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CCIEDC GUEST BLOG: How Two Passionate CCI Coaches Created Conquering Bulimia




This story is a tale of two coaches and how a friendship blossomed into a joint passion project called Conquering Bulimia. Ultimately, we created something that has never been done before to change the game in bulimia recovery. Welcome, Conquering Bulimia.

 

Conquering Bulimia is the only intensive, private, self-paced online course led by Certified Eating Disorder Coaches with expert interviews and personal bulimia recovery stories. The course aims to meet people where they are on their journey. It can jumpstart recovery, reignite hope, be a powerful adjunct and tool to a current recovery plan, and even help loved ones and caregivers better understand, equipping them with new tools. It also fills a gap for those not wanting to seek traditional treatment approaches.

 

The course aims to help women in bulimia recovery achieve true food freedom, feel at peace with their body, develop coping skills to work through challenging emotions, and have a deep understanding of their soul-self and who they are at the core.

 

Our program teaches proven strategies that have helped us and countless numbers of clients in our own private coaching practices. We have incorporated the very best of our educational training, coaching certifications, and professional/personal experience into this course. The course contains fifty-five videos, sixteen assignments, and six bonus lessons. It holistically covers the mind, body, heart, and spirit. And you can access the course for a very affordable price.

 

 

Sarah’s Journey: 

 

2017 was the ten-year mark of my freedom from bulimia, and after my mom passed away in correlation to several weight-related conditions, I felt a calling to do more with my life. Until then, I had spent over two decades in the professional corporate world of finance and management. Eighteen of those years in banking and six in radio broadcasting. I had no idea how I would pursue this unexpected calling. I heard it loud and clear, “Help other girls and women find freedom with food and peace with their bodies, just like you have.” 

 

That is when I then dove into the world of coaching certifications. Yet, after over a year of learning, reading, testing, and being certified by two well-known certification programs, even launching my practice, and beginning to help people struggling, I still felt I needed to do more to genuinely make a difference in the lives of those with diagnosable eating disorders. My search began again for more education. That is when I stumbled across the name Carolyn Costin. 

  

I found Carolyn’s email and wrote to her, unsure if I would receive a reply. Well, not only did she respond and answer all my questions, but she did so the very same day. I was so impressed by her warmth and sense of urgency that I applied to The Carolyn Costin Institute (CCI) just a few days later. 

 

Also, I could not believe that the 8 Keys To Recovery from an Eating Disorder book had never presented itself to me. So many times, during my certification process, I thought to myself, “Where was this book when I was going through recovery?” It would have been so beneficial to me. I knew I was finally on the path to helping others how I wanted to. I was officially CCI certified in August 2018, when my coaching practice started to take off like never before.

 

Over the next couple of years, my practice would even evolve into mentoring newer coaches. I love sewing into others wanting to take the same path. In January 2021, I received an email from a graduate student in the Health Promotion Management program at Southern Methodist University. She expressed her gratitude for her own recovery from bulimia and her interest in becoming a future eating disorder coach. She wondered if I would be willing to chat with her. 

 

Call it simple intuition, but I knew immediately that there would be something special about her – Merrit. We set up a call and literally talked for hours while I drove from Houston to Dallas one day. There was an undeniable connection! I wanted to do whatever I could to help her fulfill her dreams and career goals. Little did I know at that time, she would later become not only a peer coach but also a business partner and one of my closest friends. 

 

-Sarah Lee, CCIEDC

 

 

Merrit’s Journey:

 

After struggling with bulimia throughout high school and college, I finally reached FULL recovery by implementing healing practices that acknowledge both science and spirituality.

 

I was grateful for the nutritional therapy I had received during treatment, but I hungered for something more. Mindfulness, meditation, yoga, and breathwork nourished my mind, body, and soul. I started feeling at home in my body and comfortable in my mind. Learning the science of the interconnectedness of mindset and goal achievement emboldened me to truly believe in my healthy self.

 

I graduated college early and moved to Los Angeles where I landed my dream job working with a celebrity stylist. Simultaneously, I was volunteering as a peer mentor with ANAD, working with young women struggling with eating disorders. This position provided a level of fulfillment and purpose I had never experienced. I said goodbye to an incredible boss and returned to Dallas to pursue my graduate degrees and dedicate myself to helping others reach full recovery.

 

I earned a Master of Science in Health Promotion Management degree from Southern Methodist University. While in graduate school, I enrolled in the eating disorder recovery coaching program through the Carolyn Costin Institute. Sarah played a pivotal role in my early coaching career. Little did I know we would eventually become business partners on a project I am immensely proud of.

