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.
I must admit that I don’t have any experience training the bulimic population. However, when I read your question, the first thing that came to mind is what resources do I have that address this clinical condition. As an ACSM Registered Clinical Exercise Physiologist, I tend to refer to the ACSM’s resources related to clinical exercise for guidelines when training people who present with clinical conditions and bulimia is a clinical condition. As I am at the IDEA convention, I don’t have access to my resources, however, I must say I don’t remember ever seeing any guidelines regarding exercise and bulimia. The closest thing I have found online is the ACSM Position Stand on the Female Athlete Triad. Here is the link:
You may feel it might not pertain to your circumstance, however, this stood out for me in their position stand:
“A multidisciplinary treatment team should include a physician or other health-care professional, a registered dietitian, and, for athletes with eating disorders, a mental health practitioner. Additional valuable team members may include a certified athletic trainer, an exercise physiologist, and the athlete’s coach, parents and other family members. The first aim of treatment for any Triad component is to increase energy availability by increasing energy intake and/or reducing exercise energy expenditure. Nutrition counseling and monitoring are sufficient interventions for many athletes, but eating disorders warrant psychotherapy.”
Bulimia as you know is an eating disorder and I would definitely involve those on her treatment team as you say she is “recovering” and not recovered.
I hope this gives you some direction.