Eating Disorder Recovery is Possible for Non-Journalers: A Guide

Eating Disorder Recovery is Possible

I don’t like journaling; is recovery even possible?


At some point, you’ve heard likely your therapist or coach suggest that eating disorder recovery is possible and that are some simple journaling exercises that will help. If you’re like many, I’m sure your first thought went something like:


“Ugh, I hate writing.”


I hear you. And the good news is that recovery is possible without journaling.


There are so many other strategies that WILL work for you – and they can complement your personality and align with your lifestyle.


Recovery is possible; 5 alternatives to traditional journaling:


1) Voice Memos or Video Journal


…Yes, I’m asking you to talk to yourself. Yes, really.


Record voice memos, keep a video journal, or speak to yourself during your commute or in the shower.


There’s no one way to do this, so get creative! Speaking has many of the same benefits as writing. It slows down your cognitive processing so you can detect patterns and shift your perspective.


Keep in mind, this is very different from “thought dumping”. The intention is to not only speak your thoughts, but to detect, reject, and redirect any lies the ED voice may be telling you.


Some great starter questions:

  • “What am I feeling? Can I summarize it in one word?”
  • “Is there another perspective?”
  • “What advice would I give to a friend in this same situation?”
  • “If I wasn’t battling an ED, what would I do?”
  • “What can I do next time to truly meet my needs?”
  • “When someone says recovery is possible, how do I feel about that?”


If this feels overwhelming, I encourage you to work with a coach or a therapist and ask them to verbally process together. Practicing with a professional is a great way to learn the skills you need to apply in your own life.


Creating your own journal for eating disorder recovery

2) Start a Photo Journal


Self-expression and self-discovery isn’t confined to words alone. Start a photo journal and collect images that visually represent what you struggle to put into words.


These can be symbolic photos that have a special meaning to you or could also be photos that offer hope or remind you that recovery is possible.


3) Meditation and Deep Breathing


Try this with me: breathe in through your nose for 3 seconds, hold for 4, release for 3 through your mouth.


Now, on the breath in, add a mantra, prayer, or intention. You can also choose the name(s) of loved ones who motivate you to recover, like your kids or your partner.


Possible mantras or single word intentions:

  • “Courage over comfort”
  • “Fear is my green light”
  • “Resilience”
  • “I am safe in my body”
  • “I am allowed to be imperfect”
  • “Recovery is possible for me”


On the exhale, expel any negativity, fear, or doubt. Picture it emptying with your breath, clearing space in your mind and body to welcome a new perspective.


4) Use Charts or Bullet-Points


Journaling doesn’t have to require paragraphs… or even full sentences. Start a bullet journal about your daily wins, gratitudes, goals. Or, chart your habits, activities, and plans. This chart should depict progress and remind you that recovery is possible.


Have fun with this – buy fun stickers and posterboard, use Excel, or download an app. As long as you have a sustainable way to shift your focus, collect information, and track your consistency, you’re on the right path.


5) Schedule Playtime


As I always like to say: “If you’re in eating disorder recovery, you need to get serious about playtime.”


Much like journaling, having FUN can give you much-needed reprieve from busyness, and a way to reconnect with yourself.


Make small, but frequent commitments. I recommend starting with 15-minute commitments, 3 times a week.


Some ideas for fun:

  • Learn a new language
  • Break open a new puzzle
  • Schedule a family board game night
  • Read one chapter of a book
  • Blast music and have a dance party with the kids
recovery is possible
reading a new book

So often, we lose our identities during an eating disorder. A large part of outshining your eating disorder involves reconnecting with the TRUE you.


Eating disorder recovery is possible without journaling


You get to do this on your terms – re-define “journaling,” and carve your own path because eating disorder recovery is possible with or without journaling.


This blog post was written by Coach Beverly. You can read more about her here.

Eating Disorder Holiday Survival – 5 Tips

eating disorder holiday survival guide



Battling an eating disorder during the holidays makes recovery extra challenging. Thanksgiving and other holidays revolve around food which can be a major trigger if you’re in recovery.


Here’s the thing: you can set yourself up for success at the holidays by following this guide.  YOU decide where you give your energy and attention this holiday season. Research tells us that where you give your energy and time, you will feel in abundance. Here are five eating disorder holiday tips to maintain your recovery.




Your morning routine the day of a holiday is crucial! First, you 100% have control over your morning routine. I suggest starting your day with a short meditation on body image or body nourishment. Mentally rehearse the holiday using these meditations so you’re not winging it!


Meditating first thing in the morning is shown to improve depression and anxiety. This is when your mind is the MOST clear and the stress of the day hasn’t yet crept in.


If meditating isn’t your jam, then write 10 gratitudes. Make these SMALL things, so your brain is primed to look for what’s going RIGHT later on instead of what’s going WRONG.

body image meditation



Before you show up for the holiday gathering, call your loved ones or whomever you’ll be spending the day with. Tell them what’s okay to talk about and what you’d prefer they don’t talk about. If you’re eating with family and want them to know the DOs and DONTs of how to support you, please have them read this.


Set boundaries if you need to. Tell them what time you’ll be arriving and leaving so as not to surprise them. Share that you might get up during the meal to go take some deep breaths. Have whatever conversations you can have in advance. This way, you’ve said everything that needs to be said before every getting there.




You do not want to show up to Thanksgiving or any other holiday gathering hungry! Yes I know you might be eating in 30 minutes or an hour, but still eat a snack in advance of going.


I also suggest taking five deep breaths in and out through your nose before walking inside. This allows you to ground and center before walking in.




Of all the eating disorder holiday tips, this is my favorite and most powerful. To minimize anxiety, choose an intention for the day. Decide where to put your focus. For example, on one Thanksgiving, my sister had just given birth to a baby boy a couple months ago. I asked her if I could take care of him during the day – feed him, change him and hold him. Giving my energy to something outside of myself was magical.


Whether your intention is to connect with a specific person or be helpful, knowing your intention is KEY.




Finally, have a plan for when Thanksgiving is ‘over’. This is absolutely crucial to surviving holidays with an eating disorder. Ask a friend if you can stay overnight or invite a family member to go on a walk or play a game with you. Have hot tea or plan to take a bath. Whatever it is, write out a PLAN for what happens when the meal is over. This is when ED thoughts are the loudest. You will (hopefully) be full after meal time (if you anticipate this, you might read: 3 Tips to Sitting With Fullness) and it’s important not to leave plans up to chance.

Eating disorder Holiday Tips

I hope these five eating disorder holiday tips give some hope for Thanksgiving and beyond. Come up with a game plan before the holidays, before a triggering event or a particular day you have anxiety over. Planning for it – before it starts and after it is over – can provide certainty, clarity and lead to not only surviving holidays with an eating disorder, but also enjoying the holidays.