Find peace with food and overcome disordered eating.
Eating Disorder Therapist
Overcome disordered eating and find peace with food
Developing a MASTER MINDSET for recovery
by Harriet Frew on January 27th, 2020

Recovering from disordered eating is complicated. It’s an unconscious coping strategy for dealing with the tricky life stuff.

Logically, you might know what you need to do to change. You could give incredible advice to anyone standing in your shoes. It’d be a no brainer.

Frustratingly however, when it comes to you, it can be a whole different ball game.

And why?

Because it’s bizarrely helping you day by day – it was never a conscious decision to cope this way; it just happened over time.  

We know that disordered eating is a pretty effective way to numb painful emotions and offer a distraction and focus, all whilst keeping you safe.

On some days, it goes so far to offer fleeting satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment; that can feel rewarding, when there’s not much else you’re feeling good about right now.

Of course, you’re UNDERSTANDABLY going to feel reluctant to let it go.  Who wouldn’t feel ambivalent about saying goodbye to something that partially helps?

But another part of you might hate it with a vengeance. It’s eroding your life and making you less than you can be. Whilst offering brief fulfilment, it’s simultaneously draining the life blood from your veins. Your poor body is suffering; your friendships are distant; your goals have become hazy and lost, because the disordered eating short-term goals will always win.

You might feel powerless to change things. The voice in your head might be giving countless justifications and excuses for why change isn’t possible.

The voice in your head might be telling you that you’re unworthy of change and why even bother.

You might feel 100% justified in being stuck as the voice in your head might have ground you down so much.

You might blame others for not fixing or making it better. If only they were helping me!

And I know, there is a shortage of quality help for the treatment of disordered eating. It is a real problem.

If you recognise yourself here, take a pause and stand back.

This voice in your head - it might feel true and honest and real.

In truth, this voice is likely an internalised voice from a childhood place. It has much more to do with your past, than your present. This critic is on a never-ending loop of self-chastisement and condemnation.

What can influence your internal voice?

The way you were spoken to as a child.

The way your emotional needs were tended to.

Your personal experiences of trauma, abuse or grief.

Childhood experiences cannot just be swept under the carpet, and a positive mindset adopted.

Childhood experiences need processing with support and healing is a necessary part of moving forward.

Healing is possible though. It is not easy work, but it is a choice to do so.

Giving yourself permission to heal and to acknowledge your hurts is important.

You might have all kinds of conflicts around this, as feel that you are somehow deserving of bad things. So you might unconsciously recreate these negative experiences again and again. So you believe it even more.

And when help shows up, you might reject it or pull away. It doesn’t feel safe or right.

You might sabotage any goodness or progress.

It doesn’t have to be this way forever.

Realise that the power lies within you to change.

This is scary at first.

You might be used to other people telling you what to do.

And a part of you hates that. It feels controlling and didactic. But -  it gives you something to push back against; to react against and a reason not to change.

No-one can give you permission to change but you. Therapists or supportive friends or family can encourage and spur you on. Ultimately the decision is yours.

How to foster change?

1. WANT IT. Make a decision today to change and focus on your recovery. Get clear of the ways that disordered eating is holding you back. Write down your forgotten longings and dreams. You are more than the eating disorder.

2. ROOT OUT THOSE LIMITING BELIEFS FROM CHILDHOOD. What’s getting in the way of change? Which old messages are you clinging onto? Which ones are just not serving you anymore?

3. DON’T OVERTHINK. TAKE ACTION. There is no perfect way to change. Over-thinking creates procrastination and endless naval gazing. Harness the desire to change and use this to find the motivation to seek out the resources; the determination to set recovery goals and the desire for seeking out fulfilment beyond food and body image.

4. SEEK OUT LIKE-MINDED INDIVIDUALS. Connect with others who understand the path. Your regular beloved friends might just not ‘get it’. Your old disordered eating buddies might unintentionally sabotage your progress. You need people who are also walking the walk.

5. BECOME YOUR OWN NUMBER ONE SUPPORTER. I’m sure that you offer your friends and family much kindness, support and compassion. You likely lift them up, encourage them and offer warmth and understanding. You deserve this too and if you believe it now, act as if you do. It is virtually impossible to simultaneously self-critique and self-care in one go.

Be brave. Be bold. How are you developing a mastery mindset for recovery today?

Posted in Change, Confidence, Motivation and change, Roots of behaviour, Self-esteem, self-help    Tagged with recovery, anorexia, bulimia, binge eating, change, mindset, limiting beliefs, you can do it


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Find peace with food and overcome disordered eating.