I think I am finally at a point where I see the light at the end of the tunnel and I am genuinely really happy. It has been over a week since I have weighed myself and I think this is the longest I have gone in years without stepping on the scale. I haven’t binged or purged either and I actually cannot believe how well things are going! I have had a few moments of panic or worry but to be honest its been fairly easy. The binge/purge urges have subsided so much. I am a bit worried about weigh in at my next appointment as I think I may have gained, but at the end of the day an extra kg or two is surely worth it in exchange for health and feeling happier.
A lot of times over the past four months I have just felt like recovery is pointless or just been frustrated or fed up with it all. At times it can feel like it gets worse before it gets better.The process to get better requires a lot of patience,perserverance,honesty and self forgiveness. Its strange because so many times you can feel like you are just done with everything but for some reason or another you keep eating, you break out of the binge purge cycles time and time again and keep going. I am not sure what clicked inside my head but at the moment I am no longer longing for the eating disorder. I really hope it lasts.
It’s so freeing to choose what YOU actually want to eat on a work break instead of choosing the safest option. To not try and figure out how many calories are in a curry or how you will persuade yourself to keep it down after. To be able to eat with others and be social and not have to hide away. To not be preoccupied with food 24/7.To be able to stay home and relax and watch films all evening and not be terrified of binging. To not have to be productive or distracted every second of the day.To go on walks with family. The most freeing is to not spend whole days and nights stuck in binge-purge cycles and the guilt, shame and arguments that followed.
Some things I have found helpful when slipping back into behaviours are:
1)CHALLENGE AND REDIRECT THE NEGETIVE SELF TALK
When you feel guilty, disgusted with yourself, or have any other nasty thoughts going through your mind. Think about “what is going on right now that is making me feel this way?” “does any of this really make me a terrible person? No one can be positive 24/7 and that is ok!
Accept that you are perfectly imperfect (there is no such thing as perfection as it is subjective and a point of view!)Plus life is waaaaaay more fun when you are a bit more wild and free instead of strung up on perfection. I mean I’d lie if I don’t take things personally and care what people think,of course I do but some times its so liberating to just do what you gotta do and not give a damn what anyone thinks.
2)Be Honest with yourself and with others
Secrecy is a big part of eating disorders. Being open and honest with those that support you can help keep you accountable. Making excuses and keeping secrets can keep the ED behaviours alive. If you have restricted/binged/purged be honest with yourself and think about what you can do differently next time.
3)GO BACK TO WHAT YOU KNOW WORKS
If I found myself binging and purging i’d try to go back to structured eating e.g. three meals, three snacks a day. This is not always possible because of work patterns but do what works for you. I am pretty flexible with eating and don’t follow a structure but it can be helpful to break out of restriction/binging cycles.Another thing is to make sure you actually eat enough. It is possible to eat 3 meals and 3 snacks and not get enough calories because they are too small of bulked up with veggies or fruit. Again that is to do with being honest with yourself .
Use tried and tested techniques as distractions. For example sometimes after eating on my work break I will go to the coffee shop nearby grab a latte and read or just browse social media on my phone and its a good distraction.