A 14 day ED recovery challenge made by takingbackmystrength
DAY 1 - Eating Behaviours
From the following eating disorder behaviours mark them on a scale of 1 to 10 (1= not at all, 5= often and 10= always.
1. I have excessive control over the way I eat
2. I ignore my body’s signals of hunger or fullness
3. I eat when I feel strong emotion instead of when I am hungry
4. I focus totally on eating and food
5. Food and eating take up all my time
6. My daily living activities are affected by either eating or restrciting food
7. I allow my weight and body image to interfere with my relationships
8. I allow thinking about eating or not eating to interfere with my relationships
9. My weight and body image interfere with my taking part in normal activities
10. I struggle constantly for perfection in dieting, body image or weight
11. I have lost or gained a large amount of weight in a short period of time
12. I am overly concerned with weight loss
13. I weigh myself on a scale more than once a week
14. I have strict rules about how much food I eat
15. I have food taboos such as ‘foods from different food groups cannot touch each other on my plate’
16. For a long time I have been strict about what foods I eat
17. I compensate for taking in too many calories by exercising
18. I vomit or use laxatives to help me lose weight
19. I eat large amounts of food in a short period of time without wanting to
20. I do not realise when I have eaten to much
21. When I binge I lose track of how much I have eaten
22. I forget to eat for days at a time
23. I eat only diet foods and diet drinks for days at a time
24. I am usually dissatified with my appearance
25. I am always dieting
26. I use diet drugs and herbal supplements to help me lose weight
27. I think about having gastric bypass surgery or liposuction
28. I lie about my weight to my friends and parents
29. I have at least three different sizes of clothes in my wardrobe
30. Even at my lowest weight I am not satisfied with what I weigh.
Having done that, look back over your scores, scores of 5 or more for 2 statements put you at risk of an eating disorder, scores of 5 or more for 4 statements puts you at definite risk, scores of 5 or more for more than 5 statements indicates your health may be in danger and you should seek help.
The aim of Day 1 is to help you identify your key disordered eating behaviours and reflect upon then. If you wish to, comment on which behaviours you feel strong enough to change and how you may do that. Which behaviour would be hardest to change, and why?
DAY 2 - Fairytale stories
Think about your favourite fairy tale from when you were growing up:
1. What fairy tale was it?
2. What did you like about it?
3. How did that story help you grow as a person?
4. If you had your own fairytale story - what would be the same?
5. What would be different?
6. Would you story end the same way?
7. What would come after your ending?
8. What fairytale character do you most relate to?
9. Why is it important to think about what follows a happy ending?
10. How do you think the ideas throughout fairytales apply to your eating disorder behaviour?
DAY 3 - Body image scale
Choose the sentence that describes how you feel about yourself right now.
1. I have very extreme dislike for my body
2. I have extreme dislike for my body
3. I dislike my body
4. I occasionally dislike my body
5. I have average feelings about my body
6. I am comfortable with my body sometimes
7. I am usually comfortable with my body
8. I am almost always comfortable with my body
9. I like my physical appearance
10. I am totally accepting of my body
This day’s task is not here to determine how well you are doing with your recovery, it is simply a tool to identify who you feel about yourself. Make some notes in more detail about why you chose a particular sentence.
How do you think your feelings about your body affect your eating disorder behaviours?
When you feel better about your body, what is the reason? If it’s to do with your weight, think of 5 different reasons unrelated to weight or image. What can you do to make yourself change your sentence choice?
Day 4 - Change
You don’t neccesarily need to commit to change here, but thinking about it can be just as useful.
Change works in 3 ways, it takes 3 days to stop cravings, 3 weeks to start a new plan and get used to it, and 3 months to break habits and create new ones. With this in mind answer the following questions:
1. What unhealthy eating behaviour am I willing to give up for three days?
2. How do I feel about giving that up for three days?
3. What new routine will I commit to for three weeks to see if I like it?
4. How do I feel about that change?
5. What habit do I hope to break over the next three months?
6. How will I know I have broken that habit?
Grab your diary or phone and enter a reminder three weeks from now, and three months from now, to follow up on this, how are you feeling and what changes have you made? How are things different, or the same? How can you continue to keep changing or how can you try harder next time?
DAY 5 - If only they would listen.
Write down the names (or code names) of 3 people in your life. Now, write them a letter, saying all the things you don’t feel you can. Whilst writing it, ask yourselfwhy you haven’t said these things before, is there any possibility you could? If not why not? Can you work on that? If you are feeling brave, maybe voice some of your letter to those people, if you can’t don’t pressure yourself but always bear those letters in mind.
DAY 6 - What food means
The aim of today is to determine what food means to you, what you view it as and what place it has in your life. Answer the following questions as honestly as you can.
1. To me, food represents…
2. All my life, I’ve used food as…
3. What will help me to recover is…
4. Looking at my body makes me feel…
5. I am angry at…
6. The feelings I used food to bury are…
7. Food helps me avoid…
8. I love food because it…
9. Sometimes I am afraid to eat because…
10. Parts of my body that I love are…
11. To recover, I am willing to sacrifice…
12. Strengths that will help me recover are…
13. What has help me in the past is…
Have you realised anything from this? Has food been a way for you to do something, avoid, hide, bury emotions? How has being more aware of food and it’s influence helped you, is there anything you can change from this?
DAY 7 - Relax :)
1. Find a comfortable place to sit or lie down and focus your attention to your body
2. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth ten times
3. Focus your attention on your feet, imagine the bottom of them like trap doors. Picture all your stress and anxieties flowing out the bottom of your feet onto the floor.