 

I am now a Certified Eating Disorder Recovery Coach providing virtual recovery care to clients around the globe. I utilize the lessons and assignments in the 8 Keys to Recovery with my clients daily. It is such a beautiful resource for anyone in recovery, and we reference it often in Conquering Bulimia.

 

-Merrit Elizabeth, CCIEDC

 

 

Now, let’s discuss the early stages of creating the online course.

 

 

An Idea Was Born:

 

It was November 2022, and we went to dinner. Mainly to spend some time together, but we both aimed to do something together professionally in 2023. We brainstormed ideas over dinner and dessert at Season 52 that evening. We left excited about all the possibilities, yet we had to complete our plan.

 

We just knew we wanted to create something accessible for many that could solve our joint challenge of time limitations in our individual practices. Over the next week, as we researched more, explored, and filtered out all we had discussed, a new idea was born. We were going to create a course! How? We had no idea, but we were going to figure it out. And we did!

 

We started by taking a course ourselves to create a course. We also met and discussed each other’s strengths to lay the foundation for an effective partnership, aiming to yield when needed to protect our friendship and develop the best product possible. A structured plan was created, and we knew we wanted to be very specific with whom we wanted to help and serve. That is when bulimia recovery, specifically, entered our conversations.

 

As we searched for all the bulimia resources we could find, we noticed something huge. In comparison to anorexia and binge eating, bulimia was lacking so much. Often just being lumped together in “eating disorder recovery.” Or even leading with binge eating recovery. We also found that talking about bulimia on the most prominent social media handles was not very common either. That is when our mission was clear. We both had lived experience with bulimia, and the resources were lacking. We would create a course just for bulimia – Conquering bulimia.

 

 

Creating and Launching Conquering Bulimia:

 

We bought all the filming equipment and started to learn new skills. Thank you, YouTubers, who helped unknowingly! We mapped out our course, contacted experts we hoped would want to join us, and started writing and filming weekly. This took lots of organization.

 

We planned out all our visual branding. The photoshoot in our now iconic purple and pink suits was one of our most enjoyable days together. It was intense, fun, exciting, and sometimes frustrating, and we learned so much about ourselves and each other.

 

Sharing stories and posts on Facebook and Instagram told all our followers, friends, and fellow coaches we had something big in the works, but we would only lift the veil completely on launch day. What is comical is that we initially thought the entire project would take us three months from start to finish. We were very ambitious and naive. It took us almost a year and a handful of technical freelancers to help us.

 

August 1, 2024, we launched!!! The night before, we stayed up texting back and forth and testing everything we possibly could until the wee hours of the morning. We were exhausted, yet our perfectionistic tendencies were in full effect and likely driven by pure adrenaline. The initial response was very positive, and all applauded us. We were overwhelmed with all the praise and hoped to start helping people with our course!

 

In addition, we decided to begin a blog. But not just any blog; we wanted to go big. This would help with our SEO and reach more people, but also provide a free resource with a wealth of information for anyone wanting to know more about bulimia and the bulimia recovery journey. So, we have become researching, interviewing, and writing maniacs. We are pumping out multiple lengthy blogs every week.

 

Little did we know this would be part of our equation in November 2021 when the course creation idea was born! Yet, we remain committed to doing all we can to be a voice of hope and provide platforms that help people break free from bulimia.

 

We are confident there is much more on the horizon, and we both are open to wherever this journey will take us as coaches. Which actually all began with our individual struggles with bulimia. Oh, how something that seemed impossible then was overcome and now used for great purpose and passion! We both are grateful for it all.

 

 

Conquering Bulimia Modules Explained:

 

Welcome Module

Coaching is an intimate working relationship that fosters trust, momentum, and recovery, focusing on changing thoughts and behaviors in the present and building a future you want – a future free from bulimia. We are driven to deliver that same value to you in this online course by being vulnerable about our own recoveries and sharing as much of ourselves as it may be helpful to you. You will hear our stories and get to know our real personalities.

 

Beginning Module

There are many myths about bulimia and bulimia recovery, which cause significant shame. We are committed to telling the truth without judgment. Explaining the damage to the body and exploring the cycle of bulimia is critical so that you have the knowledge to move forward and ammunition to strengthen your healthy self. We will also introduce to you the “Purge Pledge,” an online commitment to quit purging, jumpstarting this incredible decision you have made for yourself.

 

Your Mind Modules

In helping you conquer bulimia, we must start with your mind, as that is where the primary battle is fought. Over the three modules, we will dive deeply into topics such as body image, the real issues, the thought-feeling-urge-action chain, overt and sabotaging behaviors, personality traits, what keeps you stuck, and creating new healthy habits and brain pathways. In addition, the world-renowned eating disorder pioneer and warrior, Carolyn Costin, MFT, will join us to help teach all about your separate, adaptive, disordered self. She will explain how you can strengthen your “healthy self” or “soul self” in order to achieve true long-term bulimia recovery.

