by Kristina Zufall
Every new year brings a time of fresh beginnings! Many people are jumping to set their new year resolutions. I often hear people establishing new goals often in relationship to fitness and weight loss which can be particularly hard for someone in recovery to hear. I know I find myself thinking…
Do I need to lose weight too?
Should I get a new membership?
Maybe I should try that new diet.
I’m going to try cutting out all sodas.
I should join the Biggest Loser at work. I know I could win.
Sometimes my voice of reason can kick in and say NO, NO, NO, NO, but sometimes it is a struggle to fight these thoughts. Eating disorders are insidious, so I know I need to put an end to these thoughts before they take hold. Here are a few things that I’ve tried to help me out when hearing about other’s diet goals threaten to throw me off:
1. Remind myself that my health and fitness needs are unique and not alike to anyone else’s.
2. Consult my doctor and dietitian to see if there needs to be any revision of my meal and exercise plan. It’s always helpful to review this to stay on the right track.
3. Establish boundaries. When I hear a person mention these types of things in passing, I’ll let it roll off my back usually. However, when I hear these diet-related topics from people I am close to and are aware of my recovery I know I have to set that boundary. I explain that while I want to be supportive of their new goals, I need them to be supportive and acknowledge that hearing about these diet-related topics is hard for my eating disorder brain to process. It is important to be an advocate for yourself.
4. I also reach out to my supporters, connect with my support groups, and use my support team to help get me grounded in my recovery process. It is important that you communicate honestly about where you feel you are in your recovery process. How intense are the thoughts and behaviors?
5. Set diverse goals… maybe new goals for finances, education, career or relationships.
How do you handle “diet talk?”