“I Have An Eating Disorder Now What?”
The other day a friend of mine asked me this question…
She had been seeing my posts on facebook and started realizing her relationship with food wasn’t ideal.
But now what?
It’s a great first step to identify you have a problem like an eating disorder.
But now you have to do something about it!
And that’s scary.
So I asked Wendy Wright, if I had an eating disorder now what?
Wendy is an eating disorder expert with over 20 years of experience in the field 🙂
And OH My God!!!
I loved our conversation!!!
Here’s what I liked most about our conversation:
- Wendy used to struggled with an eating disorder for many years and she has been through the trenches! So her advice is proven.
- Wendy likes skiing and so do I! Just a random tidbit that made me smile 🙂
- She gives a TON of actionable advice on eating disorders from recognizing them to starting the process of healing.
Wendy says it’s most important to:
Remain curious about eating, and not staying in judgment. It’s hard to trust curiousity, but curious is the way to healing.”
I Have An Eating Disorder Now What?
Here is our transcript:
Yes, this is going to sound cliche, but honestly the way to start is by taking a breath.
Especially if we’re talking to someone who’s gotten the intuitive eating book, has read the book and has connected with even 50% of the book, then …
Start by just allowing space to take a breath.
To be grateful for the increased awareness…
And to start noticing how foods are in charge of you, instead of you being in charge of the foods…
Notice that a sense of constant like fight or flight or panic, like every day you’re supposed to solve this problem and every day you don’t. And so it, you know, it’s very pervasive and so being able to just pause…
And know that you’re okay, it’s going to be okay and you’re about to experience some really change, some change to your life, I think is the best way to start.
Here are a few practical techniques and action steps:
To identify if you have a food struggle:
- Notice how much distress food causes you when you “break” a rule or do something “bad”. Ideally, food emotional reactions should be neutral. So if you are having strong emotional reactions to food this could be a warning sign you have an eating disorder
- How many thoughts throughout the day are about food? If you constantly think and worry and fret and panic about food, then that’s a sign you might have an eating disorder.
- Are you binge eating?
To start the process of Eating Intuitively:
- Shift away from judgment and into curiosity. For one week just notice what comes up around food. If you are able to catch yourself eating a bag of chips, in response to a feeling of anger, you’ve already made a lot of progress bringing awareness to your automatic tendencies!
- Learn about intuitive eating
To understand and release the fear of eating “unhealthy”:
- It can be scary to start to eat foods you previously forbid yourself. You might think “I’ll be eating donuts 10 years from now”! But let’s test that hypothesis. You probably will start tiring of donuts much quicker than that!!!
- Wendy said the process of eating foods you forbid and normalizing them, in longer situations, takes a few months. In my experience, most people see a dramatic relief almost right away.
- Learn health at every size principles
Finally, I want to wrap up this article by sharing a story that Wendy shared …
She was having a hard time in life, to say the least. Divorce, housing problems, two kids, career change, etc, etc. She’d been struggling with an eating disorder for years …
And she decided to call one of the founders of Intuitive Eating, Elyse.
Elyse just said “You’re OK.”