Tips to move towards eating disorder recovery today
I probably don’t need to tell you: Challenging an eating disorder is really freaking hard! The people with EDs I support sometimes tell me that they feel overwhelmed and hopeless with how much they need to do to move towards recovery. Let me first say: there is hope for healing.
In this post, I’m going to break down a few concrete actions you can take on your journey to healing your eating disorder. No step is too small!
NOTE: It is easy to slip into the black and white, all or nothing mentality. If you find yourself wanting to do ALL of these steps, I am going to challenge you to only pick one or two maximum to work on right now!
- Opposite action
Feeling rebellious? This coping skill is used when you hear your eating disorder telling you to do or not do something and you consciously choose to do the opposite. If your ED is saying to measure your cereal perfectly at breakfast, you can consciously decide to pour it into the bowl without measuring.
Opposite action will look different for everyone and totally depends on what your eating disorder is telling you.
- Connect with someone else
Does your stomach drop when your friends ask you out to eat? Do you feel pure dread at the thought of eating with your family? Eating disorders tend to thrive in isolation.
You don’t need to start by eating with others right away if that doesn’t feel comfortable for you. You can start anywhere that feels *just okay*, including sending a text message or meme to a person you know is supportive in your life.
This is a tricky one for many folks! Rest is an important piece of the puzzle when it comes to health. Many of my clients struggle with compulsive exercise and movement, and it’s okay to take small steps to work on this. Decrease the amount of exercise you do 1 day per week, and slowly increase your rest time from there. If you struggle with compulsive movement, it is best to do this with your healthcare provider / support team for ed treatment if possible. Remember: you do not need to “earn” rest!
- Do a social media audit
It can be helpful to do an audit of the role that social media plays in our lives. Sometimes it may be affecting us more than we realize!
I joined Tiktok and made a new account. I made sure to ONLY follow recovery focused, body positive or body neutral accounts. And yet, the algorithm sent me dieting and weight loss videos! This shows that even if we are not trying to seek out harmful material on social media, the pesky algorithm can expose us to unhelpful content.
Take a look at what you are watching or looking at, and ask yourself: is this helpful to recovery, or fueling my eating disorder? If it’s harmful, scroll by or block.
I also recommend that people intentionally follow positive recovery accounts and accounts run by people in different bodies sizes or identities than your own. If you need a list of social media accounts to follow, feel free to reach out and ask!
- Reach out for help
OOF I know, this is a tough one!! Perhaps the toughest on this list. If you’re like many of my clients, you struggle to believe that you deserve help, you feel like you may waste my time, or perhaps you’ve had a bad experience with a dietitian in the past! I get it.
You deserve recovery from your disordered eating.
I know you do! If something feels off about your food and nutrition, you deserve support to feel better. If you need a referral for a therapist or healthcare provider, you are more than welcome to reach out and I will provide you with some connections. If you need a dietitian, I’m here to connect!
This is not medical advice. I would recommend working with an individual provider if possible. Take what works for you in this post, and leave the rest! You know your body and life best.
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