This is the story of my Bulimia which started back 21 years ago – after the time when I could still recall the freedom and joy I felt being in my own body as a very young child; still recall the way I was running, jumping and just playing. It was after the time when I remembered wearing clothes I really liked and the feeling of the texture on my skin.
It was after the time when there was an ease and playfulness, an acceptance, as I expected nothing from my body, which at the time felt lovely and open and where there were no thoughts of “you’re not up to scratch”.
For whatever reason, this started to change and this is where the story of my bulimia began…
Not Being Good Enough
Very early in life the thoughts of ‘not being good enough’ started coming in, becoming more frequent and intense from the age of nine. I experienced learning difficulties with Math at school, which I found a constant struggle: these were accompanied by emotional issues and the persistent thoughts of ‘not being good enough’ continued into my teenage years.
By the end of High School my boyfriend, with whom I had been in a committed relationship for 2 years, broke up with me before leaving for University. I could feel how he was freeing himself up to check out what else was ‘out there’. I was devastated as I had always felt this was the man I would be with forever, and the thoughts of not being good enough again came to the fore.
Not long after he left I remember driving to work one day and a thought came into my head – “Right, instead of feeling hurt and rejected this is your goal: go make yourself, no matter what it takes, into the best woman, daughter, sister, friend, girlfriend material, granddaughter, niece, employee…” the list went on. “And while you’re at it, focus on getting into the Police Academy”.
I remember breathing a sigh of relief and saying “Right, let’s get to it, something to focus my energy on”. Unbeknownst to me at the time, I was really creating my very own self-imposed reinforced fortress.
Mastering How ‘to do’ Bulimia……
Without ever remembering seeing anything on how ‘to do’ bulimia, or knowing anyone who was bulimic or who had any kind of eating disorder that I was aware of, somehow all the information was there for me in my thoughts – go here, buy this and do it this way.
Purging by regurgitating was unsuccessful for me from the start, leading to feelings of failure, so I turned to laxatives. At the time I didn’t realise my body had always suffered from dairy and gluten intolerance and had no need to ever take a laxative, but this I decided was the easiest and most definite way to rid myself of food and achieve my goal of being the best I could be.
Food was constantly on my mind; it did not matter if I was out with friends or playing sport, the thought of food and when to eat would be there always. I would go to a different chemist or grocery store each time to buy more laxatives so as to not be found out. This was my big secret. I would hide food to eat later. I felt completely in control of this aspect of my life. Because my family was so used to my having irritable bowel, no one ever suspected anything.
From the outside it looked like I had it all together. I worked a 10-12 hour day, starting and finishing with hours of relentless exercise; taking aerobics classes and pumping iron at the gym, playing all kinds of competitive sport and then after all this, running kilometres a day. I could keep going like this for 17 hours a day, never showing how exhausted I really was. On the inside I felt scared, hurt and lonely.
Unfortunately at my workplace there was one toilet, not outside away from everyone, but right in the middle of where everyone worked. I would be in excruciating pain after taking up to 30 laxatives at a time, popping even more after each visit to the toilet, all the time holding on for as long as I could so that the other employees didn’t suspect anything.
The drive to purge myself of food and to be successful in every facet of my life far outweighed the pain.
If a workmate made a comment like “Gee, you go to your bag a lot”, I would just say I was getting chewing gum to hide the fact that I was actually grabbing whatever laxative relief I had.
This behaviour continued for a year as I learned to master how to do bulimia by pretending I had eaten on my way home from sport so that my family wouldn’t expect me to eat dinner. I would sometimes buy takeaway and hide it so that if I did feel hungry during the night, I could control how much I ate or didn’t eat, and could do it in secret without anyone watching. I didn’t like eating home cooked meals as I then felt guilty if I purged afterwards because it was ‘real’ food compared to what I would buy for myself.
I didn’t gorge myself on ice cream, junk food, chocolates or lollies, but I mainly ate what I perceived to be more ‘healthier’ options at the time, like packet noodles, rice crackers and sultanas.
As my obsession with bulimia intensified, my family started to get suspicious. With the lack of food being absorbed by my system I was getting little nutrition and I was becoming very vague and irresponsible, particularly when driving. I would drive really fast, preoccupied with my obsessions with food and what I needed to do to be successful that day.
