“21 Tips on how to Conquer Eating Disorders by Yourself”

Taken from Karen Phillips, Mom-please-help. By Dr Irina Webster MD

1 Tip

First and foremost start by educating yourself regarding all aspects of the eating disorder you are currently facing or a loved one is facing. You must start with self-improvement psychology information as this is the real key to solving an eating disorder. For the sufferer read as many self-improvement books as you can. Self –education helps you to realize that you are not living a normal life in a rational way. Sorry to be so blunt but a fact is a fact. These books will help you find your own insight and your own “self-worth” which has been taken away from you by the Eating Disorder. These books help you to realize you do have real goals in life that you must follow not just food. They will teach you how to make your own positive goals and achieve them.

The list of most powerful self-improvement books:

“Alchemist” Paulo Coelho.

“Think and grow rich.” Napoleon Hill.

“Unlimited power.” Anthony Robbins.

“Notes from a Friend”  Anthony Robbins.

“As a man Thinketh.”  James Allan.

“Learned Optimism”  Martin Seligman.

“The Richest Man in Babylon”  George S. Clason.

“Fit for Life” Harvey Diamond.

“Self Matters : Creating Your Life from the Inside Out”  Dr. Phil McGraw.

“Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind and Your Life” Martin Seligman.

“The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment”  Eckhart Tolle.

Reading all these books will build a strong resolve within yourself and foster your own insight into to conquering your Eating Disorder demons.  You may think you don’t need them, but you do! Believe me you really need this stuff. All Eating Disorder sufferers (I say 100% of them) have a problem with their inner self, self-image, self-esteem, self-control and the like. There may be a rational explanation for this, sexual abuse, racial abuse, and or trauma. There is also the media portrayal of skinny models being beautiful that give young susceptible girls the wrong impressions on what real beauty is. You only have to look at the picture of Nataliya Gotsiy to see exactly what I mean. On the Left as she was when she started modeling very beautiful and on the right as she is now thanks to an eating disorder, very ugly and extremely sick looking.  The fashion industry and the media have a lot to do with how beauty is perceived. It was not that long ago that Marilyn Monroe was considered to be one of the most beautiful women in the world, skinny she was not. By today’s media standard Marilyn would be considered a big girl and would probably never reach the  heights of success she had in her short life: she definitely was not the waif type girl that the fashion industry portrays as beautiful. If you are not into reading you can start by just reading 10 minutes a day and slowly build up to a chapter a day, you don’t have to read a whole book in one sitting.  There are also very useful mind-changing information on CD or Mp3 that you can easily get. In a lot of cases especially in severe cases an eating disorder sufferer’s concentration is affected and listening maybe far better than reading at first. These CDs are recorded in a hypnotic language that has a stronger influence on your subconscious brain than just normal reading. Even though the sufferer may not understand everything they hear the subconscious mind will pick it up, the
more they listen the more the brain is influenced by the hypnotic language.  One of the best selling hypnotic CD’s I know are recorded by Steve G. Jones’s, he is one of the most powerful Hypnotherapist around that I know of today.  I have tried many of hypnotherapists
information but some of them just don’t have enough mental power to influence other people’s minds. But Steve is very powerful and has treated many of the Hollywood stars. Listening to his Anorexia and Bulimia CDs is a life changing experience. What he actually is doing is changing people’s mental focus from focusing on food, counting calories and the preoccupation with being overweight to different things in life. Things like relationships with people, achieving personal goals, appreciation of who you really are, giving love and accepting love in your life. It would be very useful for everyone to listen to these CD’s because hypnosis is the most immediate tool for changing beliefs and/or behaviors and an eating disorder sufferer has a lot of mental changing to do.

