When in the grips of an Eating Disorder (ED), you mistake it as your greatest cheer squad and feel comfort in knowing that it is committed to ensuring you propel towards achieving its goals and do not step one foot out of line. Unbeknown at the time, it is your greatest enemy and far from your greatest support.
During the initial stages of recovering from an ED sticking to a routine and structured plan is an important part of recovery. However, when you are stable and ready to live on a more intuitive level moving away from routine can be of great benefit.
Whilst your ED likes you to ‘change’ things up daily or even meal-to-meal, the change it likes is restriction. Restriction is in fact the cornerstone of routine. Sticking to the same routine does not allow you to come across new opportunities and grow in the process.
One of the greatest ways to support an ED is to allow its relationship with routine to blossom. This means, on the flip, one of the greatest ways to challenge your ED and in fact gain great strength against it, is to let go of routine. Each time you let go of routine, you are challenging your ED and you are becoming a stronger force than it.
If this resonates (which I really hope it does!!) and you are wondering how to go about challenging your routine, here are some examples:
- Have breakfast at a different time of day – eat 30mins earlier or delay it by 15mins instead of sticking strictly to ‘schedule’
- Eat out at a new restaurant or café – one you have not studied the menu prior to arriving at
- Order a dish you ‘want’ but don’t think you ‘should’ have
- Order a different type of coffee and be excited for the surprise of how it will taste
- Walk a different route and change how long you walk for or even exercise at a different time of day
- Try new ingredients, if pre ED you loved a certain food but now deny yourself its enjoyment, aim to re-introduce it and do this with new foods every few days!
- Cook food a different way, if you are used to boiled eggs - try gently fried or if you only eat raw carrots but love them cooked, cook them!!
When challenging routine, feelings of anxiety are pretty much a given, but such feelings will quickly pass and you are less likely to experience them the next time around. You will soon learn, that stepping outside of routine, whilst once feared, is actually not that scary and provides an incredible sense of freedom! Its important to maintain your change in routine on a daily basis to make sure you don’t fall back into old habits and rekindle your ED’s old flame...routine!
Casey Dick | Passionate Dedicated Natural Nutritionist | Brisbane, Australia, Dietary Nutritionist, Healthy Body and Mind Advocate, Natural Hormone Balance & Healthy Weight Loss, Natural Skin Health, Anorexia, Eating Disorder Recovery, Orthorexia, Thyroid, Non-dieting Approach, Gut Health, Nutritionist specialises in PCOS, Binge Eating Disorder, Why can’t I lose weight, Weight Loss Resistance