Top 3 Tips for Anorexia Recovery: Tip #1

Tip #1: Decide You Want Things To Change

I know how difficult it is living with an eating disorder.

Your mind is so consumed with thinking of food that it’s difficult to have a conversation. You may have isolated yourself from other people.

You just want to feel safe. You just want to feel in control.

You have continued with the rules and rituals for a long time, in the hope that you will finally feel good enough and happy. But all it’s bringing is endless torture.

It feels like there’s an angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other. You have no idea who to believe. What is right. What is true.

But know this:

Happiness comes from feeling good about yourself

Change the way you think about yourself

Happiness will never come from anything external ie. a new car, more money, your weight

Your eating disorder is not making you happy

Your eating disorder will never make you happy

Make the decision today that you’re not happy and you want things to change. Don’t think about tomorrow, just focus on now. Don’t get overwhelmed by looking too far ahead. What can you do differently to feel good about yourself? Because doing the same thing won’t change anything.

Keep making that decision every day and every time you’re tempted to go back; and just keep doing your best to move forward.

Advertisements

Can Clean Eating Manifest Into An Eating Disorder?

clean-eating

 

The idea of clean eating has been around for a few years now, and the concept has been immensely popular.  Public figures have been seen to be following the diet, facebook pages set up, and there have even been claims that clean eating can help prevent cancer.

But is clean eating good for you?

For some people who use this diet for the short term, as a detox, and a kick start to eating more healthily in the long term, I can see the benefits.  IMO, diets just don’t work because they involve depriving ourselves of foods we enjoy.  As soon as we deprive ourselves, that’s when we start to desperately crave them, and then it’s just a case of how much willpower we have before we crack.

But what if our willpower doesn’t crack?  Can clean eating manifest into an eating disorder?

When I had anorexia, I created a long list of rules and rituals around my food, eating and behaviours which I thought, at the time, kept me safe and in control.  I’d have a list of safe foods that I could allow myself to eat and over time, this list got smaller and smaller as my anorexia took hold of me even more.

Orthorexia, which hasn’t been defined as a diagnosable eating disorder but has been acknowledged that many people struggle with, is a term used where someone has an unhealthy obsession with eating healthy food.  So could clean eating lead to Orthorexia?

Many people started a diet on New Year’s Day and some have already gone back to their old eating habits and maybe put on more weight as a result.  Some may be able to lose what they need to and keep it off.  Some may end up being obsessed and not allow themselves to eat anything else.  So what’s the difference?

woman-at-grocery-store

IMO, as a recovered anorexic and now professional who works with women with eating disorders, it comes down to our mindset.

Eating disorders are never a choice, but a subconscious reaction to dealing with an aspect of our life that we feel we can’t control or cope with.  Just like a person uses an addiction ie. drugs, alcohol, smoking, gambling, etc. to cope, someone with an eating disorder uses food, either by restricting, overeating or a mixture of both.  They use an unhealthy coping strategy to fulfil some emotional need.

I developed anorexia after I found out my husband was cheating on me and we divorced.  My appetite disappeared and I just wasn’t hungry.  And that’s what I’d keep telling myself, and it was true to begin with.  But then a part of me was aware that it was no longer about not wanting to eat, it was more that I couldn’t.  I’d eat the same things every day, but the amount would reduce each week as I got more sucked in, where I listened and trusted in the voice in my head more.  She was willing me not to eat, telling me that I was doing so brilliantly, that everything would be good and I’d be happy if I continued to keep going, if I stayed in control.

At that time I wasn’t happy and I didn’t feel worthy, special, like I belonged, I felt second best.  I was restricting as I thought it would make me feel better.  But it didn’t, it just brought more misery.  It was only when I dealt with this negative beliefs that I felt happy.  And I could see how distorted my mind was.

So, getting back to clean eating.  Not everyone who follows this will develop an eating disorder.  But for some, who tell themselves it’s fulfilling a need in them, and this is the guaranteed answer to their happiness, may develop an unhealthy obsession.

An eating disorder is a mental illness, which involves a particularly negative mindset and not everyone who follows a clean eating diet has this.

If there’s a part of you that’s concerned that you’re not relaxed around food and eating, please seek help.  Book a call with me. Find out how to be really happy, in a more healthy way.  Because the answer’s not in restricting or using food.

 

10 Steps To Feeling Better About Yourself

Beach Coast Sand Calm Coast Explore Relaxation Concept

When I was struggling with anorexia, I felt tortured every hour of every day.  It was like I had a devil on one shoulder and an angel on the other, each telling me different things.  I didn’t know who to believe.  I didn’t know which was true.  But I knew that I felt safe if I stayed in control of my eating, and if I continued with all the rules and rituals.  But it’s not that easy, as my mind was thinking about food all the time.  No wonder really, as it was starving, and it was trying to keep me alive.

