Some guidelines for people who are already in some stage of eating disorder recovery
(If you are in recovery you can hear this. If you are not in recovery your eating disorder will probably block this information or discount it.)
The National Women's Health Information Center offers these suggestions as part of a program to help prevent osteoporosis.
- Get plenty of calcium by eating or drinking dairy products, or by taking calcium supplements.
- Eat a diet rich in vitamins and protein.
- Get enough weight-bearing exercise (where your body works against gravity). Examples include lifting weights or climbing stairs.
- Avoid smoking and excessive alcohol use.
- Get enough vitamin D
So what does this mean to someone in eating disorder recovery?Dairy products?
Maybe not. But calcium rich foods, like broccoli? Yes.
Maybe. But check with your nutritionist to see if you are getting your calcium in correct balance with other vitamins and minerals. And use supplements in the amounts and of the kind that are in harmony with the necessary balance you need.
Yes! Binge? No. Eat for emotional needs? No. Eat for the vitamins and protein you need for you body, mind and emotions to be in a healthy balance so you can function well in life. Yes.
Yes. Obsessive running? No. Obsessive spinning? No. Over the top exercise of any kind? No. The key word in the above list is enough.
The key word in eating disorder recovery is, enough. Enough is a limit. Recovery is often about boundaries, knowing when to start and stop, knowing when to say "No", or "That's enough."
Your understanding of enough begins with food. It moves on to exercise, sleep, emotional abuse, work, play, relationships. Knowing what you need, how to get, getting it, knowing when to stop, i.e. knowing when you've had or done enough, and then stopping is crucial to recovery and living a reasonable life.
Once you are there, at ease with your knowledge of enough, you are free to create the life that will bring you the most joy and satisfaction. This is what boundary setting and recovery are all about.
Avoid smoking and excessive alcohol use?
Of course. I don't think we need to go into that. At long last that information is clear. Stopping any and all addictions is your challenge.
Yes. Vitamin D is the sunshine vitamin. You need about 10-15 minutes of sunlight on your hands, arms and face two to three times a week to get enough Vitamin D.
I garden and walk my dog every day so I've got the basics covered in my life. What about you?
Be in the sun? Yes. For hours? No. To sunburn level? No. Just enough to get your Vitamin D.
If you don't have access to sunshine on a regular basis you can get Vitamin D in foods or vitamin pills.
Daily Vitamin D Requirements
Ages IU per day
71 and older 600
Remember please, your eating disorder recovery is not just about stopping your eating disorder behaviors. Recovery is about starting your new and healthy behaviors that bring good nourishment to you in the form of food, activities, relationships, work and the blooming in your own creative life.
P.S. I like the Vitamin D chart. I want everyone with an eating disorder to get healthy and grow to a ripe, happy, feisty, vitamin D enriched old age. I want your life and your bones there so you can laugh while you lift your giggling great grandchildren to your shoulders and play.
(If you are not in recovery and read this far, I hope you will consider going into your recovery work. By all means write to get some tips on how to start.)