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Men Have Bulimia Too

Although my book How To Have Your Cake & Not Eat It All Too primarily refers to women, I am very well aware that this “mental illness” is also growing in numbers in men.

I don’t really like to put out the negatives, but I thought this was something I would share to open our eyes. It’s not easy to let it go. It is FREEING to let it go!

“Always Be Purging”

“What?”, you say? Yes, I mean it, but I don’t mean in the way you are thinking as a bulimic. I mean that you need to always be purging “stuff” you accumulate to reduce your stress. Some of us tend to hold on to “things”. Believe it or not, this can increase overwhelm and stress, and as Mel Mason, my friend and The Clutter Expert explains, “what you see on the outside, quite often reflects your inside. If your home is cluttered, so is your mind”.

Mel Mason
The Clutter Expert

She writes: “Here’s the deal. You accumulate stuff everyday, so it’s important to make decluttering part of your daily life. I have a motto: “Always Be Purging” or ABP for short.

The best way to make it part of your daily life is to start small with 15 minute increments. The first week do 15 minutes one day. The second week, do 15 minutes two days a week and the third do three days etc.

Your goal is to build up to making time for it everyday, so that it becomes a habit and part of your daily life. 

By becoming consistent with making time to declutter your life, you’ll get to see the accumulation of space that you’re creating. You’ll get the dopamine hit and that will make you want to do more!

One way to help you stay consistent is by putting the 15 minutes in your calendar as an appointment with yourself and treat it with the same importance you would a dr.’s appointment or an appointment with a client. Actually pencil it in and make the time for it. 

The question now is, when are you going to schedule your first 15 minutes with yourself?”

One of the most freeing moments of my life was when I lost my business, and my home. I was living in a 2400 square foot home, the size of which did not include the basement and the huge two car garage. When I lost everything, I was forced to get rid of many material possessions, as I was moving into a 900 square foot apartment. The purge felt good. From there, I moved again and this time the place was 500 square feet. More purging. I finally found a really cute apartment on a lake. This one was 395 square feet. For every move to a smaller space, more “stuff” had to go. The less I had, the lighter I felt.

There are situations when “purging” is a benefit. Not when it comes to eating. However, as Mel has noted, “when it comes to putting order on the outside, you will feel more order on the inside, which helps improve your mindset.”

If you want more information about “decluttering” and a FREE blueprint download please visit Mel’s site at DeclutteringSpaces.com

Putting Yourself Second

It’s not uncommon for those with bulimia to be in this situation. They put themselves second to last because quite often they are people pleasers and have difficulties in voicing their emotions, thoughts, frustrations, anger.

It seems at times we feel like we always walking on eggshells trying to make sure we can avoid conflict. Even if the conflict lives within us.

Even when we are putting people first, it still seems that we can’t do that right either. It’s a catch 22. If you stand up for what you want, you get reprimanded. If you don’t, you get reprimanded. You are either too demanding, or too nice.

I had a sister willing to help me out with a course. I am not bulimic anymore, so I really feel the emotions when something doesn’t go well. I really do overthink, and I need to get busy doing other things to make sure I can reframe my thoughts. Redirect them.

So back my sister. She is suffering from depression. She was going to drop off the money last Tuesday. She never showed up. She never called. I texted her because I was concerned. Two days later she sent me a brief text saying “I’m tired and hiding”. To that, I didn’t want to sound insensitive and ask her about the money. I just felt it was more important for her to rest. I could always sign up for the next course that would be available in three months. Ten days past and she finally texted me. Again, she said she was tired. I was not about to bring up the issue, but I did. I told her I cancelled. She then started in on me that I was obviously not committed. That not telling her there was a deadline for the money (which I had only found out anyway on that Tuesday she was suppose to show up) meant that I didn’t know how to do business.

The fact that she wasn’t even responding to my concerned texts meant that it was hardly likely that she would respond to a request. She didn’t even respond when I told her I had a buyer for her $1000 cat, but that they wanted more pictures.

