how to overcome an eating disorder: 31 tips
I received an email the other day with the question: "What has helped you deal with overcoming an eating disorder and body image stuff?".
I could have easily answered with suggestions such as going to therapy or having a strong support system, but the more I kept going and reflecting on my journey over these last ten years or so, the more I realised how many things have helped me along the way.
So, this will be quite a short blog post - I'm literally writing it ten minutes before I head off to work - but I felt very inspired to share some of the experiences and tools that have pushed me, shoved me, carried me, or held my hand.
Just a few notes - my recovery is not over. It is a continuous work in progress. Every meal, every waking moment is a choice to say YES or NO to recovery. If you haven't read my thoughts on what it feels like to go through an eating disorder, head over here, and if you're curious about my eating disorder relapse(s), head here. Everyone's journey is different so what has helped me may not help you, and visa versa. If I've missed something on the list below, I would love to hear what has impacted your life in your path towards reaching your truth.
So let's dive in.
Here are 31 things that have helped me get over my eating disorder:
- Paying for and regularly going to professional psychoanalytical therapy.
- Having a strong and supportive network of friends and family.
- Going to a clinic that specialises in eating disorders as an inpatient for a few weeks.
- Going to group therapy.
- Leaving group therapy when it no longer served me.
- Doing Shakti Malan's Sexual Awakening for Women meditation work and attending women's circles.
- Rediscovering and embracing my sexuality.
- Getting rid of old clothes that no longer fit and letting go of clothes that are didn't make me feel good.
- Travel travel travel.
- Unfollowing triggering people on social media.
- Eating out at restaurants where I couldn't control how they prepared the food.
- Eating "scary" or "challenge" foods.
- Movement meditation.
- Microdosing (more on this in the future).
- Taking plant medicine in ceremonies or in relaxed environments.
- Talking to people who also struggle with eating disorders or body-related issues.
- Writing blog posts like this (aka being vulnerable, feeling the relief of expressing and witnessing how many people support me and who can relate when I open up honestly).
- Listening to inspiring YouTube videos and podcasts.
- Going to a dietician.
- Thinking positively.
- Practising regular gratitudes.
- Going vegan.
- Doing art therapy.
- Using meal plans.
- Throwing meal plans away when they became too restrictive.
- Forcing myself to rest when my body was tired but my thoughts were guilt-tripping me and telling me to do otherwise.
- Going off the contraceptive pill.
- Allowing time to pass, experiences to be experienced and simply growing up.
Recovery is like riding a wave. Sometimes it's smooth sailing, other times it's bumpy, chaotic and you get dunked. But if you choose recovery everyday, no matter how hard it is, you won't ever drown. Sure, you may gulp down some water and cough and splutter, but it doesn't last forever. You will breathe again. You will flow through life again.
Lots of love always,