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Eating Disorder Awareness

Eating Disorder Awareness

These tips are about eating disorder awareness plus some guidance for folks who are looking to take steps towards healing from their eating disorder or disordered eating.

Increasing food intake after restriction is often safest when planned with experienced healthcare professionals. One person's meal plan can look very different from another's, but the gold standard involves the rule of threes: 3 meals and 3 snacks, about 3 hours apart.

It's important to mindfully re-evaluate your relationship with exercise if you suffer from an eating disorder. If you have a health care provider, consider creating a healing-focused exercise guide with them to ensure your activity level is safe physically and mentally. 

Social media has been associated with worsening eating disorder symptoms. While the media doesn't cause eating disorders, you can curate your media space to be a safer place for you. You can utilize options like "muting" certain topics through your settings! 

An eating disorder is a mental illness and so it is important to remember that how you look does not always reflect your mental state. Your eating disorder is valid regardless of weight, size, gender, age, race, etc.!

Are you supporting someone with an eating disorder? Avoid commenting on their physical appearance; rather, ask them about how they are. Here is an amazing guide from Beat Eating Disorders for more info on mindful ways to provide support.

It can help some people in recovery to plan ahead for WHEN to eat, WHAT to eat, WHERE to eat it & with WHO. This reduces the number of decisions (especially ones driven by difficult emotions) you need to make the day of, and helps with structured eating!

While often unintentional, judgements about food choices can be harmful for people with eating disorders e.g catagorizing food as "healthy" vs "junk, or nitpicking nutritional labels. Try to be mindful of how this can add to someone's guilt or anxiety around food. 

When working on healing or recovering from an eating disorder, keeping a journal specifically for that purpose can be helpful. You can use it to track your thoughts, feelings, food requirements, and goals or behaviours that you may need to work on.

Sometimes eating disorders can feel very isolating. This is your reminder that you don't have to do recovery or healing alone! Having a good support team (e.g. doctors, family, friends and therapists) can really help you along your journey, and you deserve that support. 

It's okay to be frustrated if you don't feel like you're seeing any progress. Healing from an eating disorder takes time. Try to show yourself kindness, be patient and stick to your nutritional and exercise rehab, therapy, or other components of your treatment plan.

Having a safety plan can help at times when your eating disorder may trigger distress or crisis. If you don't have one, take a moment to write one out. Try the Be Safe app or download the print version to help you.

If you're looking for a creative way to support yourself on this journey, try looking for motivational quotes and positive messages that you can see regularly. This could involve creating a collage and/or making something digitally, like electronic device wallpapers.

Finding accessible resources to support you in your eating disorder journey can sometimes be hard to come by. Here are 7 free virtual resources (all available to folks in Ontario and some Canada-wide) that you can connect with.

Therapy can be so helpful for many with eating disorders. If you're wondering where to start, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is commonly used to help treat eating disorders. Learn more in this blog, How Does Therapy Work? CBT Edition.