Hi guys and happy Tuesday! Tuesday’s = another day I get to link up with my gal pal Emily to talk about how important and vital it really is to take care of your body; as our bodies are temples! Taking care of your body means providing an endless amount of love for yourself, fueling yourself with feel good food and food that makes your soul thrive, moving in a way that makes you smile, and fitting in that self-care time even in the busiest seasons of our lives.
Today we’re going to be talking about an important topic in eating disorder recovery. Preventing relapse- how to prevent a relapse and how to fight off relapse.
According to Merriam Webster, Relapse is defined as “becoming ill again after a period of improvement in health.”
So therefore, relapse from an eating disorder (whether it’s binge eating disorder, anorexia, bulimia, etc.) would be becoming ill again. One who suffers a relapse with an eating disorder slips back into old ways: whether that is restricting, purging, bingeing, etc. All of these behaviors detract from one’s well-being; and therefore the individual becomes ill again after having an improvement in their health.
Relapse from an eating disorder is unfortunately very common. In my journey on the path to freedom from my eating disorder, I had my slip-ups for sure. I had a relapse and a slip-up (not a full-blown relapse) and my goodness was it hard. I’m not going to sugar coat it, fighting the urge to relapse and go back into eating disorder ways is TOUGH. It’s tempting to go back to something that is so comforting like our eating disorder. We are faced with that temptation during our tough times and even during our okay days too.
How do we fight this temptation though? How do we resist this urge to go down that dark path known as our eating disorder? I’m going to give you my ten tips today that truly helped me resist those urges.
- Have a support team. Whether that may be a therapist, psychiatrist, nutritionist, parents, friends, etc. It’s okay to reach out for help on our hard days. That does not make us weak. And the thing is? These people want to help- they want you happy and well!!
- Remind yourself that these bad thoughts you are currently having: whether they are thoughts of guilt around food, urges to purge, urges to restrict; you have had these thoughts before, and YOU have overcome them. You can overcome them again. Remind yourself that these thoughts are temporary, but the freedom you will feel when you finally beat this eating disorder is a feeling that will last forever.
- Coping skills, coping skills, coping skills! Find ways to help you cope during the tough times. Because the thing is, you are going to have tough days. But you need to learn skills that will help you cope rather than just returning to old ED behaviors. For me, some of these included coloring, listening to music, watching my favorite TV show or movie, snuggling with my dog, watching YouTube videos, etc. (NOTE: none of these coping skills included exercise. Because that should NOT be a way to cope with bad eating disorder thoughts: ever.)
- Stay mindful. Staying mindful and truly living in the present is so so essential. When we are worried about the future yet dwell on the past, our brains have the tendency to just go all over the freakin’ place. So stay in the here and the now- eliminate those worries and those fears you have about the future and those doubts and regrets you may have about the past.
- Realize that returning to ED behaviors and relapsing will not bring you joy. It will bring you an instant feeling of gratification, but that feeling doesn’t last. It fades pretty dang quick. Remind yourself that returning to ED behaviors will not make the situation better: at all.
- Create a vision board. Write out your goals and throw some pictures on there too with things that you want to accomplish in the future and different dreams you have. Every time you want to give into your eating disorder, look at that vision board. Remember that with an eating disorder, you will not be able to accomplish your goals and achieve your dreams.
- Keep following your meal plan and keep doing what your doctor/therapist/etc. is telling you to do. Because when you don’t comply and you give your eating disorder an inch, it will take a mile.
- Accept that bad body image days are inevitable, but how you react to them is completely in your hands. Let yourself feel those emotions, but recognize that you will not feel any better about yourself or your body if you return to ED behaviors.
- Give up the scale for good. Yeah, get rid of your stupid lil scale. And have your family get rid of it too to help resist that urge to weigh yourself. At the doctor, also get “blind-weighed” and request for them to not say your weight. Not knowing during recovery is totally, 100% okay as it is even when you are fully recovered from an eating disorder!
- Get mad at your eating disorder. Get mad at it. Get mad when it tells you to use a behavior or to relapse, get furious at it when it tells you that your body is not “small enough” and feeds you with lies: get mad at it!! Because you do not deserve that eating disorder. You deserve a life of endless joy and love.
Those are my tips to preventing and fighting relapse, and I hope they are helpful to some of y’all!! <3
If you have one tip you used or would like to share, drop it in the comments. Or if you have any thoughts on this, please share below!! Would truly loveeee to hear them 🙂
I hope you all have a wonderful Tuesday guys!! And I am sending allll my love and big hugs to ya <3
Facebook: Blissful Lyss
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AND- Don’t forget to check out Emily’s blog here!