Stop Eating Disorder Thoughts Now – Part I

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?


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.


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).


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 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!


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

  • dance
  • paint
  • play music
  • color
  • yoga
  • swim
  • cook
  • arts & crafts
  • sew

– 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



Affirmations for Recovery

Girl thinking about her eating disorder affirmations for recovery

Are affirmations for recovery a bunch of BS?



Early on, I didn’t take AFFIRMATIONS or mantras for recovery seriously. One reason is that inpatient treatment taught it as “fake it until you make it.” And I hated that!



The eating disorder was telling me lies and that an eating disorder mantra could never work.



Later, when I created my own recovery plan, I said affirmations with the intention of what I knew could be possible and true.



Saying these truths over and over again sent a clear message to my brain that recovery was important. Soon the affirmations didn’t feel far fetched. They actually felt possible.



What messages are you sending to your brain?



For example, if you’ve been pregnant, you notice pregnant people ALL OVER THE PLACE. Or if you ever thought of buying a Silver 4 Runner and suddenly that’s all you see on the road?


Car RAS Mantras for recovery


That’s our reticular activating system (RAS). It knows that information is important to you, and looks for messages in the world to validate what you’re already thinking and believe to be true!



Science tells us that the RAS is effective. This is good news! If you send these affirmations for recovery to your brain, you will see a total shift. You must say them often! Read them, write them, shout them!






Choose one or two affirmations that resonate with you. Next, print it out or write it out yourself on index cards or stationary. Writing actually helps you retain the information better! Finally, decide where to put them.






Put them any place you visit often! You want to see them daily. For example, put the affirmations for recovery on your bathroom mirror or next to your bed. In your car.



And then, SAY them aloud. LOUDLY. Sing them, recite them in your head, daily.



Where do you recite them? Anywhere and everywhere!


  • In the shower

  • In front of the mirror

  • While you’re driving

  • While you’re eating

  • Before you’re going to bed or as you’re praying





This is important. I don’t believe in the power of positive thinking or fake it til you make it.



However, I do believe that what you consume in the way of media, relationships, or your environment matters. It’s impossible for you to read these affirmations everyday and it not impact you and your recovery.



As you say these over and over again, you will eventually believe them. After all, you are retraining your beliefs. Beliefs turn into convictions which cause you to take action.



After you’ve mastered one affirmation for recovery, try another mantra.  Want 20 FREE printable mantras for recovery? I’ve got ya! Click here for those.



I love myself deeply and completely.

I matter and what I have to offer this world matters.

I’m in charge of my life.

I belong and I am good enough.

I can make good choices that serve me.

I’m open to all possibilities.

I know who I am.

I am beautiful.

I’m desirable.

I let go of everything that no longer serves me.

I choose to be positive about my future.

Today I choose recovery.

I am lovable.

I follow my heart and listen to my instincts.

I’m complete just the way I am.

I will believe in myself.

I’m a child of God.