10 Tips for recovery

Richard Kerr's picture

Some helpful tips to motivate & guild you through recovery

1. Take action! Take action! Take action!

Your recovery relies on you taking action! It is up to you to learn and practice new techniques and normal eating skills. Sorry, but without action it's hard to expect to get very far with recovery.

Imagine learning to drive reading a manual only, without actually getting into a car. Would you expect to pass your driving test? No! Recovery is the same, you can't expect to recover without practicing new skills, re-leaning normal eating and developing new coping strategies.

2. Make YOUR recovery priority NO.1

It's important to make recovery from bulimia your highest priority in your life. Even if you think you are being selfish by placing recovery ahead of other commitments. It's your precious life, so be good to yourself and make an effort to recover.

3. Focus on 'recovery' not weight loss.

Please focus on recovery and not weight loss or gain.

  • Focusing on weight keeps you stuck in a viscous cycle
  • Focusing only on weight is part of your diet mentality
  • Weight change is not a 'behavioral' change and your recovery revolves around 'behavioral' change. Therefore try and keep focused on learning new eating skills and adopting new eating strategies
  • Your weight should start to stabilize at your natural healthy set-point and you won’t even have to think about it
  • Spend time working through your recovery zones. Answer the questions in the 'review' section. You can use feedback as an indication of progress.

4. View setbacks as a learning process

We all learn from our mistakes. If you look at recovery as a learning process then it becomes impossible not to fail. You will simply continue moving forward.

5. Take baby steps to success

Aiming for the sky backfires, instead focus on taking one day at a time. Try and not be obsessed with an overnight cure, this will not happen because recovery takes time and commitment.

Remember try to be realistic about your progress and take baby steps along the way, every step you take is enough to lead you to recovery.

6. Aim for 75% Success

Forget about being 100% successful. Aim for a maximum of 75% success rate. Why? well, it's only human to do so. Too much stress and effort to be perfect all the time can be counterproductive to recovery.

Many people with bulimia suffer from perfectionism, whereby thay are continually striving to reach unrealistic goals and will not be happy until they get there. Look back at your life, have you been trying to reach unrealistic goals and putting things off until you reach them? If you are a perfectionist then you should aim to be perfect 75% of the time and aim at not being perfect 25% of the time. This is achievable!

7. Forget about willpower

Many fad diets will bombard you with the 'willpower story', making you believe that it just takes a little more willpower and self control! However, you can’t use willpower to fight against your natural instincts to eat and you also can't set up any barriers to fight and rebel against it. Forget about willpower, you won't be needing it for recovery.

8. Stop blaming yourself

It isn’t your fault that you have bulimia. You were not warned about the dangers of dieting and restrictive eating and you didn't know that you would end up in the bulimia trap! It's also not your fault that diets continually fail and fantasy weights are impossible to reach. This comes from genetics and our natural  instincts, both are impossible to change.

You have to stop blaming yourself and start accepting that things in life are not always your fault.

9. Be prepared for a few bumps along the way

Very rarely is the road to recovery one long straight road from A to B, expect a few sharp bends in there.

Sometimes your problems may seem more complicated and at other times you might feel on top of the world. Whatever progress you are making you can view it by looking over your food journal and seeing how far you have already come. Remember set-backs are a useful part of recovery and can allow you to figure out the obstacles in your life that are causing problems. It could be stress, work, relationships, or anything else. It's up to you to figure them out and learn new ways of handling them.

Once you understand the cause you will be in a much better position to take action.

View Binge Busting for more information on dealing with relapses.

10. Forget about trying to find underlying reasons for your eating disorder!

You can spend years trying to figure out what caused your eating disorder and still not have answers!

It can be difficult for some of us to remember last week, never mind 5 to 10 years ago. Therefore it's sometimes better to accept the past. Focus all your energy and attention to the future instead, this is your recovery.

63 comments

Kim
Kim's picture
I know how you feel. It's

I know how you feel. It's scary reading these and thinking about how many people out there are STILL dealing with it after so many years. Is there really a way to stop for good?? Even when there is no binge, just a "normal" healthy meal, why is there an urge to purge? And if there is no purging why cant we stop thinking about it?? It is soo frustrating. I want to eat to live not live to eat...and purge.

