Once the residential treatment program has ended, the transition back into everyday life can be somewhat difficult. A residential program can help you learn to eliminate the behaviors contributing to your eating disorder while building new skills to cope with life’s stressors, freeing you to embrace yourself with care.
Continuing your meal plan once you leave residential treatment is of vital importance. As mentioned, making good choices in your meal planning will help to promote an overall eating pattern. Remember these tips:
- Focus on food from all five food groups
- Focus on variety of nutrient-dense foods
Recently, Francesca Baker, a writer who struggled with an eating disorder, wrote a cookbook designed for and by others with eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating. Her cookbook, Eating & Living: Recipes for Recovery , began as Baker and others were in treatment. Other patients and caretakers submitted recipes for a balanced diet, and Baker included descriptions of why the recipe matter to the contributor. The descriptions provided not only a recipe but placed emphasis on the social and emotional attachments we have with food.
For promoting a healthy eating pattern, each recipe includes the recommended portion size and is marked with the appropriate food group for each ingredient. Since, at times, some everyday activities can be challenging for those with eating disorders, the cookbook also offers advice on decision making and shopping.
The cookbook has been praised for the avoidance of “clean eating” stereotypes, and Baker hopes it will combat the myths about eating disorders. She says the cookbook includes a variety of foods and does not focus on stereotypes which can be restrictive and trick the mind into thinking the body is not recovering. Users of the cookbook have found it to be valuable for those who find themselves experiencing doubts or confusion about what to eat.
One user says, “Eating disorders are about deeply ingrained beliefs of not being good enough, smart enough, pretty enough or worthy enough. But recovery is possible. We – among many others are living proof of that.”
When beginning the transition from outpatient treatment into daily life, remember to reach out for continued support from your therapist, groups, and family members. Think of each change you are making as a step closer to a healthier life. If you or a loved one is experiencing symptoms of an eating disorder, Magnolia Creek Treatment Center for Eating Disorders can offer support services. For more information or to answer questions, please contact our admissions team at 866-318-2329 or fill out our contact form.