Coaching Teenagers with Bulimia

When I first started coaching in schools I expected to encounter issues with lack of confidence, low self-esteem, bullying, and friendship concerns. I had not considered that eating disorders would also feature so frequently in my coaching sessions.

Over the last twelve months I have learnt so much about this controlling condition and the effect Bulimia has on a human being and their ability to function in daily life.  Some of the typical side effects of this type of disorder are:

  • Feeling low or mood swings
  • Nervousness, panic and anxiety
  • Feeling emotional and unable to cope with life’s ups and downs
  • Lack of motivation
  • Tiredness and exhaustion
  • Lack of concentration and an inability to stay focused
  • Distorted or irrational thinking
  • Heightened obsessiveness and compulsiveness
  • Low confidence and self-esteem
  • Lack of personal self-care around eating, drinking, showering, hair washing, teeth cleaning
  • Inability to communicate, detachment and secretive tendencies

Combining the above effects and the pressure of work, school or exams can then create a vicious cycle of thoughts, feelings and behaviours. This cycle can only be broken by identifying negative triggers and actions – and taking a different approach.

Bulimia can also have a domino effect on particular social groups, so if one member binges and purges then others may follow.

Coaching people on life and soft skills enables them to discover their core values and beliefs, and then identify if the way they are currently living their life is putting these into conflict. A strategy can then be developed to rectify problem areas and achieve results.

Combining coaching and help from eating disorder professionals in the NHS or private sector, as early as possible, is so important to overcome Bulimia . There are a variety of therapies available and finding the right one for the individual concerned is essential.

Keeping communication lines open, being non-judgemental and providing a  supportive environment is also crucial when assisting individuals with this type of condition.

Through networking I have been introduced to Julie Kerr from Bulimia Free. She uses her own personal experience to assist individuals to become Bulimia Free and she provides lots of excellent information on her website regarding:

Julie has been a great source of information and support in assisting me with my students with eating disorders. If you know somebody suffering with Bulimia and do not know where to turn then this could be a good place to start.

Or if you feel that coaching could help you address an issue in this area then contact me.