Posted by Elisa Oras / in Blog, Mental, Video

6 Signs You Are RELAPSING in Eating Disorder Recovery

Relapses are hard. They’re scary, and they’re difficult, and you may feel recovery isn’t working. Relapses can make you lose all hope of ever getting better. I had many relapses in recovery, but it was all a part of the learning process! Just remember that nothing is broken! You have to get up and keep going!

Everybody has experienced some sort of relapse in recovery. You’re not alone, and you’re not a failure. You’re a human being just like the rest of us!

The most important thing is to learn from your relapse. What were the warning signs? What triggered you? How can you avoid it next time? If you learn from it, you can brush off the dust and continue along your road to recovery.

So in this video, I will discuss some warning signs that will indicate you are heading towards a relapse. What to look out for and avoid.

1. Restriction of any kind

Sometimes people still do not comprehend fully that restriction will NEVER lead to recovery. If you want a full recovery restriction cannot, ever, be an option for you.

Maybe you are freaked out by the extreme hunger or just the fact that you hunger does not seem fully normal yet and you start to come up with all those reasons why your recovery is different and why you need to “eat intuitively” aka “not more than your eating disorder feels comfortable with”. You only allow yourself to eat until full and do not respond to the extreme hunger or mental hunger because that would be “bingeing” and “wrong” and will only result in “unnecessary” weight gain. This is not healthy and it’s another eating disorder way to make you restrict. You are not following the body but are following your fears about eating and weight gain.

I have to stress that intuitive eating comes after recovery, and you do not have to force it to happen. If you do, it might just be another form of restriction because the recovery symptoms like extreme hunger, bloating, water retention, and digestive issues are just freaking you out.

Another example is that you may feel “ready” – way too soon in your recovery – to start exercising again. You convince yourself that from now on you’re just being “healthy” or you “looove to run” or it’s your “me time.” In some cases, it might be true, but if you find yourself being more and more religious about it, and you feel guilty if you miss a day (or a month or a year) of exercise, it is very likely (and probable) that you’re not doing it for pure fun and enjoyment but because you think you “have to.” In your head, the weight gain in recovery is “unnecessary.”

Or you may start to exercise again despite still having many symptoms of starvation: no menstruation, still feeling cold all the time, gaining weight easily when you eat until fullness, bloating, retaining water, constipation. These are clear signs that you should continue to avoid all exercise and eat, rest, repeat.

2. You start to collect “thinspiration” pictures on your Pinterest account.

This one is just as an example, but I hope you know what I mean in general. If in any way you start to engage in (or you never actually stopped) looking for images, videos of perfect bodies, or health gurus who are skinny, you’re engaging in the eating disorder. You are still doing the things that keep your eating disorder alive. You follow fitness accounts on Instagram or other social media platforms, you look for diet advice to be “lean and healthy,” – blah blah blah. Stop it, you are heading towards a relapse!

3. Focusing on weight loss

I know that water retention and bloating are both very uncomfortable. Gaining ten pounds in a day is a bitch, and you want to make it pass, but you have to let it go and just wait it out! It will even out as long as you do not relapse.

With weight gain – bloating, water retention, indigestion, or real weight gain – most people hope they will be the exception. “Maybe I’ll be different! Maybe I am the unicorn, and I won’t gain weight. Or if I do, it’s not because of healing but because something is very wrong – and I have to eat less!”

But I’m 101% sure you are not different, and weight gain of some sort (yes, even when already weight restored or even overweight) will happen to you in recovery. Why am I so sure? Because it happens simply because you finally stopped all restrictive behaviors. You start eating enough, and your metabolism is still slow, so you will have bloating, water retention, more food in your system, and slower digestion – and all of these factors contribute to weight gain in recovery. But for the most part, it’s not “real” weight gain. Yes, you will gain some real weight like fat, muscle, and bone mass if your body needs it – and if it’s needed, it’s essential, and you can’t do anything about it! But if you choose to go through full recovery – eat enough and stop exercising, purging, and participating in any other restrictive behaviors – your metabolism will go back to normal, and you’ll restore your body’s normal functions. It’s the best thing you can do for your weight!

