So I must confess. With the start of my new career as a self-employeed social media and pr consultant and fulltime lifestyle blogger, there has been new stress. While it’s good stress, and I’m happy doing what I’m doing, it’s still stress. And the way I cope with stress is usually by trying to control what I eat or don’t eat. And I”m afraid to say that I have begun to relapse a bit this past month. I’m ashamed to admit this, but I’ve learned that relapsing is a part of recovery. It’s going to happen and the only way to get through it is to acknowledge that it’s happening, ask for support from friends and family, and work hard to come out on the other side.
Another reason why I’ve relapsed a bit is because I weighed myself a month in a half ago or so and was terrified of the number I saw. Now I know the number shouldn’t matter, but it got in my head and I made it a mission of mine to lose weight and to be able to fit back into my favorite pair of jeans. At first I told myself that I would lose the weight in a healthy, manageable way but as I started to plan out my meals and visit the gym I slowly began to visit the gym more and cut out foods bit by bit. I’ve lost a total of ten pounds since mid February so that averages about 2 pounds a week. Now it’s not a drastic change, but I do feel better about myself with the weight drop. I want to continue losing a bit of weight but I fear that I won’t be able to stop losing. I’m addicted to watching the weight drop off and see the number on the scale lower. Now that I know this about myself, I want to fight against it and stay healthy. I don’t want to fall back in that hole I was in a year or so ago. It was a dark, lonely place. A place that not only hurt me but hurt the people around me, especially my husband. I don’t want to go down that path again. But what can be done to make myself have healthy eating and exercise habits again?
I’ve talked to my therapist and he gave me some advice on how to deal with this relapse. I hope these tips will help you as well.
- Ask my husband to eat breakfast with me. For the past month or so, I have only been eating dinner. I would have coffee in the morning and then not eat anything until my husband came home for dinner. I honestly wouldn’t be hungry. I told my therapist this and he said that that was because I would be so anxious about eating that I wouldn’t be hungry. Anxiety is a natural appetite suppressant. So he told me to ask my husband to go into work a little later so we could eat breakfast together. Chad makes me feel like I can eat, be healthy and still be beautiful. He makes me feel confident so having him eat with me in the morning helps me slowly get back into healthy eating habits. I’ve only done this this week and so far it has worked out great. While I”m not eating much, merely toast and an egg or a bowl of cereal but it a start. If you’re experiencing a relapse as well, find someone you trust to eat with during the meal times you find stressful.
- Unfollow triggering accounts on social media. For me, Victoria Secret, Lorna Jane Active, Tone It Up, and others are triggering for me because it shows girls with rock hard slim tummies, thigh gaps and perfectly thin arms. Every time I see an image like this, I tend to compare myself to the models in the picture. It’s best to avoid the trigger all together until I’m in a healthier place. You should do the same.
- Hide the Scale. The scale has a power over me. It has the power to make me have a good or bad day depending on the number shown. It’s something that should be avoided. The number shouldn’t matter. What matters is how you feel in your own skin.
- Forget about those jeans. I have these pair of jeans that I absolutely love. You know the kind. The kind that makes your butt look amazing, they pair well with everything and you feel like your most confident when you wear them. Well I have such a pair of jeans but I no longer fit in them. They are a size 00 and in my mind I know that in order to fit back into them I have to be an healthy weight. Instead, I need to find a new pair of jeans that make me feel the same way but that I can fit into at a more healthy weight.
Relapsing is going to happen. It’s normal. Once you’ve been diagnosed with an eating disorder it is something you will live with for the rest of your life. You’ll have great years and you’ll have bad ones. It’s your job to try your hardest to get through the bad ones. Are you experiencing a relapse yourself? Share your experience in the comments below. Let’s help each other through this.