Anorexia/Eating Disorders/Relapse and meal plans
Hi there! I have been struggling with anorexia for years now with highs and lows. I am ready to be done with it! Lately I habe been restricting more and more. I read a book called Brave Girl Eating and the author said she noticed that when her daughter didn't get enough calories her eating and attitude towards food got worse than when she was being properly nurtured. I think this may be the case with me too. When I start to restrict even the tiniest bit it goes downhill so fast. Any suggestions kn a meal plan or how I can stop talking myself out of eating what I know I should/need to eat? Thanks!
Thanks for your question and I apologize for taking a day to get back to you. It sounds like you are in a good place in at least realizing that you need to take steps towards a healthy eating plan. That is WONDERFUL and its great that you are able to logically see how giving your body the proper nutrients actually helps with how you feel about your body and yourself.
I am in absolutely agreement that restricting leads to messed up eating disordered thinking and actually helps to perpetuate your eating disorder. It makes logical sense as the brain is one of many body systems that needs nutrients to work optimally. The less nutrients it has, the more difficult it is to think in a healthy way and the cycle of an eating disorder can flourish.
It's great that you can see this happening as I firmly believe that the more knowledge and awareness one has, the easier it is to make changes.
Although I don't have a specific meal plan that I can recommend (for a really tailored one, you would want to visit a nutritionist who would evaluate your specific needs), I do suggest that you begin to look at food as nutrition (as opposed to all the ways it functions when you're in the midst of an eating disorder. I was amazed when I learned all the important things that good nutrition can provide. For instance, I learned that a lack of protein can actually cause bloating. That certain vitamins and nutrients (which can be obtained and utilized by the body best by eating them in food) can help with energy, serotonin and your mood and lots of other important stuff that will help you begin to feel better- and even think better and more clearly as you work towards recovery.
Here is a helpful link that talks about some of this:
Most importantly, I think that the more YOU can learn and empower yourself about what foods your body specifically needs, the easier it is to make healthier choices.
Another thing helped me when I needed nutrients and was in early recovery was Balance bars (these are good as they are balanced-hence their name and at least for me were pretty easily digestible). While, ultimately, its best to begin to add more normal foods into your diet, it can be helpful to use nutrition bars (particularly those with protein, as that is usually low when you're starting to recover).
In terms of keeping yourself motivated, I recommend looking at the bigger picture as you begin to move away from this. What do you want with your life? What excites you? What do you dream about? Don't censor yourself and dig past the superficial "I want to be thin" (if that's part of your plan) and ask, if I were happy with my body, then what would I want. When you discover this stuff, you have even more ammunition to fight the eating disorder with as the healthier you get, the more your goals will actually be within reach.
Hope this helps! Please feel free to ask again if there is anything else I can help with.
Take care, it sounds like you're on the right track.