Step by Step – Dealing with Day-to-Day Life with an Eating Disorder

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A favorite movie of mine is called “What About Bob” starring Bill Murray and Richard Dreyfuss.  In this inspirational and funny story, Bob is having a hard time recovering from fear and anxieties.  His therapist, Dr. Leo Marvin tells him to focus on doing things one day at a time – one moment at a time – “baby steps”.  It becomes an amusing but integral part of the movie when Bob encourages himself at a stressful moment by repeating out loud to himself – “baby steps, baby steps!”.

Whenever we get overwhelmed it is usually due to the fact that we trying to do too much or even trying to do the impossible.  Being overwhelmed can be a result of having a long “to do” list – an unreasonably long one!  To get back to being productive, we need to remember to take “baby steps”.  Think right now about five things that can help you de-stress today.  Make sure they are quick and easy things, not “sell my house” or “finish college”.  Think more along the lines of do a load of laundry and load the dishwasher.  Or even take a 15 minute power nap and watch a funny show on TV.

Often doing a few seemingly meaningless things can help us to calm down enough to think more clearly and be even more productive.  Recovery from an eating disorder can be thought of in this same way.  When someone is working on recovery they often look far off into the future and become anxious wondering how they can make it that far.  Another good phrase to hold on to is “do the next right thing”.  Even on days when the eating disorder is pressuring you, you can break the pattern by choosing to do the next right thing.  That thing might be having your lunch or getting out of the house to run an errand.  You might even need to say that out loud to yourself – “just do the next right thing!” – because hearing your own voice can encourage you with its firmness.

Two quotes that might help you hold on to this thought are:

“Champions know there are no shortcuts to the top. They climb the mountain one step at a time. They have no use for helicopters!” – Judi Adler

“Courage is one step ahead of fear.” – Coleman Young

~Karen Gibbons, Director of Programs

Canopy Cove offers compassionate, comprehensive care for Adolescents and Adults. We invite you take the next “step” towards Recovery! Call Today!

1-800-236-7524