Do you look at your plate with fear? Does that panicky feeling set in after you eat? Are you afraid to gain weight or cut back on your exercise? Does it scare you to think of living a life without your eating disorder?
Fear in eating disorder recovery keeps people bound to a life of self-destruction. But how does one get passed such fears? Here are some ideas you can try to help you overcome some of your fears. Perhaps one of these suggestions will help you face and conquer your fears.
1. Recognize that some of your fears may be based on lies. If you’re afraid that eating a meal with normal-sized portions will cause you to lose control of your eating, for example, realize that isn’t true. Who says you’ll lose control of your eating if you begin to eat healthy? For each lie that you recognize feeds one of your fears, think of a corresponding truth and focus on that instead.
2. Face your fears. I had a friend who faced many fears in her life and she would tell herself, “Feel the fear, but do it anyway.” Sometimes that’s just what you may need to do. While eating disorder recovery is done in steps, we can’t always wait until we’re ready to take some of them. Often, when we face a fear, we find that the dreaded result we expected doesn’t occur. This takes the edge off a bit as we face the next fear.
3. Tackle one fear at a time. Perhaps you can start with one of the lesser of your fears. Once you face that and things turn out okay, tackle another one. Each time you can come out stronger and more prepared to face the next fear.
4. Search the Bible for verses about fear. Read them when you’re fearful to help you counteract the fear; read them when you’re calm to help you remain that way; read them every day to help reinforce the healthy voice in your mind. Here are some verses about fear to get you started.
“The Lord is the light and my salvation, whom what I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life, of whom shall I be afraid? Ps. 27:1
“I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.” Ps. 34:4
“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.” 2 Tim. 1:7
Don’t beat yourself up over your fears. Instead, focus your time and energy on facing them. Celebrate each time you face one and build on that experience. Think of how much stronger you’ll be once you’ve put some of your fears behind you. Imagine how much more you’ll enjoy your life when it isn’t so filled with fear. Give yourself some time, and you might be surprised at the progress you make.
You’ll find much more on this topic in the Face Your Fears lesson in the Christian Eating Disorder Recovery Course.
By Laurie Glass