4. Too much worry about healthy eating

Eating healthy overall is great, and everybody should learn about nutrition basics like eating more whole foods. Concern about our health is normal, and we should definitely pay attention to it, but I’m talking about the extremes here – the type of healthy eating that makes you miserable and unhealthy instead of making you happy and healthy. The kind of eating that puts you in a very tight restrictive box and gives you an eating disorder.

So many of the people who write to me also come from a past of clean eating and orthorexia like tendencies. If they feel their health is not “optimal,” they automatically start to blame their “unhealthy” diet and beat themselves up about the pizza they had a few days ago because that must be the cause of all their crappy symptoms, not the fact that they are recovering from an eating disorder. So this triggers them to “eat clean” from that point on. They might slowly exclude some things from their diet, and little by little, they fall back into the obsession. They see other “health conscious” people posting triggering food photos on Instagram #glutenfreeforlife and automatically feel guilty about what they’re eating. Intuitive eating is quickly forgotten, and instead, it’s hello rules, food fears, and obsessions!

The way I got myself out of this behavior in recovery was to always remind myself that I wanted to keep eating all the foods I genuinely like, and I wanted to continue being an intuitive eater because it was important for my mental health, not just my physical body. Our mind and body are interconnected. They work together. I knew that restricting the “unhealthy” foods actually made me crave them even more in the long run. Restriction made me binge-prone and obsessed. It’s only when I allow all kinds of foods in my diet, with no restriction, that I don’t crave them so often or in as large amounts. I saw that for my physical health, it was wiser to eat them every now and again than to restrict them completely and then have binge episodes, cravings, food-related stress, and obsession.

5. Former triggering eating disorder behaviors

Any diet behavior will trigger you to relapse and can be a sign that you are already relapsing. Weighing and measuring yourself, body-checking, Paleo/low-fat/gluten-free diet recipe searching or following –all of these previous eating disorder behaviors are signs of relapse or impending relapse. Communicating with other eating disordered people who are not recovering can be a trigger for you as can calorie counting to make sure you do not eat “too much” or eating from blue dishes with chopsticks. You know your former disordered behaviors better than anybody so make sure you get them out of your life for good!

6. Trying to be perfect in recovery

It’s important to realize that recovery is not another diet where you fail. Even though I listed here all possible triggers for your eating disorder, I want to tell you that it’s not possible to be one hundred percent perfect in recovery. Erasing all your triggers and going to full recovery with absolutely no setbacks? Maybe it happens in recovery fairyland, but that’s not real life. Recovery is a journey, and all mistakes are learning experiences.

Nobody expects you to be perfect. Be realistic instead! Expecting to be perfect is another sure way to trigger relapse because if something goes wrong (and it will!), you might just give up altogether because you’ll automatically think it isn’t working. It’s the mindset of “Oh well… I screwed up today so I might as well binge and purge for the rest of the night and start tomorrow…”. If you have this mindset in recovery you will already set yourself up for a failure.

If you climb a mountain and fall a few steps back because there were some loose rocks you didn’t expect, it doesn’t mean you have to go all the way back down and start again from ground zero…or you should start intentionally loosening even more rocks because you can start climbing again from “tomorrow” (makes no sense!). Taking a few steps back does not mean you have to start from the beginning… or that you have to make it even worse by quitting recovery today by going into a full-blown ED-mode because you can start “fresh” from tomorrow…(insanity!) Instead, celebrate the road you have traveled thus far in your recovery, and just continue going!

If you want to learn more about recovery you can take my FREE video course “6 Steps To Recover From An Eating Disorder” or read my step by step recovery book “BrainwashED: Diet-Induced Eating Disorders. How You Got Sucked In And How To Recover.”

Hope you found this video and information helpful!

Posted by Elisa Oras / in Blog, Inspiration, Mental, Video

How to Deal With Negative Comments & Judgemental People in Eating Disorder Recovery (10 tips!)

One of the very common questions I get is how to deal with negative comments and judgemental people in eating disorder recovery? “I feel everyone is judging me because of my weight gain…“, “I bet they wonder why I eat so much when before I was this athletic healthy fit girl…”, “They must think I am fat and have let myself go…”, “Someone asked me if I’m pregnant”, “She was so surprised of my weight gain and told me to ‘not go too far with this’…” UGHHH!!! These are just a view examples.