2 Tip.

Start regular Meditation or Yoga.  As with many conditions, eating disorders can be better dealt with through a calm and focused mind. Depression and low self esteem are problems often associated with eating disorders, and Yoga can help with both. Through the elimination of self judgment, yoga establishes a strong connection between mind and body. This of course is the natural state of wellness. By re-establishing this strong connection, mind and body will work in harmony to repair the damage. Regular yoga practice will increase the overall fitness level of the human body, improving the immune system and giving it a good chance of fighting illnesses. This is helpful with Anorexia, for example, because the sufferer’s body will experience lower energy levels, and the condition reduces bone density. In dealing with eating disorders, the yogic system identifies them as a problem related to the first chakra. There are different yoga poses that can be used to balance it: eg. staff, crab, full wind, and pigeon. By using grounding postures (eg mountain, goddess, standing squat and prayer squat) strength and courage can be increased. What these postures do is to re-establish the strong mind-body connections, and through that connection help overcome many physical obstacles. For anorexia sufferers, most of
the yoga back bending poses help reduce depression, while forward bends can calm the spirit and reduce anorexia’s effects. Because the mental state has an important role in eating disorders, meditation can be used successfully to reduce negative and harmful thoughts and feelings. An active, well targeted, meditation practice should prove to be very effective. The yoga poses work best when external factors are shut out, and concentration is allowed to focus on your inner self. Giving special attention to breathing, and also to inner sensations, will transport you to a state of greater awareness and calmness. This new state will allow you to go on further to explore new concepts, and hopefully pursue new goals that may have been impossible before. As with many medical conditions, being aware of your bulimia or anorexia problem and showing a constant and strong desire to defeat it, is a great method to reduce their effect. It is likely that an early adoption of yoga practices would make the patient more aware of the problem, thus making a positive contribution to an early cure. However, these yoga techniques are more usually used in the recuperative stages of the illness. That is a pity because, as with all illnesses in which it can be beneficial, yoga works best in the prevention stage, when the negative effects are still low and easier to overcome.

Tip 3  

Take a few minutes and think about why starve yourself or binge eat and vomit? Write down 10 reasons for doing it. Than go through these reasons one by one and think what can happen if these reasons do not exist? Write down the answers. Answering these questions will help you to eliminate some of the reasons that are not very important to you although you may think that they are important. The reasons that are really important to you, you should write down on separate paper and go through them one by one and say to yourself is there another way (except from starving yourself) to achieve them.  Write down everything that comes to your mind. If you have difficulty finding the reasons why you starve yourself or have difficulty answering all the question I mention above , Steve G. Jones’s Hypnotic CD’s will be a good help to you as they will give you tips  or even whole answers.

Tip 4

Set up constrictive goals about how you are going to fight an Eating Disorder. Make yourself goal SMART!

S is for Specific. Instead of being vague like in the case of “not
wanting to vomit” or “start eating normally”, focus on the reason why you binge or why you starve yourself… Are you always hungry just before a binge takes place? If so make a decision to eat healthy foods at regular intervals.

M is for Measurable For example a typical goal related activity, could be deciding to eat three healthy meals a day and three small snacks to keep you going in between. This is very easy to monitor. It is also very easy to correct should you start to skip some of your meals or snacks.

A is for Achievable. When you break your goals down into small chunks, your goals becomes more Achievable! Take one day at a time. So today plan what you are going to eat tomorrow.
R is for Relevant. Remember to make your goal Relevant to you. Don’t do it for others, do it for you, it will only work if it is your wish.

T is for Timely. Allow yourself Time to achieve your goal. For example, your target may be to eat three balanced meals a day during the first week. Second week you could focus on introducing a snack in between each meal – up to 3 a day.

Third week, you may choose to experiment with foods you consider risky or conducive to vomiting.  If you fail the first time you try DON”T GIVE UP. Edison had over 10000 tries at inventing the light globe we all take for granted today. If he had given up after the first couple of tries we would all be still sitting around in the dark?