But I didn’t care about that.  Part of me that felt I didn’t deserve to be here anyway, I deserved all this pain, I was a burden, I was bad.  I wouldn’t have wished anorexia on my worst enemy but for me it seemed OK.  Why was that?

My problem was that I didn’t like myself.  Actually I loathed myself.  Everything about me.  I wasn’t good enough.  I wasn’t special.  I was second best.  I wasn’t worthy.  I was a failure.

But Ana wanted me to feel this way because then it was easier to manipulate and control me.  Although I felt that it was me in control, I know now I wasn’t, and I certainly wasn’t safe.

But how did I get out of that dark place I was in?  Reaching out for help in terms of recovery was the scariest thing ever as I thought everyone would monitor my behaviours, I’d lose control and I’d be made to get fat (which was my worst nightmare).  So why would I want to do that?

But then I realised that the key to my recovery was learning to like myself, to feel better about myself, to feel good enough.  So that’s why I aimed for.  That became my goal.  And it worked.  And it can work for you too.

I’m now recovered, a qualified Practitioner and work with women with anorexia and other eating disorders to help them feel more confident, more positive and better about themselves so that they no longer have the same urge to use the eating disorder behaviours in order to feel safe and in control.  They can Kiss Goodbye To Ana.

And by working towards feeling better about yourself, rather than focus on a goal weight or meal plan, it feels less scary too.

So do you want to like yourself, feel better about yourself and feel good enough?  Download the 10 Steps to Feeling Better About Yourself now.canva-image

If you’d like online support, please join my Anorexia Support Group on facebook.

I believe in you, and you can too! x

The Comment “Screw You B*tch” Didn’t Affect Me!!

desperate-woman

My how things have changed for me!  Yes I already know I’ve recovered and I feel good about myself but it’s not until I was tested by someone, did I realise just how far I had come.

A comment like “Screw You B*tch” would have instilled anxiety, dread, punishment, self blame and torture.  It would have triggered so many beliefs such as I’m not good enough, I’m inferior to others, I must make others happy, etc.  I would have seriously been affected by this, not just for that day, or week, or month, but that comment would have stayed with me forever, and would have been yet another reason why I wasn’t worthy and things were always my fault.

I set up a support group on Facebook last September, in order for people to see that they’re not alone in their struggles but also that getting better, is totally possible.  I wanted to give hope when they felt there was none.  Providing hope and inspiration is a big thing for me, but that’s another story.  So anyway, the group.  The group have been getting to know me and I have given Facebook Lives, posted positive quotes, and given support.  They have also been getting to know each other and have built up good  relationships.

There are some rules with group members must adhere to.  They must not use numbers or describe specific behaviours, as others can find this triggering.  It’s a hard line when trying to decide whether to approve a post, when someone is asking for help, but the content could be extremely triggering for other group members.  I do have to delete some posts because of this, although I do ask for the person to amend appropriately and resubmit.

So I was quite prepared for this element, but call me naïve but I never expected a guy to request to join the group (that’s not the surprising bit btw), request group members as friends, then ask for underwear selfies and make sexual suggestions!! He obviously looked to prey on vulnerable women.  He was immediately blocked.

And last week, I had a woman request to join, which I approved.  She quickly settled into the group, commenting on others posts but I did sense that she was a straight talker.  But this straight talking came to ahead when she started criticising other members comments. When they mentioned they were afraid, she told them to just get on with it.  She commented on profile pics and started picking at them.  I asked her to stop, but she stated that surely she should be allowed to talk freely.  It was obvious, that she would continue this behaviour, so I felt I had no choice, I blocked her.  Within seconds I had a message request from her which said, Screw You B*tch.  I have to say I was a little shocked at first, but then felt so relieved that I’d taken the decision I had, and not subjected the group to her any longer.

But to see this message and not react like I definitely would have done years ago, felt extremely liberating.  You see, I knew that the problem was with her, not me.  I knew it was nothing I’d done.  I didn’t blame myself.  I was confident in myself and my actions.  And if you’re in that place, then nothing that anyone says to you can bring you down in the same way.  I didn’t look to punish myself by restricting even more or working extra hard in the gym.  I just felt sorry for her.  Because as you know, we are our own worst critic, our own worst enemy.  If she was able to say that to me, I can only imagine what she’s saying to herself.

If you would like to join the facebook group, the link is www.facebook.com/groups/AnaSupportGroup/

If you would like to feel better about yourself, to feel more confident, to stop punishing or blaming yourself, book a discovery call with me today.