Eating Disorder Treatment, Binge EatingOrange County, California, Eating Disorder Treatment ProgramEating DisorderEating Disorder

The Way is Through - Eating Disorder Recovery

The road to eating disorder recovery is a long-term, even a life-term journey. There will be many paths that intersect, signs advising you to stop or to use caution or reminding you to go “one way”. If you want to see the other side of suffering, to live a life free from anorexia, bulimia or food addictions, you have to be consistently moving and tracking toward the milestones that will get you there. There is a beautiful life waiting – just on the other side of “Feelings-ville,” you can either take the “food addiction freeway, ” the “eating disorder highway” around it or - you can go through it. Eventually, the “way around Feelings” or “avoiding Feelings” is going to wear your one and only vehicle out, you will run out of fuel and breakdown. At which point, you will either sit abandoned and left behind on the side of the road or you will call a rescue service and be routed THROUGH FEELINGS, which will bless you with much more than a souvenir t-shirt – recovery and life itself.

One of the most useful tools for navigating the road to eating disorder recovery is a notebook. Write everything down and see it in front of you. Use the journal of our journey like a map showing you where you have been and inspiring you to keep going, to work through your issues and toward recovery, rather than avoiding and staying stuck in an eating disorder.

Internal examination is a good compass to help you identify your emotional triggers and keep you moving forward towards eating disorder recovery. Another way you can use your journal is to chart emotional territory; write down not just what you eat every day but the emotional circumstances surrounding every meal, snack, binge, purge, denial or bout of exercise flurry. From now on, every time you go to eat something, or deny yourself nourishment, stop and ask yourself the following questions so that you can pinpoint and map the psychological and emotional conditions that are triggering your eating disorder. Write the answers down so that you don’t push them to the back of your mind when you’re done.

  1. Are you hungry? Are there physiological conditions you are experiencing that are signaling to you that you are hungry? Is your stomach growling? Do you feel weak or tired? Has it been longer than 3 or 4 hours since you last ate? It is not hard to determine whether you are genuinely physically hungry or whether you are eating or a different reason. If you’ve answered these questions and determined that you are hungry, then eat. If not, its time of the next question.
  1. Are you depressed or anxious? Did you just get into a fight with someone? Are you anxious about a work-related deadline? Whatever it might be, write down in detail what you feel and why you think you are feeling it. If you don’t get in touch with your emotions and their cause, you will continue to stumble along in life with an absolute guarantee for failure.
  1. Can you find a way to address whatever emotions you may have uncovered in an appropriate way rather than suppressing those emotions? For example, if you had an argument with your mother, can you call her and talk it through? If you are feeling anxious about a deadline, can you get to work on the project to make yourself feel more on top of it? If you can rectify the issue in the moment by acting on it directly and positively, seize the opportunity to do so. Facing these kinds of problems is difficult, and it’s always easier to try and numb yourself with food or famine. But once you begin to look behind your behavior and analyze your feelings, it becomes easier and easier. Of course, it is possible and even likely that you will not have the means to resolve and issue or a situation at the exact moment that it is triggering you to behave self-destructively. If this is the case, go on to the next question.
  1. How can you turn this problem into an opportunity? Maybe you’ve recently been left by a long-term spouse or significant other. Maybe you’ve been fired from a job. Instead of seeing these kinds of scenarios as permanent lows to your self-esteem, try looking at them in a different light. Admit that you are in a lot of pain right now, but perhaps the relationship had been over for a while and there is someone better out there for you. Or tell yourself that losing your job does not change the fact that you are a smart, capable person who will have plenty of offers in the future. Try to stay positive. Try to find meaning and instruction in the pain. You will grow from it in amazing ways.
  1. If you find that you want to get off the “food addiction freeway” but don’t want to go through “Feelings” alone, you do not have to, nor should you. The staff at Rebecca’s House are well equipped, knowledgeable and experienced guides who are happy to extend a hand, offer eating disorder treatment and lead you through the complete experience of “Feelings” that leads to eating disorder recovery.

 

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