A general rule of thumb: no one should end the fall season without having a PSL (pumpkin spice latte) from Starbucks 😉 Or coffee place of your choice because TBH there’s probably better PSL’s out there.
Anyway! Happy fall! I’m incredibly #basic in the sense that fall is absolutely my favorite season. Again, I love PSL’s, boots, sweaters, the changing leaves, the weather.
With all the excitement that fall holds, it also holds many changes. Changes like: going back to school, possibly leaving home, going to a different school, changing jobs or learning to adjust with kids not in the house. With all of these differences in routine, eating disorder behaviors can often be triggered during these times, so it can be a good season to explore new strategies for your recovery.
In this blog, I thought it would be a good place to discuss:
a) some tips for transitions
b) what Bobbi and I can do at Empowered Eating to help.
Tips for Transitions
1. Make a list of “red/yellow light” signs and “green light” signs with your therapist or dietitian.
For instance, I do this with many of my clients who are transitioning from high school to college, since it will be the first time they’re more consistently away from home.
“Red light” or “yellow light” signs are behaviors the indicate the ED voice/urges might be getting a bit stronger.
- For example, skipping meals/snacks, prioritizing exercise over other things, or a decrease in variety of foods.
“Green light” signs are indicative that you’re engaging in behaviors to promote recovery.
- Like: seeing your therapist and dietitian weekly, challenging fear foods, and eating regularly throughout the day (or following your meal plan if you have one!).
If you feel comfortable, it might be a good idea to share this list with other members on your support team, like parents, significant others, perhaps a roommate or close friend.
2. Then, make a list of what happens when you notice you’re struggling.
If you notice you’re regularly engaging in eating disorder behaviors (aka “red” or “yellow light” signs), what happens next?
Do you go to a support group either in person, on the college campus or virtually? Spend the weekend with individuals who support you in recovery and can help you take a breath? Participate in meal support with your RD?
Definitely discuss these steps with your treatment team. After all, it’s a good idea to have a plan of action ahead of time so you’re not feeling overwhelmed about what to do next.
Of course, these “plans” might not be always executed just as expected, and there may need to be adjustments. And that’s okay. Your team will support you in getting through it.
3. Remind yourself: There’s nothing wrong with increased support!
Recovery is not linear and is 1000% okay if behaviors increase during times of change. It doesn’t make you any less motivated or “successful” in recovery. In times of slip ups and relapses,
I believe you learn more about yourself and the eating disorder and can use that information to get better.
Knowing when you need to ask for help, attend support groups, add on additional therapy/nutrition appointments if you’re able can be a sign of strength in recovery.
4. Find a new routine.
Think about how you might be able to find a bit of normalization in the new normal. This might help you a bit to get adjusted to the new space and routine. What would this look like?
Here are some ideas!
- Having a consistent sleep schedule
- Eating meals around the same time
- Weekly calls with loved ones
- Having a meal with a friend, each week
- Making time for yourself, each week
What we offer at Empowered Eating:
- In person support groups: Bobbi runs a group that meets every Monday in our Columbia office. Before attending a group, Bobbi asks you send her an email so she can get to know you a bit.. You can either head to our “contact us” page or email her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Meal support groups: I run a meal support group twice a month in our Greenbelt office. Please email me for more information! email@example.com
- Family support group: Bobbi runs this group out of our Columbia office. It meets once a month. Here’s a link with some more information!
- College Virtual Group: I run a college virtual support group throughout each school semester. You can attend any college/university in the state of Maryland or across the US! We’ve even had clients from other countries join 🙂 Aah, the convenience of virtual. If you’re interested, please send me a quick email.
- Also, we’re accepting new clients in both our locations!! So if you’d like to work with you one on one, let us know and we’d be happy to find a time!
Please note: All our groups are HAES© aligned and we strive to maintain a recovery-focused and positive environment, which means our group participants are always working to lift up the other members, not put them down. We’ve been so lucky and generally have amazing group members who are so compassionate and encouraging.
Call us at 240-670-4675 or visit our contact us page if you have questions about our groups or seeing us on a one on one basis.