Hey everyone! Sorry it has been over a week since my last post (once again haha), I have taken some time off to really concentrate on myself. Over the last couple of weeks I have been trying to build a routine back into my life, organise to face some of my demons, as well as return to study! While it has been a tough journey, I am pleased to say that I feel like I am finally getting somewhere. As it is my first post back, I thought I would just do a short post about my past (and somewhat current) eating disorder, and how I cope with the challenging thoughts I come across.
As some of you may know, when I was around 16 years of age I was diagnosed with anorexia nervosa. I underwent family based treatment at the time of my diagnoses, however, it was the skills I learnt in the years after that treatment that have really helped me overcome such a scary illness.
- Eat fast! I know this may seem strange, but one of the most effective techniques I have managed to start using over the past few years is actually to eat fast. Now, although this may cause some indigestion, it actually enables me to be able to eat freely before the intrusive thoughts can suggest to me that eating is not okay.
- Have safe foods! This involves eating fruit and vegetables or whatever else you and your mind can consider ‘safe foods’. These are foods in which you can eat freely without feeling too guilty about. This is especially useful in the first instance of recovery when you might not be mentally strong enough to fight the thoughts that come with an eating disorder.
- Challenge your thoughts! This one may seem a bit obvious, however it can sometimes be very hard to do. For example, if you are eating dinner and your thoughts are telling you that you are going to gain 10kg, rationalise with yourself and really think about what the consequences of the meal in front of you are. Most of the time, it may involve getting rid of hunger pains, feeling energised, and actually helping with your serotonin levels (which help alleviate some of the depression symptoms that come along with an eating disorder).
- Eat with other people! I know that for some people struggling with eating disorders, this can be quite a challenging task. However, I find that having your meals with people surrounding you can actually help with the intensity of the thoughts you might get surrounding food.
- Get professional help! Once again this seems quite obvious, however for people with eating disorders (or any other mental health issues), they can find it quite hard to actually ask for help. Specifically for eating disorders though, workers are trained to teach you how to deal with having an eating disorder and can give you some really helpful hints for recovery.
That’s all folks. Let me know in the comments if you have ever tried to use these techniques, or if you have anymore that might be worthwhile sharing 🙂