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 Post subject: Getting Better Bit(e) By Bit(e)
PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2011 12:11 pm 
orange you prolific
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Okay, my Care Co-Ordinator has leant me this book for recovering Bulemics, however it's very helpful for all disorders. There's alot of self help in this book, it's fantastic. Here are some of the most helpful sections:

Balance Sheet
This is very much similar to the Pro's and Con's list of recovery, except it is split into several sections. Writting a balance sheet will help you to deal with all of your thoughts systematically. Plan to work on this project during a week, keep going back to it each day. The balance sheet is split into four sections:

1) Practical gains and losses for SELF
2) Practical gains and losses for OTHERS
3) Emotional gains and losses for SELF (Self-Approval or Self-Disapproval)
4) Emotional gains and losses for OTHERS ( Social Approval or Disapproval)

Here are some examples which may help you get started. You may agree with some of the comments and want to add them to your list. But give yourself time to find your own reasons and make them as specific as possible.

Reasons to Give Up the Disorder
1) Practical Gains to Self:
"I won't be tired and unwell all the time"
"My teeth won't continue to be destroyed"
"My guts will work normally without unnatural practices"
"I will look healthier"
"My body will begin to repair the damage I have caused"

2) Practical Gains for Others:
"I will be able to spend more time with my family and friends and will not have to make excuses to avoid eating with them"
"My flatmates won't find the food cupboards empty"
"I will be more romantically/sexually responsive"
"I will be less irritable and snappy"
"I will be able to concentrate and do a better job at work"

3) Self-Approval
"I won't have to lie about food and how much I eat"
"I won't have to decieve people about purging"
"I will have achieved something positive"

4) Social Approval
"My parents will stop worrying that I will die"
"My friends won't have to see me destroying my life"
"My parents/husband/boyfriend will no longer have to suffer the shame of being associated with someone suffering an obvious psychiatric disorder"
"At work I will appear healthy and competent"
"I will be able to join in all social activities without excuses"

Disadvantages of Change and Recovery
1) Practical loss to Self
"I will find meal times frightening"
"I will feel bloated"
"I may get some swelling around my eyes and ankles"
"I will be very anxious about my weight"

2) Practical loss to Others
"I will need more active help and support from my parents/spouse"
"My mood may swing more"

3) Self-Disapproval
"It will be difficult, i'm bound to fail and then I will feel worse"
"I will feel out of control"
"I will have to face up to my resonsibilites"
"I will feel uncomfortable, miserable and frightened"

4) Social-Disapproval
"I will no longer be able to let others think that I am controlled about eating and my weight"
"I may become more assertive and dominant when relieved of this burden of shame and guilt, which may upset the status quo in my relationships"

When you balance sheet is finished, go over the list and give each reason a rating on a 1 - 10 scales (10 being a very important reason, 1 only a slightly important reason")

_________________
"And what's worst, it's all because we fail to recognize our own beauty, because we are deluded into thinking we are inferior. But that's not true. We're different, is all." -faustinchen


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2011 12:22 pm 
orange you prolific
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Back To The Future
Imagine yourself in five years time, after you have decided that it was too difficult and risky to overcome your eating disorder. Everything has gone wrong. All the negative consiquences that you considered in your balance sheet have come true. You feel at the end of your tether. You decide to write to your close friend whom you haven't seen in awhile as she* has been abroad. You know that she cares about you and will not be decieved by superficial news and that when you meet her on return she will see it all anyway. You have found in the past that she has been able to provide emotional and practical support when you have needed help. You know that you can and must give her a full account of your present difficulties.

Here are a few guidelines for you to consider:
- What weight will you be?
- What medical complications will you have?
- What career/jon will you be persuing?
- Where and with whom will you be living?
- Who will be your friends?
- Will you be in a relationship? Married? Have children?

