When to Let Go of the Eating Disorder Label

People disagree on whether or not you can fully overcome an eating disorder. So early on in my recovery I wondered “will I always be labeled as Bulimic?”

The DSM criteria, which diagnoses eating disorders, eventually no longer applied to me, but I still carried the label.

Something I’ve learned, is that you only need to hold onto the labels that serve you.

I noticed that the label of my disordered eating didn’t serve me. I’m not ashamed of it, but I defined myself by that rather than the things I wanted to become.

The labels I choose for myself are labels that help me define the person I want to be: entrepreneur, life coach, wife, intuitive eater, daughter, sister, friend, daughter of God and so many other wonderful things.

So spend less time worrying about your past or what other people might label you as and decide what you want to label yourself as.

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How I Ditched the Diet and Took Control of My Life

I started a diet to get in control. Then I lost control and started bingeing. Then I’d try to regain control by restricting food again.

This lifestyle of control is the most out of control thing I have experienced.

I couldn’t control the people around me, I couldn’t control the depression, the anxiety or the things going on in the world around me. This scared me, so I tried to control my food.

And I lost even more control.

But I eventually learned something I could control. My thoughts. This gave me the power to decide how I wanted to experience my life.

Here are some lessons from this process:

1. Be willing to feel all emotions

No feeling can hurt you. Being scared of feeling anxiety just makes the anxiety worse. But I’ve never felt one emotion forever, it always comes and goes. Becoming comfortable with being uncomfortable gives you the power to feel anything.

2. Notice emotions and the thoughts causing them

Our emotions are great guide post that can lead us to understand our minds so much clearer. What are you feeling at this moment? Why?

3. Decide What You Want Your Life to Look Like

If you don’t know what the end result will look like, you won’t be able to get there. I decided what I wanted to think about myself, food, other people and my goals.

4. Use Your Thoughts and Feelings as a Guide

You will have thoughts and emotions that won’t lead you to the life you want. It is your job to notice them. Sometimes the garden needs weeding. Take out the “I’m not good enough”, “I will never recover” and anything else that doesn’t belong.

5. Practice

Using your mind as a tool is a skill that takes practice. Be patient with yourself as you notice the thoughts and emotions you want to change.

My passion is teaching other women who battle with food on a daily basis to learn how to harness the power of their minds.

Your thoughts are the most powerful thing you have, so learn to use them. Schedule a mini session with me if you need help with this. It’s free.

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