Thursday, April 9, 2009

50 Ways To Start Letting Go Of Your ED

1. Find a therapist who "gets" you (even if you have to go through a few retards who never should have gotten their psychology degrees).

2. Consult a psychiatrist if you or your therapist think meds may help with any depression, anxiety, etc.

3. Start to eat all "regular" food. This means no "light" or "reduced fat" or "fat free" versions. Note: I think it's probably ok to go back to these if you really prefer them, but when first embracing recovery and freedom, I think it's essential to have regular ice cream and mayo and cheese and all that...just to show yourself you can.

4. Eat snacks between meals. Keep your blood sugar even to keep your sanity.

5. Buy things at the grocery store without looking at the nutrition info.

6. Go to a restaurant and order something on the menu that you really want, as opposed to the "healthy" option.

7. Say "yes" to a sponanteous social invitation involving a snack or meal.

8. Invite someone to a social outing involving a snack or meal.

9. Say "no" to something you really don't want to do. Disappointing people and sitting with it is really important, I think.

10. Speak your mind. Express what you want, what you don't want, etc.

11. See how it feels to not exercise for a week or two. Again, I think exercise can be healthy, but if it's been abused, I think it's important to show yourself that you don't HAVE to do it.

12. Ban fashion and celebrity magazines for a while. I don't think pictures of models in bikinis cause eating disorders, but they're triggering. If you're really into fashion and style and all that, you can come back to the magazines later.

13. Change up your breakfasts, lunches, and dinner to make sure you're not getting into ruts.

14. Follow a meal plan.

15. Stop following a meal plan when you and your treatment team think it's not necessary, or even inhibiting.

16. Don't worry about what everyone around you is eating (or not eating).

17. Get enough sleep.

18. Stop body checks. I don't know any easy way to do this, aside from just stopping.

19. Don't get on the scale. There's no weight that will make you feel good for any length of time.

20. Stop counting.

21. Make a list of fear foods and start adding them back in, one at a time.

22. Read
Carrie Arnold's blog. In general, join the blog community.

23. Keep a journal. Even if you don't consider yourself a "writer," getting out feelings on paper (or computer screen) can be therapeutic.

24. Try not to give a shit about clothing sizes because they don't make sense.

25. Create a playlist of songs that make you feel good.

26. Spend some money. For some reason, food restriction --> money restriction. Buy something you want.

27. Do nice things for yourself -- a manicure/pedicure, a massage, a long bath, a hair cut, a book binge, whatever you're into.

28. Keep a list (mental or actual) of things you're looking forward to in life, whether it's a movie release date for this summer, or a vacation you daydream about, or children you want at some point.

29. Accept yourself as you are. When you do that, all those things you wanted to change will probably change on their own.

30. Cry.

31. Know you're not alone.

32. Don't be ashamed. You have an illness.

33. Open up to people in your life you can trust -- even if it's just one particular friend or family member.

34. Forgive yourself.

35. Take a trip (big or small) just to see how it feels to be out of your element for a while.

36. Do whatever it is you need to do during stressful times (i.e. holidays with the family) to stay healthy, whether it's bringing your own food, or making a deal with yourself to eat what they eat, or just not going at all.

37. Make a list of your food rules.

38. Break rules, one at a time.

39. Keep in mind certain mantras: "Your body is a temple" or "You only live once" or "It's just food" -- things like that.

40. If you have a significant other, do your best to educate him/her, but also know another person can't "fix" you. It's your battle to fight and win.

41. Have several favorite DVDs on hand to watch at a moment's notice.

42. Love an animal. They'll love you back, no questions asked.

43. Do absolutely nothing for an entire day (aka tell the productive perfectionist in you to shove it).

44. Think about some comfort foods from childhood and let them comfort you again. For me, it's cookies dunked in milk so long they're soggy, and mac-and-cheese.

45. Fill in the blank: "If I didn't have an eating disorder, I would _______." Then, ask yourself why you can't fill in the blank NOW.

46. Write a letter to your body, acknowledging damage you've done and how you plan to treat yourself well.

47. If you find yourself in front of a mirror for longer than 45 seconds, step away.

48. If you find yourself surrounded by women discussing diets, step away.

49. Keep a sense of humor about it all.

50. Go for walks when you feel delirious or anxious or upset or whatever. While doing so, listen to Paul Simon and come up with weird blog ideas.

(I got this from someone else, but I really like it!)

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