karen header 3

Karen's Blogs

Blogs are brief, to-the-point, conversational and packed with information, strategies, and tips to turn troubled eaters into “normal” eaters and to help you enjoy a happier, healthier life.Sign up by clicking "Subscribe" below and they’ll arrive in your inbox. 

[No unsolicited guest blogs accepted, thank you]

Purging After Eating

Purging After Eating

Been there done that: purging after eating, that is. I had bulimia for about 18 months in my late twenties. Back then my binge-eating was in full force and I thought that purging (a more genteel word for “vomiting”) was such a clever idea to combat overeating. This was long before the word bulimia came on the scene. No one I knew purged and I don’t recall reading anything about its health dangers. I suppose there was less shame attached to it because there was no big fuss made about it. But somehow I knew it was wrong or, at least, something I didn’t want to be doing.

I finally confessed to a friend who knew about my ongoing struggles with food that I was also vomiting (let’s call it what it is), and she very caringly insisted that I find myself a therapist post haste. I think I told her because I was ready to give up those behaviors. Therapy helped enormously (of course, there was no such thing as an eating disorder therapist back then) and I was able to give up vomiting which started me on the path to resolving my distorted relationship with food. 

Although I thought back then that my problem was my love of food, instead it had two other roots. I was eating too much of all foods and consuming way too many non-nutritious ones. I understand now that the problem was about emotions all along. Call it stress or distress, not knowing how to manage normal emotions effectively and turning to food for relief was a serious problem. The second component was an internal pressure to not gain weight. Even in the late Seventies, the pressure was on to be thin.

Back in the heyday of my food dysfunction, there was no instruction manual on how to recover from bulimia. There were only a handful of books on overeating! When I work with clients now on bingeing and vomiting, I stress that both, rather than being shameful behaviors, are merely solutions to problems. The issue is not having skills to handle emotions or having skills and not using them, disbelieving that emotional eating and vomiting don’t hurt us mentally or physically, and focusing on weight over health. 

If you vomit due to eating, please take to heart that by finding and practicing better ways of handling your feelings, you will stop doing so. The key is to avoid setting yourself up to vomit which means reading books on emotional eating, stress management, building inner resources, and relaxation. Getting help is key. There’s no need to suffer shame as bulimia is now a common condition. Nothing good will come of your dysfunctional relationship with food. But recovery offers you a whole new life of becoming a “normal” eater and taking the excellent care of yourself you deserve.

Best,

Karen

 

http://www.karenrkoenig.com/

https://www.facebook.com/normaleatingwithkarenrkoenig/

http://www.youtube.com/user/KarenRKoenig

http://twitter.com/KarenRKoenig

APPetite on Facebook

 

Self-deception
How to Thrive During the Holidays

shelf new

EBProfessionalBadgeLarge

This website is owned and operated by Karen R. Koenig, M.Ed., LCSW. It contains material intended for informational and educational purposes only, and reasonable effort is made to keep its contents updated. Any material contained herein is not to be construed as the practice of clinical social work or of psychotherapy, although adherence to applicable Florida States, Rules, and Code of Ethics is observed. Material on this website is not intended as a substitute for medical or psychological advice, diagnosis, or treatment for mental health issues or eating disorder problems, which should be done only through individualized therapeutic consultation. Karen R. Koenig, LCSW disclaims any and all liability arising directly or indirectly from the use of any information contained on this website. This website contains links to other sites. The inclusion of such links does not necessarily constitute endorsement by Karen R. Koenig, LCSW who disclaims any and all liability arising directly or indirectly from the use of any information contained in this website. Further, Karen R. Koenig, LCSW, does not and cannot guarantee the accuracy or current usefulness of the material contained in the linked sites. Users of any website must be aware of the limitation to confidentiality and privacy, and website usage does not carry any guarantee or privacy of any information contained therein.  Privacy Policy