Tools to Stop Purging

4 January 2018, Comments: 0

Many of the strategies listed in the post “Tools to Stop Binging” will automatically take care of purging. In the height of my bulimia, if there was no binge, there was no purge as purging was useless unless it was voluminous. But as I started decreasing my binge/purge episodes and my body weight went up a few pounds, I did have to proactively fight the urge to purge, even after a normal meal.

Here are some tools I hope will help you as you fight these urges as well. Many are similar to the tools for reducing the urge to binge.

  1. Flee temptation! Again, this is key. You may need to plan ahead. If you’re going to a dinner party and are afraid of purging when you get home, ask a friend if you can stay the night at her house. I kid you not. When I did this, I always felt totally freakish, but my friends loved that I felt close enough to ask. And my soul got a big win when I woke up the next day still abstinent.
  2. Call your sponsor or trusted friend. Pick up the phone, and tell her you’re getting the urge and need her to walk you off the ledge.
  3. Go for a walk. Allow yourself 30-60 minutes for your stomach to digest before returning home.
  4. Journal. This can be the best tool for bringing a breakthrough. Sitting with a full stomach and the desperate urge to get rid of it will bring up so many deep emotions and thoughts. Stay with them. The one meal in your belly will not alter anything on your body. But the deep processing work you do in the meantime could have massive positive consequences for your mind and your recovery.
  5. Take a nap. You cannot purge and sleep simultaneously.
  6. Lose yourself in your favorite recovery supportive hobby. Just keeping your hands and mind busy will help you ride the wave right into abstinence.
  7. Research a trip. Think of one you’ve always wanted to take and then get lost in the joy of planning it. You don’t need to necessarily book it—just having fun researching will help take your mind off your urges.
  8. Clean out a drawer or cupboard. This is one of my favorites. It keeps you distracted, it keeps your hands busy, and it provides instant gratification.
  9. Google the effects of purging on your system. Learn the gory details. Stare it down. Take your power back with information. Not that you want your recovery to be fear based, but learning how purging negatively impacts your body can be enough of a deterrent in that moment of stress to get you through the urge.
  10. Pray and meditate. Anytime you connect with your Source, you will be filled with a greater sense of peace, purpose, and power. If you can commit to holding off the urge to purge for even ten minutes of prayer and meditation, it will likely subside in the presence of truth. If it doesn’t, commit to another ten minutes. And another. And another. Until the urge has passed.


Those are the tools I used most frequently to wean off my binge/purge episodes. They are specific to the binge eating and vomiting cycle. If your purge of choice is laxatives or excess exercise, the tools can be easily tweaked to help you reduce your episodes as well. Slowly wean off each, decreasing by an agreed upon amount each week. In the case of laxative abuse, you may need a magnesium supplement or an herbal laxative to help get you off any harsh drug store varieties. The ideal is to quit them altogether, just as the ideal is to no longer vomit.

You’ve got this.

Much love, 


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