first thing I have (tried) to do is introduce a pattern of regular eating. It is the single most important element of overcoming Bulimia in my opinion. Its different for everyone, but for me it means containing my eating to three planned meals a day plus three planned snacks between main meals. By eating this way it displaces the urge to and action to binge. My approx daily plan looks like this:
8.00 A.M.: Breakfast
10.30 A.M.: Morning Snack
12.30 P.M.: Lunch
3.00: P.M.: Afternoon Snack
6.30: P.M.: Dinner
9.30: P.M.: Evening Snack
I have left no more than 3.5 hours between meals/snacks as I know that that is my limit when trying to curb binges, and also the ideal time frame to master EMOTION REGULATION. Any longer and I turn into the wicked witch of the west. Fact. Although this is set in stone, and has to be for my recovery, I do change it up a bit a weekends and if I am out and about at a commitment. Sorry therapist, I have a life. I try my hardest, (but don't always succeed) to not skip any meals or snacks though.
Where possible I do make eating my number one priority each day. My food diary and meal plan also take time, but I realize the importance of monitoring my food intake and being mindful to my emotions around food. I try to plan, plan and plan to plan! This includes having ample amounts of my "safe" foods in the house such as oats, fruit, skim-milk and rye bread. I am comfortable with these foods. I tend to plan the night before what I will eat the next day and jot down some ideas on my food diary. For example, tomorrow I am having Salmon, peppers and quiona for dinner.
I also restrict eating to the kitchen table or sitting room. Never my bedroom. Crumby bed sheets are really not attractive. I try to eat at a table which is out of arm's reach of further supplies of food. And while it might be tempting, and I am so guilty of not following this one, It is important to focus on eating and not distract with TV or internet.
Limiting my amount of "trigger food" by not having any in the house it a safe bet to stop me impulse bingeing So I plan my shopping, make a list and stick to it.
The best thing I find to do when that niggle of an urge comes on me is to get out of the house and not take ANY money with me, and stay out until the urge goes away. This really is my 'go-to' STOP method. But everyone will have something different.