Recovering from an Eating Disorder is definitely one of the hardest battles I have ever had to fight in my life. Not only do you have a constant mental war between your demon and food but noticing the physical changes in your body makes you feel like a puffer fish about to explode! As much as your dietician/friends/family are telling you to eat and saying ‘you are going to be ok’, for some reason you still think you are different to everyone else and that food works differently in your body than it does to theirs. The feeling of food in your system sparks an anxiety attack that tells your demon you are going to put those calories straight on to your body as fat and you will instantly become fat and ugly. It took me many months to overcome these changes in my lifestyle and with many relapses and depressive thoughts throughout the process, I came out the other end and found the light!
After recovering, I decided that I wanted to help others suffering with an ED.
Now, I am not saying that I am now invincible and don’t still have thoughts of going back to my ED because I believe that it is something that will stay with me forever, however I have learnt that it’s about knowing how to control those negative feelings and balancing your life with a whole lot of goodness with a little bit of guilt free treating.
So I wanted to give you some general help to get you or that you can use to help your friend through this tough time!
ALWAYS REMEMBER – Quantity of amazing food is never an issue. Don’t be afraid to overeat wholesome nourishing foods that will benefit your body. If you are hungry, eat as many nutrient dense foods as you can!
But now, the hardest part that needs to be addressed when it comes to recovery is being comfortable with eating the ‘fear’ foods and being ok with having a little bit of bad amongst all the good. The best thing to do is an 80/20 ratio. This means as long as 80% of your daily routine is wholesome, great foods, 20% can be little treats and enjoyment. The little fun spark in your day to keep you mentally stable, happy and socially enjoyable to be around!
When you treat yourself you won’t get fat. Your body is an amazing machine that continually tries to stay as regular as possible, so 1 treat here and there throughout the week isn’t going to make you change into a puffer fish (as much as it may feel like it at the time). Bingeing comes from being deprived of the things you actually enjoy… With the thought (if I have 1 then I have to have them all because this is the last time I will ever be allowed it)
Always remember, all food is available to you all the time. You aren’t any different to other humans where if you eat a bar of chocolate you will double in size 🙂 the body doesn’t work like that. If you were to continually have 3 unhealthy meals a day 7 days a week then you may gain a kg or 2 over the next month or so but it will not happen overnight and I can guarantee you probably wouldn’t be eating 3 unhealthy meals a day 7 days a week anytime soon.
If you are an active person, your body needs constant replenishment of proteins, carbs, fats and minerals. Try to avoid diet foods as they are usually packed with sugars, the more wholesome a food is the more satisfied your tummy will feel. The more ‘diet’ the food is, the more you are going to want more. Sugar peaks and dips is what causes the body to crave more and more! So eat foods that are as natural as possible and you can guarantee your demon will not want so many extra calories.
So, I know It will be hard accepting small bodily changes as you begin to nourish your body more and more but always remember people love you for you and your personality .. Not how your body looks. Even within this year I have fluctuated 5 kg up and down…. And I still have the same friends, the same lifestyle and the same goals.
Don’t fear eating, some days you WILL be hungrier, so eat what your body is wanting, other days you may not be as hungry and subsequently you won’t eat as much…
Surround yourself with positive vibes and never be afraid to reach out for help.
I hope this gives you the light you need to get through the tough times. I hope to be helping more and more of you in the future ❤