Yes, recovery takes time. But taking daily steps to improve your recovery is a doable goal!
Here are 8 things you can start doing right now to improve your recovery.
8 Ways to improve your recovery today
1. Find something to appreciate
Even though the eating disorder might blind you to it, you body is amazing and beautiful. Try to find something to appreciate about it.
It may be the blueness of your eyes, or just the fact that your eyes can see such a variety of colors. Or maybe it’s the strength of your legs that allow you to walk and jump and run.
It doesn’t matter what it is, but give yourself a moment to bask in gratefulness for the amazing thing your body is. And keep searching for more little things to appreciate your body for.
This exercise will be worth the effort!
2. Separate yourself from your eating disorder
Do you ever think or say things like “I’m bulimic”? If you do, you should stop. Like, today – right now!
YOU are not your eating disorder. It’s not a part of your personality or who you are. Your personality may have predisposed you to developing an eating disorder, but the eating disorder is not you.
Changing the way you speak about your disorder (e.g. I have anorexia vs. I am anorexic) will go a long way in terms of how you think about it.
3. Don’t expect linear progress
High expectations and the desire to have everything under control might lead to expect a perfect, fast, easy recovery.
But these thoughts make the disappointment inevitable. Because recovery is messy.
Recovery doesn’t necessarily mean the dark days are over. But there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
4. Learn to listen to your body
Ask your body what it needs, not the scale and not the mirror.
Most of the time it tells you exactly what it craves. Trust it!
However, it may take some time before you can truly hear its signals again. So in the meantime, follow a meal plan if you have one set up. But start really tuning into hunger and fullness cues.
Your body can be trusted, even if it doesn’t feel like it right now.
5. Stop bargaining with yourself
Recovery can only be successful if you stop holding on to old patterns. It does not help you if you say, “I can stick to my running routine because I’ll eat more to make up for it.”
We all know you won’t.
Bargaining just creates further mechanisms to trick your brain to stay in its old patterns with a good conscience.
Stick to your recovery plan, even when it’s hard.
6. Get rid of the mirrors
The thing that might have helped me most in the very beginning of my journey was to take down all the mirrors which showed anything beneath my shoulders.
It might seem a little drastic, but it’s simple and you can do it today. No need to wait!
Now, this isn’t something you’ll want to do forever. At some point, it will be important to be able to confront yourself in the mirror and make peace with it.
But if mirrors could be dragging your recovery down right now, just take them down and see how you feel!
7. Clean your closet
We all have that certain piece in our wardrobe that simply makes us feel bad. It may be pants which used to fit or a shirt that you just don’t feel comfortable in.
Get rid of everything that’s too small or just doesn’t make you feel good. Be ruthless. There will always be more cute clothes in the world – in whatever size your healthy body needs to be.
Fore me, cleaning out my whole wardrobe actually felt really healing. It felt like a sort of “brain-cleansing.”
8. Surround yourself with support
Have any friends who are always talking about the latest diet or their obsession with exercise? You either need to stop hanging out with them or make strict guidelines on not discussing these things around you.
Right now, you need to be around supportive people who will encourage you in your recovery. Friends and family who count calories and comment on how much fat is in food won’t be helpful for you right now. In fact, they’ll be very harmful.
Find people who enjoy food don’t make comments on how “good or bad” foods are. Their relaxed presence will help boost your recovery rather than dragging you down.