21 February 2012

Eating disorders: 9 recovery tips

Recovery from an eating disorder is a slow process, and not something that happens overnight. Getting help is essential, however, there is also much that you can do for yourself.


Recovery from an eating disorder is a slow process, and not something that happens overnight. As those who have "been there" can testify, getting help is essential for lasting change. However, there is also much you can do to help yourself on the way to recovery. 

Here are some tips, courtesy of Tracy Stewart and, a non-profit organisation dedicated to promoting recovery from eating disorders in South Africa:

  • Be honest. The only way you can truly begin recovery is if you are honest with yourself first and then with others. Hiding behaviours does no one else any harm other than yourself.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help. People are surprisingly supportive if you ask for help.
  • Forgive yourself. Don’t feel ashamed for what you are going through. Rather forgive yourself and allow yourself to begin healing.
  • Throw away the scale. This will be one of the most difficult, yet rewarding, things you will ever do in recovery. You cannot let numbers define you. Start to rediscover who you are as a person and what you truly enjoy.
  • Write in a journal. This is a great place to be yourself without any judgement and to understand where some of your feelings are stemming from.
  • Give yourself time. Recovery is a process and there are stumbling blocks but that should not discourage you from the amazing steps you have taken towards healing.
  • Discover what makes you feel good. I found that volunteering at an orphanage was a great way for me to gain perspective on life. The children allowed me to be in the present and I found myself thinking less about my eating disorder.
  • Identify your triggers. If FTV is going to create anxiety around your eating disorder, don’t watch it. Ask people you trust to help you with this by telling them what makes you most vulnerable and eliminate these triggers from your environment. Throw away those magazines and photos that are holding you back.
  • Try something new. I used to feel safe with what I knew (the predictable) but this prevented me from experiencing so many other wonderful things life has to offer. Take baby steps and have that cappuccino that you so often deny yourself.

 (Written by Tracy Stewart)

 Do you need help? Do you have a friend or family member who needs help? Visit the website of RecoverySpace to find out more about eating disorders, as well as treatment options and tips on recovery.

- (Health24, February 2012)

Any questions? Ask Health24's Eating Disorders Expert

Read more:

Eating disorders
How to help anorexics and bulimics
Anorexia: a cry for help



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