STOP EATING DISORDER THOUGHTS
Ten years ago, eating disorder thoughts ruled my mind. Anorexia and bulimia said “you’re too fat. too stupid.” It seemed like every moment I was working on a scheme to secretly have eating disorder behaviors.
I’d create scenarios in my mind that weren’t true and I was constantly triggered by others. I felt hurt, left out. Worst of all, those thoughts paralyzed me from acting.
When I started recovery, I did what most people did. I went to appointments. Tried therapy tools. I saw a dietician. And for seven years, I stayed stuck.
What was wrong?
THE SECRET TO STOPPING EATING DISORDER THOUGHTS
No one told me the SECRET:
Create goals around thoughts & beliefs. Everyone is so focused on stopping the behaviors, but the real magic comes in the mind.
Limiting thoughts and beliefs need to be tackled before anything else in ED recovery! Or else we’re just faking going through the motions with eating disorder thoughts.
If recovery isn’t going how YOU want and those negative thoughts keep screwing up the plan, this is for you.
If, when you hear people say “fake it til’ you make it”, you cringe, then this is for you.
A MUST-TRY TOOL TO MASTER YOUR MIND
The hair tie trick
Yes, hair ties! I originally learned about this as a parenting hack from Kelly Holmes, of The Idealist Mom. But then I applied it to my thoughts, which are the pre-cursor to any actions.
The hair ties are a visual recovery cue to break the patterns in your mind. It’s simple.
1) First, find five hair ties that are comfortable to wear around your wrist. Any hair ties, any color will do.
2) When you wake up in the AM put those babies on your right wrist. All five of em.
3) Anytime you notice an ED thought OR have behaviors, you take one tie from your right wrist and move it to your left. NO judging allowed, just move the hair band.
4) Your goal is to end up with all five hair ties back on your right wrist. To earn back a hair tie, you must counter the behavior or thought with five positives for YOURSELF. (I’ll provide ideas at the end of this post).
BUT WHY? SEEMS A BIT SIMPLE AND SILLY
THIS IS POWERFUL. Don’t mistake the simplicity for effectiveness! There’s science in creating a ratio of 5:1 (positive to negative).
When I was in recovery, I tried keeping a rock in my pocket as a reminder and wearing a piece of jewelry. And… NOTHING. Didn’t help one bit.
I needed something more powerful – to create an actual habit to break the eating disorder thoughts. It’s almost like a game. A game where YOU come out the victor.
Within days or weeks you’ll notice not moving the ties from right to left as often.
Most of all, the visual cue and just feeling those bands on your wrist helps you stay really aware of what thoughts are in the mind.
Can you commit to trying this for three days?
If you’re up for trying this, just send an email saying “YES” to firstname.lastname@example.org or comment on the blog post “YES.”
I, or someone from my team, will check in personally with you via email to hear your experience and provide additional empowerment!
POSITIVES – EARNING A HAIR TIE BACK
It’s inevitable, those eating disorder thoughts will come. When you move one tie over from the right to left wrist, here are a list of positives to earn it back.
This is meant to be a long list and there are endless possibilities here. Make it your own.
Remember: 5 positives to earn 1 tie back.
– Take a bath or shower
– Paint your nails
– Listen to your favorite song
– Get dressed! (makeup if you’re into that or dressed like you’re meant to go somewhere)
– Go on a 10 minute walkSit in child’s pose for 5 minutes
– Write one nice thing to someone on FB or IG
– Close your eyes and take 10 deep breaths
– Play with a pet
– Listen to 3 minutes of a podcast you dig
– Call a friend
– Do something fun or new for 10 minutes
- play music
- arts & crafts
– Write down a positive affirmation and say it five times
– Tape your affirmation on the wall
– Journal for 3 minutes (set a timer)
– Give your own feet a massage
– Better yet, just schedule a massage
– Make an appointment
– Make a plan to do something you’ve been putting off doing
– Better yet, start to do something you’ve been putting off doing
– Google ‘alternate nostril breathing’ and try it
– Tell yourself something positive, a strength you have
– Make a card and send it to a friend or family member
– Add two items to this list
– Read 3 pages of a book