Your Healthy Self Will Heal Your Eating Disorder Self
A key component in recovery from anorexia, bulimia, binge eating, and other disordered eating behaviors is the concept that your healthy self will heal your eating disorder self.
I realized that I had two parts of myself early on with my battle with anorexia. My mom would call me down for breakfast and a voice in my head would say, “you should not eat breakfast. You will get fat.” The voice became louder and louder and overtime my eating disorder self had developed. I was born with a healthy core self, but slowly the eating disorder part was taking over.
A major part of my recovery was identifying these two parts of myself and then through consistent self-dialogue strengthening my health self. My job was not to get rid of the eating disorder self because it helped as an alert and an information giver, but I did want to eliminate my behaviors.
So how do you strengthen your healthy self? It takes time and you can do it. I suggest you get a journal or use your phone to write down conversations between the two parts of yourselves. A critical piece is to end with your healthy self talking! If you get stuck reach out to your therapist, an eating disorder coach or friend. Write down these conversations daily. Over time your healthy self will be reinforced and you will be closer to living in a world without an eating disorder.
Here is an example:
EDS: “You should skip breakfast.”
HS: “But I was looking forward to my cereal and fruit?”
EDS: “If you skip breakfast you will lose weight.”
HS: “But I have long day today and its important that I have some energy.”
EDS: “Nah, you will feel more powerful if you skip.”
HS: “But yesterday I felt really weak and light-headed.”
EDS: “Who cares?”
HS: “I care. I am in recovery and I must do what is uncomfortable. It is easy for me to a skip a meal- the hard thing is to eat it.”
EDS: “But you will gain weight.”
HS: “I will not gain weight from one meal and I want to feel better.”
Full recovery is possible!