5 Tips for Recovery

For the longest time, disordered eating was my method of choice when it came to coping with life’s tendency to surprise me unexpectedly.I hated feeling out of control, so I turned to the easiest, most readily available method of control: my weight.

I was always one diet or workout away from a compliment on my body and therefore, justifying my day’s purpose.I had a disorder called orthorexia, which is when a person is obsessed with foods that she or he considers healthy or “pure.”

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In my case, I was obsessed with clean eating, hoping that it would bring me a fitness model-esque figure; anything that didn’t fit within the boundaries of what I considered clean was damaging to my entire personality, being, and purposeWhile this may seem silly and trivial to some, I know there are others out there saying “Ah, ha! I knew there was a name for this fear I’ve been cultivating about all foods not on my meal plan!”If that’s you, I have five tips for lovingly finding your way out of disordered eating and into self-awareness. (Style Yourself Out)

1. Be Curious

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When I first began to identify what made me run to meal plans, diets and workout routines I started noticing patterns. Certain situations in life would cause fear to arise, and that’s when I would start a new diet or begin obsessing over certain nutritional facts.

It was never about my body, and it was always about life. Instead of judging myself for having fear, I approached each situation with curiosity. Curiosity, in this instance, is ten times more powerful than just trying to be brave. It will lead you to a much better understanding of yourself and what drives your motives.

2. Be Vulnerable

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The Challenges We Face

In attempts to receive free insight and advice, I started a podcast. Little did I know that I would inevitably start sharing my own journey (without a filter) and pour out my soul’s deepest and darkest little secrets. Thousands of people started to listen in. Every time I sat down for a recording.

I challenged myself to be 100% authentic, genuine and mindful of what my heart was saying so that I could translate it to the world. In the process of being vulnerable, I found more healing than I could have imagined.

3. Be Grateful

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Ways to Practice Gratitude

Gratitude, huh? How many times do we hear that gratitude is the key to healing? Not enough. Every morning during my “recovery” process, I dropped a piece of paper into a mason jar on my way out the door with a little scribble on both sides; one had written down what I was grateful for that day, and the other had my intention for the day. My scribbles were never weight, food, or exercise related, but they had to do with something that would make me a more free being.

4. Be Helpful

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Change in Your Life

When people start to see that a change is taking place within your heart, they are going to want to know what’s going on. Additionally, if somebody is experiencing an eating disorder too, they are definitely going to want to reach out and connect with you. We’re humans.

We need these connections. We desire empathy. While you’re working through your own recovery process, be mindful of the eyes and ears following you; if somebody reaches out wanting to be heard, listen when you can. You never know if you’re the missing piece to somebody else’s recovery.

5. Be Firm

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Celebration of Strength

Not everybody is going to understand, or even recognize, what you’re going through. Even to this day, I have people tell me that I have gained weight and look healthier, or they say that orthorexia is a stupid lie to get people to stop eating healthy. That’s okay. I don’t expect people to be open to something new, or finally understand that my body isn’t something they can comment on.

Either I will respectfully let them know I don’t deem my appearance to be an appropriate topic of conversation, or I will ignore it. Either way, I work very hard to keep my beliefs firm in my body, spirit and mind, regardless of what other people may say, think or do.

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These five internal qualities I have developed have taken my awareness to a completely different place than it was when I clung to my eating disorder for comfort. I have accepted that nothing about life is ultimately under my control, and I trust the fact that everything is going to be okay. Regardless, controlling my weight will never control life. All I (and you) can do is seek happiness internally by keeping a positive perspective, feeling gratitude in all of life’s uncertainties and remaining curious and vulnerable no matter what. (Happiness Life Quotes)

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