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.
Tough question because the history can be so varied. You have already gotten some good responses.
I looked at your profile, and it seems to me that you are a personal trainer who goes to people’s homes. So I assume that your new client does not have to visually compete with all the ‘oerfect bodies’ found in gyms, and that is helpful because I am sure that she does not have a good relationship to her body but rather a punitive one.
After having screened her as any other client, I would make sure that there are only positive associations with exercise. Feeling successful and developing a ‘can-do’ attitude often carries over to real life. I would be very careful about the weight loss program part beyond exercise and leave any discussion about food to a nutritionist. Emphasize on feeling healthy and strong.
Last but not least: if she were to suffer a relapse, do not load that on your shoulders. You may see her 2 or three hours per week and have no control what happens to her the rest of the time. The triggers are more likely to come from her familiar environment but it is sometimes more convenient and less painful to look for responsibility elsewhere.