To recover from an eating disorder like anorexia, it will require you to work hard to normalize your physical, nutritional, psychological, and emotional health surrounding food. For most people, depending on how severe their symptoms became, it will take a period for months or even years to fully recover. These long-term recovery tips for overcoming anorexia are essential.
1. Know It’s Possible – Anorexia is 100 percent curable and something that you can recover from if you know how. More than 80 percent of the people with anorexia who seek treatment do recover with no ill side effects or long-term issues. Half the battle for any type of change is knowing it’s possible.
2. Know Your Personal Healthy Numbers – While you do not want to focus on scales and that type of thing, you do need to know what numbers are healthy for your body type and activity level. A doctor can help you determine those numbers so that you can look at them realistically when your mind is playing tricks on you.
3. Plan for Success – Don’t leave your success to chance. Create meal plans, exercise programs, and social plans that consider any exceptional circumstances that might arise so that you don’t get caught off guard. Consistency is the key to success.
4. Practice Healthy Self-Care – Many anorexics think they are taking a lot of care of themselves when they obsess about food and exercise. When you are caring for yourself, learn what real self-care is and stick to that so that you don’t mistakenly do things that are not healthy.
5. Ask Friends and Family for Support – Sometimes, friends and family need help to support you. Tell them what kind of support you need. If you need them to keep triggers from you, say so. If you need them to stop telling you what to eat and praising you on eating, tell them.
6. Get Yearly Physicals – You cannot rely on your mind to tell you the truth about your health. You’re going to have to rely on your doctor, and the numbers that most doctors believe are healthy. Years of study have given them this information so you can trust them. Even if those numbers slightly change over time as we learn more, you’ll still be a lot healthier using their information than your own.
7. Know Your Triggers – Everyone has different triggers that can send them down the wrong path. Know yours and find ways to mitigate them. You cannot avoid every trigger, but you can craft a plan for dealing with them when you’re faced with them.
8. Create a Support System – A counselor, a life coach, your best friend, and maybe others who are in recovery can make up your support team. You need someone you can call when you are triggered who will support you in the way that you need.
9. Get Involved with Your Community – One of the ways to recover from almost any ailment is to get out of yourself and help others. Your local community probably has a Volunteer Clearinghouse where you can find opportunities to help locally that will help you more than you know. Get involved in a passion project and positively change your local community.
10. Channel OCD Tendencies into Recovery – Most people with anorexia also have tendencies of obsessive-compulsive disorder, some more than others. If you’re a perfectionist who likes to really control your own life, you can positively use this with your recovery too.
11. Have a Plan for Relapses – Almost everyone who suffers from any type of psychological illness sometimes has relapses. They can be avoided most of the time, but sometimes it happens. Write a plan that you can look to and follow if you do have one, so you can get back on track faster.
The main thing you need to do is have a plan for each occasion (including a typical day) that says what you will eat and do each day for your healthy new lifestyle. If you keep in mind the facts and not what your mind is telling you when you look in the mirror, what you see there will match reality.