4. Focus on your calves, releasing stress
5. Focus on your shins, relax and let go of tension, feel it drain through your feet
6. Relax your knees and thighs, feel the muscle in the front and back of them, they carry you around all day. Relax them.
7. Feel your spine relaxing into the floor, being pulled down by gravity.
8. Breathe into your belly, relax your lower back, relax your shoulders, let go of all the tension.
9. Breathe in, and out, feel what it is to relax
10. Relax your upper arms, biceps, triceps and forearms, relax your hands and fingers, feel the stress rushing towards your feet and being released.
11. Relax your neck, your jaw, your tongue. Keep taking deep breathes.
12. Relax your forehead, feel those worry lines relax and dissappear.
13. Breathe in deeply and exhale, repeat. Feel light and warmth over your body, think of sore or stuck places, breathe warm and light into those places.
14. Let go, come into a relaxed state of consciousness or sleep.
What were some things you noticed that made you realise your body was tense? Which part of the relaxtion worked best for you? How did it feel to stop and relax? How do you feel now? Can this help you with healthy eating in any way? Or any other daily life issues?
Day 8 - Re-focus
So it’s been 3 days since you committed to/thought about changing an unhealthy eating behaviour. How did it go? Did you commit, forget? Will you try again? Was your goal to difficult, to easy? How do you feel about your achievements or lack of? Are you ready to change another behaviour?
Day 9 - Affirmations
1. Complete the following sentences with the first thing that comes to your mind:
The worst thing about my body is
The best thing about my body is
What I don’t like about my body is
What I appreciate about my body is
My body is no cooperating because it
My body has always been
What I have come to accept about my body is
I feel the following about my body:
My body is:
My body is:
My body is:
My body is:
My body is:
My body is:
My body is:
My body is:
My body is:
My body is:
2. Positive affirmations are written in the present, they help you change your thoughts about yourself. For example, My body is fat and ugly, becomes My body is beautiful and perfect. You might not believe them, but they can help to make you more positive.
Look at the comments you wrote about your body, how many are negative? Go back and rewrite them making them positive:
3. Writing an reading affirmations helps to make them concrete and eliminate negative thoughts. Pick one affirmation from step 2 and type it out ten times. no copy and pasting!
DAY 10 - Family
Today’s aim is to identify ways in which your family may have affected your eating patterns.
1. What are some of your dysfunctional eating patterns?
2. What would happen to the rest of your family if your eating behaviour became more stable?
3. What emotions are most commonly expressed in your family? How?
4. How do you resolve conflict in your family?
5. How would you describe the energy in your household around food/meal times?
6. When you are in conflict with a family members, how does that affect your eating patterns?
7. When there is conflicy in the family, how does that affect the family’s eating patterns?
8. When you are upset or angry, how do you express yourself?
Read back over your answers, what patterns do you notice? Are there ways your family deal with things that make health and emotional balance difficult? How can you handle confict or family issues whithout turning to unhealthy eating pattens? Can you share any of this with your family?
DAY 11 - What makes life worth living? Vision post.
Todays post is your own little collage, do with it what you please, as long as it contains things that answer these questions:
What is your vision of an ideal world? What is important to you for your personal future? What type of person do you want to be, not focussing on your appearance.What are your dreams, goals, favourites, ideas, aspirations, hobbies, thoughts?
How did it feel to create this vision post? What did you notice about it as a whole? How do you feel when you look at it? What feelings does it conjure up? What do you need to change to achieve some of the things in your post? How much of your ideal world is in your control?
DAY 12 - Your needs
Todays aim is to identify your needs and the difference between denying those things.
1. I deny that I need
2. I deny that I need
3. I deny that I need
4. I deny that I need
5. I deny that I need
6. I deny that I need
7. I deny that I need
8. I deny that I need
9. I deny that I need
10. I deny that I need
1. I need
2. I need
3. I need
4. I need
5. I need
6. I need
7. I need
8. I need
9. I need
10. I need
Try and identify some needs above that you are willing to try and meet, write a person next to each one who might help you with that need and when you are ready to face it, decide whether to ask that person for their help, or try to meet the need yourself.
Do you normally focus on other peoples needs? What is it like to think about your own? Do you avoid it normally? Why? Do you consider yourself weak if you ask for what you need? What might it feel like to be strong and still need things and people?
Day 13 - Building bridges
Either draw, by hand or on the computer a bridge, add as many people or details as you like. It’s YOUR bridge.
Imagine the left side of the bridge is your past, draw where you are now.
Imagine the right side of the bridge is your future, draw where you want to be.
Underneath the bridge draw what you are afraid of or what your are trying to conquer.
Above the bridge draw an image of the support and help you get from people in your life.
1. Describe what you see on the left side of the bridge.
2. Describe what you seen on the right side of your bridge.
3. What is underneath your bridge?
4. What is above your bridge?
Is there anyone or anything on the bridge?
5. If you could put yourself on the bridge, how far across would you be?
6. How does this drawing apply to your eating disorder behaviours?
Keep your bridge and refer back to it after a few weeks, are you in the same place?Re draw in a month or two, whats on either end, has it changed? Where are you?
Day 14 - Evaluation.
What have you achieved from the challenge?
What was your favourite day? Why?
What was your least favourite day? Why?
What days were easiest? Why?
What days were hardest? Why?
Did any day stand out for you the most, upset you, trigger you, motivate you? Why do you think this is?
Have you made any changes since starting this challenge?
Can you re-do Day 1 and see whether anything is different?
Do you feel any better about your body image?
Have you been able to voice your emotions better and not turn to eating disorder behaviour?
Are you any more motivated to recover?