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Are You Struggling With Bulimia?
Do you often overeat or binge and then attempt to compensate for those calories by purging, over-exercising, skipping meals or using laxatives or diet pills? Do you know that you are harming your body, but feel unable to stop? Maybe you feel as though you couldn’t cope with the world if you weren’t able to binge and restrict your calories. You might feel out of control, but find momentary relief in the behaviors that you know can be harmful in the long-term. Are you exhausted by the effort it takes to hide the symptoms of bulimia and tired of feeling as though you live a double life? Do you wish you could have a healthy relationship with food and stop feeling obsessed with calories and weight?
Struggling with bulimia can be a stressful, lonely and shameful experience. You may feel disgusted by your behaviors and fear what others would think if they found out. Maybe you have elaborate methods of hiding your compensation methods, and you feel as though you are always thinking about calories and food. Perhaps you feel very anxious when you are unable to purge, exercise or skip meals, which makes it hard to focus on anything in the present moment. You may frequently binge eat – or perhaps you don’t quite know what a normal-sized meal looks like anymore – and always feel as though you have over-eaten. Maybe nighttime is the hardest, and you can’t stop yourself from binging despite the promises you make to yourself throughout the day. You might feel physically, mentally and emotionally drained by bulimia, but unsure about how to escape the cycle you feel so stuck in.
If You Are Facing an Eating Disorder, You Are Not Alone
While you may feel isolated and alone, many women struggle with eating disorders. 5-15 percent of women will develop some sort of eating disorder over the course of their lifetimes. And, between 1988 and 1993, the rate of bulimia among women tripled. In our modern society, women are bombarded with messages about the perfect body. TV, movies, magazines and music can all make it seem as though worth is defined by body shape and weight.
This thin ideal leads perfectly healthy women to experience dissatisfaction and self-hatred. And, today’s women also have to deal with social media, which can sometimes seem like a running list of food pictures intermingled with bikini photos or posts about exercise. For many women, it can feel as though triggers are everywhere. Thankfully, an experienced therapist can help you develop tools to cope with this bombardment and develop a healthy relationship with food and your body.
Bulimia Treatment Can Help You Break
the Cycle of Binging and Restricting
While eating disorders often feel impossible to escape, therapy is an extremely effective form of bulimia treatment. If you are tired of feeling controlled by calories, I can offer you the confidential, individually-tailored treatment you need to make positive changes and normalize your relationship with food.
In sessions, I will utilize techniques from Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), which focuses on your actions and the agency you have over your own choices. While it may seem as though bulimia is your primary source of pain right now, we will work together to uncover the true source of your negative, self-critical thoughts and feelings. For example, you may struggle with anxiety and restrict calories to try to cope with worries and fears. Binging and purging create a temporary feeling of control, but ultimately make your anxiety grow. In sessions, I can help you sit with deeply buried feelings and make room for them. In your attempts to numb your negative feelings, you are actually increasing your suffering, using up a lot of mental energy and blocking out positive feelings as well. Rather than push feelings away, you can develop healthy tools to cope with and increase acceptance around complicated emotions and experience a rich, full life.
Together, we can identify and interrupt behaviors related to bulimia. You can begin to develop healthy eating patterns, better identify triggers and learn how to cope with anxiety in ways that do not include binging, purging or restricting. Through bulimia treatment, I can help you stop harming your body and start using healthy strategies to find relief and calm in stressful, frightening or difficult moments. You can also identify your central values and begin to make choices that support rather than detract from those values.
You don’t have to let bulimia control your life. By choosing to commit to a new course of action, you can change the way you feel about yourself and food. You can live with greater mental, emotional and physical well-being. With help and support, you can stop feeling limited by shame and start feeling ready to live the life you want.
You may believe that bulimia treatment can help you, but still have questions or concerns…
Will bulimia treatment make me gain weight?
The goal of therapy is to help you normalize your eating patterns and let go of habits that may be putting you at risk, such as laxative abuse, purging or over-exercise. Statistics show that such compensatory behaviors do not usually result in weight loss. However, they can have other debilitating health effects. Rather than focus on the number on the scale, during therapy, we will concentrate on the process of incorporating healthy eating pattern sinto your life.
I’m not ready to deal with uncomfortable feelings.
While bulimia may seem to offer you some sense of control and relief, it is important to remember that it is an eating disorder. While I will honor the ways in which you have learned to cope with the challenges in your life, I will also work with you to develop better, healthier, longer-lasting coping mechanisms. By opening yourself up to uncomfortable feelings, you can make room for positive feelings that bulimia may have been blocking. And, no matter what emotions arise, I will be there to offer you support and compassion.
I’m ashamed of my habits. I’m afraid you will judge me if I am honest with you.
I will never judge you for anything you share with me. I encourage you to be as open and honest as possible during our bulimia treatment sessions. You have nothing to feel ashamed of. You have been doing the difficult work of navigating a world full of difficulties and a harsh model of the perfect body. Together, we can talk about the behaviors that are no longer working for you and replace them with healthier, more nurturing choices that support your values and beliefs.
Whether you are struggling with bulimia or you have read this page out of concern for someone else, I invite you to call me at 704 659 6861 for a free, 20-minute phone consultation. I also offer brief in-person consultations. I’m happy to answer any questions you have about bulimia treatment and my practice.