It is estimated that more than 28 million Americans will suffer from an eating disorder in their lifetime. These disorders can wreak havoc on your body and are not always easy to overcome. Eating disorders can cause digestive issues like GERD, anemia, heart problems, bone loss, and more.
But, if you’re recovering from an eating disorder, even if you’re just beginning this journey, you’ve already taken the first step to getting your life back on track. The important thing now is to take care of your body and your mind, so that you can recover from the inside.
Recovery is different for everyone. Your body has been through a lot, and taking care of your physical and mental health will make a big difference in the effectiveness of your recovery. Let’s go over some tips that can help you.
Give your body what it needs
Having struggled with an eating disorder, it is not as easy as you might think to fully understand your own body’s needs. It can cause some frustration and can even be a trigger, but patience and dedication are both important. You should be working on adequate nutrition every day, and you can do this by:
- Allow all foods
- Eat a variety of things
- Practice body awareness
- Recognize your hunger
- Eat until you are satisfied
- Stay hydrated
- Cultivate joy
Of course, your body needs more than food to be healthy and strong. Sleep and exercise are also crucial.
When it comes to getting enough sleep, you might find it difficult at first. Your diet can have an impact on your circadian rhythms, especially if your body has not been getting the adequate nourishment it needs for some time. You might be so tired during the day that you take a nap, which can disrupt your sleep schedule at night. Work on developing better sleep hygiene and establishing a nighttime routine for yourself so that you can get the rest your body needs.
Exercise can be a difficult thing for those recovering from an eating disorder. You may be struggling with bone or muscle loss, which can weaken your body. You should also be careful not to over train. A good rule of thumb is to change your perspective on why you want to exercise. Instead of using it as a way to lose weight, think of it as a way to strengthen your body while improving your mood.
Set healthy goals
Setting short and long term goals for yourself throughout your recovery can help keep you motivated. Short-term goals that can be achieved quickly can give you the emotional and mental ‘boost’ you need to feel more confident. Long-term goals can show you that your illness won’t control your life forever.
In addition to specific goals for your physical health, be sure to focus on your overall well-being.
Set goals for self-care and your support system. Strive for more self-compassion as you recover. When you realize that your life goals don’t need to focus solely on your eating disorder and your recovery, you’ll also realize that your disorder doesn’t define you.
Develop a healthy relationship with food – and yourself
Taking care of your body during recovery is important. But you also need to focus on your long term goals and what you want your future to look like. Think about what may have triggered your eating disorder in the first place. You might have felt like food was the only thing in your life that you had control over. Or maybe you’ve had body image issues and always had an unhealthy relationship with food. These problems can affect anyone. While women are generally the target when it comes to erectile dysfunction treatment, men can have body image issues just as much.
It is a disorder that can affect anyone.
Talking to a therapist, counselor, or nutritionist can help you find the underlying cause (s) of what triggered the disorder. It’s also a great way to take care of your mental health and wellness, and can help you develop a healthier relationship with food.
On your own, you can try things like mindful eating with every meal. Mindful eating will allow you to slow down and enjoy your food. You can also focus on things like:
- Why do you eat (to nourish your body)
- How you feel (grateful to be healthy)
- How each ingredient does something good for your health
Mindful eating allows you to enjoy and appreciate your food and what it does for you, rather than feeling overwhelmed by what’s on your plate. It forces you to listen to your body to know when you are hungry and when you are full, using these natural cues to stop and start eating, rather than “giving in” to what the disorder might still be trying to tell you.
It can take a long time for some people to recover from an eating disorder. But, it is possible, and you are not alone. Use these healing tips to take back control of your life and feel empowered as you recover and recover your body.