Now be as realistic as possible, and talk in the present tense. Here are points from an example letter (it's two pages, i'm not typing it all up hehe)

-"My disorder has continued, which means i've had it for 15 years now. My weight has fluctuated greatly. At the moment i'm just over 'x' stone but i remain unhappy"

-"I continue to purge although it dosn't seem to be as effective, so i now restrict"

- "The illness has taken a severe toll on my health. I now have six caps in my teeth and the others remain very sensitive to temperature changes. Last summer I was in hospital in agonizing pain with kidney stones"

- "I have not worked for the past two years. Since David* finished with me four years ago, my social life has shrunk"

Now write your letter. Read it through very carefully. Do you really want a future like this? After this, write a second letter. Imagine your situation in five years, this time you have successfully controlled your disorder. Is this the sort of future you want to aim for?

_________________
"And what's worst, it's all because we fail to recognize our own beauty, because we are deluded into thinking we are inferior. But that's not true. We're different, is all." -faustinchen


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2011 12:31 pm 
orange you prolific
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Thereputic Diary

The ground rules for keeping a diary are simple (note, this is NOT a calorie counting book) :

- The diary is to help you as a friend would. It is not meant to be a persecuting "spy in the cab"
- Write down those occasions when you should have eaten or drunk but avoided it
- Record things when they are happening. That gives the clearest idea of what was going on at the time

You may find it easier to break down the diary into stages using the ABC approach described below, the detective work then follows

"A" is for antecendents (triggers)
- Where were you at the time of eating and what was going on (were you on your own or in company, at work or at home, etc)
- What were your thoughts beforehand? Who said what?
- What were your feelings beforehand?

"B" is for behaviour
- Whether you thought what you ate was a binge
- Whether you purged and in what amounts

C is for consiquences
- What were the consequences; both positive and negative, in both the short and long term upon your thoughts, feelings and behaviour?

Most triggering thoughts and feelings are impleasent, and you may prefer not to dwell on them, but the energy used to blot them out takes a long-term toll on well-being. Although these thoughts and feelings are not enjoyable, they are necessary and important signals that indicate you may need to change some aspects of your life. Some people find that simply keeping a diary helps them to reguarlise their eating habits and may lead to considerable improvement. For others it may not be that easy.

_________________
"And what's worst, it's all because we fail to recognize our own beauty, because we are deluded into thinking we are inferior. But that's not true. We're different, is all." -faustinchen


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2011 12:42 pm 
orange you prolific
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New Skills To Cope With Old Difficulties

The seven steps outlined below are guidelines which are useful to follow when you are trying to find a way of coping with life's demands and stresses without your disorder.

Step One: What is the problem?
This step may sound trivial, but you do need to define your problem carefully. Try to write down one simple sentence putting your problem into a nutshell.

Step Two: Finding possible solutions.
Many people get stuck because in trying to find a solution they limit themselves too earlier in the number of alternative solutions they consider. Put all constraints aside and try to find as many solutions as you can. Let your imagination run riot. Do not exclude anything just because it seems selfish, crazy, unrealistic or far fetched. Jot down anything that comes into your mind.

Step Three: Looking at options in detail.
For each solution you may have found go through the pros and cons, even for the solutions that seem silly.

Step Four: Choosing a solution that fits you.
By going through step 3 you should have a clearer sense of what is right or wrong for you. If you are still unsure what seems to be the best option, you may have to go back to step 2 and create more solutions, or you may not be ready to do anything about the problem you have defined Can it be shelved for awhile? What are the pros and cons of doing that?

Step Five: Finding ways of putting your solutions into practice.
Think through all the steps needed to reach your solution.

Step Six: Carry it out step by step

Step Seven: Check the final outcome to ensure your solution has been a suitable one.

_________________
"And what's worst, it's all because we fail to recognize our own beauty, because we are deluded into thinking we are inferior. But that's not true. We're different, is all." -faustinchen


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2011 1:00 pm 
orange you prolific
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Working with your Body

The first step to getting your disorder under control is to ensure you are eating reguarly throughout the day. You must not try to lose weight at this stage, if you do then the vicious cycle will continue.

