When you have a relapse, you feel bad. There is no question about it. You feel guilt, failure and doubt. But the truth is that a relapse is a lesson and a sign that the body is still healing. Not just the mind. Think of a baby – a baby screams for food and sleeps when it has been fed.
If you have been restricting for so long – your body screams for nutrition. And here, you give the nutrition and then take it away through guilt and restricting.
Ask yourself: guilty of what? Because you are hungry? There is nothing to be ashamed of. Your body backfires after the starvation. Starvation as well as purging is restricting. Eliminating food, avoiding certain foods, exercising – is restricting.
Our body acts like a rebel. If you think of restrictions – the body will backfire. That is why you feel that you walk in circles: Eat, starve, eat, starve. Etc. Just a thought, “I will not eat tomorrow” is ED’s best friend and your mind’s worst enemy.
To change the pattern no matter how bad it looks now you need to change the thought process:
- Always, no matter what, have a breakfast. Think in the evening before how good breakfast you are going to have tomorrow. Let it be good and nutritious.
- Eat six meals per day. Only this way you will build trust with your body. Why? Because your body will remember that another meal is coming in three hours and it is ok to eat a nice meal and not ten meals in one go because we are not starving anymore. How beautiful is that? It will take time, and you need to be patient here. Step by step. Give yourself time and be kind.
- “All or nothing “thinking – Forget it. The fact that you had a cake or another food from your “bad list” is actually significant. At that moment, stop. Breath. Think of what you are feeling. NO, you are not losing control. Your body is hungry. You starved for years, and now OMG – A cake is being eaten. Your mind is going crazy. Stop here and simply ENJOY. It doesn’t matter if you eat more. Keep it. Digest it. Build this trust. It will take time, but it will come. Imagine a natural eater – they will eat a cake and feel good about it.
- Often, doctors who try to help don’t understand the difference between a normal eater and a person with an eating disorder. They put people on another diet that simply won’t work. WHY? Because you cannot run with a broken leg. It is precisely the same principle. Heal till your mind and body settle. At this moment in time, you are healing. You feel cravings, hunger and need to eat. What you need to do first is to: Heal your body and mind and Heal YOUR Relationship with food. There is no bad food. None. Eliminate the forbidden food list. Plan your meals as nutritious and as you would love them, and always include forbidden foods. Until the list disappears completely. Until you feel no anxiety after eating certain foods. It is crucial. Facing the trigger with small steps will help you slowly to build a healthy and good relationship with food.
- Food consists of Fat, Protein and Carbs, and we need all three. The answer is within us. Your body tells you what it needs. And now imagine that your body has been deprived of food for months, maybe years. Your cravings are your body’s response. Listen to your body. Your weight will settle at the level that makes you feel good. Your body regulates your weight, and you need to trust that feeling. When you feel good with yourself and healthy – that is your set point. That will feel amazing.
- Do the breathing work. It is the first most important thing you do in the morning. Close your eyes and breath to relax.
- Pamper yourself. Have a bath, light candles, play some music. It is your time and your recovery. You deserve to be kind to yourself. It is a very tough experience, but the reward is life-changing.
- Set up small goals. If you say, “I will never do that again”, – you may be disappointed. Celebrate these little winnings. If you had a good breakfast and messed up with lunch – congratulations on having a good breakfast! Celebrate small steps. It will give you a sense of achievement. When I had my accident in the mountains – I survived because I was setting small goals. A few steps was a celebration. We often demand too much from ourselves and cannot see how far we have come. Look how far you have come. You have extensive experience shaped by failures and victories.
- There is nothing that can stop you from succeeding and fully recovering. On top of that, you are learning to listen to yourself. How many people can honestly do that? It is this extra bonus that comes with recovery. You are practising mindfulness and self-awareness.
- You are an amazing person if you don’t know that yet. Believe in yourself.
Recovery is a very tough experience but the reward is life changing.
Love and light