Kim

kate456
kate456's picture
This all sounds like a lie

This all sounds like a lie even though I know its not

smile_smile_smile
smile_smile_smile's picture
Whoa

I'm kind of freaked right now. I signed up months ago but kept chickening out of recovery. Now that I'm really trying, it's pretty overwhelming. I'm still not 100% sure about this, but by the time I am, I'll probably be dead. :/

_laura_
_laura_'s picture
Willpower?

I dont understand how it says you dont need willpower to get over bulimia? It takes everybit of willpower for me to contemplate recovery at the moment, and every day is a battle between this horrible bulimic monster inside of me and the me i know i truely am. I wish willpower wasn't involved but it is.

tkayd4
tkayd4's picture
Yeah, I just posted a comment

Yeah, I just posted a comment actually about that tip. I just don't see how I (or anyone) can stop binging/purging without extraordinary willpower, which... I unfortunately don't have. This probably doesn't help because I'm as confused as you are about that one lol.

*kk*

doctor333
doctor333's picture
really I'm 30 now...when will it go away

15 years, three kids, an I'm a teacher......

It's never gone away. I've taken prescription diet pills many times....I feel sad and I don't know what to do or how to get my life in order. I'm not a "text book" case. What do I do. Can anyone help....??? My heart hurts when it beats so fast and I'm anxious all the time. Does anyone know what I'm going through.....my family sure doesn't:(

kokeshi
kokeshi's picture
l understand

hi, l have two children am forty and l feel l'm different than other people...l get anxious and vulnerable alot of times...l wonder if l will ever get better 25 years of this disease is starting to take it's toll, just the relief and not having to think all the time would be a great relief..and l certainly would'nt like to pass it on to my children.

crystal8
crystal8's picture
Am so scare of relapse,can this problem be gone once and for all

Sometimes i am doing good without b/p for a few days, but than sometimes i am back to my old demon self...sigh,this is pathetic,how can this be gone once and for all,i need spport

tkayd4
tkayd4's picture
Don't Understand ?

I'm trying to understand how willpower is not involved in recovery? I can't imagine ever not binging/purging if I never forced myself to not do it. Could someone explain this tip for me??

*kk*

kokeshi
kokeshi's picture
scared

hi
l've been b/p for over 25 years and have two children< the worse thing is l'm as bad as ever and l make excuses around my children but as there teenagers l'm scared they may find out or know and this eats away at me..l wish l could learn to deal with stress and comfort in another form other than food..l'm in my forties and feeln so foolish for still having this disease.

angi
angi's picture
I'm a teenage bulimic but it

I'm a teenage bulimic but it wasn't until a few months ago that I realized that I actually had an eating disorder. It has taken over my life and I can barely concentrate in class because my mind is always being preoccupied with the idea of food. I try to eat healthier in a small amount; and it works when I am around people and at school but when I come home, I feel that I have to eat even when I am not hungry. And once I have food in my mouth I keep eating and eating until the point where I feel sick. Then I start to feel really irritated, depressed and angry but now I've stopped purging because I read that around 40% of the calories is taken out. I read all the things that it could do to your body and it has discouraged me to binge. I hope that I can recover from this because it really had affected my social and school life. I think that talking about it and sharing the information is a baby step in order to be 75% successful :)

Anonymous
Anonymous's picture
How my ex lover came back to me within 24hours

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Anonymous
Anonymous's picture
whats going on with my body

i;ve been bullimic for 4 years and in the past year i made small efforts to stop but in 4 days without throwing up the other 2 was field with bullimic episodes recently i stop and start eating salads but yesterday i wasn't feeling good i has a migrane and my stomach wasn't able to cope with the boal of salad i ate in noon i didn't want to puke but i couldnt cope with the pain neither, so i tried and almost failed, today i reduce the amount of food into a small snacks in every 2or 3 hours so my stomach could cope with it, but i feel dizzy and out of energy whats going on

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