If you’re here reading this, you probably decided at some point you want to recover from your eating disorder. Yet eating disorders like to trick us: right when we’ve decided to break up with them, they start saying “Don’t leave me!” and “You need me!”… just like a toxic ex. Ugh.
So, how do we maintain our motivation to recover in those moments when making the difficult choice feels impossible? The answer lies with tapping into our values.
Our values are more than our reasons for recovery. They are the traits we cherish most; the moral code we strive to live by; and the things that make our lives worth living. One might even say that our values are a synonym for the “True Self” (as opposed to our “ED Self”).
Studies show that tapping into our values is a promising component of ED recovery: acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) is a type of therapy based around identifying and strengthening value systems. Onnink et. al. (2022)found that there is initial evidence suggesting ACT may be a useful strategy for treating eating disorders.
To reconnect with your values in recovery, start by identifying some of the things that are most important to you. Try writing down at least 3-5 words that encompass your values. Some examples could include:
Take this exercise to the next level by asking yourself how your ED gets in the way of you living a life that upholds these values. For example, if you value honesty, you might notice that your eating disorder causes you to lie to your loved ones about your meals or your ED behaviors.
Let me know how this exercise goes in the comments below – and if you’re looking for more support in your ED recovery, reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how EDIT coaching can help you thrive!