If you are inducing vomiting in order to reduce your weight it is essential that you start recovery by stopping the purging first. It’s no good working on anything else until you have stopped the purging and stabilized your eating patterns. Bulimics binge because they know they can purge, so when you address the purging the bingeing tends to settle.
Key facts you should know about vomiting
- Vomiting removes vital electrolytes within your body. As a result of loss of potassium your body becomes a fat making machine.
- Regular vomiting causes severe health problems ranging from enamel erosion on your teeth to life threatening problems with the gastrointestinal tract.
- Vomiting triggers the binge cycle in bulimia, not the other way around. You have to deal with the vomiting before you can address the bingeing.
- Vomiting is a purging strategy tried by many people, but only a small minority of people are actually successful.
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If you vomit frequently or eat chaotically
- Start by reintroducing one meal at a time. Expect that anxiety will be high before and after a meal. Use an anxiety chart to monitor levels of anxiety before, during and after a meal. Do this daily. Keep eating the same meal daily and when the anxiety scores are low then introduce the next meal and repeat until you are eating 3 meals and 2 / 3 snacks per day. Keep doing this regardless of whether or not you binge.
- Make a list of snacks which you can eat with some degree of safety. Try to eat one of these snacks each day before 3pm. Slowly build up so that you are eating 3 meals and 3 snacks which will stabilise your blood sugar.
- Plan ways of ensuring that you eat this meal so it will not lead to a binge. Could you eat with someone, plan relaxation before the meal is eaten or do something you enjoy after the meal?
Once you are eating meals and snacks only then can you move to this next stage
If you vomit infrequently or eat regular meals
- Eat more of your carbohydrates earlier in the day which boosts your feel good hormone called serotonin.
- Delay the vomiting by 20 seconds. The next time double the time you delay vomiting to 40 seconds. Keep doing this so that you are delaying the vomiting by longer and longer periods of time.
- Change your routine of how you vomit. Do things like cleaning the toilet afterwards if you never do, or put some perfume on afterwards.
- Use the food diary to see what triggers vomiting episodes. See if you can identify a pattern with certain times of the day, different feelings.
- Identify whether the problem is meals that do not come to an end or binge occasions between meals. If the problem is with meals then slow up eating, relax before the meal and set up new triggers that signify the end of meal rather than vomiting. Think about a meal as having a beginning, a middle and an end. You could say a positive affirmation at the end of a meal or a prayer of gratitude for the meal you have just eaten. Then plan to do something you really enjoy at the end of the meal.
- Work on relaxation / stress relieving exercises
When you read through the list of how to quit vomiting it may seem quite simple. However it is a very difficult process and something that you will need to keep perservering with. Aim for progress rather than perfection and look at everything that you have achieved rather than focusing on what you have yet to achieve.