Coming full circle is that of putting yourself second. You can’t win. I told her I felt that concern and care for someone you love is more important than business. I put her first. And I got reprimanded for that. And I am overthinking it, so I thought I would write it here to try to resolve my brain thoughts.

It baffles me. Instead of her thanking me for thinking of her and being concerned she just shot not so nice texts. So now I am sitting her making intro videos for my Podcast, and perhaps thankful that I didn’t take her money. It may have ended up in a disaster. Maybe this time, putting myself second, was a blessing.

What experience have you had putting yourself second?

F***ck You Bulimia

I spent 30 years arguing with Bulimia. She wouldn’t leave my head. I tried so many times. In the end, 30 years later, I got rid of her for good. However she did leave me with some damage.

Over time I managed to realize that you cannot bring back the time or the money that you wasted on her. There is no way that is possible. The fact is that I had to move forward. I had to keep going and realizing that Health was feeling so much better and Time was more appreciative. Exhaustion was happy to take a side step to Energy.

Emotions took time to learn how to function with Bulimia, and in time, they learned how to. They redirected their desire to snuff them with food with more productive methods.

Skin, however, had taken it’s toll over years of dehydration. Even with moisturizing cream, the damage done was done. Skin managed to look less pale though and happier.

Teeth to this day are not really happy with my inability to fight Bulimia sooner. They lost their enamel and the grinding left them smaller. The acid that eroded the enamel also left my teeth vulnerable, and some perished. A high price to pay, but not as high as it could have been.

It’s not to put fear into those reading this still struggling, but it is a fact that Heart was seriously, and likely, the most happy of all. All those heart pounding moments after the purge. There were times I was sure I was going to have a heart attack. From the strain and the dehydration, this was becoming more of a possibility as I moved into my 40s.

Yet it wasn’t the fear of death that helped me stop. It was the realization that I WAS IN CONTROL of ME. Not Bulimia. And that I really did love myself and I loved others enough to STOP! I got away from the negative people in my life, the ones that made me feel I wasn’t good enough. I looked around one day and thought “LaurieAnn, they’re not there anymore! What are doing? You now have your life to live!”

Was it that easy? No. Yet everytime I felt the need to fill a void, I just reached inside and asked myself if I really wanted to keep hurting myself for the pain I was feeling because I allowed someone else to make me feel anger or frustration or hurt?

I am my best friend. I am the only one that is there with me every day. I am the one that decides what I will do next, where I want to go in life. That’s MY decision. No one else’s. And too, it’s my decision how I let others affect me now. At times, being who I am, this is difficult. I can overthink the most minute situation and make it into a big one. I am learning not to do this. Even 10 years later, I am still struggling at times with this, but with the help of others, and breathing exercises, and occupying myself with things I love to do, that overthinking subsides.

F**ck You Bulimia. You took enough of my time, energy and ME away for long enough. NO MORE!!

Where For Art Thou, Romeo?

I remember when I was married, I asked my husband at that time if he could join me for one of my sessions with my psychiatrist to support me. He refused. I felt alone. We were living away from my family, and I had no one else. I thought, him being my husband, he would be more open to help and be involved in my recovery.

When I got married, my husband knew I was bulimic. I didn’t want to go into the marriage without telling him because my previous boyfriend left me after I told him, and I didn’t want to hide. I suppose my idea of a partner was different than what I had hoped for. I believe that when you marry, you are there to support your spouse, for better or for worse, in sickness and in health, ’til death do you part. I was so disenfranchised. I felt alone. This feeling did not help in my recovery. It only made it worse.

As someone wanting to recover from bulimia, if you are not in a relationship where you spouse or partner is not supportive, it’s really helpful to have someone who is! I was wrong to hide it from everyone. Once my husband denied helping me (and my parents never offered to, even when they found out I was bulimic), I just thought maybe this was a journey that I had to take alone.

