Recovering from an eating disorder or food issues of any kind is hard. You need to be strong and give yourself the best possible chance. I have spent years sitting half way between recovery and relapse, going straight back into binge eating and self loathing. I was trapped in and out never really being free of my eating disorder until I realised that I have to abandon the very behaviours that were keeping me stuck. As much as they were my emotional crutch, my obsessions with food and weight were making me miserable. In order to feel better they had to go!
The first tactic I adopted to begin letting go was to do a visualisation exercise. I cannot stress enough how crucial this is to breaking free of eating problems.
You have to visualise what your life without your eating problems will be like, in clear and emotive detail. The best way of keeping this at the forefront of your mind is to write it out.
Let’s do this now – go and get a piece of paper. Doing this by hand is absolutely essential as it enforces your thoughts into your mind.
You don’t have to write very much, just enough to create a clear picture in your head of your life after recovery.
How to write a vision statement
Now you’ve got your piece of paper and a pen, let’s get writing! Sit for a moment and think about how you’d like your life to be after you’ve recovered.
- What will you be doing?
- How will you be feeling?
- What will your eating habits look like?
- How full will your life be?
- Who will you be spending time with?
- What will you be talking about?
The crucial part of this is it has to be positive, emotive and inspirational.
Use phrases like:
- I am delighted that I have fully recovered.
- I am thrilled that I no longer have to think about what I eat
- I am truly grateful to be able to eat what I want when I want without shame and guilt.
- I am passionate about new experiences and my hobbies
- I spend my time thinking about my friends, career and hobbies
Don’t let sneaky eating disorder thoughts in! You have to imagine you are a fully recovered, normal eater with life and interests outside of food and weight. You need to want to recover more than anything, and be determined to succeed no matter what.
The sky is the limit here, imagine a totally new emotional life for yourself!
How to use your vision statement
Once you have written your vision statement, it is important you read it everyday, at least twice a day.
As you read, you need to really feel what you have written and imagine it as real. It needs to feel as good as possible to imagine your new reality without your food issues. The more real it feels, and the better it feels, the more quickly you will turn this into reality. Soon you will impress on your subconscious mind that it is more pleasurable to be in the new reality you have created for yourself than the one you are currently living. This is when shifts in thinking and your life will happen!