Plan A : For those without any pattern to their eating
- If your eating pattern is totally chaotic, set a goal of reintroducin regular meals one by one. For example, could you manage a baked potato with cottage cheese for lunch? Do not be too ambitious, but do be honest with yourself. Choose something you feel safe in eating preferably with safeguards to end the meal. Can you promise yourself to eat this item every day? Expect it to be two steps forward and one step back. Keep persisting. Every normal meal you eat is a small victory.
- Draw up a list of ten small meals that you think would be easier for you to attempt to eat.
- Rank them in order of difficulty, with the most difficult at the bottom.
- Start with the meal at the top of this list.
- Plan to eat that meal at some day in the time before 3pm

Your anxiety and guilt levels before, during and after this could be high, here are some coping mechanisms:
- Take a piece of paper and a pencil
- Draw a vertical line and mark it 0-10 (0 = no anxiety, 10 = utter panic)
- Put a mark where your anxiety/guilt level is now
- Every 5 minutes, mark off what your level of anxiety/guilt is whilst eating and for 2 hours after eating
- What exactly are the thoughts going through your mind? These may be vague and jumbled but that dosn't matter, write them down
- Try to keep adding to the list every few hours
- The next day, when you repeat your meal, take out the book and repeat this process
- Later, when you are relaxed, re-read the thoughts you have written

- Try to catch any new thoughts you may have when faced with food
- Keep eating the same meal with the same routine until your anxiety level at the begining of the meal has fallen by atleast 2 points. Then you may be ready to try eat the next item on your list
- Once you have been able to tackle two different meals, try to eat two meals before 3pm each day. Go through the same procedure as before. The next stage, thereafter, will be to have two meals and a snack before 3pm each day.

Plan B: For those with some degree of order to their eating
If your eating pattern is reasonably regular, what is the size of you meal? Are you having a sufficient intake during the day?

Relearn Eating Control
- Try to eat in a a room that is seperate from where food is stored and prepared
- Make every meal look as appetizing and attractive as possible
- Make your place setting as attractive as possible
- Don't distract yourself with television, radio or reading. This 15 minutes is set aside to relearn about food.

_________________
"And what's worst, it's all because we fail to recognize our own beauty, because we are deluded into thinking we are inferior. But that's not true. We're different, is all." -faustinchen


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2011 1:07 pm 
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Why is my eating uncontrolled?
Bingeing is not the result of being a weak-willed person. There are a number of important physiological and pyschological reasons for bingeing.

Physiological Reasons:
Bingeing cna be the direct result of starvation. By giving you strong cravings for food, your body will tell you loud and clear that it is not getting enough nutrition. These cravings can be constant ot intermittent. The harder you try to cut your food intake down, the more you will be prone to bingeing. Often people make things worse by cutting out meals after a binge to make up for having eaten so much. This will automatically programme the next binge.

How to stop Binges:
A lot of people feel that if only their binges could be cured, they wouldn't have a problem. Unfortunatly bingeing as a symptom can't be treated in isolation. In trying to tackle the physiological aspects of bingeing, it is very important:

- That you work on eating reguarly at meal times to give your body proper nutrition and thereby to reduce strong cravings for food that are going to set you off again;
- To try as hard as you can not to purge meals after bingeing, this will programme the next binge
- That you deal with the consequences of bingeing (side effects of purging)

_________________
"And what's worst, it's all because we fail to recognize our own beauty, because we are deluded into thinking we are inferior. But that's not true. We're different, is all." -faustinchen


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2011 1:13 pm 
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Why you are right to Worry!

A number of health problems are commonly caused by purging.

