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What was my go-to 10 years ago and for the 30 years before that when anxiety and stress kicked in? Food. Binge and purge the stress, but really it didn’t resolve anything. It was a momentary escape from reality. What a crazy world that was. It didn’t only NOT resolve the stress and anxiety (in fact causing more anxiety after the binge making sure I could purge before my time limit), but also cost me time and money. But back then, I didn’t think about that latter part much. I just wanted my escape. My pseudo antidote for those feelings of anxiety and tummy knots. I found this picture and love it. It speaks for itself.
For the past ten years I have been able to resolve my anxiety and stress through different ways. Mostly writing, being creative, and biggest of all, taking deep breaths and remembering to have FAITH. But I WON”T lie. I still have times where anxiety appears and I don’t even know why! So I start to overthink, which then brings to the forefront of my mind all the things that could possibly cause me anxiety and it increases the level. I have to stop. Anxiety does tell lies. It creates thoughts of things that “may happen” and quite often the “thoughts” are the worse case scenario. Again. I have to stop, breathe, and have faith. It’s not always easy, but it works for me. I am not one to meditate because my mind won’t sit still enough, so it’s the short pause that helps me. (Trust me I have tried. Only time I listen to meditation voices – I love Mel Zabel, his voice soothes me and puts me to sleep everytime.)
Today I had to deal with a customer service issue. A huge charge on my bank account that was NOT supposed to be charged! And my rent is due, so that was not the best notice on my text message notification telling me this was happening. I called the bank, then the vendor. Two hours later, it was resolved.
Prior to it being resolved, however, I could feel all those feelings of stomach knots and anxiety. I had all these thoughts. Worse case scenario thoughts. But I had the beautiful realization that food was the last thing on my mind. Resolving the issue was the first thing, and as I proceeded to do this I kept telling myself everything was going to work out. STOP worrying!!
During my phone conversation with the vendor, it was a bit hard to keep calm. I did escalate at one point, but then realized that poor soul on the other end of the phone was not responsible for the mess, only to try to correct it, so I apologized and asked for a few seconds to take deep breaths and relax. It really works.
The customer service representative was having a hard time listening to my explanation, as he repeated the same ridiculous excuse that made no sense. That’s when Faith came in. “Have faith, LaurieAnn”, I kept repeating to myself. Nothing is resolved with anger, and a solution will be found when he finally understands the error of his excuses. And it happened.
This is just one of many anxiety and stress related issues I have had to deal with in the past 10 years. But in 2020, the strength has become even greater to overcome these situations. My faith has become even stronger than in the past 9 years. The belief in myself has become even stronger! I suppose it has been growing, but the awareness of just how much really became apparent this year.
Recovery is a process. But it is absolutely doable. And once you learn the tools to deal with emotions that triggered a binging and purging episode, the journey becomes easier.
To that sentence, many people think that the type of food a bulimic eats can trigger an episode. I have learned that the mindset is a bigger issue behind that trigger. Changing your mindset will define how the “trigger” is dealt with.
Just read this. I had emailed it to myself 5 years ago. There are errors in it, but I love the blog with its imperfections, as I have learned to love me with mine. Enjoy.
It’s funny. I have had great friends. Absolutely wonderful friends. Ones I thought would last forever… then suddenly your life flips upside down. It’s like drowning, and during that time you are kind of drowning yourself. You’re looking for that air, and that opening in an ice-covered water that you fell through. You swim, you look for that hand to pull you out. Strangely enough the hand is not that of the one or ones you thought.
Life is odd. I always thought best friends and husbands are there because it is an “until death do you part, for better or for worse” and so on. I could see the faltering of a marriage because I have been witness to it so many times, but I never thought it would expand to “best friend”. I guess neither to sibling. I guess, this world has really confused me. Because all that…
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What started as being a #1 Best Selling author with my contribution to 1 Habit for Entrepreneurial Success moved into a discussion on my journey with bulimia and my desire to help women and men, particularly over 40 with their struggles towards recovery.
I was honored that Whitnie noted that this was something that resonated with her.
As a bulimic, we are so “engrossed” in trying to make everything work in our lives. We are perfectionists with a cause. To ensure that we accomplish everything on our list of expectations.
What we don’t really understand, for those of us who stuggled for years, is that if you add up all the time we spent binging and purging, we wasted time that could have been so much more valuable.
Why? Because for us, this was time to ourselves. But the “ourselves” was not at all that.
I look back sometimes and think “I still lived a full life, so why beat myself up over all those hours lost?” Reality is that it WAS time lost. Not gained.
