So, you’ve realised you have a problem, but you don’t know where to start. What helped us most in the first steps of our recovery was ask ourselves “What are my reasons to change? What are my reasons to stay the same? Below we have identified out own reasons why we wanted to change, which will hopefully give you a few ideas.
- to go on my gap year snowboard season
- to have a fully functioning body again
- to have nice hair again
- to be able to play sports again
- to stop my family worrying about me
- to have some boobs again
- to not have to see doctors every week
- to have confidence again
- to think of things other than food
- to not be so tired and unable to concentrate all the time
- to be happy again!
- to be able to live abroad as part of my degree
- to play sports again and exercise without being restricted
- to not have people watching over me all the time
- to not have people staring at me or asking me why I look the way I do
- to be a role model for my younger sister
- to be able to go out a socialise with my friends without having anxiety
- to not be controlled by food
- to stop making my family unhappy
- to be happy again!
Laura’s reasons to stay the same
My reasons to stay the same was that I believed that people only liked or cared for me because of my eating disorder and therefore thought that people would stop liking me if I put on weight. I believed it was my identity and therefore didn’t want to change. Another big reason that I didn’t want to get better was the fear of growing up. I thought that my parents wouldn’t continue to care for me if I put on weight. It thought being anorexic made me childlike again, therefore I wouldn’t have to grow up. As I started getting better, I quickly realised that this was purely the ‘anorexic thinking’.
Ella’s reasons to stay the same
For me it was purely the fear itself which was stopping me from changing. Firstly, the fear of disobeying my anorexia by changing my eating routine, which had controlled my life for what felt like an eternity. My orthorexia made me proud of eating extremely ‘healthy’. Secondly, the fear of getting ‘bigger’. I had worked so hard to dwindle my legs down to nothing because I hated how muscly I was. To me, gaining weight would make all those long jogs and starving nights a wasted effort. I was secretly proud of the low body fat that I had achieved, even if it meant ruining my health along the way.
Only after having written these lists did we realise that the reasons to get better completely outweighed any reasons to stay the same. What’s more, our reasons to stay anorexic were totally irrational, partially due to the anorexia itself. At such a low body weight your rational thinking is compromised because the few calories you are is receiving are being used for basic bodily function.
We found that this technique really helped at the first stages of our recovery and is definitely something we recommend for anyone starting their recovery. Write it up, stick it to the fridge, pin it to your mirror, carry it with you…whatever helps you remember why it is that you’re doing this. When times are hard or you’re struggling with food, go back to this list and use it to help you push through.
Remember! Anorexia is not your identity. Don’t let it, or the food, control you. You are in control…you got this!!
(we don’t got these moves!) #tipsy #dontcare