During the recovery from an eating disorder your self-confidence will be in tatters and it doesn’t matter how much weight you put on, without addressing the issue of self-esteem a relapse is inevitable.
In order to replace destructive eating habits with healthy eating and behaviour it’s important to be happy with who you are, value yourself for you and not what you look like or weigh. This is easier said than done for a lot of people on the road to recovery and the only real way to do it is to learn new behaviours that replace the old, negative ones that people spend years nurturing.
As part of your recovery you’ll undergo sessions with a number of mental health professionals who will help you to learn the behaviours necessary to support you physically and mentally, which will help you build your self-confidence.
Mental health professionals aren’t the only people who can help you though, you can help yourself too. People talk to themselves mentally all the time and it’s the way that you talk to yourself in your head that will have a real impact on your elf-confidence. Try your best to disconnect your self-esteem with your weight and the way that you look; for example avoid thinking things like:
“I can’t have bread with lunch today. I’ll get fat. I’ll be worthless if I gain one more pound in this program.”
In order to fight again self-destructive thoughts it’s important to adopt positive behaviours for positive thinking. Setting realistic goals and rewarding yourself when you meet them is a great way to regain your self-confidence. Plan a diet that includes all foods; this way you still have complete control over the things that you eat but your body is getting all of the vital vitamins and minerals it needs and you’ll be able to enjoy a treat every now and again without feeling guilty.
Finally, keep a diary, it’s a great way to express your feelings and keep track of your progress. Once you’ve made a full recovery it’ll be something you look back on and will be proud of. In the meantime, if you do have any urges to revert back to destructive behaviours contact your therapists and speak to your friends and families about the way you’re feeling, DON’T feel that you have to hide it, because as soon as you start to hide things you could be on a dangerous path back to unhappiness.