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David Baxter

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Recovering from Anorexia: 10 Activities
October 17th, 2006
by isabella mori
counselling in vancouver

What do people do when they start on their recovery from anorexia? Here is a list of ten things that those who deal with this eating disorder mention most frequently. These are activities that they themselves decide on. That?s important to keep in mind. If I were to say to one of my clients, ?Jo, why don?t you cook a nice meal for Anne and Bob? You could prepare something you like and then have some yourself!?, it would quite possibly backfire. However, I?m happy when a client comes in and tells the story of doing some of these things.

  1. positive eating, e.g.,
    • meeting up with a friend for lunch, even though it?s scary to eat in public
    • eating a healthy breakfast (not just a 1/2 cup of dry cereal)
    • cooking for friends - and participating in the meal afterwards
  2. engaging in healthy relationships, e.g.,
    • choosing to go to a movie with a friend rather than staying home surfing the internet
    • setting boundaries with a sibling
    • discussing the relationship with a partner or girl/boyfriend
  3. walking away from unhealthy eating behaviours, e.g.,
    • no purging
    • no declining to eat in public
    • talking to a friend about something that makes you angry rather than starving over it
  4. gentle exercise and resting, e.g.,
    • taking a half-hour walk rather than going for a one-hour run
    • skipping gym for a day
    • resting when tired, rather than drinking black coffee
  5. positive self-talk, e.g.,
    • ?i am someone, and beautiful to boost!?
    • ?the world is not a fearful place?
    • ?it?s no big deal. each day is just a chance to try out new things.?
  6. honesty, e.g.,
    • not saying ?fine!? with a fake smile every time someone asks ?how are you?
    • being totally honest about food with at least one person
    • not bottling up feelings of fear and ambivalence when having sex
  7. doing nice things for yourself, e.g.,
    • getting a long overdue haircut
    • going shopping for ?normal? clothes (not clothes that will hide the body)
    • just spending a nice day ? maybe reading, going to a movie, sleeping in
  8. spending quiet time with your feelings, e.g.,
    • journaling
    • crying
    • creative visualization
  9. professional help, e.g.,
    • seeing a psychotherapist
    • attending group
    • making that long overdue appointment with the nutritionist
  10. positive body image, e.g.,
    • going to the beach in a bathing suit
    • spending time in front of the mirror
    • having sex in broad daylight
 

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