If you’re recovering from an eating disorder, congratulations to you! If you know anyone recovering from an eating disorder, I hope you’ll support them however you can, because they’re on their way to a new, healthy life. For tips on how to achieve a healthy lifestyle after recovering from an eating disorder, I’d like to share with you what I’ve learned over the last few years. I truly can say recovery found me, when I thought it never would. I am still a healthy eater and live a healthy lifestyle, but learning certain tips took quite awhile. Check out these healthy lifestyle tips if you or someone you know is recovering. Life sure is sweet on the recovery side!
1. Be Patient
The most important thing about recovering from an eating disorder is to learn patience. You’re going to relapse, and you’re probably going to have days where you want to go back to your old habits. So stay patient! Keep putting one foot in front of the other, and if you backslide, be patient with yourself. Recovery is a lifetime process, and that’s okay.
2. Eat Balanced
The best thing for a person to do recovering from an eating disorder to do is to eat balanced. It’s not about eating perfect, and it’s also not about eating unhealthy. It’s about embracing balance in your diet, and being okay with eating more some days than others.
In order to recover, you really must listen to your body. What foods agree with it, which ones don’t, and listening to your cravings and sense of fullness. Your body will tell you what it likes, what satisfies it, and what makes it happy. Be sure to get enough calories, and know when to stop eating. Listen to your body, and you’ll be amazed at what it tells you.
Your body is healing in so many ways during recovery, so please listen to it! It needs rest much more now than ever. You might not see what’s going on inside your body, but your hormones, stress levels, and your entire body need rest to repair, recuperate, and heal. Get plenty of sleep, and follow the next tip on exercise!
5. Exercise with Moderation
I advocate exercising for people recovering from an eating disorder for the main two reasons. First, it helps with stress, and gives someone confidence, and number two, it’s a healthy lifestyle tip anyway! Yet, I also advocate moderation. Don’t kill yourself exercising. Even just doing 30-40 minutes 5 days a week is more than enough. If you need a rest day, take it. If you have plenty of energy, do a little more one day a week. Moderate your exercises, and never do the same thing each day. Be okay with your body recovering, and not taking exercise too serious.
6. Order Smart
When eating out a restaurant during recovery, many challenges can present themselves. You might either choose a food that you fear isn’t healthy, or low calorie, or you might have a hard time ordering something healthy if you’re more prone to overeat or eat unhealthy foods. The key when ordering out is to just order something smart. Fish and vegetables, baked chicken and veggies, etc. are all simple options that are smart. Don’t get too obsessive over specifics to the point of being obsessive, but it’s completely fine to ask for no butter, dressing on the side, and no bread if you want. Also, stop after one serving, and drink alcohol with extreme moderation.
7. Resist Temptation
Resist all temptations that will find you, no matter how hard it is. There will always be a marketing ad that might trigger your disorder, a food advertisement, a diet advertisement, or a person that you wish you looked like. I’ve even seen blogs online that were hard for me at first. Luckily, I’m immune to this, and know that I’ll fight the temptations my whole life. I always remember how much happier I am now that I’m in recovery, and I wouldn’t go back for anything.
I’ve included some of my favorite sources for recovery below. Many are blogs about advocating recovery, so I suggest you check those out. I’ve also included a resource for the National Association for Eating Disorders, which is full of tips for recovery. If you’re in recovery, or know someone who is, do you have a healthy lifestyle tip to share?