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Treatments for Bulimia and Keys to Bulimia Recovery - Make the Decision to Change

Updated on September 27, 2011
The decision to change could be the most important decision that you ever make.
The decision to change could be the most important decision that you ever make.

I lived with my eating disorder for 20 years. You don’t have to suffer that long. Your treatments for bulimia can start right now. As soon as you make that all important DECISION to change, you instantly begin to bring about that change in your life. The decision to change could be the most important decision that you ever make. Acknowledge that you cannot go on like this anymore.

Do you recognize these signs of bulimia in yourself?

  • Do you frequently binge, then feel guilty at your lack of control around food and then compensate by purging, using diet pills or laxatives, or excessive exercise?
  • Are your thoughts preoccupied with food, calories, your body image, weight and so on?
  •  Are you constantly comparing your body to those of other women or models?  Or do you feel uncomfortable in your own skin and feel fat all the time even though people around you tell you your body is fine?
  • Do you only feel good about yourself when you feel thin?
  • When you’re stressed or upset do you binge and purge to feel better?

The first step to getting treatments for bulimia is to acknowledge that your bulimia exists. If you have all or some of the above symptoms of bulimia, then it’s time to admit that you need help.

Is this hurting me?

Bulimia can negatively impact your health, your relationships, and your happiness. These things can be happening without you even realizing it.  Take a long, hard look at yourself and your life and those around you, before dismissing possible treatments for bulimia and the ways in which they can help you.  

You may find that your boyfriend wants to break up with you, you’ve lost your job, family members seem to be worried and friends seem to be losing contact.  Perhaps even your doctor or dentist are concerned about your health.  All of these can be warning signs.  Could it be due to your eating disorder – directly or indirectly?  Be honest with yourself now and get present to the true cost of bulimia.

Are you ready to change?

This is another vital question. I know change can be terrifying. There can be a reluctance to put yourself out there and let people know that there is a problem and you need help.

I also know that bulimia can seem like a friend.  It’s the one thing you can turn to when times are tough to comfort you.  A reluctance to let go can cause ambivalence about seeking treatments for bulimia.

If you step back and look at what bulimia is costing you and the small benefits (temporary, at best) you will come to realize you’re paying a very high price for holding onto your eating disorder.  The price is your life and your happiness.  Now ask yourself: are ready to focus on yourself and to fully commit to doing all that you possibly can to help your own recovery?  You must be willing to change in order for change to happen.

Now take charge.

Taking action is a crucial step in effective treatments for bulimia. Become conscious of the thoughts you have about yourself: what do you think of the way you look, the way your body looks, about how others view you? Monitor your food intake (this can be a terrifying prospect) and also monitor the thoughts and feelings you're having. Then try to correlate how one affects the other.

Consider the best way combat your preoccupation with food and eating and how to get help for this. Look at your lifestyle and the costs for bulimia treatment facilities to determine if you can get the level of individualized care you need.  If you can’t afford (either with time or money) the costs of in-patient care, there are many alternatives available including therapy, local support groups, online forums and even self-help. 

Recognize mood intolerance.

Some of us can’t tolerate negativism and tend to do unhealthy things when we’re sad, stressed, angry or lonely.  Learning to avoid, control and finally deal with this negativity is an important part of your bulimia recovery process.

Identify barriers to change.

What is stopping positive change? What is hampering your progress? Your environments, emotions, and fears could be acting as barriers, preventing change and holding up the healing process.

Every road to recovery starts with the decision to start the journey. Your making the all important decision to get started will eventually get you where you want to go. There will be setbacks in any process and seeking treatments for bulimia is no different. But setbacks don’t mean that you can’t do it. Setbacks mean that you perhaps need to reevaluate your approach, but stick to the plan to help yourself. Don’t get discouraged! In the end, a healthy body and mind will be your reward!


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