Dealing with triggering people and triggering comments in recovery is hard and can make many people relapse back to restriction. Today’s culture is soaked with diet messages and everybody seems to have this diet mindset so no wonder we get so frustrated when nobody seems to understand we are just trying to get out of this brainwash! To get truly healthy again, for our physical and mental wellbeing.

To help you deal with this I want to give you my 10 thoughts on this subject. What is a more helpful way to look at it. To keep going despite all the judgemental comments, triggering people and the diet messages all around us.

1. We all want to feel accepted

We all want to feel a sense of connection and belonging, being understood by others and to feel validated. It’s a basic human need and it’s healthy. But it can become very unhealthy when we rather choose to follow an unhealthy behavior just to get that validation and approval from others but, at the same time, putting our own true needs aside. With eating disorder recovery we must keep on recovering despite the fact that many people won’t understand us or even accept our change. We need to recover because of our own health and well-being, not for others. People who really love you will stay by your side no matter what.

2. Most people have no idea what recovery is like

Most people have no idea what eating disorders really are, how recovering from it looks like or what it takes. Even close family members or friends who maybe know that you are recovering still might be clueless what you are actually going through. Talking about it and letting them know will help but if they make triggering comments then just know that they likely have no idea what you are going through, or exactly what to say or not to say. Try to put yourself in their shoes to understand where they are coming from. They might mean well but just don’t know what is the best way to express it. So if someone says a triggering comment you can’t take it like it’s from a person who knows what is right for you. It’s very likely they actually have no idea about recovery and the reality of it. So you must stay true to what you know is best for you.

3. People have skewed beliefs about food and weight

It’s unfortunate that so many people in today’s world have the diet mindset. The idea that weight gain is always something bad and weight loss means a person is getting “healthy”. Also, they might have the “good and bad” food mindset and comment on your food not because they know whats right for you, but just because their belief system is soaked with diet messages. Many people are brainwashed by diets and believe its messages whether consciously or unconsciously. It comes from their own messed up belief and the diet mindset. Even normal people who have never dieted themselves can still have diet mindset -skewed ideas about food, eating, and weight. They want to push their belief system on to you but you don’t have to take it. Just because someone is commenting on something does not mean they are right and you should listen. Most of it is just someone’s opinion. So don’t confuse facts with opinion.

4. Many people are brainwashed by diets

Many people are dieting themselves. It can be your co-workers, family members, your friends or even your partner. People who are dieting will be triggered by YOU if they see you are stepping away from diets. And they can make negative or triggering comments because they need to validate what THEY are doing to make themselves feel better about their own beliefs. We all want to be right so if someone is dieting and makes negative comments about you it’s THEIR problem, not yours. You don’t need to approve what they are doing by accepting the negative comment as the truth. Know that it’s their own diet brainwash. And one thing for sure in life is this: there are very few facts.

5. Nobody is thinking about you as much as you do

People are generally the most focused on their own lives. In reality, nobody is going around and thinking about you all day or the way you look or eat. The news flash is that you are not that important or special to anybody, most people are rather worried about their own lives! And even if someone comments or thinks about your weight or eating for a few seconds of their day is it really worth it to spend your WHOLE life in an eating disorder? Just to make sure those ignorant people can’t comment on what you do? It’s like you are living for THEM, not for yourself.

6. By needing everybody’s approval you give your power away

If you keep needing validation from others and needing to hear everybody’s positive comments about you, then you will forever keep on waiting! If you live for others approval and always try to please everybody then you will give away your power. You literally make your happiness dependant on other people and it’s a very unhealthy place to be. If someone’s comment can either make you or break you in a blink of an eye and decide if you gonna feel great or not that day you give your happiness to someone else. It’s a trap, a trap of lifelong unhappiness. But the key is to let go of that validation and focus on whats best for YOU! Focus on the people who truly love you and work on accepting yourself just as you are. Stop trying to get approval from everybody because it’s never gonna happen.

