Intuitive Eating

Hello everyone,

I just wanted to ask for some advice since this is the part that I always seem to get stuck on in recovery, and that is the intuitive eating piece.

See, I am have always been very good about following a plan, I am a perfectionist, and the structured meal plan and exercise routines that are given to me by my treatment team have always been something that I can do once I am further in my recovery, but I latch onto and obsess over these plans, especially since numbers are involved. Structures and plans have always been easy for me to follow, but, I always seem to slip when I get to the intuitive eating piece of recovery, which is something that I really need to work on, but I am afraid to do so.

I really do want to recover fully, and I feel like I am very close considering the fact that I am physically healthy and mentally in a much better place. But, even though I am physically healthy right now, I still feel like I am trapped inside of a plan, whether it be a meal plan, exercise plan, scheduling plan, etc. I still feel like my eating disorder is controlling my life instead of me just living my life, if that makes any sense. I know that eating disorders are about control, and, for me, having this structured meal plan and exercise routine makes me feel safe because it keeps everyday the same, but this is not living.

What my treatment team wants me to do now is work on being flexible by having ranges within my meal plan and recording my feelings before and after meals/snacks so that I can listen to my hunger/fullness signals. This is extremely hard for me, and I know that recovery is about exploring those uncomfortable feelings, but I am really scared. Any advice on how to move from being obsessive about meal plans to intuitive eating? I could really use some help right now.

Thank you.

sboggs33's picture


You are amazing. It is truly difficult once you get to this stage, but just remember: You've made it to this stage!!!! Congratulations! 


Now as for help, have someone there to help you and make you laugh through the meals. Provide yourself with a reward when you've completed a certain amount of time with this new schedule and always be honest with those around you who are helping you. Tell them it sucks and its terribly hard and they can help you remember what your doing and why your doing it. You are a very strong woman and have had to adapt to a lot with going through recovery. This is just something else you need to adapt to. Good luck! We are all cheering for you! 

Kristine3's picture

Thank you so much for the advice. This is actually what my therapist suggested that I do in order to take the stress out of eating meals at different times, not exercising, and overall just being flexible.
I know that social support really helps, but it is hard for me to find people. See, I have lost a lot of friends due to extreme isolation enabled by my eating disorder, so the only people that I really have to open up to this about are my family. Granted, my family are so loving, supportive, and caring, but I do not want to have to keep asking them for help, especially since I live so far away now and it is hard to get together with them. This may sound like an eating disorder behavior, but, what I really want is to make friends of my own again and have people that I can talk to about this without having to go back to my family every time.
I guess what it all comes down to is this, I want to find myself outside of the eating disorder, outside of family life, and grow up, I'm 21 after all and I have been dealing with this eating disorder and recovery for seven years! So, I want to spread my wings to create my own life. Does this make sense? I am not trying to isolate my family, but rather, find new friends and add more support.

sboggs33's picture

I think that is a great idea, Kristin! There are tons of things to get involved in, I suggest looking for volunteer opportunities as it will have you give to other people (making you feel better) and introducing you to people who have the same interests as you. Give it time and don't give up. Also, don't ever feel bad about asking your family for help. I'm sure they are happy to! 

Kristine3's picture

Thank you so much for your advice sboggs33!
I really do believe that resilience is the key to overcoming an eating disorder, and therefore, even though I have been in recovery for almost a decade, I must be patient with the process.

GabrielleBR's picture

Good one. This was informative for all.

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