I am grateful that today I can get up and live a full life everyday. NO I LIE. Not every day. There are still times when my productivity is low, when I just want to lie in bed and not get up. But I have more purpose now knowing that I CAN kick my own butt and when I am UP I am not in the fridge, I am not looking for the next binge. I am up creating yet a new beginning… every day. Without having to live a lie.
Don’t let bulimia steal your time… we never know how much of it we have left, and bulimia doesn’t deserve to own what is… YOU do though!!
Reach out… email@example.com
Mastering the art of hiding is one of the skills a bulimic hones. As the bulimic moves on in years, this “mastery” becomes more refined. Over time, the signs that may reveal the eating disorder are known all too well, so the bulimic learns ways to make sure that they are not apparent in his/her life.
To the average person, this would be called “deceit”, and there is validity to this perception. But for a bulimic, it is a way of life to protect themselves from being “found out” and the embarrassment, particularly if one has been struggling for years, of having to admit that something has to be done to stop the deceit. The primary reason for this is that the bulimic is not only deceiving others, but more importantly they are deceiving themselves.
Along with deceiving themselves, they are putting so much at risk. The ability to live a “normal” life, to stop the isolation, the lost time, and the exersion of unhealthy ways on the body.
It’s time to come out of the hiding. It’s time to open up and find the freedom you deserve. It’s time to break loose from the chains that deny you a full and happy life.
A bulimic may master the art of hiding the signs of their bulimia so others will not “see” the real anxiety that lurks in the background, but they can never hide it from themselves.
Reach out. There is support. No matter what age you are. There may be a misconception that the longer you have struggled, the harder it is to recover, but this is a fallicy. It can be done. The key is to seek the support and assistance to accelerate the journey towards recovery.
If someone is struggling with recovery from bulimia, overwhelm can be one of the top triggers. With overwhelm comes the constant stress and mental turmoil of getting everything done.
Quite often a bulimic is determined to meet everyone else’s expectations. When someone moves into midlife (40+) there are so many balls to juggle, from growing children, their educational needs, their parental guidance and support, be it getting them to sports, letting them take the car. Insurance, mortgage, bills, etc. Then for some there is the balancing as well with career, volunteering and keeping up with the home chores of cooking and cleaning.
So what happens? You look at your list, and become despondent and instead of completing “everything” you turn to a “break” and that break is the “binge and purge”, somehow seen as a reward, that is anything but.
The truth is, a time out for meditation, or reading, or writing, getting out for a walk or anything other to get your mind off the “food” is what “should” occur. However, by this time, our subconscious is trained and used to the alternative method. The BP method.
These are areas that can be overcome with help. Be it someone who can help you to adjust you schedule to be less overwhelming, to prioritize and set aside the time to ensure what it possible gets done, and what can wait, waits or someone to call on when it just becomes an unbearable “groundhog day” of the “have to dos” playing over and over again in your mind.
You deserve a break. But make it a healthy one.
Eating disorders are not just present in pre-teens and adolescence. Although it has been an issue for many years, the media began to publicize it more in the early 80’s, showing the rise in the number of women and men who acquired the disorder.
Although we would like to think that over time, with all the information and support groups available, that this disorder would have subsided, but in truth it continues to grow.
Keeping in mind that the “frenzy” of articles came out in the 80’s, this would reflect the number of women and men over 40 who are still battling with bulimia. This age group is often passed over and what is also ignored is the fact that at this age, unlike the younger age, they have honed their skills at hiding and creating a false front.
Many will not come out or seek help due to the embarrassment and shame of being over 40 and still struggling.
There is a great concern with this lack of reaching out, as bulimia affects the heart, and as one crosses over 40, there is a greater risk of having a heart attack. There are several other health and emotional issues that become an increased threat as the bulimic gets older.
It is for this reason that my coaching focusses on women and men (yes, the incidences in men is also increasing) over 40, although I do assist all ages. But to me, this is an issue that is often ignored and not given enough attention to.
Reach out to someone. If you are over 40, reach out. It’s never too late to find full recovery, but often it will come sooner and easier with help.
For more information contact confidential email at firstname.lastname@example.org
I am finally making my dream come true. To coach those with bulimia towards recovery. For more information about the program go to Bulimia Recovery Program.
The program includes a workbook called How To Have Your Cake And Not Eat It All too.
My focus is on people who are over 40 and still struggling with bulimia. If you are an older bulimic and are searching for support, please contact me.