Eating disorder recovery isn’t just something you recover from physically. If you want to recover successfully you must also recover mentally. In my opinion it’s easier to recovery physically than it is mentally. At least the mental part was the most challenging for me. “How was I ever going to get comfortable with gaining weight? How much weight do I have to gain? How do I accept all the new changes in my body. How am I ever going to enjoy a full day of eating whatever I want without feeling guilty? Will I ever have a normal relationship to food again?”
I know that those are just some of the thoughts you walk around thinking about daily. I’ve been there. And I just want to emphasize again that just because you’ve recovered physically it doesn’t mean you’ve also recovered mentally. A big part of my coaching with clients is on their mental health. I know how challenging it can be, and that’s why I spend a lot of time coaching them through things that have absolutely nothing to do with food, calories, exercise or anything like that!
The good news is that I have three tips for you to start working on your eating disorder recovery from a more mental standpoint.
Eating disorder recovery tip 1
Learn to accept your urges. Okay, here’s the thing, I thought that just because I had gained some weight and got my period back that I was healthy and could exercise like crazy again. Wrong! I had to teach myself over and over that over exercising will only cause my body more damage. One 30 minute workout a day is plenty! So exercising (especially after a “cheat meal”) was a huge urge for me. The best tip I can give you on this is to allow the urge to be there. Don’t give in and don’t resist it. Most of the time when we have an urge to do something we either give in or we resist (fight it and hate it). If we give in we’re only teaching our mind that the urge always wins over us. So stop feeding that urge and it’ll slowly but surely go away! Also trying to resist an urge might work short term but eventually you’ll give up. That’s why I’m telling you to accept that the urge is there. Sit with those feelings, you don’t have to cope with them. Just let them be. No matter how painful it is. That way you teach your mind that you’re “starving” the urge and it’ll slowly stop bugging you!
Eating disorder recovery tip 2
Ask yourself powerful questions. What are you hungry for? What will feed your mind, body, and soul? Is it starting a new career you’ve always dreamed of? Is it getting in a relationship? Is it traveling? Whatever your big goal is in life, start focusing on it more and more. I know when I was obsessed with body image, being orthorexic and exercise addiction, I didn’t have much room in my brain to focus on the things I loved the most. But one I started to give myself permission to do that, all the other stuff slowly started to melt away. The less attention I paid them, the less impact they had on me. So I encourage you to really focus as much as you can and take action on things that you do love doing. Make your dreams come true!
Eating disorder recovery tip 3
Write a letter as your recovered self. Sit for at least 30 minutes and imagine your life free of your eating disorder, free from counting calories, free of comparison etc. What does your life look like then? Who are you as a person? What’s your confidence like? What are you doing on a daily basis? Who are your friends? What do you feel and look like? How are you living your life? Read this letter to yourself every single day. That way you’re reinforcing it in your mind, that this is your new life! You’re reprogramming your mind to think differently!
Which one go these tips will you start with? Do you know anyone you’d like to share this with? If so, be sure to do so, so they can benefit from these tips as well!
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