Updated: Sep 25, 2022
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Around 24 million people in the US struggle with an eating disorder.
Even after overcoming an eating disorder, there is still a long journey ahead of you to avoid relapsing. The idea of eating disorder relapse can be discouraging, but with the proper tools in place, you can avoid it.
Read on to find out more about avoiding eating disorder relapse.
Know Your Triggers
Sometimes there will be triggers that may encourage a relapse. During these times, it is important to know what that trigger was so you can prepare for it in the future.
Knowing your triggers doesn't mean avoiding them entirely, because some of them are just part of life. It is better to have a plan set in place of how you will deal with the trigger, so that eventually, it won't even be a "trigger" anymore.
So, the next time you feel the urge to give into your disordered eating, think about what happened that made you feel that way.
Building a Support System
It's never wrong to ask for help when you are struggling. It's also important to know that your loved ones won't be disappointed in you when you have setbacks or need guidance.
Because of this, you should build a support system of reliable people that you trust. When you are struggling, go to them for encouragement, accountability, and advice.
Make a Plan
After you have overcome your eating disorder, it is important to put a plan in place moving forward.
This means planning out how many meals or snacks you will eat each day, for example. This will help prevent you from eating less than necessary or binging and eating more than necessary.
You can even ask a loved one to hold you accountable for making sure you eat the proper amount of meals. You may not need to have a plan set in place forever, but until you are confident you won't have a relapse, a plan is good.
It may be a good idea to also avoid the bathroom for at least a half hour after eating. This will help you avoid purging after a meal because it will give your body time to digest the food. Once your food is digested, you may not feel as strong of a need to purge.
Getting Back Up After Relapse
The most important thing to know is that it's okay if you have a setback. There's no need to throw out all your progress after an ED relapse or be overwhelmingly discouraged.
These are sometimes part of the recovery process. The important thing is to get back up and start again. Don't heap guilt onto yourself or torture yourself. You are only human.
Everyone will have setbacks in life, but that doesn't mean you need to give up.
Don't forget to reward yourself when you have victory over your eating disorder! It can be so hard to avoid relapse after eating disorder recovery, so when you are able to conquer it, celebrate that.
Reward yourself by going out and doing something you love. Maybe you enjoy splurging on a new outfit and accessory you really want. Maybe there is a place you've been wanting to go. Go there!
Your victories are something to be proud of.
Victory Over Eating Disorder Relapse
Eating disorder relapse doesn't need to define your life. Set up a plan so you can continue living in a healthy and happy way.
At RecoverED Now, I make it my goal to help you reclaim your identity. I will give you accountability and coaching to succeed in finding inner peace with who you are.