I have a new client who is recovering from bulimia. She is looking for a weight loss program, toning & strength training. She wants to live a healthier life for her family and children. Her last purge was 9 months ago. She’s been suffering from bulimia for over 5 years. I want to help her achieve her goals without triggering a relapse.
The previous answers are all so great. Just make sure that you stay in close contact with your client’s care providers. He/she/they will most able to give you the specific info that you need to develop the best exercise regimen that will compliment the interventions they have already implemented. Be aware that you will need to be very openminded with regards to you client’s hesistations.
Take care, good luck.
Lots of great input on here already-
I see that one of her goals was weight loss, and I would just stress to make your training goals about a fitness objective (run 1 mile in 10 minutes or less) than a “appearance” objective (lose weight) or 40 push ups in a minute versus having “toned arms” so the focus is not on appearances but on obtainable, measurable fitness goals even though the end result might be a similar change in body composition.
best of luck!
Thank you all for your responses. She has a great team that is monitoring her process and has been cleared for exercise. Her doctor never mentioned watching heart rate, but that makes sense due to the effects of purging. Thank you Shane for mentioning it. I’ve already noticed that she has a tendency to overdo things and take things to the extreme (tell her to walk and she runs!). I’m keeping an eye on things and stressing how exercising make her feel rather than makes her look. We’re keeping all the lines of communication open and trying to problem solve her areas of stress. We talk about food as fuel, but I leave most of the food talk to her nutritionist. As most of you have said this is a process. I thank you for all the feedback and excellent food for thought.
Adding my two cents…
As someone already said, make sure she is medically cleared for exercise by her entire health team. If she is seeing a nutritionist, you may want to speak to that person as well to see how things are going on that end.
If you haven’t already learned what her triggers are, monitor her carefully for any new addictions, such as exercise. Though we all monitor for signs of overtraining, knowing as much about bulimia as possible and having a complete history of your client are your best weapons.
Encourage and open and honest professional relationship and be clear that you cannot continue to train her if she relapses until she is cleared again. That is going to be very frustrating for her, but it’s the nature of the disease. I speak from experience.
Read up on the female athlete triad and check out the resources from the National Eating Disorders Association at http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/information-resources/educators-a….