7. Accept yourself as you are

Even if someone is an evil person who wants to bring you down with their negative comments, just to make you feel bad, then why you want to please them by accepting their comments like it’s the truth? If someone wants to intentionally hurt you then you only feed that fire by trying to endlessly explain yourself, seek their approval and needing their validation. It’s best to get to a point when you realize that you don’t need to be liked or even approved by everybody. I’m sure you don’t like everybody on this planet so everybody does not have to like you as well! And that’s ok! If someone just doesn’t like you or support you then it’s totally ok and fine! Let go the need for being liked and approved by everybody. It’s not realistic. Instead, accept YOURSELF as you are, with all your “flaws” and “mistakes” and rather focus on being true to you! People who truly love you will support you.

“Don’t take anything personally. Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.” – Don Miguel Ruiz

8. Their negative comments about you are a reflection of themselves

If someone is making negative comments about your appearance or weight then it’s a reflection of their own messed up relationship towards their own body. They need to make negative comments about someone else just so they can feel better about themselves! Most judgemental people are also very judgemental of themselves. So instead of feeling hurt, feel compassion towards them because who knows what they have been through to become this bitter person who wastes their life thinking negatively about others. It’s a miserable life.

We all get old and nobody is immune to that. We might gain weight as we get older and experience increasing “imperfections” of our body: cellulite, wrinkles, age spots, injuries, health problems – welcome to the human body! If one can’t accept that then I feel sorry for them because they will forever live in self-hatred, feeling unworthy, not good enough, not accepting THEMSELVES. If their value system is based on weight and appearance then it’s very short-lasting. That’s a whole lot of misery for them! And if they waste their energy by focusing negativity on you, it’s THEIR WASTE of energy, they are poisoning their own body and brain with this toxic negativity. If anybody is making a negative comment about someone else then they might as well look in the mirror because this is the only person they are really hurting.

9. Have you ever thought that these are actually YOUR thoughts?

Sometimes we think that people spend all day judging us and secretly commenting on our weight and eating, but actually, have you ever thought that these are actually YOUR thoughts? You really don’t hear what they think about, so how can you know for sure? These are most likely your own fears about your own weight and eating. Just because you think this way DOES NOT mean everybody else must think about you the same way. And also, eating disorder will magnify your fears, eating disorder mind will notice any comment about weight or food and take it in the most negative way. It will take maybe otherwise well-meant comment and twist it into the biggest trigger in the world. Eating disorder likes to catastrophize every scenario, take it personally, become a victim so it can keep on feeding on that blame-game so you never take responsibility for your own thoughts and actions.

10. Put your true self out there and practice!

Many people in recovery are worried about being judged by others. Whether it’s about their weight or way of eating. We can talk about it endlessly and discuss how to change your mindset, but you never actually overcome it unless you start practicing it in your daily life and facing the uncomfortable situations – eating out with others, attending family gatherings, going to clothes shopping, going to the beach, meeting a friend you have not seen for a long time, changing your OWN MINDSET. Starting with yourself first, not waiting until other people will change and stop commenting or judging you. The world we have today is, unfortunately, full of diet messages and unhealthy beliefs about food, eating, and our body. But you don’t need to become a victim and focus on how it stops you from recovery but take the responsibility to your own hands and give yourself the approval, validation, and support you need in recovery first and foremost!

“Those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind” – Dr. Seuss

If you want to learn more about recovery you can take my FREE video course “6 Steps To Recover From An Eating Disorder” or read my step by step recovery book “BrainwashED: Diet-Induced Eating Disorders. How You Got Sucked In And How To Recover.”

Hope you found this video and information helpful!

Posted by Elisa Oras / in Blog, Mental, Video

Mental Block, Fear, How To Let Go, Stretched Stomach, My Hair // Q&A #3

How to let go of your mental blocks in recovery? How to overcome fear? How do you just let go? All this is answered in this recovery Q&A video!

Q&A #1 video
Q&Q #2 video


Videos about WEIGHT:
How You Will Restore The Set Point Weight?
How A Healthy Body Burns Calories?
I Feel Flabby! Weight Redistributing After ED
Overshooting Set Point Weight in Recovery
How To Know If Weight Restored?
Will I Get Fat When I Stop Restricting?
How To Restore Metabolism After ED

Mental BLOCK?
The book “You Are Not Your Brain”
Why You Have Fear And Anxiety In Recovery?
Who You Need To Get Uncomfortable?