The Voice of the Eating Disorder

 EDIT™ Worksheets | Love Your Self Self-Image #1 | ED-IT Dialogue Ugghhh! My thighs are so fat and disgusting… I shouldn’t have eaten that, now I’ve got to get rid of it… I’ve had this eating disorder my whole life, I’ll never get better… Have you heard your clients make statements like these, or something similar? That’s the “Voice of the Eating Disorder” – or, ED. Explain this to your client, saying something like, “That’s ED talking right now. ED makes critical statements, like the ones you just said.” You can further explain to your client that ED can seem to dominate their mind, as if ED thoughts are the only thoughts they think. In early stages of recovery, the voice of ED can be very loud, chattering on and on with judgments and criticisms – but it’s often like background noise in your client’s mind, because they may not be aware of everything ED says. However, because these are the dominant messages in your client’s mind, the voice of ED can be very destructive to their physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing. These ED thoughts are what drive ED behaviors – as you re-read the three examples above, can you think of ED behaviors that might follow those thoughts? Encourage your client by saying something like, “You are not ED!  You have another voice within you, which gently counters the voice of ED, and encourages you on a path of recovery.” This “recovery voice” is what you are modeling for them as their therapist, especially when you offer compassionate feedback or guidance to take that next small but healthy step. When you are speaking to your client in this way, you are...

Intuitive Eating: WHY We Eat

 EDIT™ Worksheets | Be True Your Self Intuitive Eating #1 | The Three Reasons WHY We Eat I’m feeling low on energy, and need a snack… I just finished dinner, and want something sweet… I’ve just had a stressful day, and want my favorite comfort food… Can you relate to eating for these three different reasons? The first is the body’s PHYSICAL NEED for food – or, HUNGER. The second is a PHYSICAL DESIRE for specific foods although not necessarily hungry, for example, dessert – also called APPETITE. The third is an EMOTIONAL DESIRE for specific foods, as a means of self-soothing – referred to as COMFORT. It’s normal to eat for all three of these reasons – and eating disorders reflect being out of balance with why we eat. Eating disorder recovery is about restoring this balance, through Intuitive Eating. As a little more background information for you as an EDIT™ practitioner – I developed the terminology for these three reasons why people eat as an outcome of my own research. I observed the eating patterns of people who reported never having had an eating disorder, and noted that the reasons people ate fell into three main categories. My original terms were “Physical Need,” “Physical Desire,” and “Emotional Desire” – which I have since simplified as “Hunger,” “Appetite,” and “Comfort.” On a typical day, people without eating disorders reported eating for the three different reasons with these percentages: Hunger (75-100%), Appetite (0-25%), Comfort (0-10%). What this means is that some days, a person might eat in this distribution: Hunger (75%), Appetite (15%), Comfort (10%). Another day, perhaps their proportions may be: Hunger (90%), Appetite (10%), Comfort (0%). Occasionally, people without eating disorders reported: Hunger (100%), Appetite (0%),...

Eating Disorder Coping Skills

 EDIT™ Worksheets | Express Your Self Coping #1 | The 5-Rs   Eating disorder behaviors can often be impulsive – your clients may sometimes feel like “ED just takes over.” As your clients progress in recovery, they realize that there is a moment of choice – although at first it may be very brief. This is the window of opportunity for your clients to use alternatives to their eating disorder behaviors as a means of coping. In that moment of choice, your clients may not be able to think of their healthy coping skills – that’s because ED (Eating Disorder) is the predominant voice in their mind. In that moment of choice, your clients may be able to access IT (Intuitive Therapist) for a brief moment – long enough to think, “Hmmmm, what could I do right now instead of giving into ED?” This is where the 5-Rs Worksheet can be essential! If your client has completed this worksheet in session with you, or as a homework assignment, then they have the completed worksheet to refer to in their moment of need. When ED is active in their mind, they may have a difficult time remembering IT’s suggestions for healthy ways of coping. But if they pull out this completed worksheet, then they have plenty if ideas to use as alternatives to ED. Let’s look at each of the 5-Rs, so you can guide your client to complete this worksheet. The 5-Rs represent five different areas which the client can consider accessing based on their specific needs in the moment. Each of the 5-Rs begin with the letter R (to make these easier for your...

ED Recovery: Morning Self-Care

 EDIT™ Worksheets | Give To Your Self Self-Care Routine #1 | Morning Check-In Eating disorder behaviors can sometimes be your client’s way of life. Eating disorder recovery involves replacing ED (Eating Disorder) with Intuitive Self-Care – truly nurturing and nourishing habits developed through guidance from IT (Intuitive Therapist). As your client gradually integrates new habits which have meaning for them, their old eating disorder habits will gradually disappear. As your client’s life is filled with their new routines of Self-Care, and other meaningful activities in their life, they will suddenly realize, “ED hasn’t been around for a while…  I truly feel free… I wonder if this is what complete recovery is all about?” One of the best places to start guiding your client with Intuitive Self-Care is when they first wake up each day. Their initial waking hours can be a critical time in their day, as they set the stage for ED… or, recovery! This Morning Check-In worksheet illustrates a simple format for your client to complete each morning. The top section of this worksheet includes some basic details about your client’s sleep patterns, which is helpful for your client and also you as a clinician to also be aware of. You can suggest some holistic strategies to improve sleep hygiene – which is related to their bedtime routine (discussed in the next worksheet, page 48 of the pdf file– Evening Check-In). Many clients report having access to their Intuitive Therapist (IT) during their dreams, where they receive a direct message through the dream, or in the dream interpretation. Also of note is that the transition from sleep to waking is also a time when clients can...

Benefits of Eating Disorder Recovery

EDIT™ Worksheets | Believe In Your Self Recovery #1 | Winning the War Within Eating disorder or eating disorder recovery? That is a decision that many clients make every day – and sometimes multiple times a day. It can often feel like a “war within” – as the client’s voice of the Eating Disorder (ED) seems to compete with the recovery wisdom voiced by the Intuitive Therapist (IT). Rather than dismissing ED’s arguments for “giving up on recovery” and “giving in to eating disorder behaviors,” it can be helpful to look more closely at exactly what ED is saying in the client’s mind. Similarly, it can be helpful to guide clients to examine their recovery wisdom in more detail, to notice the risks of their eating disorder behaviors and the benefits of recovery. This worksheet walks clients through the various ED and IT messages, so they can clearly see the perspectives of both sides. Clients can “win the war within” as they honor ED and IT – and then make a decision where they choose to place their attention. If 51% of the client’s mind is focused on the benefits recovery, while 49% still considers the seeming advantages of their eating disorder – then recovery “wins.” The idea is to gradually guide clients to shift the percentage, so ultimately 100% of their attention is given to IT’s recovery wisdom. This worksheet can be done in session, or assigned as homework. Suggest that the client start by completing the corner of the grid where their thoughts seem to be the strongest in that moment. For the purpose of illustration, let’s look at the top left corner first. Here, the client...