WRITING FINDING YOUR HEALTHY SELF
Once again, using the same examples from the previous assignments, and adding any new ones, write again what your eating disorder does for you. This time, try to respond to the statement from your Healthy Self. For example, if you write that your eating disorder makes you feel special, your Healthy Self can respond by pointing out why that isn ‘t actually true, not really working, or providing other ways you can, or want to, be special.
My eating disorder: Takes my mind off of other worse problems
Healthy response/alternative: Distraction only works temporarily because the problems are still there and thinking about them comes back, and then I feel bad about my behaviors and my problems. It is true that distraction can sometimes be a helpful coping strategy, but there are other, healthier distractions like yoga, playing an instrument, meditation, poetry, or any hobby that I can throw myself into for awhile. Even if none of those work as quickly or as well as the eating disorder, they don’t have the consequences or side effects.
1. My eating disorder:
2. My eating disorder:
3. My eating disorder:
STRENGTHENING YOUR HEALTHY SELF
Hopefully, the previous assignments have given you an idea of what thoughts or feelings are being managed by your eating disorder and have provided you with some experience in responding from your Healthy Self. It will take awhile to figure out the most effective Healthy Self statements, and don’t worry if you aren’t sure you really believe the ones you have come up with so far. Chances are you have countless eating disorder thoughts and feelings every day, so you will have many opportunities to improve and develop a repertoire of Healthy Self responses that are helpful, true and unique to you.
Here are some examples from clients:
1. I am more than my body. I don’t love people because of their bodies.
2. Any self-esteem I think I’m getting from this is being cancelled out by the feeling of self-betrayal I have because of what I am doing to get it.
3. Even if I don’t like the way my body looks, it’s not okay to hurt or abuse it.
4. I know I can’t trust what I see in the mirror. I have distorted body image.
5. Bingeing and purging will never help me feel good about myself.
6. I’m not really expressing anything by doing this. I need to use my voice.
7. If purging is the problem, it can’t be the solution. I want to find real solutions.
8. Isolating from everyone to do my behaviors doesn’t make me feel less lonely.
9. I don’t have to react. Try to do three other things first before engaging a behavior.
0. Unless my body needs food, eating is not going to fill up my emptiness.
It is helpful to look at examples of Healthy Self statements from other clients, but it is important to come up with your own. Having statements from your Healthy Self that are unique and meaningful to you and your situation will make it easier for you to effectively respond in the moment.