I Throw Up Almost Every Time I Eat – What Can I Do?

This post is primarily a compilation of negative thoughts about eating, body image, binging and purging shared by many who are/were struggling with disordered eating behaviours.

The way ‘It’ see’s eating

Imagine… every time you bring a mouthful of food to your mouth… hearing the following echoing with every chomp, swish and swallow. Even after it goes down the constant ringing of the voice always saying…

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“you pig, why would you do that”

“oh look who messed up again, shocker”

“Oh really another candy bar, well you’re already FAT… go ahead eat it fat ass”

“have another, it won’t do any more damage than you’ve already done, you’re going to throw it up anyways”

“wait where are you going to throw up so no one knows/will hear”

“do you have perfume/gum nearby so no one can smell the vomit on you after”

“I’m so proud of you for figuring out which finger works best”

“don’t you dare get it on your clothing, people would be disgusted with you and your gross throwing up”

“ahh see there you go, now you don’t have to feel guilty for eating now that it’s all out of your system… but aren’t you a little hungry again, maybe go have some more to eat, just do it again… it was easy the first time”

“okay so you’ve already done it twice today… just do it once more, then that’ll be the last one”

“if they keep asking why you go to the washroom after every meal just blame it on PMS, depression or something”

“okay so if I go do it on my lunch break that’ll leave me 5 minutes after eating, and I’ll go to the far washroom that no one ever goes to that way no one will hear me”

“you better hurry and do it quick, you know the longer it stays in you the more you’ll absorb, god forbid you need any more layers of fat on you”

“my favorite thing to throw up after anything I eat is ice cream, it comes up nice and smooth”

“think, if you do this for just a few more weeks you’ll be able to fit in and actually look normal”

“who cares if people want you to stop, it’s your body not theirs, you’re doing no harm to them, why are they being so selfish, let me make my own decisions”

“never give up on doing this, or you’ll never be worth anything”      

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… pretty serious things to be hearing ‘It’ or that negative voice constantly tell you. Most people eat three meals a day with a few snacks and barely consciously think about what they consume. To someone with bulimia, it comes down to the moment the food touches your lips you start calculating how fast, where and how you can go unnoticed when getting it out. Crazy how ‘It‘ makes it seem like without the bulimia you’d be nothing.

If you or someone you love struggling with an eating disorder or even if you feel you have disordered eating patterns, I encourage you to find a therapist to assist you with your recovery / change process. For more information  Contact us today!

 

Photo credit 1: anatheme from morguefile.com
Photo credit 2: taylorschlades from morguefile.com

What a Puzzle

One of the most difficult puzzles to put together is how to best help a loved one suffering from an eating disorder. As their family, we want to support them, love them, and even help “cure” them. We watch them struggle and we too will struggle right along with them. We observe their weakness, their apparent helplessness, thus we often feel weak and helpless too.

“Snap out of it!” “You’re perfect the way you are!” “Why don’t you just stop?”

There are so many phrases that we might say to them to try to reach them, however it just doesn’t seem to be registering. One way to understand why is to sincerely believe that the “eating disorder” can take great power over an individual, their willpower and even their cognitive capacity. Just because it appears as though the person is giving in, this is not actually a realistic nor helpful perception for onlookers to adopt. They’re just not thinking clearly…

Anorexia’s spoken rules are those of self-denial. Anorexia promises to reward you for denying yourself anything and everything you need and desire. Anorexia tells you that denying all your needs and desires will make you strong, happy and free of pain. If you are tired, anorexia forbids you to sleep. If you are hungry, anorexia forbids you to eat. If you are cold, anorexia forbids you to turn up the heater or put on a sweater. Anorexia forbids you from enjoying your sexuality. The most important of Anorexia’s rules is that you must follow all the rules perfectly at all times” (Maisel, Epston, & Borden, 2004).

