By Lori Hanson
My life was consumed with body image and an obsession called bulimia for 23 years. Then I spent the next 10 substituting alcohol for food binges, but didn’t realize it until much later. Our society is obsessed with the “perfect body”. We all watch our favorite ultra-thin actor or musician and want to be just like them. For me it started in the 60’s when Twiggy was THE model. I didn’t look like her, so therefore I didn’t measure up. I was what they call a functioning bulimic. I lived my life (miserably) and people had no idea I had a problem. There are two types of bulimia, purging and non-purging. Some people use excessive exercise, laxatives, diet pills and strict diets, anything to prevent weight gain. I was a non-purging bulimic; I couldn’t make myself throw up so my binges were followed by bouts of strict dieting.
In my twenties I did some counseling and identified why I became bulimic. But no one helped me learn how to deal with or express my emotions. I continued my search for an answer and rode the waves of mild success and defeat for many years. I felt totally unacceptable as a person. Guys wanted the Barbie doll figures and I sure didn’t look like that. I weighed and took my measurements every Sunday without fail as it gave me a chance to be a little excited at my progress or chastise myself for failing yet again.
When you suffer from an eating disorder there is a huge disconnect between mind and body. We don’t own our bodies—we hate them! And don’t try and apply logic to a person with an eating disorder–there isn’t anything logical about it–it has nothing to do with food.
In my forties I developed a number of health issues and started to connect the dots. There were some chemical imbalances that contributed to my bingeing. As a young child I had many ear infections and was on antibiotics a lot. This completely depleted my “good bacteria” and in my thirties and forties I suffered from chronic Candida. Combined with my bingeing on “white food” (pizza, pasta, ice cream, etc.) this made me sugar sensitive. If I ate sugar I wanted more – lots more!
I found an alternative approach to my recovery employing mind, body and spirit. Through acupuncture, energy healing, employing my subconscious and meditation I found the answer I was looking for. For me, energy healing (getting all my energy flowing from head-to-toe and getting my body connected with my head) was very powerful. Now at 49 I can look in the mirror and love what I see. That is incredible for me to say! I’ve discovered five strategies that I feel are critical for recovery holistically:
1 – Improve self-esteem
2 – Identify and understand what’s causing the eating disorder
3 – Employing the power of the subconscious
4 – Balance nutrition and supplements
5 – Improve physical and mental health work body work
There is help and you can recover! For more information and to get started today, visit my website.