Are you feeling at a bit of a loss at what to do? Does it feel like old thoughts around food and body image are returning? Are you worried about slipping back into old habits and undoing all the positive work you have done with yourself around food and body image?
Whether you are struggling with under eating, over eating, a bit of both or just general anxieties around food then these practical tips and advice may be able to help you.
First key bit of advice I would give here is to stop and breathe, accept the feeling and do not beat yourself up for feeling that way.
If you have anyone close to you that you trust, I always advise confiding in them as a problem shared is a problem halved. If not, there are several helplines and information for eating disorder support including B-eat, Samaritans, NCFED.
Furthermore, I would suggest in a moment of despair is to write down the all the things you have gained in your life since beginning your road to recovery. This may be more energy, better relationships, more self-esteem, your hormones may be more balanced, you may be doing better at school, work or general everyday activities. You may even have started to enjoy life without the self-deprecating thoughts around food. Then I want you to write a list off the COSTS that come with listening to that voice, with slipping back into old habits. The impact it has on your health inside and out, the way it affects your ability to have friends and make plans and every waking thought it consumes with its rituals and rules.
Ask yourself, will this make tomorrow any easier, is this one difficult day or week in recovery worth giving up for a life of obsession, sadness and guilt?
Another thing I would advise, if for anyone recovering to keep a journal, write down all the amazing progress you have made, the things that have improved and the coping mechanisms that work.
GET RID of old pictures if they make you compare yourself or make you feel worse.
TAKE A BREAK from social media, you may benefit from being away from a world of filtered images and comparison while you get yourself to a better frame of mind, it won’t go anywhere and when you feel strong enough then you can return.
Is there a way for you to book an appointment with a counsellor or therapist, or go to a local support group where you may not feel so alone?
Practice self-care even when you don’t feel like it, take a bath, meditate, call a friend, make a hot tea, watch a film, get out in nature, anything that makes you feel good.
Finally, remember why you started. Remind yourself of how much the eating disorder took from you, the ceased laughter, the inability to think straight, the distance from those you love. The only time you give up the fight is when you STOP trying. So don’t give up and don’t allow that voice, no matter how overbearing and critical it may be, to convince you that one bad day or week is worth going back to a lifetime of misery.