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Eating Disorder Recovery Message Board

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I'm sorry to hear of your situation. Unfortunately, 'recovery' programs, and therapy even will not provide sure solutions. However I do have a recommendation for helping her to change her behaviors; mindfulness, which is an approach that allows for challenging behaviors and improving our lives. It's not specific to eating disorders, but can actually be used for pretty much anything. It's not complicated. If you know anything of cognitive behavior therapy, then its a bit like that. I haven't used this approach in a therapy setting, but when I found treatment options failing me, and began to naturally implement my own healthy coping mechanisms and problem solving skills, finally working to change some behaviors, it was essentially this approach I was using.

I know its frustrating when someone so dear to you is unable to overcome destructive behavior... but she is young and can hopefully make some changes in her life for the better. I understand it's not easy, especially with the pain of loss. There's something about optimism, living in the moment, being honest with ourselves.. and constantly working to grow. I guess I'm naturally a critical thinker on everything including my own behaviors. I fall into those familiar behaviors because I do not challenge them. But there was a time earlier in my struggle when my councilor suggested I 'sit with the feeling' and not purge. I guess they don't get how it feels when your abdomen is about to burst... But really, I had decided before I put that first bite in my mouth what I was to do, and it was then that I should have stopped and challenged it..

My life is different now. Back then I was just coming out of puberty. I expect your sister is entering that phase. Your family has recently had a difficult loss. I don't know what else is happening in your life or what other circumstances may be there... But food is a tricky topic even for the average person. I have learned some interesting things about how it affects the body and especially how it affects moods. I'm not just talking about the feelings associated with food related to how we think of those foods.. but how they physically affect our emotions.

We all know we need to eat calories for energy, but does it matter how we get those calories? Most people do know that we need a certain amount of nutrients for optimal functioning, and realize that a lack of certain nutrients will lead to specific problems. Protein is also very important. Our muscles atrophy without it, and our metabolism also slows. It's easier to gain weight then, which causes mental anguish when you are hypersensitive to your body.

So what do we eat? I read labels for years, working to get more vitamins, protein and fiber. I felt a little better than before.. Then for a time I ate giant portions of vegetables. It filled me up, but not enough protein. But what I was finding was that carbohydrates, sugars in particular confused my appetite and increased my distress. For someone who purges constantly, distress means more purging.

The basic idea is to keep blood sugar/energy level. I eat egg beaters for breakfast all the time, and for the first time in years I do not feel like I want to b/p all day. Habit can still lead to planning for these things... like when you always wait for the opportunity.. when it then arises you feel like you need to take advantage of that chance. Also, after purging there is often a drop in blood sugar. So if you do this before bed... there's a good chance of feeling like shit in the morning. Low blood sugar..dehydration....

So it's more than just deciding to change behaviors, being mindful enough to do it, and then implementing these steps.

Hope this will provide some insight. Ultimately, it takes something to live for and to redirect our efforts on to stop the pursuit of thiness. If you feel like there is nothing in your life, but you have that one thing to pour your enegry into, it will continue to persist if not grow worse.

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