As a result, one day I pulled out in front of a car and we had a collision at the end of my street. This gave me a fright and I felt bad that I had caused injury to the other woman and damaged her car, but it really didn’t bring me to a stop.
Not long after this accident, my obsessive way of living in order to cover up my bulimic behaviour finally got exposed. I was taken twice to a counsellor for bulimia – which did not help at all, as all the focus was on my family’s feelings and not truly about what was going on for me. There was no criticism or judgment, as my family was genuinely concerned and did their best to support me, but they struggled to understand (as did I) how I could do what I was doing to myself.
So as to relieve my family of the worry, I swept my problems under the carpet and for a short time stopped my obsessive behaviour with bulimia and over-exercising.
Self-worth Issues and the Return of my Bulimia
In time, as my self-worth issues had never been addressed, the bulimia returned and to my great relief this time I found myself able to purge by making myself vomit, which meant that I could cut down on the laxatives and could bring the food up before it even had the chance to be digested. This became a highly sophisticated and organised process as there were so many things to take into account. I would organise the toilet or shower like you would set out your dressing table to paint your nails. I would take into consideration how quiet I would need to be in the process of throwing up in relation to who was around and how much in proximity they were.
I was never truly present with anyone as I was continually obsessed with my bulimia and what I would eat and when and where I would be able to throw it all up again.
I felt like a big fake and was so ashamed of what I was doing, and how much food and money I was wasting. But still I could not see any way of stopping – I honestly thought this would be my life forever.
This continued off and on for six or seven years. There were times when I would go for months without feeling this way but then something would happen, something that I did not want to feel or talk about and I would go back to the perceived relief of purging – something that was just mine that I could do to myself, no-one else could. Looking back I can see that my bulimia, and so much of what I felt, related to the self-worth issues that I continued to ignore.
The behaviours and symptoms of my bulimia eating disorder at the time were:
- Withdrawal from close friends, family and intimate gatherings
- Overdoing and pushing myself in all areas of life including exercise, sport, work and study
- Long bouts of time spent alone in my room, bathroom, toilet or outside away from others
- Avoidance of family mealtimes
- Drinking copious amounts of water in order to fill myself up and to help with bringing up the food
- The frequent consumption of laxatives, mints or chewing gum
- The shedding of weight, red eyes and flushed face.
Over the years (during which time I got married and had two sons), those intense feelings that drove me to my bulimia eased and changed to a so called ‘milder’ version of not feeling good enough as a wife and mother, along with the juggling of everything that goes with work and family life.
However, even though I had an adoring and devoted husband who has always been there for me, I kept pushing him away as I could not love myself – and as such, although some of my behaviour was less intense, my self-worth issues regardless were never far from the surface.
Universal Medicine – The Turning Point in My Life With Bulimia
Over the years I had looked into many different healing modalities such as Kinesiology, Reiki, tarot card reading, psychics and Aura-Soma colour healing, as well as having deep tissue and lomi lomi massages and seeing various chiropractors in order to deal with my bulimia and the underlying feelings of never being good enough etc. However, no matter what therapy I tried or which practitioner I saw, all of them made me feel like I could never do this on my own and I always needed something outside of me to change.
After years of seeking support, with changes that were at best temporary or providing momentary relief, the true change and turning point in my life came when I attended a Heart Chakra 1 workshop with Universal Medicine, presented by Serge Benhayon.
The difference with this, relative to all the other therapies I had tried, was that Serge Benhayon was presenting another way of being, based on his own livingness, a self-caring, self-loving way of living, all presented in a gentle non-imposing way.
I started to consider that the true healing for my bulimia and self-worth issues was not about fixing anything outside of myself, but looking within.
I left feeling: “Wow, could it be that I am not just capable of healing my own hurts, but also that I am already everything I have thought I needed to strive to be?”
In his presentations, Serge Benhayon shared simple tools which helped me reconnect with my body – simple techniques like feeling my toes in my shoes, doing the gentle breath meditation and being present with myself throughout my day.
Putting what was presented into practice gave me an opportunity to stop and arrest the momentum I was in – the relentless and punishing drive to ‘improve’ myself based on my belief that I was never good enough. These simple techniques allowed me the space to make different, more loving choices for myself and begin to mark a true end to the cycle of my bulimic behaviour.
