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4 Resources I Wish I Knew About Before Starting Eating Disorder Recovery

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When I was 18, I began a downward spiral into an eating disorder. I was a public health major in college but that doesn’t mean I was equipped to deal with it. Perhaps that’s my own fault — I didn’t search for help, I didn’t search for knowledge about what I was up against either.

Once I wanted and needed help, I finally began searching for resources and from that point on, my life changed. I am a firm believer in education, whether through a traditional form such as a university or non-traditional modes such as that which life gives us. I love to learn and I believe that knowledge is power. So when I finally granted myself the permission to seek the knowledge that would empower me to make the positive changes I needed in my life, I wanted to be able to share it with others so that it may also help them.

Here are the resources I wish I knew about earlier, but what I’d love to share with others now to help them on their journey:

1. Support Groups

I started off researching opportunities by which I could talk to someone who knew exactly what I’d been through. I found an organization that offered recovery mentor support to those who were undergoing recovery and wanted someone that could understand their experiences and hardships.

For anyone interested in this, there are several organizations that offer this service: the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders (ANAD) and Project Heal are amongst some of them.

You can also look for local support groups in your immediate region conducted by therapists, local organizations or chapters of larger organizations such as Project Heal.

2. Lifestyle

Prior to my eating disorder, I was not accustomed to a “healthy” lifestyle. In other words, I never worked out, I didn’t consciously think about what I was eating in terms of nutritional value. It wasn’t until my recovery that I realized the journey toward a complete recovery includes developing a lifestyle that you can sustain. For someone like me who never had that, it required a lot of research.

There are countless blogs and websites that can help you figure out a sustainable lifestyle that best suits you. Find ones that appeal to you based on how well you think it would fit into the life you want to create for yourself.

The Body Positive and Bex Life are some I found.

3. Finding resources for your loved ones

I realized that I wasn’t ever in this battle on my own. In order to best equip everyone in my life for the uphill battle I was going to ensue, I wanted my support to also have their own proper resources.

Here is a website about various topics including eating disorders for parents.

4. Review sites

This may seem like a really odd one but as someone who did not know much about certain things, it helped to find other sites that could provide me further insight. In this case, I wanted detailed information about things like vitamins, supplements, exercise products, etc. These sites help you reduce the amount of research needed and can help you decide on what may work for you. Review sites tend to be consumer based and are therefore, an accumulation of unbiased opinions about a product or service you may be interested in. It’s helpful in reviewing something before needing to buy it.

Consumer Reports and Shifu are review websites that may help.

It’s good to note that the websites mentioned in this article won’t necessarily appeal to everyone. So remember to always do your own research and find resources that will work with the purpose you want. But be open minded to trying new things because you never know what may work. Sometimes you may also need to look into a lot of different things before being able to find better matches. Don’t be discouraged by that — the more knowledge you can accumulate, the better equipped you’ll be.

Also, don’t forget that the people around you are also accessible resources. We can learn from each person in our life.

When you take the time to learn and give yourself the chance to use the knowledge learned to better your life, you are unlocking so much more potential toward happiness.

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Unsplash image via Wang Xi

Originally published: June 19, 2018
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