what to eat when recovering from anorexia

one of the questions that keep coming up for readers of this blog is “what to eat when recovering from anorexia?”

slowly making your way back from a lifestyle that is consumed by the need to control and a great fear of gaining weight is hard work. it’s turning away from a life that is obsessed with food, one way or the other – the eating of it, the not eating of it.

when i talk to people who are recovering from anorexia, one of the things that come up, over and over again, is that they don’t find it helpful if everyone around them is too worried about the food and the weight.

so perhaps one reply to the question of what to eat is to attempt to take that question lightly. in the spirit of this lightness, then, here are a few more questions that might be helpful.

  1. what would it be like to simply treat this question like any other – say, “what time is it?”
  2. what foods can you comfortably eat? particularly interesting are foods that are healthy.
  3. in what situations can you eat without “freaking out”?
  4. at what times of the day/month is it ok for you to eat? for some women, there may be a hormonal connection.
  5. what does it feel like, physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally, when you have eaten comfortably? this might be one of the more difficult questions to answer. if you pay attention, though, you will get glimpses of it. like all other experiences, our feelings of comfort are never the same, they go up and down. what does it feel like when you feel the most comfortable – or, if you can’t find that experience, when you feel the least uncomfortable?
  6. how do you behave when you eat in a way that feels right?
  7. who is or is not with you in those moments?
  8. having a sense of control is such a large part of anorexia, and it’s hard to let go of it. what might you be able to do around food that might instill you with a healthy sense of control?

one suggestion, then, is to answer these questions and use them as a starting point for your food plan.

easy does it. one foot in front of the other.

and if you’d like some help, get in touch with me.  i’ll give you a free 30-minute consultation.

isabella mori
counselling in vancouver

3 thoughts on “what to eat when recovering from anorexia

  1. Amanda

    This is an interesting post!! I was referred to the hospital as a pre-teen due to being underweight because I wouldn’t eat. But for me it was a phobia of vomiting which I suddenly developed. For years I have battled with eating because of an irrational fear of foods making me ill and I have always found it worse when a lot of fuss/attention is given to what I eat, when I eat it and how much of it I eat as this adds pressure. For example I would lie just to get out of dining out or at a friend’s house as this stressed me out – I know this is different to anorexia but my life has been controlled entirely by food at certain times and so this was really interesting to read!

  2. Samantha Geyser

    Many people might have an understanding of this disease that you are speaking about, don’t have any knowledge about it and therefore not take it serious, I do however understand your situation.

    This is a serious condition as the ‘disease’ will take over your lifestyle and make you unable to do many things and a person will just not feel free. It might take very long before to control it.

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