One cannot think well, love well,
sleep well, if one has not dined well. -- Priya
In the U.S. we live in a thin-obsessed
society. The cultural ideals held up for us to emulate are either
stick thin with surgically enhanced breasts (female) or powerful
with clear muscle definition (male). It's no wonder that so many
people develop eating disorders when they try to achieve these
unrealistic -- and often unhealthy -- images of "perfection."
Almost always professional help is required
for recovery from an eating disorder, but if you want to try
to help yourself, here are some suggestions. If you are not in
medical danger, try them for a week. If, after seven days, you
can't shake your preoccupations with food and weight, and especially
if you don't make any progress towards changing harmful behaviors,
get help from a resource person -- a parent, school nurse, school
counselor, family physician, or mental health counselor. These
people can be great allies in your struggle for health and happiness.
Don't avoid being honest with them because of guilt or embarrassment.
|| Note: if you have
even the smallest suspicion you are in medical danger, consult
a physician immediately. Eating disorders can kill, and if you
are already in trouble, you need medical attention, not self-help
- Don't diet. Never ever. Instead design
a meal plan that gives your body all the nutrition it needs for
health and growth. Also get 30 to 60 minutes of exercise or physical
activity three to five days a week. More than that is too much.
- Ask someone you trust for an honest, objective
opinion of your weight. If they say you are normal weight or
thin, believe them.
- When you start to get overwhelmed by "feeling
fat," push beyond the anxiety and ask yourself what you
are really afraid of. Then take steps to deal with the threat,
if it is real, or dismiss it if it is not real.
- Bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder
- Don't let yourself get too hungry, too
angry, too lonely, too tired, or too bored. All these states
are powerful binge triggers. Watch for them, and when they first
appear, deal with them in a healthy manner instead of letting
the tension build until bingeing and purging become the release
- Stay busy and avoid unstructured time.
Empty time is too easily filled with binge food.
- Make sure that every day you touch base
with friends and loved ones. Enjoy being with them. It sounds
corny, but hugs really are healing.
- Take control of your life. Make choices
thoughtfully and deliberately. Make your living situation safe
- Every day do something fun, something
relaxing, something energizing.
- Keep tabs on your feelings. Several times
a day ask yourself how you feel. If you get off track, do whatever
the situation requires to get back to your comfort zone.
A reminder: If these tips don't work for
you in seven days, talk over your situation with a resource person
-- physician, counselor, or the like. If you have even the smallest
suspicion you are in medical danger, don't wait one day longer.
Talk to a physician immediately. For tips on how to find help,
visit our Treatment and Recovery page.
||Please Note: ANRED information is not a substitute for medical
or psychological evaluation and treatment. For help with the
physical and emotional problems associated with eating disorders,
talk to your physician and a mental health professional.
© 2011 All rights reserved