Learning to be Self-Loving
Six years after being introduced to the teachings of Universal Medicine, the effects of my bulimia eating disorder and the thoughts that so totally dominated and controlled my life are no longer there. I now take care of and appreciate my body and am able to tune into the tenderness that I now know is innately within us all.
This means I am now eating and exercising in a way that honours my body instead of punishing and pushing it – fully accepting how I am feeling and what my limitations are.
Breaking the cycle of my bulimia, the self-harm and not feeling good enough and dealing with my underlying self-worth issues, has allowed me to love myself and therefore be able to let others in.
I now know that I am the amazing, beautiful and precious woman that I have always been but had lost sight of. And that true beauty comes from within.
AFTER 7 Years with Universal Medicine | Aimee Edmonds (Age 39)
This new love of self has allowed me to blossom, unfold and open and be able to share my feelings and myself with my husband, children, friends, family, clients and society. People around me have noticed and commented on how much more of me I am and what a joy I am to have around.
This turning point in my life and this turnaround is nothing short of a miracle. A miracle that Universal Medicine and Serge Benhayon made possible through the teachings of the importance of self-care that then allows us to be self-loving.
By Aimee Edmonds, Burnaby, Vancouver
You may also be interested in:
Bulimia and Laxative Dependence: Healing my Old Ways
Before and After: Kylie Connors On Finding Her True Weight
Universal Medicine Helped to Heal Bulimia
So many of our young teenagers world wide have an eating disorder of some sort, it is a sad that so many have a deep lack of acceptance for themselves. Without acceptance the only way to go is to spiral downwards.
I haven’t had close contact with anyone suffering from Bulimia so to read your story was very eye opening. I can feel what an exhausting life it must have been for you always feeling like you were not good enough and having to hide the techniques that you developed for purging yourself of this debilitating feeling. It must have been so liberating for you when you came across the presentations of Serge Benhayon and were finally able to “arrest the momentum” you had been in for such a very long time. So incredibly inspirational!
Thank you Aimee Edmonds its so wonderful to read the truth of the illness bulimia. And its so wonderfull to see how your present day photo at 39 years shows the joy and fullness of life in you that is also present in the photo when you were 4 years old, wonderful.
The before and after photos just speak for themselves, they are amazing. Along with your transformational story.
There is so much more I could share about what supported me to stop ‘wanting’ to use bulimia to not deal with my life. Serge Benhayon and other Universal Medicine practitioners supported me to feel that so much of what I was feeling and picking up on in life was real and true. For most my life I tried to push what I saw and felt down and made myself wrong to keep the peace. Giving expression to what I was sensing around me was a huge healing… it didn’t make me wrong or any other person wrong, it was just saying or even acknowledging what was there.
This is a very powerful story, Aimee. Thank you for sharing your journey of self-acceptance and re-discovery of the joy and freedom you felt as a child.
When we shape ourselves to avoid being hurt again by a situation – we block ourselves from feeling a level of our sensitivity – that never actually goes away, but requires constant upkeep in order to quell and supress.
Spot on Kylie, and the “constant upkeep in order to quell and suppress” continues to hurt us… yet we can believe we are doing the opposite.
Having bulimia was no different to when I took loads of drugs, both highly addictive and expensive habits. I did not want to feel a thing nor take responsibility for my life, so avoided being in my body by either indulging in drugs and/or bulimia… both cost me a fortune!!!
What an amazing transformation Aimee, from a life of self abuse and lacking in such self worth, to a life of being deeply self honouring and loving. Very beautiful.
Thank you Raegan, it shows that we don’t ever need to be owned by anything that is not love and truly supportive to us. The grip of abuse losses its hold when we see it for what it is which is definitely not who we really are.
As I teach in schools , I can see this ..”I’m not good enough’ syndrome take hold, in fact in one school in Europe as I was introducing the song “whoops is one of my favourite words” the principle said this is whats needed as this drive for perfection ( not good enough unless perfect … therefore NEVER good enough) had a big grip… and not from the teachers.
I was presenting to a small group at a workshop today about the affect words have on children which is then carried, unbeknownst to them, for sometimes years and years or even a whole life. When we are honest there are many words, comments and looks that we were given as children at school or at home, that were designed to cut us down and hence the birth place of many ‘not good enough’ behaviours start. That’s why anything that reminds a child or adult of the spark they are needs to be shared. For me that was Universal Medicine, presenting on energy and how to read energy which we so innocently and precisely do as children. Seeing that grip loose it’s hold as someone remembers that they have always been ‘good enough’ or more accurately divine and amazing, is beautiful. Just like your song would have offered the children you were singing to.
