Hi girlies! So, I wanted to talk about relapsing when it comes to eating disorders. I know that through my recovery from anorexia and bulimia, it was always a “1 step forward 2 steps back” kind of thing…sometimes I would relapse pretty darn bad and other times it would be a thought that I haven’t had in a while like, “You should weigh yourself.” I want to share some warning signs about relapse that my counselor taught me. These will help you notice the eating disorder behaviors before you actually act upon them.
There are 3 zones that I have learned through counseling, the red zone, the yellow zone, and the green zone. The red zone is the most dangerous zone and it ranges to green, which is the safest zone to be in while in recovery.
RED ZONE SIGNS:
Telling yourself it is okay to do old disordered behaviors
Telling yourself that you don’t need to eat healthy or eat at all
Lying to others about if you ate
Lying about your body image behaviors
Completely avoiding foods
Frequently binging, restricting, or purging
Finding yourself obsessing over your weight, calories, or exercise
YELLOW ZONE SIGNS:
Feeling slightly anxious some foods
Feeling strong urges to binge, restrict, or purge
Weighing yourself more frequently and feeling unable to stop
Measuring your weight your food more frequently then you should
GREEN ZONE SIGNS:
Sticking to healthy and unrestrictive meal plans
Being okay with trying new foods
Not categorizing foods as “good or bad”
Not skipping meals
Not spending your time consumed with thoughts about food
Not binging, restricting, or purging
These are just a few warning signs to think about when you are about to start doing behaviors that are not part of your recovery plan. Remember, that these are not 1 size fits all. All eating disorders are different and people handle them differently, but from my experience, thinking before I acted was definitely very helpful.
When I was in the red zone, my counselor taught me to grab a large glass of ice cold water and take slow sips, counting to 10 in between. Somehow, by doing this, my stress and anxiety began to calm down and it prevented me from wanting to binge or purge.
When I didn’t want to eat, I would tell myself, “Think about your life 10 years from now…don’t you want to be a healthy mom, with beautiful children? Well, then girly you gotta eat.”
Be kind when you are talking to yourself and take it one step at a time!
When I felt the urge to weigh myself I would say, “What good is that going to do?” Some days this would help, others I would relapse and weigh myself and feel terrible, but the more and more I told myself I was more important than what I weighed, the less and less I felt the need to weigh myself. I can happily say that I haven’t weighed myself in years. I even tell the doctor that I don’t want to know my weight and guess what??? IT’S SO LIBERATING!!!
Taking healthy steps toward recovery is one of the strongest things you can do…if you feel like you are stuck in a rut in the red zone, make sure to reach out and get help. Going to counseling was one of the best things that I could have ever done.
You can do it! If you have any questions feel free to reach out ❤