"Your body and mind are learning to trust you again during recovery. Recovery can be seen as rebuilding a trust relationship between yourself, your mind and your body."
Does this look familiar?
If so, you have come to the right place. Let's talk HABIT, PATIENCE and the mind.
What do we mean by habit?
Habits are practised behaviours which overtime become subconscious. Habits can relate to anything that we do to avoid or numb a feeling, including our own thoughts/ thinking processes and compensatory measures.
Why are habits relevant?
As you can see in the cycle above, we have developed a routine (neural pathways) through habitual thinking, which is why it feels so hard to break the cycle or certain habits and we sometimes feel ‘stuck’. This can be un-motivating, disheartening and make us question whether recovery is possible.
The good news? Habits can be broken and new ones can be created!
What does gaining trust mean?
Just like you are placing trust in your support team and the people around you, your body is also learning to trust you again during recovery.
In essence, your body’s biological make-up is designed in a way to optimise health, fight disease and support survival. With this in mind, it will do everything in its power to keep you alive and look after you. For long periods of time, your body has been deprived of nutrition or punished, so it goes into ‘survival mode’ to ensure the safety of you. Your body will hold onto all sources of nutrition as it is confused and unsure of ‘when will I get fed next?’ or ‘what will happen after he/she eats?’. This is why during recovery it can feel as though you are continuously gaining weight and thoughts that ‘weight gain will never stop’ or ‘thoughts will never stop’ can occur. This is where the importance of habit and trust come into play.
How does the body and mind gain trust?
Put in more simple terms, through breaking habits and creating new routines we can develop new neural pathways to rewire our brains and establish a trust relationship with our body. What happens then? Our thoughts become quieter and our metabolism stabilises as our body is no longer questioning when it will get fed next or what will happen after eating, but knows that you are looking after it – it relaxes. And so do you.
HELP AND SUPPORT
If you, or anyone you know is experiencing an eating disorder or body image concerns, you can call the Butterfly Foundation National Helpline on 1800 33 4673 (ED HOPE) or email email@example.com or jump on our website to chat www.thebutterflyfoundation.org.au
Today is World Eating Disorders Action Day and the theme is #WeDoAct2BreakStigma. We reached out to our community and asked them to share ONE thing they wish people understood about their eating disorder or their loved one's eating disorder.
By Fiona Wright
Fiona is an Australian poet and critic. Fiona wrote Small Acts of Disappearance: Essays in Hunger (2015) based on her personal experience of an eating disorder. She also shared some of her journey with us here. Fiona says co-morbidity was one of the defining features of her eating disorder, so we asked her to share a little more.
By Kevin Gatti
Kevin was previously a personal trainer and involved in the fitness industry. He experienced disordered eating for many years. After seeing the emphasis placed on appearance by people and the impact terminology and conversations have on perception, he is keen to talk about 'health' and how this has become a confusing term for society.