This story is such a great example about the hugeness the work of Universal Medicine brings if one is ready.
All I can say is thank God for Universal Medicine, never holding back and offering a continual reflection of the fact we are never broken and our essence can be connected to even if there is layers of ‘stuff’ over top.
A beautiful sharing Aimee, congratulations with the big change you made, which is felt by all of us.
It is incredible how desperate we are to pose eating disorders on our body like bulimia. In my own experience, there is so much time wasted in something totally senseless and harming. I had anorexia for a certain time and also was obsessed not to eat too much. I wanted to hide this fact but this was not possible as I got very thin. There is no sense doing such things to our body. Great how you found your way out again.
Yes there is no sense and anyone looking on would say ‘why?’ but when you get underneath any abusive behaviour you see that it all comes from hurt. Bringing understanding to why we are choosing whatever we are choosing can bring more healing then shaking our heads and condemning ourselves.
It’s amazing how clever we can be. So calculated, so driven, and so completely taken by an idea that is so far removed from who we are. I could really feel just how hooking the bulimia was and how easily it was able to control your life. Thank god, you came across something that reminded you of who you truly are and that you were prepared to feel and allow the truth to finally set you free.
That’s the thing Elodie, when we think with the consciousness that the bulimia or drug addiction or anxiousness is who we truly are, we are then pulled along by everything that comes with that and continue to walk in that energy. Being reminded that we are not that and we have never been that, by watching others who are not owned by that consciousness, is what supports us to then choose to let go.
Aimee, what you are sharing is amazing, I deeply appreciate your honesty and humbleness and your openness in sharing your experience in this way, this article is very supportive, even though I do not have bulimia I can feel that I do have issues around food and so it feels important to ponder on whether this is related to my self worth.
When I look at those gorgeous childhood photos, I cant imagine how that child could end up with bulimia, or any behaviours that harm the precious being you are. When I am nursing I often feel the child my patient was and the essence they are inside. The choices they have made often don’t make sense and yet this is the norm in society. If we understood and lived the foundational teaching by Serge Benhayon that ‘everything is energy and therefore everything is because of energy’, I suspect these ‘coping mechanisms’ would not be so prevalent
I do as well Fiona, if we expressed what we felt without fear of reaction or contracting, that it was just the norm to do… there would be no need to cover anything up. What an enormous support and blessing you offer your patients by seeing through the behaviours they present with, and not seeing them as broken, but from their divine essence.
I understand what you have shared about when your family found out after the collision that you didn’t feel comfortable with all of their concern, indeed it is only natural that people would want to help this was but can feel imposing to someone who is going though difficulty. I have found now that when I am fully open and transparent with everything, regardless of how people react than that starts my own healing.
Really enjoyed reading this Aimee, very inspiring! How you described in detail you hid from everyone when experiencing bulimia and how you never felt truly present with people was eye opening as I know there are a lot of conditions which are the same. A very inspiring story which shows there is no such thing as being owned by an illness or disorder, and recovering the innocence and playfulness that was naturally you is very possible!
Very possible indeed Harrison because our ‘illnesses or disorders” are not us. And yes, there are many conditions and past-times that we can be just as not present as the more so called obvious ones… even just thinking about the next thing we need to do when with another person or about next weekend when we are doing xyz are all distractions.
Oh my goodness your before and after photos say it all. Nine years on and you look years younger then you did at 30. You are living evidence that true self -care works.
We hurt ourselves when we disconnect from who we truly are, thus is it not us who are producing the harm. Identifying with this energy is what hurts greater than the unloving actions I feel but once felt and understood that it is not us it’s like a weight gets released from our body. Often I find a part of my body releases the hold in the muscles. Accepting who I am and who I am not, that I am someone who deserves deep care and love is something that has been in my face the last few days. Connecting to my body has supported this self-care to grow and cancel out the negative chatter or expectations to be a certain way.
