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5 Tips to Help with Eating Disorder Recovery Maintenance

By: Gabby Morreale M.A. LPC. C-DBT.

Congratulations! You’ve taken the step to recover from your eating that’s amazing! You may be thinking to yourself now what? Or wondering what comes next, how am I ever going to get through this? You want me to eat multiple meals a day? I can never engage in my disorder again? Recovery can come with a lot of questions, anxiety, and difficult challenges. We’ve been there we totally get that, and first I want to remind you that whatever your feeling is 1000% valid.

As someone who is personally recovered, I know the depths of despair an eating disorder can bring. I also know the other side of it and I promise the challenges, the struggle, all of it, is worth it to have freedom from its grasp. In this blog, I’m going to give you some tips that helped me when I first started my recovery journey. That being said, recovery looks different for everyone. These are just some things that I know helped me and have helped many of my clients over the years.

Tip 1:

Accept that there is a problem and that’s ok!

Admitting we need help is difficult at times but the sooner we face it the sooner we can fix it. Ask yourself do I really want to continue to harm my body in this way? Do I want to continue to have an unhealthy relationship with food and my body? Do I want to continue to suffer? If you’re reading this you probably answered no to these questions and that’s huge! Coming to a place of acceptance that there is a bigger issue at hand is brave and crucial to a sustained recovery process. So whether you are suffering from disordered eating an eating disorder or any mental illness let’s call it out so the healing can begin. Remember it’s ok not to be ok!

Tip 2:

Ditch the scale and challenge your inner weight stigma!

For years the scale had so much power over me. If this tip feels difficult, boy oh boy can I relate. Breaking up with the scale can be a powerful tool on your recovery journey. If you’re not ready to break up with the scale yet…that’s ok. Take time to ask yourself why. All the scale can tell us is our relationship to gravity. Nothing more, promise!!

This is where challenging your own internal weight bias can come into play. This may feel arduous but let me tell you it's SO worth it. Living in our society full of diet/wellness culture it is almost impossible not to develop some type of weight bias. Plus having an eating disorder makes it more tough to avoid.

Not sure where to start? That’s ok!! When you notice yourself having negative feelings toward increasing your body size or having negative thoughts about others in larger bodies try to pause and get curious. Examine these thoughts. Start by asking yourself why do I feel this way or what is coming up for me and where does it come from? Remind yourself that weight and health are not the same and regardless of size we all deserve love and acceptance. Also, diversify your feed and try to explore and embrace all different body types. The more we can expose ourselves to different images and individuals the more our brain will be able to process them in a positive way. Also, the more we can diversify the more we can all learn from one another. Remember this will take time and work, like most things in life, right? Be patient with yourself.

Tip 3:

Build your support system!

One of my favorite sayings is "Find your tribe and hold them tight." I don’t know where I would be without my support system. Let people in. You are not a burden. Your disorder is not a burden. The people who love you want to be there for you and help you continue your path in recovery. Recovery doesn’t happen overnight and having friends and loved ones to talk openly with can make a world of difference. Also, if you have the mental space, educate this support system tell them what you need give them resources so they can help you in a way that works for you. Remember there isn't one way to recover and there also isn’t one way to provide support. Communicate your needs and expectations. You’re allowed to have needs you’re a human! This does not make you needy. Here is a blog I wrote about some tips to help loved ones support those of us in recovery.

Tip 4:

Stay in therapy if you can!

Please note at R and R we fully acknowledge that being in therapy is a privilege. If continuing therapy is a financial challenge on your recovery journey, we are sending you so much compassion. We also would encourage you to contact Project Heal or look for some free or low-cost support groups if possible. You don’t have to do it alone.

That said, if you are lucky enough to have professional support through your journey stick with it! As you advance in your recovery stressors will come up, urges will happen. Being able to run that by someone who knows you, knows your history, and who is hopefully a specialist in eating disorders can be pivotal in avoiding setbacks. Also, setbacks happen. That doesn’t mean you are not recovering it means you’re struggling and that’s ok. Having an unconditional safe person who is informed and forever on your side can make a world of difference. Remember sometimes it takes time to find the right therapist but when you do you will know it. Developing a strong therapeutic alliance can be life-saving.

Tip 5:

Give yourself grace!

We all know the saving Recovery is not linear…I’ll pause so you all can roll your eyes but seriously it’s not! Recovery takes, grit, determination, forgiveness, and self-compassion. Allow yourself to be human and know that every day may look different. Some days you may be thriving in recovery. THATS AWESOME! Somedays you may want to engage in symptoms also ok, ask for help! Giving yourself grace each day and working on self-compassion, can not only transform your recovery process, but your life. Here is a blog written by our amazing clinician Hannah that discusses self-compassion.

Remember beating yourself up will not bring about sustainable change and you only hurt yourself in the process. Being a human means you will be imperfect. Your humanness is beautiful.

Please remember these are just some tips that worked for me. Recovery is different for everyone. No matter what please remember you are worthy of recovery. You deserve to make peace with food and your body and whatever that looks like for you we support that! If we can help in any way please reach out!

Other Mental Health Services Offered in PA, NJ, DE, SC, and FL

We offer a wide variety of services related to eating disorder recovery including trauma therapy! We offer Weekly Support Groups, Nutrition Services, and Family and Parent Therapy as well as Coaching, all tailored to meet the specific needs of the individual. We offer our services for Anorexia, Bulimia, Binge Eating, and Orthorexia online in New Jersey, Delaware, South Carolina, and Florida! We are here to offer our support and understanding in a safe and non-judgmental environment.

We have immediate openings right now for eating disorder therapy in:

Delaware, New Jersey, Florida, South Carolina, and Pennsylvania.

And recovery coaching worldwide.

Recovered and Restored is an eating disorder therapy center founded by Gabrielle Morreale. We specialize in helping teens and young women heal from eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, orthorexia, and binge eating disorder and treat disordered eating, anxiety, depression, and PTSD. We provide eating disorder therapy in the towns of Horsham, Upper Gwynedd, Lower Gwynedd, North Wales, Lansdale, Hatfield, Blue Bell, Doylestown, and nearby towns with eating disorder therapy. Also providing virtual eating disorder therapy in New Jersey, Delaware, and Florida. Some towns served virtually but are not limited to Pittsburg, Lancaster, Harrisburg, Center City, Cherry Hill, Haddonfield, Mount Laurel, Cape May, Avalon, Brick, Dover, New Castle, Bethany Beach, Marydel, and Oceanview


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