“In order to recover from eating disorders, it is necessary to reintroduce excluded food and not to have compensation behaviours such as physical hyperactivity…”
How many books, websites, doctors, where I had read or even listen to these kinds of sentences?
Definitely, “it requires”, but “how??”!
That’s precisely for this point I hadn’t sufficient answers, or not suitable answers.
Thus, I found by myself some little tips to help answering to this “how”: these tips had worked out for me, maybe it wouldn’t for you, but I think it is worth to try it!
First, the physical hyperactivity
It was a real issue for me, up to 7 hours of “sport” (written with big quotation mark, since at this level it wasn’t sport anymore) and almost never seated.
But today I can say I feel better, much better, now I can say that I am not overactive anymore, and that we can succeed for it.
The first thing to reduce its hyperactivity is to be willing to it. You have to want it. It has to come from you, really from you.
If you don’t want it (for example, because it’s your doctor who told you to do it), you won’t succeed.
In order to be willing to it, I draw up a list of all the benefits I could earn reducing hyperactivity, as well as the disadvantages. I became aware that the benefits were more important than the disadvantages.
Immediately, an incredible “put on weight” fear added with a sluggish and full of fat becoming overhunted me… I think that a lot of us know these fear (which is, furthermore, very irrational).
So I started to reduce little by little, 15 minutes walking, I hold the entire week, I weighed myself and my weight hadn’t changed. I feel reassured, so I keep reducing 15 minutes walking more, similarly, my weight didn’t moved…
Thus, I can hear the first remarks coming from you like “yes okay, but with stable food input and less physical exercise, the weight necessarily increases!” So, first of all, is well your goal to recover from eating disorders? Secondly, yes my answer is yes, after reducing little by little, your weight might increase, but very slightly.
Once reassured with weight gain, another thing feared me up: I had free time, a lot of free time and I had no idea of what to do.
I had this huge feeling of emptiness. The solution: to occupy yourself differently!
I first started with “stand up” or “moving” activities like: take a shower, apply cream on my body, cooking, store and sort out my belongings…Then I succeed to replace some of these activities (yes, we still have to wash ourselves sometimes!) by quitter activities like puzzling, coloring, even simply watch TV!
Then, I had to reintroduce excluded food
During my illness, I excluded a lot of food categories and this for a long time, because of my “calorie’s fear”.
Today, I really succeed to reintroduce all the food categories. Here are my tips:
Similarly at the hyperactivity, you have to want it.
-Draw up again a new list with the benefits and disadvantages. You’ll notice here again that you’ll have more advantages to fight for it!
-Draw up a second list with all the food that you liked before but that you don’t eat anymore.
I split up my list in several categories: sweets, salted, cakes…Then I wrote specific food such as: this chocolate cake from this bakery, the meal from this brand…
-Once finished, I draw my list up again by decorating it, with colors and little drawings. I displayed it and I was really proud of it J Then, I choose one salted food and one sweet food to reintroduce per week.
I choose those that did make me want for it the most and for which I was really confident for the success, then I marked a cross if I succeeded, otherwise I picked up some others for the next week and I came back on this food I hadn’t succeed to reintroduce when “I did feel better for it”.
I was really proud each week marking my little cross. I showed my list to my psychologist each time we met.
When I decided to reintroduce one food, I was really anxious. In order to reduce this anxiety, I started to pick the half of the food (or portion). For example about one cookie, I took the half of it but only at the beginning. Then, when my anxiety was less strong I was able to take the entire cookie.
You would surely imagine that you’ll gain a lot of weight. It was exactly the way I thought.
Be reassured, it is not the reality. It’s the same thing as the hyperactivity, it is so progressive that your weight doesn’t move, or very slowly.
In conclusion, the recovery is a very long work, but it pays off and it’s really worth it!