When we are bulimic most do not think of the consequences of the habit, imagine no nutrient to your system for say in my case 10 years of intense vomiting then another 10 years of a milder form . The high acid content of vomit can damage teeth, causing enamel erosion, tooth sensitivity, and gum disease. Puffy cheeks or jaws come from swollen salivary glands. Excessive vomiting may cause a sore or swollen throat. Acid can irritate or tear the esophagus. Blood in vomit may be a sign of a ruptured oesophagus. The stomach also becomes irritated. Stomach aches, heartburn, and acid reflux are common. These are just a few of the side effects, shame we do not consider that every action has a consequence eventually. Great lesson to learn, as we may think twice before we indulge in certain behaviours.
Crazy yes, going through all of this to avoid our hurts. There are a multitude of distractions and behaviours we can use to not deal with what we are feeling and protect ourselves. In the haze of abuse we believe protecting ourselves is the most important thing to do… making ourselves untouchable… or so we think! Opening up to ourselves and opening up to others, I have experienced exposes what is going on and the consequences of that.
‘I would drive really fast, preoccupied with my obsessions with food and what I needed to do to be successful that day’
When I read the above sentence it got me considering my bulimic days. The obsession I too had with food, thinking about it every waking moment, in hind sight, could have been labeled a mental health issue. It was undiagnosed because if you speak to other people they too have this obsessive thinking about food and because so many do, it is like the norm when it is so far from this.
Thank you for sharing so openly and in depth of what it is like to be in the grips of low self worth. It is no surprise to me that this was sparked in part by feeling not good enough in school, it is crippling. So amazing to find a way that supports bringing the love you are letting that in and out!
What a turnaround it is when we stop trying to fix things on the outside or control/manage our behaviour and start to look within and what is causing and motivates the very things we want to change – Esoteric Psychology makes so much sense.
What I’ve learnt recently is how divine we are and have always been…but when we don’t remember or reconnect with this, we are open to a package full of everything other than the divine. My package fed off my lack of self worth that was there from believing I was not enough. Imagine if we lived life knowing full well we are divine… anything but this would stand out like a sore thumb. I agree Gabriele, Esoteric Psychology supports unraveling the packages we have allowed to run our bodies and re-connect to our untainted essence.
We really can be our own worst enemies, when we allow in self doubt and don’t accept ourselves we are setting ourselves up for a life of misery. You are an awesome inspiration showing us that it does not have to be this way. You have shined a light on some very dark areas. Thank you Aimee.
When you hear someone’s true account of their struggle with a disease, it make it very real. It’s better than reading a leaflet. It would be great to share this with others who may also be suffering with bulimia. You demonstrate Aimee how there is a self loving way to heal from it.
For me, it was the very real, practical and simple ways that supported the most. When someone is struggling with any self abuse, they don’t need anything to overload their already extremely sensitive and fragile body and mind. That’s where a lot of good intentions of talking or trying to make them better doesn’t help. I feel this also Debra, hearing someone’s real life experience of how they let go of abusive patterns is gold. There is enough out there sharing how to abuse and why abuse… thank God blog sites like this one and many more are offering another way!
You have really highlighted how devastating beliefs are, and how restorative the quality of love is through self care. There is a big difference between what the mind delivers us and our emotions, and the practicalities of living lovingly everyday.
‘Without ever remembering seeing anything on how ‘to do’ bulimia, or knowing anyone who was bulimic or who had any kind of eating disorder that I was aware of, somehow all the information was there for me in my thoughts – go here, buy this and do it this way.’ This is a very interesting statement. How is it we can know how to do something, something quite destructive, that we have never had access to before or have never heard of (and well before the days of internet searching)? It speaks to me of the possibility of collective ‘pools’ of consciousness, ready to pour into us whenever we have an opening to exploit, or ready to align to if we so choose.
Aimee what you share is invaluable, I know I have had many times soaked in lack of acceptance for myself, this low self worth ate away at the natural confidence that was originally there as a young girl. So many women do not accept themselves and this is so sad. Over the last few years I have been starting to accept myself more and more and the more I do accept the more my life in every area benefits.
The way you described the bulimia felt very similar to anyone who has ever had a goal, picture, aim in their mind that they want to achieve in the belief that this will fill that feeling of ‘not good enough’. Like people who work very long hours or strive to be the best artist or the most helpful worker. The things we do under the comparison of ‘not good enough/need to try harder’ come in when we compare ourselves to something. Reading this again it feels like valuing ourselves and self-appreciation is not something you reach then can put on the sidelines but something that requires continuous work. Otherwise we go with what the world is telling us in that we have to constantly improve from the outside.
