Things You Can Do Right Now To Fight Your Eating Disorder
When I was 18 years old, I was diagnosed with an eating disorder that I had been struggling with for as long as I can remember. I was enrolled in a year's worth of treatment with a therapist and told that by the end of the year I would have self-confidence. I remember laughing because there was no way that was going to happen. Even though I was completely fed up with my disordered eating and the way my thoughts controlled my life, I couldn't wrap my head around the idea of never doing those things or having those thoughts again. When the year was over I was astounded looking back. My therapist was right. I couldn't even imagine telling myself such horrible things. If you are currently going through an eating disorder, I want to tell you that there is help out there. No matter your circumstances, it is possible to beat your eating disorder and have control over your life again.
I am living proof of that.
Below I have listed some things I did that year to help me beat my eating disorder. Every single one of them completely changed my life and I hope they can help you.
1. Get help from a medical professional.
I always list this one first because it is the most important. Eating disorders are often caused by other issues going on in your life. A medical professional can help you figure out what that is so that way when they are treating the eating disorder they are also treating what is causing it. Any treatment program should always be supervised by a doctor.
2. Throw out your scale.
This was the hardest thing for me to do. In fact, I couldn't do this at all. My addiction to checking my weight was so bad that sometimes I would step on the scale every day, or even twice a day, to see if anything had changed. This is just not a good idea and the number doesn't give you an accurate description of your body anyway. A scale can't tell you what percentage of your body is fat or muscle. It is not a good way to determine your self-worth. Instead of completely throwing out my scale my therapist and I slowly set limits. I would only be allowed to check once a day, then 3 times a week, then once a week. Now I rarely check my weight other than at doctor's appointments.
3. Eat 3 meals a day.
This changed my life. This was the rule that started to eradicate my eating disorder totally. No matter the circumstance, I was instructed to eat 3 meals a day. Even if I got up late, had a big breakfast, etc. I had to have three meals. This slowly over time allowed me to see what a normal eating schedule was like and also allowed me to realize how much food I should eat to keep me full between each meal.
To improve my self-worth I started to do fun activities that would be considered exercise. Instead of thinking “ooooh! This gonna make me skinny” I changed my thoughts to “oooh! This is gonna make me fast and strong."
Make fitness goals for yourself that have nothing to do with changing the size or shape of your body.
5. For every bad thought, write a good thought.
Carry around a notebook with you and write down any bad thoughts you may think about yourself. You'll be surprised how often you pick up the notebook when you first start. After writing down the bad thought, write down a good thought that counteracts it. This helped to change my thought processes so much.
If you need resources and help to handle your eating disorder you can contact The National Eating Disorder Helpline at 1-800-931-2237.