10 Small Steps that Will help you in recovery-
1.) Get rid of your “anorexic foods“.
My eating disorder feared the very concept of “normality”. This caused “normal” foods to go out the window!
All the bland and cardboard tasting low fat/ “healthy” alternatives need to go! For me this meant clearing out my pantry of everything from nakd bars to nimble bread.
Although my actual calorie intake hadn’t changed, the process of getting rid of these abnormal foods brought me a step closer to recovery. By freeing myself of these foods I avoided utter panic when I ran out of sandwich thins or children’s age 1-3 snacks!
It may be scary but it’s so freeing being able to walk into your kitchen without a mile long list of “off limit” food!
Important Note: LIFE TASTES BETTER WHEN ITS NOT 0%!
2.) Talk about the IMPORTANT things!
“I feel fat” was once my catch phrase, it was incessant and required constant reassurance. I spent years of therapy simply talking about this feeling of “fat” but the reality is that there is so much more to it than that!
Anorexia is a safe place for many sufferers; it allows us to retreat to the safety of numbers when life gets scary but the feelings that cause us to run are what we should REALLY be talking about!
It was really hard at first but it’s now really therapeutic and beneficial to know that my family and treatment team will be there to support me through whatever I’m going through.
Now instead of saying “I feel fat” I know try to say “Mum I feel really scared of spinning out of control, and it makes me feel like grasping control within my eating disorder”.
3.) Introduce Normality!
Battling an eating disorder is isolating; I found myself becoming so consumed by my anorexia that all “normal” things went out the window.
Meet a friend for coffee, go for a short walk, do a bit of schoolwork or engage in an old hobby! By integrating a bit of normality I started to feel more like “me” and less like a walking diagnosis!
4.) Set Goals And Reward Yourself For Meeting Them!
Setting recovery goals can be a huge motivator! Sit down with your family and get them involved- if your parents agree they could buy you a small treat for completing your meal plan for a week.
If there’s a movie you want to see or somewhere you want to visit then tell yourself that it will be a reward for combatting certain ED behaviours- that way recovery will have a positive association and you’ll be more motivated!
You could even set daily goals- let your family know what they are so that they can help to keep you accountable for meeting them!
5.) Surround yourself with positive people!
Whether it be a judgemental friend, a family member who drags you down or even a social media account; we all know negative Nancy’s in our lives!
Try to surround yourself with people who make you feel good and who motivate you in recovery!
6.) Get into a routine!
Recently (with exams coming up!) I have started scheduling my day; I work out when I’ll do work, when my meals are and when I have a bit of “ME” time- this has been a massively positive step in my recovery!
Following a regular routine means I get into the habit of regular meals and snacks, stay accountable for my schoolwork, engage in self care and treasure my “ME TIME”!
An important part of your routine should be getting off on the right foot; depression and low mood can really impact our motivation so by getting up and showering followed by a nutritious and tasty breakfast you’re more likely to feel “equipped” for the day (coffee helps too!!).
7.) Fight the Fear Foods!
Write a list of foods or tasks that scare you and tick them off as you challenge them! This can be incorporated into your daily goals and helps you to embrace recovery!
8.) Tell your inner control freak to SHOVE OFF!
Eating Disorders often thrive off of a need for control. This is not an easy thing to tackle at all but setting small tasks can be a great place to start!
For example, if you usually weigh out every ounce of food try letting someone else plate up your vegetables or tackle the habit of measuring out your milk for your morning cereal!
YOU CAN DO IT!
9.) Don’t breathe in Anorexia-
Ban yourself from everything from “Supersize vs Superskinny” to “America’s Next Top Model” ; shows like this fuel your eating disorder and by breaking away from them your taking a step further out of the “Anorexic Bubble”.
10.) Be Open To New Methods Of Support:
If everyone’s fighting your eating disorder it simply can’t win!
For example, I was very apprehensive to try Dialectic Behavioural Therapy (DBT) deeming it a “massive waste of time” and “entirely pointless” but now that I’ve fully embraced it I’ve learnt how incredibly useful it is!