If you tend to binge and restrict your food intake, you may or may not be diagnosed with bulimia nervosa. Whether this is the case depends on a good number of factors. This blog will be looking at ways to support yourself if you are struggling with this issue. While it can serve as a guide it may or may not be enough for your particular situation.

Get to know your body

It may be scary; if you binge and restrict yourself, you might have negative thoughts relating to your body image. 

In a very diminutive summary, both behaviours can be ways to either soothe or punish yourself for getting caught up once again in this kind of loop. This tends to exacerbate guilt feelings while diminishing self-worth.

Be gentle and learn more about your body. Move as much as you can, and do it with awareness. All psychological issues need to incorporate healing the body which holds even more true for any kind of food issue. What happens with binging is that the person would not be aware of the feelings of satiety and would also be eating mindlessly. Fostering awareness here is crucial. 

Hence the first step could be mindful eating. The second could be slowing yourself down both in terms of body and mind and listening to what your body needs. Mindfulness meditation can work wonders in this aspect. 

Lastly, yoga will encompass slowing down and breathing through tensions and difficult positions. It’s a good way to incorporate physical exercise and in bringing harmony between body and mind. This brings us to the next point. 

Learn what your difficulty is

Underlying any compulsive behaviour is a difficulty that needs to be dealt with.

If your difficulty is with weight, learn to set realistic goals for your weight loss. You might need the help of a trainer and more so that of a nutritionist, but at least you would be doing it in the right way. Having a diet and a workout regimen to stick to often works well to control binge-restricting behaviours. That said, it does not work for everyone and while you are encouraged to stick to a healthy balanced diet and see it through despite any slip-ups, it may be the case that you need further support in breaking this cycle. 

The reason this comes second to familiarise yourself with your body is that while the first step is to be aware of sensations, the second is to see what kind of help will be needed to succeed in breaking the cycle. Often behaviours that are triggered by traumatic events need more compassion and support. There is no shame in accepting this and in allowing yourself the right care.

Know the dangers of this kind of behaviour

It’s important to educate ourselves, especially if you would be experiencing symptoms and behaviours. While this is a great first step, the next is to recognize when that is no longer enough. When you need to seek further support in your process. Binging and restricting behaviour can pose many dangers. Seeking therapy and the help of a psychologically informed nutritionist is important if things escalate.

If you think that you can benefit from professional support on this issue you can reach out here.

Jessica Saliba Thorne is a Gestalt psychotherapist. She has experience within the mental health field and sees adults with mental health difficulties, relationship issues and trauma at Willingness.