The first thing you should do is choose to be hopeful, and choose recovery. There are effective treatments for eating disorders. Talk to a trusted friend or family member and seek help from a healthcare professional or facility that specializes in eating disorders.
Right now, you might wonder how you could ever change. What could happen during treatment that would allow you to let go of the unhealthy behaviors you’ve held onto for so long?
Here are 18 things that you will learn in eating disorder recovery, to help you let go of dangerous eating behaviors and start building a healthy, happy life:
- Acknowledge that your behavior is harmful and will negatively affect your life now and in the future if you do not choose to change.
- Identify your feelings and internal messages before, during, and after you binge, purge, or restrict.
- Identify what triggers you to binge, purge, or restrict.
- Focus on the present rather than the past, and on the positive aspects of your life.
- Take time to nurture yourself in ways that have nothing to do with food or your eating disorder behaviors (a walk, movie, hot bath, etc.).
- Enjoy your body. Choose physical activities for fun rather than weight loss, such as dancing, stretching, and swimming.
- Take responsibility for changing your behaviors.
- Work toward the point where weight is no longer something by which you rate your success.
- Think about your accomplishments, positive personal qualities, and valued relationships, and affirm yourself for these things.
- Identify goals and activities you have been putting off until you’re “thin.”
- Set small goals that you can accomplish easily, and congratulate yourself for every success.
- Explore any ambivalence about giving up old habits and your fear of living without them. Take the risk to try new behaviors, without being certain of the outcome.
- Recognize your personal rights. You have the right to say “no,” to express your feelings and opinions and to ask to have your needs met.
- Find a growth-oriented, non-judgmental community of relationships, such as a church, support group, or appropriate 12-step group.
- Keep a journal of your experiences, feelings, thoughts, and insights. This is a safe place to be honest with yourself. The journal is for your eyes only: no one else will be reading it or judging it. The journal can also help you identify the feelings, internal messages, and triggers that lead to your eating disorder behavior, so that you may prepare yourself to choose alternate strategies.
- Don’t let the scale run your life. Remember that numbers on a scale are not a value judgment of self-worth. Throw the scale away.
- Let go of fault-finding, blame, guilt, and shame. Focus on the present, and take responsibility for what you can change today.
- Understand that shame and guilt often lead to eating disorder behavior, and eating disorder behavior then leads to more shame and guilt, creating a vicious cycle that can be broken.
How We Can Help
The Meadows Ranch offers customized, comprehensive treatment programs for women and girls with eating disorders, designed to help heal the mind body and spirit. We take pride in our…
- Experienced, multidisciplinary staff: Treatment is led by dedicated doctors, psychologists, dieticians, and nurses who help patients achieve medical stabilization and support them through the stages of recovery.
- Comprehensive care: We can stabilize women and adolescents with an acute eating disorder, and help them progress in our program to residential and partial levels of care.
- Experts: Our leadership team has extensive experience in the field and are involved in daily operations, ensuring that each patient receives the help she needs.
- Family Program: Our staff incorporates the patient’s family into the healing process through weekly webinars and an onsite Family Week.
- Spiritual approach: Mindfulness activities and life skills are incorporated into the recovery process. Christian focused and 12-step focused tracks are available.
- Healing atmosphere: Our facilities are located on a ranch in the beautiful Sonoran desert, and are designed with patient’s comfort and healing in mind.
- Discovery and ownership: We work with patients to confront their issues in a positive manner in order for them to develop a sense of their true potential, allowing them to take responsibility for their lives.
For more information, reach out to one of our Intake Specialists today at 866-390-1500 or send us an email.