What an insight into bulimia, I can relate to the strategies that we can put in place to keep the game going, how focused we can become on one thing to the detriment of our lives and relationships. And all to cover up feelings of lack of self worth. I love the idea of doing something as simple as feeling my toes and breathing in and out gently, it is such an ingeniously simple starting point to feeling the body and accepting ourselves as we are.
Your recent photographs say it all, Aimee – Your inner beauty and true way of living emanate from you like a great beacon of light for all to enjoy and know, there is another way to be.
“I now know that I am the amazing, beautiful and precious woman that I have always been but had lost sight of. And that true beauty comes from within”.
I agree Stephanie, looking at Aimee’s face I get drawn into Aimee and it’s so easy to feel the absolute abundance of gold within. This is true beauty and is the natural inspiration that we’re able to pass onto others without saying a word.
Aimee this is a powerful and insightful story you share. The turnaround and true healing you have experienced through making self-loving choices, is profound and a great inspiration to all to read.
How lonely is someone with an eating disorder, distracting him or herself with obsessive thoughts and behaviour around food. Constantly calculating and observing how to hide this fact and at the same time desperately going on suffering in every way. What you present here Aimee is an insight in this world where a lot of (young) people are in, feeling they are not enough and communicating with their bodies life is not okay. It is amazing to read how you have find your way out and freed yourself of this painful way of living by making simple self loving choices and choosing to live the joy that you are.
Very lonely Annelies, even though on the outside I and many others show a completely different picture… one where to the onlooker, who doesn’t read more acutely would say I was very outgoing and engaging in life. Learning to read and observe where people are at… especially our children is vital.
There is so much to celebrate here, but something that stood out for me in your blog Aimee is the fact you said you didn’t know anyone who had Bulimia or knew how to ‘do Bulimia’, but somehow you just knew. You knew what it meant and what it was doing. This is quite profound in that, where can this be coming from? It is possible that it doesn’t actually come from within us, that is that part that is all knowing and loving, so this information can come from elsewhere.
Breaking the cycle of bulimia can be huge and can often seem impossible, yet when we start to deal with the feelings of not being good enough and work on self acceptance we start to break through the fog of protection and again learn to let others in.
A true miracle. To be free of the self-destruction of bulimia and to claim “I now know that I am the amazing, beautiful and precious woman that I have always been but had lost sight of. And that true beauty comes from within.”
It is Mary, and just this week I appreciated this even more. I’ve been going to the gym again and I feel completely different to how I used to push my body to exhaustion and pound myself because it was all about the body and how it did not size up to my or society’s standards. Wow, it was lovely to feel how this did not have a hold on me anymore and how loud my body now speaks to me when I do try and keep up with others I’m with.
” I expected nothing from my body, which at the time felt lovely and open and where there were no thoughts of “you’re not up to scratch” How awful it is that when we are little we love ourselves unconditionally, we know with confidence we are beautiful then as we grow up we lose this inner knowing only to be replaced with thoughts of not feeling good enough.
It is awful Samantha, though those feelings we once felt in our bodies are always there… and can be returned to in an instant. I know this now, but before it felt near impossible and I doubted my essence was there at all. I was with a group of women yesterday and we started sharing about how we felt in our bodies when we were young… it was beautiful and all of us knew it in every part of our being.
I heard today that the number of cosmetic surgery has gone up considerably this further confirms we are in dire times where women are not appreciating themselves for who they truly are.
So many are gauging themselves and their worth on how much attention they are given. And instead of appreciating, loving and adoring ourselves, we look out at what will get us the attention we so crave. I’ve just started back at an all women gym, and observing and feeling other women exercising, the majority are exercising with an intensity of making themselves better, improving this or that about themselves. I can almost guess the conversations they are having in their heads….as I have had them too.
‘I started to consider that the true healing for my bulimia and self-worth issues was not about fixing anything outside of myself, but looking within.’ – So often the approach to any disorder is trying to have the will power to stop the actions but this is a set up for failure as it is not addressing the root cause of the pattern. What an inspirational sharing this is Aimee, your willingness to look within and heal the feelings of not being good enough, feelings that riddle society at large is inspirational.