Suggestions
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Suggestions for Healing

Suggestions for healing food, weight and body issues.

Suggestions for Personal Recovery
Suggestions for Parents


Suggestions for Personal Recovery

  • Learn about the symptoms and causes of eating disorders.

  • Be gentle with yourself and try not to deny the fact that you may have some of the symptoms of an eating disorder.

  • Seek professional help if you suspect that you may have an eating disorder.

  • Know that in order to stop eating or restricting compulsively, you will need to become willing to get help with the emotions that you have been eating (or dieting) over.

  • Understand that an eating disorder is an expression of emotional pain - not a lack of willpower. Issues around food and weight (unless developmental or medical) are about feelings.
  • If you doubt your own strength and will power, think of all the times you have "been there", or sacrificed your own comfort for another person's well-being. That's your will in action - you're probably just not using it for your own greater good.

  • More than likely, your struggles with food and weight have damaged your self-esteem. Seek out compassion and support, not shame or criticism.

  • Remind yourself frequently that the cultural emphasis on thinness and its connection to success and value is unrealistic and often unhealthy. Many of the models and actresses you aspire to look like may have eating disorders themselves and may have had their photographs drastically altered by computers. (God bless those in the public eye who have come forward with the hard truth of how their images have been altered to achieve some "ideal" look.)

  • Remember that all bodies are naturally different. As you learn how to feed your body what it needs and wants (physically and emotionally), your body will settle into its natural weight.

  • Remember that your self-worth is not about the size you are, but who you are.
  • Learn about distorted body image and know that every time you think you feel "fat," you are having other "big" feelings that need your attention. Know that there is hope and help to do all the above. Many people have achieved complete and total recovery from food and weight issues. No matter how severe your issues are, recovery is possible.

  • Learn how to name the emotions that lead you to obsess about food and your body. ("fat" is not a feeling.)

  • Learn to distinguish between emotional hunger and physical hunger. When you feel hungry, yet you have just eaten, ask yourself what you are really hungry for.

  • Learn how to listen to your body's signals. Practice eating only when you are hungry and saying "no" to food when you are not hungry (regardless of what others are doing or may think).

  • Remember that diets do not work. (Most of the people who lose weight on diets gain it back within 5 years and most of those people gain back more than they lost!)

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New York, NY.  sharon@livingaware.com