Recovery Aids

mindbodSome things that have helped me in anorexia recovery;

1. Thou shalt not miss meals. (Doesn’t matter if other folks do; they probably don’t have a history of EDs and anyway, this is about you getting healthy, not minimum requirements).

2. Don’t overexercise. (If your need to exercise is interfering with daily life, it’s an issue). Plus, if you’re low weight, the more you exercise the more you need to eat to get better. That’s an extra challenge you can probably do without.

3. Step away from the scales: don’t weigh yourself- and certainly not more than once a week,( too easy to cut back or panic)

4. Donate to charity clothes that start to feel a little tight, (seriously.  You don’t want them looking at you and you don’t want to go backwards)

5. Invest (for a temporary period) in stretchy fabrics, (helps with bloating and feeling generally meh. These are not forever, but they help until your body stabilises).  As time goes on and you eat regular meals, your appetite will settle down too. But give it time.

6. Don’t compare yourself to a twig. Or your old ‘skinny’ self.  Look at healthy curvy folks and normal bodies.  They have bumps and sticky-out bits and those bits rock just as much as the rest of them. (If you’re arty, check out life-drawing as a reminder of what a real body looks like)

7. Celebrate weight gain.  It’s a bloody good thing.  It’s moving you to health and vitality and setting you free from all kinds of slaveries.  It’s hard but you are doing it.  Well done.

8. Let people in and talk out the feelings. Don’t give them airtime when you’re on your own (and especially not within a half mile radius of any red wine)

9. Read the promises of God and learn a couple.  Carry them round in your wallet. When the bad thoughts crowd in, hit them with these.

10. Remember that sometimes the worse you feel, the better you’re doing.  This is what it takes to fight an addiction.  You’re doing it.  You’re not alone.  And you just need to do today.


What helps you?



7 thoughts on “Recovery Aids

  1. For me, painting or writing or playing an instrument helps me to feel a feeling without it being overwhelming. I find that being creative and learning to go with instinct helps me to not be stuck in my head plotting and analysing and thinking in such regimented terms

  2. Jesus’ promise in John 10:10 “I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.” and remembering how much more fullness of life I have experienced as I have progressed in recovery, compared to the bleakness and emptiness of life in the grip of eating disorder.

  3. As someone at the very start of their road to recovery I just want to thank you for this post

  4. Just catching up with some old posts! Those are all really helpful Emma.
    Here are some other things that occur to me:

    Accountability: asking a close Christian friend to ask me regularly how my weight gain is going – and then being honest with my answer…!

    Having a supportive GP who sees me every month or two to weigh me and find out how I’m feeling about weight gain, understanding that I feel worse as I gain weight not better; and who is understanding, not judgmental, on those (many) occasions when I haven’t gained weight or lost some. I know how fortunate I am with this one, not many find a GP like that.

    Paradoxically, stepping onto the scales at home once a week – to prove with FACTS that, in spite of how I FEEL, I haven’t actually put on 2kg in a week, but maybe only a tenth of that, and that therefore I need to keep going, not go back to restriction.

    Remembering that my old sinful life (including the ED) has been CRUCIFIED with Christ (that’s pretty final!) Romans 5&6; and that by the power of Christ’s resurrection in me I CAN live out the new self (but not in my own strength…) It’s so easy sometimes to fall into ‘this is just the way I am and always will be and I can’t change it’ thinking. Or ‘I can fix this myself, I don’t need any help’. (Your book was really helpful with that one!)

    There are probably others but I need to go and pack for our church weekend away… (eeek!)

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