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Make “Healthy and Whole” Your Mission - Part 3

As you are doing the healing work on your emotions, altering your relationship with food and recovering from an eating disorder, it is important to take a step one at a time and gradually weave the changes into your life. Attempting to adopt too many behaviors at the same time may well be self-defeating and send you back to the “harbor” for your feelings – anorexia, bulimia or food addiction.

Feeling, healing and releasing the emotions that are buried in eating disorders is a process. To support that process and guard against the abstinence-loosing triggers that can arise, you can cushion your environment and shift your behavior. Eating disorder recovery takes time, commitment, and a series of accomplishments – some big, some small, but each important. It is worth repeating that the fewer temptations we have, the more we will be able to focus on the real work at hand, moving through our emotions, releasing them and returning to health and wholeness. So, the best way to stay motivated is to make one change, meet one challenge, let your success inspire you and then take the next step towards healing. Continuing on from part 2, what follows are some suggestions to support your eating disorder recovery and help you create a healthy, vibrant life. Make the choice. Make the change. Say YES to life, you are worth it.

- If food commercials on television drive you to uncontrolled devouring, record your shows and skip the commercials. If the show itself triggers the thoughts and feelings that lead you to binging and purging or to not want to eat at all, find another show to watch or better yet, use the time to journal, meditate or call an eating disorder counselor.

- When you are with friends; focus on the company, not on the food. If the gathering is centered on food, ask if you can come late or bring your own healthy snack. If the conversation is focused on weight and body image, find a different group of people to share time with. Surround yourself with people who see you for who you are, and the light inside you, not the size of your jeans.

- When you are away from home, pack healthy snacks to take with you so that you’re not relying on whatever’s available when hunger strikes as that is a recipe for a binge eating disaster.

- At restaurants, ask the waiter not to bring chips, bread, or anything that you will be tempted to graze on just because it is there. Let’s face it; no chip is worth our head in a toilet.

- Our bodies thrive on movement and quickly degenerate without it. Physical movement reduces stress, encourages the processing of emotions and keeps us feeling balanced so that we are less prone to binge eating. Movement activities are weapons to combat sabotaging emotions without resorting to food. Choose ones that comfort and interest you - that make you feel good about being alive! When you choose activities and behaviors that inherently contradict self-loathing and self-destructiveness, you steer yourself towards positive feelings of self-worth. Whether it’s out of boredom, anxiety, depression, anger, or even pleasure, you can learn to employ activities that are incompatible with eating disorders or being otherwise self-destructive. Make “healthy and whole” your mission by making choices that lead to your becoming a more relaxed, healthier, and happier human being. When you take the time to nurture yourself, you are stating that you are worth it and that you know you deserve the best life has to offer.

- Go to the grocery store after you have meditated or exercised rather than when you are feeling emotional or tired and your defenses are down. Meditation and mindful activity shifts perspective and will affect your shopping (or just eating in general) choices.

- Seek support. Get those close to you to support your eating disorder recovery program, and from this point on, consider your health and well being sacred. Don’t let your obligations to others interfere with your obligations to yourself. The most important relationship in your life is the relationship with YOU. Take a good look at the people in your life. Who is supporting you and who is sabotaging you? The desire to be accepted and loved is a primal human need that often drives us to conform to the behavior and attitude of those around us. As a result, the people around you have a profound effect on the way you see the world and your place in it, as well as choices that you make every day. Surround yourself only with people that lift you and incent you to rise up, not just for eating disorder recovery, for life!

- Ask for help. It is absolutely essential to recognize that you are not alone. On the road to eating disorder recovery, there will be emotional triggers and many other issues you will have to face. Some, you may be able to deal with on your own and others you may be able to manage with the help of family and friends. But if you find that you are continually overwhelmed by life, are battling anorexia, bulimia or food addiction and need someone impartial to talk to – it is a good idea to seek the help of a professional. Sometimes, an outsider’s insight is just what you need! Rebecca’s House offers eating disorder extended care treatment for clients with eating disorders and the co-occurring disorders that often accompany them. We support your journey to health and wholeness and we are here to help. 

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