Recovery from an eating disorder doesn’t happen overnight. For most individuals, recovery will be an ongoing process for the next 1-3 years which may include a full continuum of eating disorder treatment that paves the way for confident application of the skills and tools needed throughout this journey. Understanding ways that your eating disorder has tricked you in the past will help you prepare to face future triggers with positive coping techniques rather than eating disorder behaviors. Once you have accepted that food is not the enemy and that your meal plan is actually designed to be a help and not a hindrance, you can experience increased freedom in the eating process. However, eating a balanced meal plan and encompassing a “healthy lifestyle” is not the sole determining factor in your eating disorder recovery. Just as the treatment process is multi-faceted, so is your personal recovery.
Please don’t think that I am discounting the importance of meal plan compliance and the impact it has on your physical and mental health throughout recovery. As a dietitian who has worked with this population for many years, I can attest to the necessity of re-establishing appropriate eating patterns and rebuilding trust in food and your body. However, once you make the decision to not use food as a means of escape, you must look for effective ways to address underlying issues and cope with uncomfortable feelings. For this reason, it is crucial to employ the expertise of a multi-disciplinary treatment team throughout your recovery.
Although recovery is a personal journey, you don’t have to walk through it alone. Allow peers, family members, and your treatment team to support you during the ups and downs along the way. Your eating disorder wants you to isolate yourself and keep those who care about you at a distance, but that is not what is best for you and for your recovery. You need others to offer meal support, accountability, positive distractions, and encouragement. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you need, whether it is additional sessions with your treatment team or a close friend’s support at the kitchen table. You deserve FULL recovery from your eating disorder so don’t wait any longer – take back control and start LIVING!
~Ashlee Overstsreet, Supervisor of Dietetic Services
Please call us at 1-800-236-7524!
Canopy Cove’s Eating Disorder Treatment Programs offer compassionate, comprehensive treatment for females, males, adolescents, and adults, who are struggling with Anorexia, Bulimia, Binge Eating Disorders and Co-Existing Diabetes, Depression, and Anxiety. Equine-Assisted Therapy is an weekly part of the Recovery process at Canopy Cove.