I was so wrong. Looking back, I really should have reached out to someone. Even if it was a penpal. I did have a penpal at the onset of my bulimia, and after two years, she recovered. I didn’t. It took me 30 years.

I heard something tonight, and I really liked it.

This is so true. It was this growth that made me create my bulimia recovery coaching program based on what I went through, and how I succeeded in recovering and not wanting to go back. It also inspired me to finish my book.

You can’t give up. You CAN reach out. You CAN overcome bulimia. I know it. I’ve done it.

What is YOUR WHY?

Today I am sadly “celebrating” a life gone. My niece, my baby sister’s daughter, left this earth one year ago.

If you are bulimic and you keep going, the older you get, the more likely someone is going to be saying the same about you.

I know, this is NOT what you want to hear – it’s the truth. Women over 40 have a much higher chance of dying of a heart attack and other physical issues bulimia causes.

Yes, there is the issue of teeth rotting. There is the issue of spending more money than you really would like to, only to flush it down the toilet.

After you do that purge? Feel your heart. Think of all the people who will miss you when that pounding and over exersion on your heart will finally tell you she’s tired and can’t work anymore.

Find YOUR WHY!!! Find a reason to stop. The best reason is YOU! You may feel that you are not loved enough. Write down all the people who WILL miss you. Write down the reasons for living! Bulimia IS a slow suicide. It IS a slow overdose. It CAN kill you. And the older you get, the more likely it will.

Am I trying to scare you? Absolutely not. I am helping you to be clear about this! And to find you WHY! I am hoping the first “why” is that you want to live, and live a life that is fulfilling!

I am in business with my sister and I realized that we need to pay forward. I am also a Bulimia Recovery Coach and I want to pay forward as well. Our transcription service will be providing $1 to 3 causes. My Bulimia Recovery Coaching services will be providing $50 towards bulimia. My WHY!

NOTE – a purple ribbon is for overdose. And for bulimia…. find your WHY!

No More “But”s

Not being able to use the “but” word I challenge you to write something as long as this paragraph without a “try” or “but”. ONE PARAGRAPH.

To my friends out there who are struggling (and never say the word “suffering”) from bulimia over 40, I am reaching out because this is a GREAT way to mend the mind.

Just ONE paragraph about anything. Who is up for the challenge?

Some may think I am crazy for opening up about my bulimia. I say “Hell no!!”

After keeping inside for 30 years, and letting go for 10, I am more than happy to say “Hell Ya!”

The “struggle” can END. Not by hiding behind blaming other people… by coming out and being honest with YOU.

Pull back the curtain and you would be surprised what that will reveal… and STOP.. NOT the “ugly truth”… the beautiful truth, that you are more beautiful than you ever imagined. It’s not about sight in that mirror – that physical view… it’s about your heart and soul.

Reconquer YOURSELF. Is it that simple? No. It is, however, the first step!

Seriously?? Yes. You will love to do this.

I am smiling right now because to not use the words “but” or “try” or “so” or “actually” are really hard. Interesting… they are always spoken on Television and Movies, and … you will notice them now more then ever.

Challenge is on.. Paragraph posted with fun AND (see, what was I going to type? :)) please be careful with your vocabulary.

This is so fun!! Do it. (see? I could have said the other word!)

Walking The Road Alone

I remember when I started being bulimic. It seemed to harmless, and yes, it was because I was struggling with losing weight with all the diets I was trying. They were actually making me gain weight!

It all started when I was the right weight, but my sister that was obsessed with weight told me I was 10 pounds overweight and wanted me to start a liquid diet to lose the weight for her wedding.

That’s where my not so great journey started.

I don’t want to get into all the particulars, but I will say that diets are not right. They are distructive. Bulimia is destructive.

I just wish I had had someone back then to tell me that they were there. No matter what, they would be there and help me through understanding that out there no one really cares. If you are seriously happy with yourself, no one cares. Your true friends are there for your heart, not your looks.