This description speaks to the dominance that the “voice” of an eating disorder can have over a person. Agreed, a supportive and loving family can help an individual in treatment, however, professional help is essential. With a structured treatment plan, training and clarity of roles, the dominance of an eating disorder may be tackled and overcome effectively. It takes much courage and intentional effort from all team members: family, friends, the individual with disordered eating and selected health care professionals to successfully implement the treatment plan.

For professional and confidential support to help you fight your battle with disordered eating, call us today.

January 1st fosters a desire for renewal, to seek ways to develop a better physique and a new mind set. For some reason, we feel the need to put the previous year behind us and start anew. We have the opportunity to create a year filled with possibilities and the potential to achieve great things.

The top two New Year’s resolutions that people make are financially and fitness-driven. We want to be better at managing our finances. We want to achieve that new promotion. We want to seek out connections to secure our dream jobs.

Our focus on fitness stems from the fitness and fabulous looking icons that show off their amazing bodies and tell us that we can achieve this look as well. They look better than we do; they appear to have better lives and are happier because they look amazing. We want to look and feel as great as they do and we want quick results. We look past their years of dedication and healthy lifestyle they worked on to gain such results.

Gym facilities, yoga studios, and bootcamp programs thrive this time of year. The big buzz on looking better is discussed in our offices, amongst our peers, and all over social media.

For people suffering with eating disorders, the buzz of fitness and body images can be overwhelming and difficult to cope with.

And why wouldn’t it be? You have worked so hard in the previous year to lessen the importance of body image and now it’s on blast everywhere you turn. You have learned to shift your thinking from a place of unrealistic body shapes to a place of appropriate concepts of health and wellbeing (sorry if this offends any of those wanting to look like Béyonce or are pursuing the JLO butt workouts daily).  A person suffering with an eating disorder has started to transform his or her mind to understand that looks do not equate to a happy life.

It is important that during this time when our society is consumed with looking good, to stay focused on YOU and what you are personally working on. Seeking additional or increased support does not equate to failure. Getting health coaching to improve eating behaviours, emotional balance and body image attitudes is a sign of strength. Call us today to keep your focus moving forward!

Food Issues May Increase Over Holidays

Presents are great, laughter with family and friends is nice, but some of us believe that the real enjoyment of the holidays is the abundance of food. Special meals and traditional dishes are prepared this time of year. Some of us are very mindful of healthy eating now, so that we may fully indulge in the sometimes not-so-healthy meals we will have over the holidays.

As our aunts, mothers, and grandmothers gather in the kitchen, (men in some families too) and create what can only be described as magical aromas, it is sometimes difficult to keep in mind that members of our family require dietary support. Not only can some of us have severe food allergies (e.g. gluten, nuts, dairy), but some of us also require a lot more TLC (tender, loving care) during the holidays. Disordered eating issues can also be worse during the holidays and family get togethers.

“As she reached puberty, her thin frame began to fill out, raising concerns about the effects of her weight gain on her performance as a gymnast. She began to restrict her intake of food, but found that after several days of semi-starvation she would lose control and go on an eating binge. This pattern of dieting and binging lasted for several months, during which her fear of becoming fat seemed to increase. At age 13, she hit on the ‘solution’ of self-induced vomiting. She quickly fell into a pattern of episodes of alternating binging and vomiting three or four times per week,” (Davidson, Neale, Blankstein, & Flett, 2002).

Coping with disordered eating can be quite difficult over the holiday season.  Those suffering may feel like family members will be paying particular attention to them because they are the ones with “the problem.”  Uneasiness with meal times and menu planning is quite often present, making certain topics and particular foods become “off the table”. It may just be helpful to reduce tension by developing a “peace treaty” for the holidays, withdrawing stress raising topics and foods from the holiday menu because they are known triggers to unhealthy eating behaviours.

Over the Christmas holidays, we wish your family all the best as you cope with thoughts and situations that can easily hinder a fun-filled and relaxing holiday experience.

Should you want assistance with family relationship improvements and to recover from disordered eating patterns,  schedule your appointment for 2014 today!