I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: recovery is far from being a straight line. You’ll have bad days and good days, and eventually they’ll be more good than bad. But neither is recovery a quick fix. It takes a long time to come to terms with getting better, even when you’re on your way. These small steps can go a long way.
Accept your weird food combos
The chances are, when you start trying to explore different foods again, the things you like are probably going to look a little weird to other people. For me, salad was a food I felt ‘safe’ with, so when I started exploring ‘scarier’ options, I’d eat it alongside them. It’s normal, but it can feel horrid if other people comment on it. Ignore them. Eat your food in peace, and be proud of yourself for doing it, whatever it looks like.
Re-familiarise yourself with your body
Inevitably, starting to eat more means you’re going to see some physical changes. It takes time to feel comfortable about these, so don’t worry about being a body-posi influencer straight away. Instead, just try to familiarise yourself with your body in it’s new form. Spend some time getting to know it and learning what’s changed. And remember there’ll also be some changes (clearer skin, healthier hair) you will like straight away.
Practise eating in public
I know, this is a really hard one. But the point is that, once you’re ready, you should try to get out of your comfort zone. My best advice is to make as small a deal of the eating as possible. Make sure you do it with people you’re comfortable with, chat whilst you’re eating and, if you’re alone, take a laptop or a book so that you’re doing something else with your hands.
Chat to a friend about it
Letting a friend know the steps you’re taking to aid recovery can help make sure you stick to them. It’s important you talk to and check in with someone else instead of trying to do it all on your own.
Importantly, if you think you’re struggling, talk to someone you trust. Here’s some helplines you can also contact.