I remember being embarrassed having people over if my house was not clean enough. Who cares? They were they for me. And if a messy house bothers them? They are not true friends.

But I walked a lot of my 30 years as a bulimic alone. People didn’t know how to reach out, they didn’t know what to say, they didn’t know just how to ask. And strangely enough, I would have liked that. Ask me how I am feeling. Ask me why? Ask me!! I wouldn’t have ALL the answers, but I would have had many. And maybe one was that I felt alone.

I know there are several sayings that will state “it’s your road alone”, but you don’t have to walk it alone. Someone by your side sure feels less lonely on the journey to recovery. And like the saying above notes ” It’s your road, and yours alone. Others may walk with you, but no one can walk it for you.” This is true.

But you don’t have to walk it alone. I am asking. And you are welcome to share. Again, email me. It’s fully confidential, but I do understand, and I will ask. I will care. I will seriously understand. And I won’t ask for anything in return. I will pay this forward.

LaurieAnn

bulimiacoach@gmail.com.

Reaching Out

There is one thing that is really hard to do when you are bulimic, particularly if you are over 30. Reach out. Most of the time at this age, it is embarrassing to the person to admit that they have been struggling for some time.

I was 48 before I managed to recover from my bulimia. In my earlier years it seemed easier to reach out for help. It seemed more “natural” when I was in my 20’s. Once I reached over 30 I was too afraid to admit to the fact that I was still struggling. I had had some great periods of time of recovery, however, the maximum was 2 years. I couldn’t seem to really get on track. But the older I got, the harder it was for me to seek support due to my own shame and embarrassment.

At 48 it was not from me reaching out, but my sister reaching out to ME. That was so important. It was thanks to her that I did finally find the freedom and I haven’t looked back. 10 years of recovery.

With all the experience I have, I really wanted to pay it forward. I started my Bulimia Recovery Coaching and with it comes 24/7 contact with me. I am single, and this is my passion, to help others that are afraid to take the steps, whether it’s fear of ridicule, or feeling forced to quit right away, or having an accountability issue.

My coaching is none of that. I don’t judge. I can’t. I’ve been there. I don’t force. I can’t. I know the feeling. I guide, and am there for relief if you are on the edge and just need that voice to say “it’s okay” and change the mindset. I am there, not for you to be accountable to me, but to yourself. But I am there to help you do just that.

If you need to contact me by email, do so at bulimiacoach@gmail.com.

Don’t stay in a cage!! Reach out!

Pre-Holiday Jitters

I remember when I was bulimic, having quite sever holiday jitters. This was particularly an issue when I had been doing very well in my recovery and I just felt as if doom was lurking around the corner. There was the dread of all the food that would be laid out.

My mother is famous for her spreads. The layout is huge with all kinds of what was back then “trigger” foods. Things that I felt I shouldn’t have, and if I did, I had “cheated” somehow.

This jitter is gone. I look forward now to visiting my parents and having the family get together and enjoying my mom’s wonderful cooking. The difference today compared to 10 years ago, is that I don’t deny myself anything. I know how much to put on my plate that will satisfy my hunger. I eat slow, and truly enjoy and savour what is before me.

What freedom there is in having removed the dread from the holidays.

Although this season is a bit of an anomily, considering COVID19, there still will be the celebrations and the food out there. Just remember, if you are going through fear, jitters, or dread, reach out. Talk about it. And once you have completed the evening, or day, or whatever time it is that that “feast” will be presented, call out to someone when you have achieved what you wanted to – to enjoy the company, the food, and not consume your mind with the idea of having to find a place to dispose of what is in your stomach. You can do it and celebrate that achievement. But DO make sure you reach out!!

I am available 24/7 over the holidays if anyone needs to contact me for support. Just email me at bulimiacoach@gmail.com. I will be there.

LA

Incidentally, cibophobia is the fear of food, and to some degree, that is a part of being bulimic. Don’t fret. It is common and it is recoverable.