Eating Disorder Treatment and Recovery Inverness
Eating Disorder Treatment and Recovery
The inner voices of anorexia and bulimia whisper that you’ll never be happy until you lose weight, that your worth is measured by how you look. But the truth is that happiness and self-esteem come from loving yourself for who you truly are – and that’s only possible with recovery.
It may seem like there’s no escape from your eating disorder, but recovery is within your reach. With treatment, support from others, and smart self-help strategies, you can overcome your eating disorder and gain true self-confidence.
Eating disorder recovery
The road to eating disorder recovery starts with admitting you have a problem. This admission can be tough, especially if you’re still clinging to the belief – even in the back of your mind – that weight loss is the key to happiness, confidence, and success. Even when you finally understand that thinness isn’t the Holy Grail you thought it was, old habits are hard to break.
The good news is that the eating disorder behaviours you’ve learned can be unlearned. That doesn’t mean the process is smooth, quick, or easy, but you can do it if you’re motivated to change and willing to ask for help. However, eating disorder recovery is about more than giving up unhealthy eating behaviours. Overcoming an eating disorder is also about rediscovering who you are beyond your eating habits, weight, and body image.
Help for Anorexia and Bulimia
True recovery from anorexia and bulimia involves:
This may seem like a lot to tackle, but just remember that you’re not alone. Help for eating disorders is out there; all you have to do is ask.
Eating disorder treatment: Help for anorexia and bulimia
It can be scary and embarrassing to seek help for an eating disorder. But it’s important to get treatment. Eating disorder recovery is much easier when you have experienced, caring health professionals in your corner.
Eating disorder treatment step #1: Find a specialist
The first step in eating disorder treatment is finding a doctor or therapist who specializes in anorexia and bulimia. As you search, focus on finding the right fit. Your relationship with your doctor or therapist is important to the recovery process. Look for someone who makes you feel comfortable, accepted, and safe.
Eating disorder treatment referrals
To find an eating disorder treatment specialist in your area:
Eating disorder treatment step #2: Address health problems
Anorexia and bulimia can be deadly – and not just if you’re drastically underweight. Your health may be in danger, even if you only occasionally fast, binge, or purge, so it’s important to get a full medical evaluation. If the evaluation reveals health problems, they should take top treatment priority. Nothing is more important than your physical well-being. If you’re suffering from any other life-threatening problem, you may need to be hospitalized. While the thought of hospitalization may be scary, try to remember that it’s sole purpose is to keep you safe!
Eating disorder treatment step #3: Make a long-term treatment plan
Once your health problems are under control, you and your doctor or therapist can work on a long-term recovery plan. First, you’ll need to assemble a complete eating disorder treatment team. Your team might include a family doctor, a psychologist, a nutritionist, a social worker, and a psychiatrist. Then you and your team will develop a treatment plan that’s individualized to meet your needs.
Your eating disorder treatment plan may include:
Eating disorder support groups
Anorexia and bulimia are difficult to overcome without support. It’s important to have people you can turn to when you need a sympathetic ear or a word of encouragement. While family and friends can be a huge help, you may also want to join an eating disorder support group. Participating in an eating disorder support group can help you feel less isolated. They provide a safe environment where you can talk freely about your eating disorder and get advice and support from people who know what you’re going through.
Online support for eating disorders
You can find online help for anorexia and bulimia at Internet support groups, chat rooms, and forums. Online resources are particularly helpful if you’re not ready to seek face-to-face help or you don’t have an eating disorder support group in your area.
Click here for a list of online options, provided by the Something Fishy Website on Eating Disorders.
There are many types of eating disorder support groups. Some are led by professional therapists, while others are moderated by trained volunteers or people who have recovered from an eating disorder.
To find an eating disorder support group in your area:
Self-help for eating disorders: Learning new coping skills
Anorexia and bulimia aren’t about food. They’re about using food to cope with painful emotions such as anger, self-loathing, vulnerability, and fear. Disordered eating is a coping mechanism – whether you refuse food to feel in control, binge for comfort, or purge to punish yourself. But you can learn healthier ways to cope with negative emotions.
The first step is figuring out what’s really eating you up inside. Remember, “fat” is not a feeling, so if you feel overweight and unattractive, stop and ask yourself what’s really going on. Are you upset about something? Depressed? Stressed out? Lonely? Once you identify the emotion you’re experiencing, you can choose a positive alternative to starving or stuffing yourself.
Here are a few suggestions to get you started:
Coping with anorexia and bulimia: Emotional Do and Don't Lists
Adapted from: The Food and Feelings Workbook by Karin R. Koenig, Gurze Books
Self-help for eating disorders: Improving your self-image
Improving your self-image: You are more than what you weigh, a fact you lose sight of when you have an eating disorder. When you base your self-worth on physical appearance alone, you’re ignoring all the other qualities, accomplishments, and abilities that make you beautiful. Think about your friends and family members. Do they love you for the way you look or who you are? Chances are, your appearance ranks low on the list of what they love about you – and you probably feel the same about them. So why does it top your own list?
Placing too much importance on how you look leads to low self-esteem and insecurity. But you can learn to see yourself in a positive, balanced way:
Tips to Improve your Body Image
Wear clothes you feel comfortable in
Dress to express yourself, not to impress others. You should feel good in what you wear.
Cut labels out of your clothes
Don’t focus on a number. The size on the tags shouldn't dictate your mood for the day!
Stay away from the scales
If your weight needs to be monitored, leave that up to the doctors. How much you weigh should never affect your self-esteem.
Stay away from fashion magazines
Unless you can look through these magazines knowing they are purely fantasy, it's just better to stay away from them.
Do nice things for your body
Get a massage, a manicure, or a facial. Pamper yourself with a candlelight bath, scented lotion, or a new perfume.
Adapted from: The Something Fishy Website on Eating Disorders
Self-help for eating disorders: Learning healthy eating habits
If you’ve been struggling with an eating disorder, chances are you’ve forgotten what healthy eating looks like. But learning and establishing healthy eating habits is an essential step in recovery from anorexia and bulimia.
Developing a plan for healthy eating. Developing a plan for healthy eating
In order to make a healthy eating plan, you need to know the basics about nutrition. Once you learn what a well-balanced diet looks like, you’ll be able to make healthier choices for yourself.
Read: Healthy Eating: Tips for a Healthy Diet
Relapse prevention for anorexia and bulimia
The work of eating disorder recovery doesn’t end once you’ve adopted healthy habits. It’s important to take steps to maintain your progress and prevent relapse.
Visit Helpguide.org for more information