recovery challenge

The brain does weird things when you deprive it of food.

And I don’t mean just calorically. Even if you’re eating 2000, 3000 calories a day in recovery, if they’re all safe, you’re still going to be obsessed with food and what you “can’t” have.

(AKA a friendly reminder to challenge yourself today.)

Recovery Challenge: How to Forgive Yourself -- No Matter What

Everyone makes mistakes. Sometimes they are small and forgettable, and sometimes they are big, but too often we can’t seem to stop beating ourselves up about it, way past the point where it’s helpful.

This is something I’ve found helpful for reconciling that just because I did something bad doesn’t mean that I am doomed to always be a bad person — no matter what I’ve done, I can learn from it and change for the better, and so can you.

1. Identify when you are beating yourself up, as it is happening. 

  • Example A: I failed my math test.
  • Example B: I lashed out in anger and hurt someone I care about.

2. Identify the thought and put it into words.

  • Example A: “I’m so stupid.” “I’m just terrible at math.” “I’ll never succeed.”
  • Example B: “I am a terrible person. What I did is unforgivable; I hate myself for what I have done.”

3. Limit the damage mentally, both in terms of extent AND duration. This is where you regain control over your thoughts by reminding yourself that you can come back from this. It is NOT an excuse; It doesn’t mean that your mistake wasn’t a mistake, or that it was okay to do (this applies especially if other people were hurt by your mistake). It just means that who you are and what you choose to do in the future are not defined by your past mistakes.

  • Example A: instead of “I failed this test” say, “I got a bad grade on this test.” Instead of “I always fail math tests” say “I have been getting bad grades on my math tests.” Instead of “I AM stupid,” say, “I am having trouble with math.” 
  • Example B: Instead of “I can’t believe that I’m the kind of person who would do something like that,” say “It’s hard to come to terms with the fact that I did such a bad thing.” If you were in control at any point, recognize the areas where you WERE in control — “At least I kept myself from using physical violence” “At least I stopped when I realized what I was doing”. If you were not in control at any point of the encounter (emotions were overwhelming, you were under the influence of drugs/alcohol, etc.), know that you are in control NOW, and that you are alive and capable of making positive changes moving forward.

4. Identify ways you can improve the current situation

  • Example A: “My grade is lower than I want it to be because of this grade. Perhaps I can ask the teacher for an extra credit assignment.”
  • Example B: Assess whether an apology is appropriate. Is it totally genuine? Will it help the other person? Keep in mind that many people want merely to forget about these situations entirely, and reminding them of the situation might only cause harm or conflicted feelings on their part. Know that they are entitled to feel whatever they may be feeling as a result — including resentment and other unpleasant feelings towards you —  and if/when you apologize, make sure to validate their feelings rather than excuse your behavior. This includes respecting their choices afterwards if they choose to distance themselves from or end the relationship. Accept responsibility for what you’ve done, that it is a part of your past which you can learn from but can’t erase. This can be a lot to stomach, especially if they choose not to forgive you, so recognize that you are making a CHOICE to improve and change, that that is a brave choice, and again that your past does not define your future.

5. Once you have done what you can to rectify the situation, find a lesson in the mistake.

  • Example A: “I should figure out which areas of math I struggle with BEFORE the exam.” “I must get help as soon as I realize I don’t understand, rather than putting it off.”
  • Example B: “I need to recognize when my anger starts interfering with my ability to control my actions.” “I need to limit my alcohol/drug consumption so that I remain in control of my actions.” “I need to be more aware of what actions are appropriate to the situation, and the consequences of my actions for others.”

6. Prevent this mistake in the future by committing yourself to a plan for practicing this lesson.

  • Example A: “I will bring questions about material I struggle with to the class before the next exam.”
  • Example B: “When I notice myself getting angry, I will take 10 deep breaths.” “If I start feeling out-of-control with anger, I will leave the room for 5 minutes and calm down.” “I will pace myself when drinking in order to avoid getting so dangerously drunk again.” “I will stop using alcohol/drugs and/or get help in order to do so.” “I will check in with the others involved in situations where I am unsure about what is appropriate.”

7. Look forward and forgive yourself. The purpose of guilt is to teach you a lesson, the lesson being “Hey! Don’t do that again!” It’s sort of like your brain’s built-in behavioral conditioning system. Now that you’ve learned this lesson and are committed to applying it, you can let go of this guilt. No matter the mistake you’ve made, you can always improve from here. You don’t have to be perfect to forgive yourself. You just have to try to be the best you know how to be from this point on. This step takes more practice, but until you’ve gotten the hang of it, start by just saying to yourself, “I made a mistake. I have done what I can to fix the situation and prevent this from happening in the future. I am a work in progress. I forgive myself.”

Summergirl's recovery challenge

Join me in a recovery challenge! If you need extra motivation to do the challenge, tag me in your responses and I’ll add a link to your responses to each question on my post about that question.

