Tips to beat eating disorders

Challenge the passing thought that you’d like to eat, not eat or otherwise behave in a bad old way. Tell it to F*** off. Otherwise a seed will be planted that will grow into a real relapse instead of an imagined one. Maybe not today, maybe a week later, but you will find yourself for example putting something sugary to your lips.

Play the video the whole way through. This means: don’t just imagine what the first bite will be like. Don’t just imagine the scene setter – sitting in a tea shop with a handsome friend sipping lapsang souchong and downing a chocolate éclair.
How many cakes and ice creams will you have? What crap will you get into? How much harm will you do to yourself and those around you? What dark spot will you end up in? How many short months of misery before you end up once more in the body you hate?

Concentrate on quitting harmful behavior and establishing sensible behavior around food above all else. Don’t try to give up anything else initially. Don’t worry about smoking for example. These issues can be addressed later. No overeater ended up searching bins for extra food or eating four litres of ice cream in front of the TV under the influence of a cigarette.

Don’t rush the program. It’s not a race. The concentration required to abstain and get through the withdrawals, without a relapse, precludes starting on the self-improvement steps until later.

Avoid stressful events in the first two years, if possible, such as divorce, moving house, changing jobs, or a new partner. The stress involved can break one’s concentration on tackling the withdrawals

If you absolutely have to attend an occasion, perhaps a funeral or work-related, where there is formal eating (worst of all a buffet) and/or you know you will feel uncomfortable, don’t stay any longer than you have to. Always plan your own escape route in case. Make sure you have the phone number of a taxi or a friend if needed. Take your own meal or give advance notice of your special requirements. If anyone makes a fuss about our not fitting in, it is a sign that they don’t understand how serious these matters can be.

The question of how to fill the time you used to spend behaving badly around food will arise. The cinema, evening classes, the gym and swimming are just a few examples. You could make your own list of things you’d intended to do. Also, you could sample many activities to see which ones spark an interest. If you are shy, amateur dramatics is a possibility, for example.