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Overcoming an Eating Disorder

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One of the most common questions that those with eating disorders and their families will ask is “How do we begin and sustain a recovery process?” This is a difficult question to answer because no two people are the same and, even though many people wish it weren’t so, there is simply no one-size-fits-all solution to this situation. My advice is, and always has been, take time to appreciate the process.

Nevertheless, there are some helpful pointers that can help those with eating disorders and their families to better navigate an eating disorder and arrive at a healthy conclusion.

Don’t Isolate

Many people with an eating disorder will isolate themselves inside their eating disorder. This isolation can continue for years at a time and those with eating disorders will cut themselves off from co-workers, friends and family. One of the most difficult things to do could be to get out there and be social, but it is important to remember that an eating disorder can thrive in isolation. Poor body image combined with ritualized eating and depression will make withdrawal more common and the cycle feeds into itself. While it is naturally very difficult to do so, it is highly recommended that you engage yourself socially. Even if this is nothing more than sitting at a coffee shop in the general presence of others it is better than nothing. This can be uncomfortable if you are not well-practiced so don’t put too much pressure on yourself to stay in the presence of others. If you begin to feel bad when in the presence of others, take a deep breath. You are doing the right thing and this could lead to one of the most rewarding parts of your recovery process.

Take it One Day at a Time

Taking your recovery moment to is the best plan. If you try to imagine what your progress will be in a year’s time or even a month’s time you can feel very overwhelmed. Just like it can be difficult to live in the past, living in the future can be just as hard. So, the answer lies in confining yourself to the present moment. If this day is too overwhelming, then just take it hour by hour or even minute to minute.

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Find your affirmation, and say it as much as possible

Affirmations are powerful tools that will keep you on course towards your goals of recovery. The idea is to find an affirmation that is especially real and perfect for your needs. It is not always easy to look at yourself in the mirror and say “I love You!” — but, that’s ok. Perhaps that can be something you include in the long term. Instead, you could begin with a far more practical affirmation, for example: “Today, I take actions to begin, my path to greater self-love” or, “Today, I am going to think about all the things I truly love about myself.”  Some of the affirmations that my patients have found especially beneficial along their path to recovery include: “today, I will nourish my body” or, “today, I will strive for better health”, or even “today, I don’t have to let my eating disorder dictate my actions” and better still “today, I choose to be healthy.” 

Create a Vision Board and look at it daily. 

A vision board is the absolute best way to keep your goals and progress at the forefront of your mind. Vision boards help people to get a clearer idea of what their goals are and how they will make progress towards them. I encourage all of my patients who are serious about making progress towards their goals to create such a board and add to it as they move through their process. Some people may have a hard time doing this, especially if they think about designing a perfect future — the big idea behind a vision board is to explore possibilities. If you are not sure what sort of things you would like to see in your vision for the future, remember that it could be anything so include some of your favorite activities and hobbies. Remember, that you will never come out of your recovery the same person you went to, so take the time to design the version of yourself that you would be happiest with. 

Learn How to Stimulate the Vagus Nerve Daily!  

The Vagus nerve is an important component of the nervous system. It’s a particularly long nerve that runs from the skull down toward the neck, chest and finally the abdominal cavity. It has an important impact on health and studies have shown that stimulating the Vagus nerve is the path to maintaining good health. There are many ways that you can stimulate a healthy Vagus nerve in the comfort of your own home.  Some practices include: humming at a low frequency of 5-10hZ, chanting, practicing Yoga and meditation are all good ways to keep the Vagus nerve healthy.

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About Chef Lilian

Your favorite recipe author, faithful to every course. Mail me at chef@foodwellsaid.com

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