  1. Where are you in your recovery right now? What are some goals you are working on to help you to move forward in your recovery?
  2. What part of your eating disorder is hardest for you to overcome or let go of right now?
  3. Give yourself credit for the progress you’ve made - what are some positive steps you’ve taken in recovery, or recent progress that you’ve made?
  4. What motivates you to recover?
  5. Who supports you in your recovery?
  6. Does your family support your recovery?  How do they help or hurt your efforts to recover?
  7. What type of treatment are you getting right now? Talk about your current treatment team - are they helpful, do you trust them? Are you honest with them?
  8. Do you have a role model in recovery, or someone who inspires you?  Talk about that person.
  9. What do you think caused or contributed to your eating disorder?  What are some steps you can take now to work through these issues?
  10. Did you have a turning point or a certain moment that made you decide to recover? Or was it a decision that happened over a long period of time?
  11. What are some enjoyable activities you do which are unrelated to your eating disorder, but help you to cope and feel positive?
  12. Who in your life knows about your eating disorder? Has sharing about your eating disorder been helpful for you?
  13. What are some things - blogs, quotes, books, mantras, etc - that inspire you and keep you motivated?
  14. Describe at least ten things you like about yourself. If you don’t believe those positive things, try to think of praises and compliments other people have given you, and write those down and then make an effort to believe in those compliments
  15. What does your weight/body image mean to you?  How has your body image changed throughout recovery - has it gotten harder or easier to deal with?
  16. What experience(s) has been most helpful your recovery (for example, meeting a supportive friend, deciding to go to therapy, etc)?
  17. What do you want your life to look like when you’re recovered?  What are some life goals you have that you think you could only accomplish if you recover?
  18. Do you have any other diagnosed disorders aside from an eating disorder? How are you dealing with these issues?  If you don’t have another disorder, what are some psychological issues that affect your eating disorder right now?
  19. What scares you most about recovery?
  20. What scares you most about your eating disorder?
  21. What is something you have learned about yourself in recovery?
  22. Do you think you are fully committed to recovery and willing to do whatever it takes to recover?  If not, what do you think is holding you back?
  23. What can you do for yourself when you are having a bad day or struggling which will help you?
  24. What are some examples of things that your eating disorder has taken from you?
  25. What has recovery given you?
  26. What does recovery mean to you?
  27. Do you believe in full recovery?  Why or why not?
  28. What are some things you do that help you cope when you’re having a hard time?
  29. How have you and your life changed from when you were in the worse periods of your eating disorder versus now, in recovery?
  30. Has this recovery challenge helped you, and how?

anonymous asked:

Hi:) I am looking for a ...days challenge. I am looking for something to bring me forward in my recovery - 'day 1 - do..''day 2-...' (and not things like post a selfie/picture of..) but things that are kinda challenging me in a positive way? I have tried to find something but I can't and I don't think I can come up with something myself as I am trying to get out of my comfort zone. Do you know any? (if not, it's ok :D) THANK YOU!! xx

Hey there :) xx

I’m super happy that you messaged us this question. I’m sure that my answer can help many others too in recovery

  • Day 1- Write a letter to your addiction (‘drug of choice’) or your disorder.
  • Day 2 - What have you done to help yourself with your addiction/disorder? 
  • Day 3 - List 3 things you like about yourself.
  • Day 4 - Have you emotionally harmed anyone (besides yourself) with your addiction/disorder? If so, how? 
  • Day 5 - How do you want to be remembered?
  • Day 6 - Write a letter to someone who has harmed you or has made you feel bad.
  • Day 7 - What are 2 things you want? What are 2 things you need?
  • Day 8 - If you could go back in time (before your addiction/disorder) what would you tell yourself?
  • Day 9 - Who do you look up to? Why?
  • Day 10 - List 5 goals you have for yourself, short-term or long-term.
  • Day 11 - What motivated you to enter recovery?
  • Day 12 - What are 3 things you would like to change about yourself?
  • Day 13 - Have your struggles changed you? For better or worse? Why?
  • Day 14 - Think about yourself one year ago, how have you changed?
  • Day 15 - When you are triggered, what do you tell yourself to calm down?
  • Day 16 - List 5 things you are grateful for.
  • Day 17 - What in your life has improved since you entered recovery?
  • Day 18 - Have you found a Higher Power (doesn’t have to be religious)? If so, what is it? If not, do you have any beliefs?
  • Day 19 - What is the hardest thing you had to give up because of your disorder/addiction?
  • Day 20 - Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
  • Day 21 - What was your ‘rock bottom’? How did you overcome it?
  • Day 22 - Favorite quote(s) to live by?
  • Day 23 - How would you deal if your (future?) child had your addiction/disorder? What would you say to them?
  • