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Binge- purge with compulsive exercise- anyone in this boat

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Binge- purge with compulsive exercise- anyone in this boat

Postby hotfeet » Mon Jun 23, 2008 2:39 pm

I am really struggling with compulsive over-exercise as my purge to binging (my binges are probably not typical because they are only on certain foods on my "safe" list...cereal and soy milk, pretzels, soy peanut butter by the spoonful)...I had struggled with anorexia for >10 years and now this is the most recent (1 year) manifestation. I am really having a difficult time dealing with this cycle, but it is like the only thing that brings me satisfaction/ comfort/?happiness? I am in such a routine of doing this, I don't know if it is addiction, habit, compulsion...can anyone relate/help?? Thanks in advance
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Postby Chucky » Mon Jun 23, 2008 7:27 pm

Hey,

Would you say that your eating disorder is 'under control at the moment? I have bulimia but it's under control because I plan when I will have my binges. In a way, I look forward to having them. The point is, however, that I don't automatically have a binge whenever I get upset over something.

The big word that stands out here is 'routine'. My life is just one routine after the other, repeated every day - not good.

Kevin.
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Postby Sophie » Thu Jul 24, 2008 8:30 pm

Well, to begin with - do you know about the dangers? Purging + excessive exercise can equal heart failure, especially with a past as an anorexic.

I have struggled with what you describe. I did not purge - I did (and still do, albeit less frequently and with less intensity) binge and fast. And I exercised. One time I did a ten day fast and then went for a 20 mile run. It got dark. I was on the beach, by myself. Lots of drunken people. I was begging them for a ride home, because I thought I was having a heart attack. In the end, I had to call my MOM to pick me up. I ended up sitting in a cold bath all night. I think that's when I woke up to the real dangers. I hope you don't have to have a wake-up call like this, because it's frightening and humiliating.

That said, I too used to have anorexia. And the shame of losing that "control" just feeds the bulimia. What I did is this: I turned my exercise into competition. At first I did marathons. Then I realized, "hey, this isn't fun; this is just torture." So I took up mountain biking. I started putting muscle on. And I was happy to, because I loved mountain biking. I just re-focused my goals. I realized that being a skinny twerp was not going to make me a good mountain biker, so I stopped worrying. If I fasted or exercised excessively, then I ruined my race or my ride. And I love mountain biking. It's a love I won't trade for a full-blown eating disorder (I still have some issues, but it's a lot better). So, finding some goal or purpose with which to re-direct yourself it very helpful. Your athleticism may be the key to turning the ED on its head, as opposed to its being a tool FOR the ED.

Also, I have noticed that I did, and still do, binge ONLY TO FAST. I want to fast, and I need my "excuse" (bingeing). What many are addicted to is the purge, and it sounds like you might be ... if it calms you and makes you feel redeemed and stuff. Well, in that case ... after a binge, NEVER PURGE. Tell yourself, "hey, I might gain some weight, but it CAN and WILL come off later." I did briefly purge for a few months, and I got over it by eating a piece of pizza (gasp!) and not purging it. Just making myself feel "okay" with it. I actually lost a lot of weight after that and got into bicycling and what-not (again, refocusing your energy). So, right now I am working on not fasting after I binge. I absolutely won't let myself do it, even if it leads to another day of bingeing. At some point, your body has to realize it won't get its "fix" - whether that be fasting or purging or excessive exercise.

Sorry to be so long-winded. I hope this helps. I saw a post on here (which I can't re-find) the other day about a girl who has conquered her bulimia. She said she looked at each pre-binge panic as an opportunity (and a GOOD opportunity) to sit down and think (maybe write?) about what was bothering her so much. She said she learned a lot about herself. I think her idea, though so simple, is brilliant. The fact is, a pattern of response behavior gets established. When we feel all these bad things we binge. You can't just STOP the response behavior (binge) without REPLACING it with something else! Binge on words, right? It's a different kind of binge - one that helps us get better (because, obviously, something is wrong). It seems like a positive approach. Instead of thinking "oh crap, I am going to binge again and am out of control." We can say, "okay, now is some time just for me and my thoughts and my self-education; it is going to be a positive, learning experience." A binge on words.
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Postby CherryRipes » Wed Jul 30, 2008 11:18 am

Chucky wrote:Hey,

Would you say that your eating disorder is 'under control at the moment? I have bulimia but it's under control because I plan when I will have my binges. In a way, I look forward to having them. The point is, however, that I don't automatically have a binge whenever I get upset over something.

The big word that stands out here is 'routine'. My life is just one routine after the other, repeated every day - not good.

Kevin.

I know what you mean by planned, I do that too, mine are a mixture of planned and uncontrollable
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