3 hot tips for saying goodbye to body checking – Part 1 of 2
August 15, 2017
Is being thin more important than this?
August 30, 2017

Say goodbye to Body Checking

Stop fighting yourself and start fighting for yourself.

Part 2 of 2

Let's recap the steps from the previous article...

1. Ask yourself - have you had enough pain?

2. Get conscious about the cost

3. Choose where to start

4. Know where you are starting from

This is a great exercise from Carolyn Costin’s Book ‘8 Keys to Recovery from an Eating Disorder’. Get yourself a journal. For an entire day keep a tally every time you body check. Record the time of day as well as your thoughts and your feelings before you body check AND after. This is your baseline.

If you are thinking "I don't need to do the exercise, I get the point...', you need to do the exercise. Your eating disorder will employ minimizing, avoidance or distraction techniques when it comes to anything that might move you towards recovery. Try it for a day, you have nothing to lose.

5. Be prepared.

Here is the kicker. Body checking makes you anxious. So does not body checking. The difference however is if you body check, the anxiety gets stuck in a vicious cycle.
If body checking is gone from your life – the anxiety will initially increase, but like any will pass. It did for me and it has for thousands of other people. You weren’t born body checking, it is a learned behavior & you can definitely unlearn it.
6. Slow is fast.

If your baseline was body checking thirty times a day, what would be reasonable to cut down to? Going cold turkey is always an option, so is being smart. One idea could be to allow yourself 3 checks a day – one in the morning, one at night and one in the evening. That alone is an astronomical change. It will be weeks of awareness, reflection, journaling, self-talk and all the ingredients that form recovery. Use your journal to record your ‘a-ha’ moments, get to recognize your triggers, your successes and your reflections.

Expect this process to be hard. If it was easy, you would have done it ages ago. Also expect for it to feel like it isn’t ‘working’. In the beginning, getting better feels bad – that’s why recovery is hard. It is likely going to be some weeks before you notice any decrease in the anxiety.

Healthy Self statements to help keep you grounded in the moment:

I am stopping body checking because I want a better life.

I have been down this path before and it didn't work, I am trying something new.

I can't trust my eyes because they are distorted.

I am a prisoner of the rules I live by. So I'm making new ones.

Feelings are fluid and they change.

My perception of 'normal' is based on an eating disorder perspective of myself. This is my new normal.

Mirrors won't tell me anything about myself that I need to know. They might tell me if my fly is unzipped or if I have food in my teeth but a best friend will also tell me those things.

An eating disorder is endless, but recovery has an end.
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