Navigating eating disorder thoughts

I’m a relatively open person, therefore I have no hesitancy to share my past experiences with an eating disorder with others. I think it’s important to discuss taboo and/or stigmatized topics in order to better understand them, and conversation can be one of the most effective ways to generate familiarity with things we may not completely comprehend.

Keeping with transparency, I often discuss mental illness and my former eating disorder here on my blog. I’ve been doing some thinking about my previous disordered eating as of late, and I want to draw attention to the thoughts that associate themselves with this form of mental illness.

While I’ve been in remission from my eating disorder for a few years now, I still experience thoughts that commonly present themselves to someone suffering from disordered eating. I’m not sure if these thoughts will ever totally disparate, but in the meantime, I exert a solid amount of effort to quiet the temptation to restrict what I’m eating.

I’ve been asked by others if there’s a way to silence these thoughts, and while I’m not aware of a foolproof, effective solution, I imagine they impact us differently.

One piece of advice I can offer to those of us dealing with these thoughts is to learn how to navigate through them. Again, I’m not certain if these thoughts completely disappear in time, but being able to control them as opposed to succumbing to them is hugely important. Recognize the thoughts, but don’t listen to them. Being conscious of them is crucial in learning how to make sense of them, but giving in to them, as tempting as it may be to do so, will only allow them to strengthen.

Do I still have disordered thoughts about eating, nutrition, calories and exercise? Yes. Is this a bad thing? Not necessarily, so long as I can manage them.

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