Tag Archives: eating disorders

Brain Washing

The therapist I met with suggested that I consider an eating disorder intensive outpatient treatment program.  A wave of fear came over me full of thoughts from my previous attempts to get help:

I’m never going to have any muscles because I’m lazy.

I’m too fat and gross

I’m too ugly to be a model because I’m not one!

It won’t really help, it’s a scam to bilk as much money as possible from me by requiring countless therapy sessions forever.

Besides, it would be far too difficult to make the time to attend all of these sessions and still work.

Despite all of the excuses that filled my mind it came down to I can’t afford to get treatment. and I’m not that bad off.  I reasoned that I just haven’t tried hard enough to stop purging.  I needed to try harder.  It’s my lot in life to suffer.  The most I can hope for is a miracle.

When I walked into her office, my nervous thoughts began fighting me not to bother.

A whisper in my mind said, “Let’s listen to what she has to say.

“The way the program works is for about three months, we meet three times per week in a small group setting where we discussed triggers and learn coping skills, you and I will meet every week for an individual therapy session and you’ll check-in with the nurse and a dietitian.  Let’s have you start by filling out some food logs every day, we will discuss nutrition and eat lunch together.  If you decide you are ready to start let me know and we can set your start date” she handed me a folder full of information including some food log worksheets with an example.  It all seems excessive I thought to myself,

Am I really that bad off?

Am, I?

I’m sure there are other people in need of treatment more than myself!

I don’t need therapy.

It’s completely unnecessary!

It’s all a big scheme just to make money.

My depression at its worst, yet there is a whisper “it’s been 20 years and I’m still struggling and miserable.  I don’t have anything else going on right now and I have medical insurance.

I was out of excuses.  I made the commitment to myself to find an eating disorder treatment program.


I reluctantly completed the “stupid” food log worksheets.  The white copy paper has a grid layout, starting with a column for meals (Breakfast, snacks, lunch, snack, dinner, snack), and a place to note the time of day, next the column for food consumed, location where consumed, the hunger level before, and a place to note thoughts and feelings, level of satiated after, and finally a column for noting “behavior” resulting from eating and “level of anxiety.”

I played along, filling out the food logs as requested.  I hated admitting when I binged and purged or was restricting, but I did it anyway, I frequently had the thought, “no one else needs to know.” which eventually would be countered by “I’m not doing myself any favors by not being honest.”  

My anxiety was often intensified as the memories of previous confrontations would replay in my mind.

Why do you even bother eating if you’re just going to throw it up?

It’s disgusting.

I can’t believe someone would do that. They must be sick.

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Maybe some people recover.

Maybe some people recover.  Completely.  No more ED.

I find it nearly impossible to believe that one day

I will wake-up and ED will be gone.  A forgotten memory.

So until that day, I’m going to use my

Rules for Living with ED:

  1.  Feelings check.  “How am I feeling?”  Feelings are not facts, but they are indicators from your subconscious.  “Why?  Hungry? Angry? Lonely? Tired? Stressed?”
  2.  Breathing check.  “If I’m stressed I need to be aware of my breathing.”  “I can talk other people off of a ledge, I can do that for myself as well.”
  3.  “Whose voice is speaking through my thoughts?”  “I drive my mental bus.  I can disagree and disobey with the passengers onboard.”
  4.  Eat by the clock unless feeling confident enough for intuitive eating but use “Wisemind.”
  5.  “Practice makes permanent”… and not perfection.  “Why do I have to be perfect?”  “One day at a time.”  “One meal at a time.”  “It’s just one meal.”  There will be other meals.  If I eat a big breakfast, maybe a smaller lunch and dinner.  If I have a cheeseburger, maybe later will be salad, fruit and yogurt, etc.
  6.  “What other people think of me is none of my business.”  “Haters are gonna hate.”
  7.  Persistence.  “I can ‘urge-surf’ my way through the discomfort.”  “What doesn’t kill me, makes me stronger.”
  8.  Call, email, or at least, text a friend.  “It’s important to reach-out and let other people know you care.”
  9.  Stop beating myself up.  “What’s done is done.”  “What can I learn from it?”
  10. “I can press the ‘Reset’ button, when I need to.”  The “Reset” button is my reminder to perform self-care.  If I purged, I should rinse my mouth with water and eat something nutritious to replace that which I lost.  “Why did I feel the need to purge?” See #1




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