Tip 5

Keep a dairy of your feelings, especially the feelings when you feel like throwing up or when you refuse to eat or just feel out of control. Recovery is Physical, Emotional, and Spiritual.
At first, it is OK if you just force yourself to eat at least three average meals a day and not vomit. The longer you do it the easier it becomes.  When you write down how you feel try to think about why you have feelings like these. Are these feelings reasonable, logical or
just brought on by your imagination? If you can not find a rational reason for your feelings immediately dismiss them from your mind. Here is and exercise you can try to get rid of those irrational thoughts when you get them. Sit up straight in a chair maintaining
good posture, close your eyes and take a deep breath then slowly let it out. Slowly look at your problem from all angles turn it around, upside down everyway you can imagine. Visualize the problem as being written on a flat piece of paper, when you can see
all the words written there visualize crumpling the paper up, walk over to the trash bin, open the lid and throw the piece of paper in. Then say to yourself there goes another stupid irrational feeling. You can visualize the problem as a rock that you throw away, or a
cannon ball you shoot out of a cannon and watch it disappear, it is up to you how you get rid of it.

But it does work just keep practicing and you will get it.

Tip 6.

Try to be with people as much as possible. Your brain is not your friend-don’t go there alone. You know when you feel lonely it is easier to start binging again. So don’t be alone.  Get a friend who you can talk too about your feelings or anything that is worrying you. Make sure that everyday you touch base with friends and loved ones. Enjoy being with them. This may sound corny, but hugs really are healing, so hug all your friends, even thesame sex ones.  Make sure that everyday you spend time with friends and loved ones — in person is best; phone and e-mail can substitute, but only once in a while. Enjoy being with people you love and those who love you. It sounds corny, but hugs really are healing.

Tip 7.

Stop talking about food, calories and weight. Just give yourself a big promise not to talk about it. By stopping talking about food, calories and weight you will gradually change your focus to something else. Try to remember “Food is not a big deal”

Tip 8.

Make a list of positive affirmations regarding how you see yourself and your recovery. I like myself better each day.

I gain emotional strength each day. 

I eat three normal meals each day. 

I smoke less each day.  

I love myself for everything I have and I do.

I will control my temper today.  

I will give others responsibility for their lives today.  

I will grow emotionally stronger each day.  

I will smile more at my family today.  

I will offer my comments in class today.  

I will praise my children (parents or friends) today.  

I will feel good things about me today.  

I will sleep easily tonight.  

I will feel less guilt each day.  

I will face my fears courageously today.  

I will take on only what I can handle today.  

I will take care of me today.  

I will challenge myself to change today.  

I will manage my time better today.  

I will handle my finances wisely today.  

I will take a risk to grow today.  

My food is my fuel – I talk about my feelings only – and do not eat over them.

Tip 9.
Visualize once a day what your life will look like when you become free from an eating disorder. What would you do? What kind of people do you want to be with? What kind of job do you want to get? Where would you like to travel? People with eating disorders often limit themselves in terms of interaction with people, relationship, getting a good job only due to their illness. So, be bold and make a full picture of your life after beating anorexia-bulimia.

Tip 10.

Educate yourself about healthy eating and healthy life For people who has or had an eating disorder it is recommended be on Hormone balancing diet:

1. Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables.

2. Eat complex carbohydrate – wholegrain like brown rice, oats, and whole meal bread.  

3. Buy organic food where possible.

4. Eat phytoestrogens, including beans such as lentils, chickpeas and soy products.

5. Eat oily foods, including fish, nuts, seeds and oils.

6. Reduce your intake of saturated fat from dairy products, etc.

7. Drink enough fluids.

8. Increase your intake of fiber.

9. Avoid addictives, preservatives and chemicals such as artificial sweeteners.

10. Reduce your intake of caffeine.

11. Reduce alcohol.

12. Avoid sugar on its own and hidden in foods.

Tip 11.

Ask someone you trust for an honest, objective opinion of your weight. If they say you are normal weight or thin, believe them.  Talk about this to your parents, sisters or just a close friend. Trust them if they say you are thin or slim. In this case the only thing you need is a healthy diet and healthy life style.

Tip 12.

