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Eating Disorder

Eating Disorders

The inner voices of anorexia and bulimia whisper that you’ll never be happy
until you lose weight, that your worth is measured by how you look. But the
truth is that happiness and self-esteem come from loving yourself for who you
truly are–and that’s only possible with recovery.

It may seem like there’s no escape from your eating disorder, but remember
you are not alone in your struggle. Millions of girls, women, boys, and men
struggle with anorexia and bulimia and manage to recover. With treatment,
support from others, and smart self-help strategies, you can overcome your
eating disorder and gain true self-confidence.

Gina’s story ~ from helpguide.org

Gina battled bulimia for seven years—struggling on her own in secret—before
she finally opened up to her mother. Gina wrote her a long letter explaining her
shame and embarrassment, and gave her mother a book about how to deal with
someone with an eating disorder. Her mother was so relieved that Gina had
finally opened up, and together they sought professional help.

Gina’s road to recovery was still rocky and she had plenty of slip-ups, but
she also had the support of her family. Gina chose to use relationships to
replace her bulimia. She saw a therapist and joined a support group of fellow
eating disorder sufferers. In time, she went back to graduate school, got
married and had children. Like everyone else, she still had difficult
experiences in life. Her mother developed cancer and Gina lost her job. But she
no longer used her eating disorder to cope.

The road to eating disorder recovery starts with admitting you have a
problem. This admission can be tough, especially if you’re still clinging to the
belief–even in the back of your mind–that weight loss is the key to happiness,
confidence, and success. Even when you finally understand this isn’t true, old
habits are still hard to break.

The good news is that the eating disorder behaviors you’ve learned can be
unlearned if you’re motivated to change and willing to ask for help. However,
overcoming an eating disorder is about more than giving up unhealthy eating
behaviors. It is also about rediscovering who you are beyond your eating habits,
weight, and body image.

True recovery from anorexia and bulimia involves learning to:

  • Listen to your body.
  • Listen to your feelings.
  • Trust yourself.
  • Accept yourself.
  • Love yourself.
  • Enjoy life again.

Eating disorder treatment step #1: Ask for help

It can be scary and embarrassing to seek help for an eating disorder but
gaining support from a trusted friend, family member, religious leader, school
counselor, or work colleague is for many people the first step on the road to
recovery. Alternately, some people find it less threatening to confidein a
treatment specialist, such as an eating disorder counselor or nutritionist.

Whoever you select as a confidant, set aside a specific time to discuss your
situation with them, ideally in a quiet, comfortable place away from other
people and distractions. Remember, your friend or family member may be shocked
when you disclose details of your eating disorder. They may even be angry or
confused, unsure of how to respond or the best way to help you. It’s important
to remain patient. Take time to educate them about your specific eating disorder
and the ways you’d like them to support you during the recovery process.

For more information please see: www.helpguide.org