copyright 2007 Keith Crovatt
What are 5 important steps to take control of your eating disorders? In “Are Eating Disorders Related To BadHabits (Part 1)” we discussed the various types of eating disorders and some examples that will hit home with many readers. In this article, we want to explore 5 ways to break an eating disorder habit.
*The first step is often the most important and is the hardest to accomplish! Nothing ever happens in life until you actually make a move to change your habits. If we keep our eating disorder habits to ourselves, we can slip and slide and no one will be the wiser, right? Well, that is about to change. The first step in controlling the yo-yo weight gain/weight loss cycle is…drum roll please…tell 2 other people about your plans. I did not say tell them about your hopes to lose weight. I did not say tell them about your dreams of getting back in shape. I said tell them about your plans. Plans are action items best written down and read often. Your mind will react in a positive way when you talk with yourself about a plan, an action and an expected outcome. You may say “I can’t be caught dead telling others I have this secret problem I have been trying to stop.” Guess what? Everyone has some little secret, hope, wish, frustration they are dealing with also. Your confession will inspire others to start working on their issues too. All of a sudden, you have a small support group of 2 to 5 people helping each other out. This creates accountability among your group.
*A second way to break eating disorder habits is to change your daily routine. Do you remember the movie about the man who relived groundhog day over and over again? He knew exactly what was going to happen in his life every day until he died if it did not stop. We all usually get out of bed at the same time each working day. We have a routine for cleaning, eating, and driving to school or work. We look at the clock for lunch and think about our usual afternoon snack. We may stop to get the same coffee or pastry on the way in every day. This, my friend, is called a habit. As this habit has been created, it can be changed. It all starts in altering your routine. Typically, it takes 21 days to alter a habit.
*The third method of breaking an eating disorder habit is changing our menu. I know, it sounds obvious doesn’t it? You will be surprised at how a simple change in the quantity of food will alter the calorie intact of the foods you eat. Here is an example. I love sandwiches at lunch. I can either take them back to my office or eat them at a nearby park. As I mentioned in part 1 of this article, the restaurants are creating super portions of food that most of us do not need if we sit at a computer all day. My trick is simple. Order a kids meal or senior portion if you are older and wiser. Most kids meals now offer fruit, milk, and other healthy items. Not only is the cost lower but the portions are smaller and are perfect for all of us.
*A fourth step in breaking an eating disorder habit is back to our support group. Are you talking with others at work, school, church, neighbors about hooking up with you? I can bet most of us have friends we can walk with at lunch. A lot of lunch places are close enough for a walk. Think about it. The next time you drive “down the street” to get lunch, clock the mileage. You will see that instead of powering up your car, using gas and in many cases stuck in traffic, you could walk there faster. Trust me on this. Try it, walk it, get others involved with you.
*The fifth method is the most fun. Create a “reward” day every week. A single sweet delight, pastry or chocolate covered yogurt bar will not put 10 pounds on your body. By rewarding yourself for daily changes in your routine, the guilt and feeling of being trapped in a diet go away. I love this part and you will too.