Hello beautiful people, I hope you’re all doing well!
Following my post last week, Disordered Eating VS. Eating Disorders, which you guys seemed to love and really resonate with, I thought I’d share some tips and ideas for dealing with eating disorders and disordered eating.
As I mentioned in my first post, I am not a specialist on the topic of Eating Disorders (ED); If you or someone you know is dealing with an ED, please seek professional help or encourage and support those dealing with ED to seek help and establish a support system.
If on the other hand you deal with some form of disordered eating, have body image issues, or are recovering from an ED, the info below might help you 🙂
This has to be my first suggestion; finding some form of therapy or treatment that will help you deal and recover from an ED is incredibly important. There is no alternative here; knowing that you are not alone and getting the help you need to recover will be such a huge relief. The first step is always the most difficult, but once you’re there, you’ll very quickly realise that it will get better from there! Know that you deserve the help you need and try to find the courage to speak up and take the first step.
If you, like me, have had a dysfunctional relationship with food and body image, you know that discussing food, what you eat, weight gain and your insecurities with friends and family can be really difficult.
Sadly, with food choice comes a lot of judgement. This is absolutely ridiculous, totally uncalled for and can be incredibly harmful.
I can think back to multiple occasions when we would be out for dinner with friends and even family and someone comments on what another person has ordered. To people who have no issues around food, body image or self esteem, this may seem absolutely harmless. But what if the person who just ordered a burger is dealing with disordered eating or worse still, an eating disorder? What if they’ve been starving themselves and have been miserable but finally decided to order what they want to eat, and then someone else makes and snide comment about their food choice??
This is just a tiny example that I’m sure many of us have experienced or witnessed. It may seem harmless but when it comes to someone’s food choice, body or dieting – less really is more.
If you have people you care about in your life who ALWAYS seem to want to talk about these topics and it’s making you feel bad or uncomfortable in some way, SET BOUNDARIES. Have the discussion with them, open up about what you feel you can and want to share and tell them that you’d rather not talk about these things. You’ll be surprised to find out how understanding most people will be, especially those people you are close to. If these discussions happen with acquaintances, with who you do not want to open up, then just change the subject or simply avoid the situation.
This is particularly important for those recovering from an ED. Please make sure you open up with those you trust and do not be afraid to set boundaries.
With so many people suffering from these conditions and disorders, food can become a numbers game. Counting calories to the point of total obsession can be incredibly harmful, both mentally and physically. Food is so much more than just calories and grams of this and that. Food is pleasure, it’s nourishment, it connects us to others and all this can be missed if we constantly focus on the numbers.
My advice here is to focus on NUTRIENTS NOT NUMBERS.
If you are recovering from an ED and find food daunting and even scary, there are nutrient dense foods that can form part of a very healthy diet and can help you on your way to full recovery.
These FEED bars and shakes are marketed as full meals – this is true in the sense that they contain a very vast and balanced array of nutrients – multiple vitamins, minerals and a balance of all the macronutrients that our bodies need – protein, carbohydrates and fats. They are made using great ingredients and come in very conveient bars and ready-to-drink shakes.
Even if you have to split the bar up into 5 pieces and have it throughout the day, or sip on a shake here and there during a busy day, you will be getting a large amount of nutrients that the body desperately needs, especially if you’ve been calorie restricting for a very long time.
Plus, they’re convenient and hassle free which means that you don’t have to spend hours in the kitchen around food to prepare a healthy meal.
Curate your Feed
We all consume social media nowadays, and despite knowing that images on social media are often air brushed and in no way an actual representation of real life, that doesn’t mean it won’t affect us.
I know so many together, level headed, beautiful, strong, independent and successful women who look at these perfect images and other women looking flawless and as a result feel badly about themselves or that somehow they are less-than simply because they don’t perhaps tick all the boxes that make women desireable.
It seems that we have to:
have a pretty face, perfect hair, flawless make up, big boobs, small waist, big bum, long legs, manicured nails, a great career, have a beautiful home with everything in place, be the perfect mum and have a wardrobe filled with designer clothes – but of course, #nofilter
Just writing the list above is EXHAUSTING. We all know that no human being can achieve all of it, however seeing it portrayed this way constantly is not helpful to any of us. On a good day, you can see a photo like the one described above and not be bothered, on a bad day you can see it a feel like crap!
So, curating your feed, following people or businesses and brands that you actually admire and relate to, all the while UNFOLLOWING anyone or anything that makes you feel that you are somehow you’re missing out or that you are less-than, can be incredibly helpful. I did this a while back and it really has helped. Be mindful of what you consume online, it really does affect you.
Finally, I’ve lest the BIG one for last. As simple as this may sound, trivial even, this is the real work we all have to do. ‘Self Love’ has become somewhat of a buzz word lately – what I’m talking about here does not necessarily involve face masks and bubble bath. While there’s absolutely nothing wrong with taking care of yourself, and feeling good for it- in fact I think this can be very helpful – what I’m talking about here is very different.
Self acceptance is looking in the mirror and being OK with what you see; you don’t have to love every wrinkle, every skin dimple and every bit of cellulite, you just don’t let it stop you from living the life you want to lead.
Self acceptance is knowing you have flaws but showing up anyway; you may not be the perfect person, but you show up and you do what needs to be done regardless.
Self acceptance is knowing you are flawed but also knowing that you have value; you are worthy, as you are.
Self acceptance is also self compassion; it’s about knowing that you are allowed to make mistakes and try to learn to not repeat them.
And finally, self acceptance is about learning to change the INNER DIALOGUE. The most important relationship, that will effect every other relationship we will ever have, is the relationship we have with ourselves.
That’s it from me for today – make sure you ‘follow’ the blog to receive an email every time I post :~)
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Until my next post, be well xXx