If you consume any amount of alcohol – stop it now. People with eating disorders are very susceptible to alcohol (much more susceptible than average person). Plus alcohol makes you feel hungry and you will not be able to resist food as your ability to think is restricted by the alcohol.
Tip 13.

Avoid people who might be a trigger. If you are like many other eating disorder sufferers there maybe a family member (or friend) who triggers you, you might like to avoid spending time with them. You do not have to be with someone who has a negative influence on your life, if they are calling you names like Fatty, tell them you do not want them to do that and can they stop please.

Tip 14.(For Anorexia only.)
Don’t diet. Never. Ever. Instead design a meal plan that gives your body all the nutrition it needs for health and growth. A balanced approach to food is much more of an advantage that dieting. You will not get fat if you balance your meals. Here is a simple exercise
you can do to control your eating, by making daily entries on a food chart for a week you can monitor your eating habits and get them right for you.  You can decide for yourself whether you have a well-balanced diet or not. Duplicate a food chart that lists the five food groups, spaced equally down the left-hand side of the page.

Number them as follows:

1 Vegetables and Fruits 

2 Bread and Cereals                                         

3 Milk and Cheese                              

4 Meat, Poultry, Fish, Beans                                      

5 Fats and Sweets  

Divide the rest of the page into four columns labeled Breakfast, Lunch. Dinner and Snacks.  Draw horizontal lines under the food-group names and across the page to form 20 rectangular spaces.  Every day, you fill in the spaces with the names of the foods you eat in each category.  At the end of the week, analyze your charts, noting which groups have been neglected, and making rough comparisons between the amount of nutritious foods and junk foods you have consumed. Write down statements on the backs of the charts to indicate how you can change to a better diet that will suit you. In this way you will see that you are eating a good balanced diet and can’t possibly be getting Fat. You have to trick your brain into breaking its old feeling fat habit; by using this chart method you are giving your mind evidence that you are not eating the wrong kinds of food to get fat.

One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well. — Virginia Woolf 

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. You can reread your food chart again to prove to your mind
there is no way you can be getting FAT.

Tip 15.

(For Bulimia only)

Don’t let yourself get too hungry, too angry, too frustrated, too lonely, too tired, or too bored. Don’t let yourself get pulled in too many directions by too many people, too many demands, and too many responsibilities. 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 only release you can think of. You to can use the above chart method also, but break it down into eating
much smaller amounts of food. Even if you eat more often during the day and don’t starve yourself until you have one big meal. You too have to trick your brain into a new way of thinking and eating pattern.

Tip 16.

Stay comfortably busy and avoid unstructured time. Empty time is too easily filled with binge food. If you feel the urge to start binging go for a walk in the park or even just up the street, take your mind of food. If getting out is not possible and the urge for food is strong, drink a big class of water it will make you feel full and take away the urge to eat.

Tip 17.

Every day do something fun, something relaxing, something energizing. When you feel happy more often thoughts about eating, food and calories will bother you less and finally disappear.

Tip 18.

Monitor your self-talk. Challenge self-critical nagging. Deliberately choose to change the subject and count your blessings when you fall into negative thoughts about yourself, your appearance, your abilities, or your accomplishments. Try to turn the negative into a positive, say to yourself gee! I look good or I am really good at doing something.

Tip 19.

Get 30 to 60 minutes of exercise or physical activity three to five days a week. More than that is too much if you have an eating disorder. Be safe. Ask your physician to OK your meal plans and exercise schedule before you begin. Don’t get to enthusiastic about
exercise if you feel you are really starting to over push yourself, stop and just walk. Don’t let exercise become a substitute of eating; if you do you can spiral back into old habits.

Tip 20.

Make sure you get enough sleep, at least seven hours every night. Sleep is important part of healing your body and soul. When people deprive themselves from sleep eating disorder symptoms tend to be much worse. If you have trouble getting to sleep here is
a great link for you.
Tip 21.

Take control of your life. Make choices thoughtfully and deliberately. Make your living situation safe and comfortable. Choose every day to bring pleasure into your life, at least for a few minutes.