- One of the hardest but most important things you can do is to tell someone about how much you are struggling.
This comes from the girl who took a whole six months to finally reveal the truth to her loved ones, about how she had relapsed on returning to college and lost weight as a result. And it was one of the most difficult and painful things I ever had to do, to tell them that, yes, I had relapsed, I had lied to them, I had fallen victim to my eating disorder once again, had allowed it to take control of me. But since that day I have not looked back once. I have been doing so, so much better, now that I have Mam supporting me. Because doing it on my own did, in the end, prove to be too hard.
But there is enormous power in togetherness and it was through that crucial support and help that I was finally enabled to find my feet again; to realise that I did, after all, have that strength and courage deep inside me. the strength of a great white swan, soaring upon the storm clouds as they rage and thunder around him. the courage of the young, delicate seabird who has stretched his wings and stepped over the edge of the cliff face, trusting himself to the winds, and the strength of his own wings.
- Write up the meal plan in full and stick it somewhere where everyone can see it.
- Buy yourself plenty of the foods which you like and enjoy.
Take my meal plan, for example, which is basically comprised of all the foods which I love to eat. I can honestly say there is not one food item on there which I don't like..no, quite the opposite!! And this, consequently, makes it much easier for me to follow. After all, eating toast generously slathered with peanut butter, or regularly indulging in numerous mugs of Mam's hot choc is something which, to be honest, I don't really find too difficult to do at all anymore, haha. They're just too yummy to resist, and I know that by having as much of these delicious foods as I want, I am only helping my body to repair itself, and basically doing the equivalent of shaking a clenched fist in ed's stupid gaping face.
- Tell someone about what you plan to eat today/show them your food diary for the day.
- Make things in advance if possible, to lessen the chance of being convinced by ed to skip/"conveniently forget" to have something.
- Bakeand make your own meals/snacks.
- Develop a sound support system and get as much help and motivation as you possibly can.
- Reintroduce things gradually, don't take it on all at once.
For example for me, when I started eating morning snack again with a hot choc. Well, first I started off by making sure I had a full mug of hot choc, every single morning, for abut four days in a row..and then I added in a small handful of nuts to go with it. In a few days again, a hot choc and a big handful of nuts. Then...hot choc, spelt toast and peanut butter. Then half a bagel, peanut butter and hot choc. And now? Well, now I can happily say that every single morning I have not ONLy a hot choc and a snack...no, now I have a hot choc and TWO snacks instead of one. Like this morning, for example: hot choc and a good handful of salted cashews at 10.30, then half a seeded bagel + tbsp pb at about 12.15. And boy did I enjoy it. And its true, that at one time - only a few months ago, so to speak - this would have been totally unthinkable for me. Yesterday while I was rummaging through some notes in my bag I found a diary in which I had taken some notes of my daily intake during the period back in October, during the period when I had started to restrict again. And I can honestly say, I was appalled, shocked and incredulous..let me tell you, one of the first thoughts that popped into my head - a few seconds after running my eye over the words and actually comprehending just how measly my intake was back then - was...jeez, that amount would NEVER be enough for me now..I'd be starving, if I ate that little. It just all goes to show that, no matter how big, scary or impossible change may be, you CAN do it and you should never let anything or anyone stand in your way. Whether that be fear, doubt, uncertainty; the cruel taunts of ed, dragging you down and telling you that you cannot do it. You CAN resist and defy all of them. Don't let anything stand in the way of your recovery!!!!
Anyway, ahem. Once again I seem to have swayed off topic somewhat. Apologies. ;)
- Establish a little routine.
I hope these are of some help to anyone who is struggling with this particular branch of recovery...which is, I suppose,one of the most important and fundamental aspects to the physical recovery from an eating disorder in terms of nutrition and weight restoration...but which, at the same time, represents one of the most difficult. But hear me now when I say: difficult does NOT mean impossible...and there is absolutely nothing that you cannot do.
You can, and will, defeat the ED Voice. <3 xxx
Oh and one final point i felt that it was important for me to make. In my last post I included my own meal plans, all of which are loosely based on my ones from hospital (but altered, of course, to suit my own schedule and food preferences!! ) Now I don't calorie count but I would estimate that they are roughly about the recommended amounts for recovery (2500 + ). I thought it important to clarify here that if you are in recovery and about to start the refeeding process, it is very important that you do not go onto a meal plan like the ones I am currently on straight away as this could cause refeeding syndrome , which can be very dangerous. Instead you need to start off on a lower amount and then gradually increase to 2500+.