 

Your Body Modules

We want to help you heal your relationship with your body and reframe how you experience your physical presence. In our culture, we are swimming upstream, continually flooded with information, leaving many hopeless and confused about how they view their bodies, all while making bulimia recovery seem impossible. But, that isn't true! Over three modules, we will discuss the autonomic nervous system, uncover your food rules and fears, learn about conscious eating skills, explore how exercise plays a role in the eating disorder and learn how to practice self-care that truly works for you. Special expert Maggie Stenson, an outstanding Registered Dietitian, will share her knowledge about nutrition, how to listen to your unique body and offer strategies to help heal your gut from bulimia. Chelsey Charbeneau and Jenn Moulaison are the co-founders of Breathe Meditation and Wellness and will share how meditation and breathwork can help repair the mind-body-soul connection.

 

Your Heart Module

Your heart is where your emotions reside, relationships hold great significance, and personal history is framed. Conquering bulimia requires you to expand your capacity to feel all of your feelings, learn to express yourself in a healthy way, discover coping skills that genuinely work for you and be honest about your relationships. We are going to help you with all of this along your bulimia recovery journey. Lorri Lancashire, a highly sought-after licensed professional counselor, joins us to discuss healing past wounds and learning how to forgive others and yourself.

 

Your Spirit Module

Your spirit holds the keys to pursuing passion and purpose while embracing the essence of who you have been, who you are today, and whom you want to become. When this is your focus, conquering bulimia recovery can become an achievable pursuit. We will teach you why your space matters, how to practice non-attachment to your body and mind-shifting gratitude techniques.

 

Continue Conquering Bulimia Module

Our ultimate goal is to help you in your journey of conquering bulimia recovery, and we are confident that all the lessons, assignments, and tools in this course will be very beneficial. However, we have also included an entire module about the continuation of recovery, where we discuss strategies like visualization, building resilience, preparing for hurdles, living recovered in a diet-minded culture, leaning into a support system and even finding additional professional help, if needed.

 

 

Testimonials for Conquering Bulimia

 

The numerous unsolicited testimonials early on have warmed our hearts. Here are three testimonials from those who have enrolled in the course.

 

“It’s so nice to find something that is just on Bulimia. I’m into the 2nd week right now and enjoying every minute! The work I’ve been doing through your course has helped so much already! The way you both talk and explain things is so comforting and non-judgmental. I love that because so many people don’t understand ED. And I’m loving the coping skills you all have talked about and have definitely been doing those!! Plus, how you suggest writing things down! For me, it helps with accountability and also allows me to see my ED in a different light. I’m grateful!” -E.T.

 

“I just wanted to let you know I started your Conquering Bulimia course today and felt so comforted. I only got through a few sessions, but it made me feel so heard. Sarah’s story about the first time she chose to throw up after counting Weight Watchers points and Merritt’s on how she struggled during the same timeframe I have, were so beyond inspiring and helpful. It gives me faith and encouragement to keep pushing for recovery. Specifically, Merrit’s vision board and story of recovery really just helped me feel peaceful and motivated. You all are making me realize there are much bigger things in life that matter, and this ED makes me a zombie. I am learning so much, too. The statistics are horrifying and sad. It also made me realize more how interwoven eating disorders are with our society. This is all so eye-opening and really has me thinking. This course is incredible. Thank you.” -G.G.

 

“I have purchased and actively working through the overcoming Bulimia course that you and Sarah Lee started. I am SOOOO THANKFUL for this course!!!! Things are finally starting to click in my mind and I have felt the most empowered and supported in finally overcoming this eating disorder.  I have struggled with disordered eating since I was 8 years old. I reached out for help multiple times and was turned away for not being sick enough, or started on abundance of meds to “fix me”, couldn’t financially afford the level of care I needed at one point and then eventually signed myself in to a PHP program to be discharged 6-months later since my insurance was no longer covering care and being told I would be in and out of treatment centers the rest of my life —- I have run the gauntlet and overcome to the best of my ability. I’ve been told I shouldn’t be alive, and yet I am here, and I know I have a greater purpose to fulfill in this life. I continue to fight - day in and out - and your course has finally offered me the hope and connected the dots of all of my previous understanding. I have a choice - and I pledged to not purge on 9/18. This brought the realization that by not purging I was already no longer bulimic!! Yay! 27 years later - I am still here and fighting. Slow and steady progress but still forward movement is being made. Thank you for your course, for your story and for giving me a new spark of renewed hope in full recovery one day.” -M.M.

 

 

How to Access Conquering Bulimia

 

You can learn more about the course and purchase here: Conquering Bulimia

 

 

 

 

 

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