It’s everywhere as we enter the new year – try this diet, use this piece of exercise equipment, join this gym! You’ll lose weight, things will be perfect! If you struggle with an eating disorder these messages are both enticing and frightening. You know it’s a lie, but at the same time its siren song calls to you. It’s hard to even open social media, what with all the targeted ads, friends trying this or that, and “fitspo” (fitness post) stuff all over Instagram.
So how can you stay in recovery when it seems like everyone, everywhere is starting the new year with a diet? Here are a few tips to help you navigate the next month.
Remind yourself of the recovery process.
It is so easy to get sucked in to the advertising and the message that you need to do a 30-day this or that or join some program. Remember it’s not truth. If you’ve been in recovery any length of time you know dieting is a lie and a multibillion dollar industry that wants to keep you in its clutches. Your recovery plan is what is best, even if it doesn’t come with a sexy set of commercials, and even if your eating disorder is screaming at you that your recovery plan isn’t enough. The eating disorder is lying and you can trust your recovery plan.
Steer clear of social media, or at least lower the frequency with which you scroll through.
There is a lot of research these days that excessive use of social media can lead to feelings of depression, so there’s a good reason right there to limit your time. I tell clients often social media is a billboard, not a diary. You are seeing slick ads and idealized thoughts. Very rarely are people posting pictures of the dinner they burned or the messy house they need to clean – or the diet that failed. Limiting your exposure can help you not get sucked in to the vast amount of diet and exercise info being espoused this time of year.
Fall back on your food plan
Your food plan can be so helpful when our brains and emotions get all trapped by the eating disorder. Your food plan was developed by your team – your team who knows you and knows what you need. You can trust it, no matter what you think or feel. Remember, thoughts and feelings are not always truth. Think of your food plan like a safety net that you can deploy any time you’re feeling lost or overwhelmed. So dig out those papers and let it support you as you sift through the thoughts and feelings and advertising and, well, January.
Talk to someone
This is a great time to talk to your recovery team and support system. If you’re struggling with thoughts or feelings about the January push for diet plans and exercise equipment, reach out for help. Talk about your feelings. Let your team help you fall back on your food plan. Sometimes getting those thoughts out in the open is enough for you to hear the distortion or for someone to help you identify and challenge the distortion. We build recovery and support teams for just such times as this.
If you or someone you love is struggling with an eating disorder, there is help available. Whether you are 15, 25, 35, 45 or older, male or female, there is help for you. If you would like to talk about what recovery might look like for you, call 919-891-0525 today for a free, 15-minute consultation. Appointments may be scheduled for my Wake Forest counseling office or online.