- Blood salt and water can be lost, this commonly produces chronic tiredness, weakness, inability to concentrate, dizziness, headaches and palpitations. Epileptic fits, an irregular heartbeat and kidney damage may also be caused.
- Stomach acid dissolves the enamel of your teeth, making them sensitive and vulenrable to cavities.
- Your salivary glands around your mouth may swell up because they are working overtime to produce more saliva, this can be painful and may make your face feel bloated.
- The small nerves within your gut can be destroyed, leading to gut paralysis.

If none of these problems apply to you at the moment, you may feel somewhat reassured. You should bear in mind that some of them take time to develop.

_________________
"And what's worst, it's all because we fail to recognize our own beauty, because we are deluded into thinking we are inferior. But that's not true. We're different, is all." -faustinchen


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2011 1:23 pm 
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Your body is a Temple
If you don't like your body, you are likely to neglect it, to be out of tune with its rhythms and to ignore its signals. Here are some suggestions as to how to nuture it:

- Make sure you are getting enough sleep. Allow yourself some breaks during the day.
- Draw up a list of things that you can do with or for you body/appearence that make you feel good. How about walking, cutting wood, sunbathing, swimming, digging the garden, dancing, having a haircut, having a massage, soaking in aromatic oils?
- Relaxation is another excellent way to recharge body and mind. The aim is to experience a state that lies between normal, day-to-day conciousness and sleep. If you liken your mind to a car, you want to achieve the state in which it is idling, in neutral, out of gear.

Living with your Body

Living with/inside a body you don't like is difficult. Many of the people we see avoid getting on with their lives; they don't go out, they shelve and having relationships and they all dream the same dream. "If only I....were slimmer, less pear-shaped, my life would be different." Many people waste years like this. Women with eating disorders tend to over-estimate the size of their body, the more out of control your eating is, the worse this gets. Working on your eating behaviour, therefore, will have a positive effect on your attitudes to your body. Work on those things you avoid due to feeling bad about your body. Make a list of things you avoid, starting with the situations you fear the most, progressing to the least feared but still avoided. Here is an example:

- Going swimming/to the beach in a bikini
- Dancing a slow dance with a man
- Going to a party or a restaurant with friends
- Wearing certain clothes

Tackle an easy situation over the next week and a slightly more difficult one the week after. Include working on this in your weekly gols. It will take quite abit of time before you can hope to feel more at ease with yourself but getting better is about taking some risks. What do you have to lose?

_________________
"And what's worst, it's all because we fail to recognize our own beauty, because we are deluded into thinking we are inferior. But that's not true. We're different, is all." -faustinchen


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2011 1:30 pm 
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That was a productive two hours :) I really hope this thread is found to be helpfull. I've picked out the best sections of the book..which ended up being 90% of it! The book is called "Getting better bit(e) by bit(e)" by "Ulrike Schmidt & Janet Treasure". There are two copies, one for a counsiller and one of the service user. This is the 'survival kit for suffers of bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorders'.

All my love
:heart:

(could i request that this thread, if found helpful, be stickied? It took a long time hehe)

_________________
"And what's worst, it's all because we fail to recognize our own beauty, because we are deluded into thinking we are inferior. But that's not true. We're different, is all." -faustinchen


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2011 1:40 pm 
i bite back hardcore

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:clap: :clap: I just read through this, it's really good!
Thanks for posting!


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2011 2:37 pm 
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Thanks for sharing this, it's such a good resource. :clap:


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2011 2:41 pm 
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Hurray :) thank you! I know it's such a long post, but it's really worth the read ^.^

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"And what's worst, it's all because we fail to recognize our own beauty, because we are deluded into thinking we are inferior. But that's not true. We're different, is all." -faustinchen


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2011 6:33 pm 
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I just read through all of these - it's brilliant! Thankyou Lucy!


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2011 6:38 pm 
orange like clockwork

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Thanks for that! Really appreciate the effort :)


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2011 7:18 pm 
exploring my potential!
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Wow... thank you so much Lucy for those two hours... that's really going to help a lot of us I think xx


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