Monday, May 09, 2005

Stopping the Binge & Purge Cycle

From _Overcoming_Eating_Disorders_ Client Workbook by R. F. Apple & W. S. Agras

"Based on the cognitive-behavioral model of bulimia, the prescription of a regular pattern of meals and snacks represents a logical first step toward interrupting the cycle."

We use this book in my group therapy. If people aren't familiar with cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), the idea is to break the behavior FIRST, then address the underlying issues. CBTs say that you can't treat the underlying behavior while you are still B&Ping.

The book recommends 3 meals, 3 snacks. My therapists recommend 3 meals and at least 2 snacks. That's what I do. They say that the meals and snacks should be about 3 hours apart, scheduled, and planned. That way you don't get hungry or fall into the habit of restricting (which leads to B&P). Also, before each meal/snack, you set the limit of how much food you eat, so that it doesn't become a binge.

This works pretty well for me. I'm able to stick to it most days. I've been bulimic for at least 25 years and maybe as long as 30 years. I'm 40. I tend to have more trouble on the weekends, less structure, and in times of stress. I still restrict and binge, but I haven't purged in a couple of months, and I don't want to purge anymore because on this plan, I'm losing weight. I'm about 50 pounds overweight. I'm not trying to lose weight.


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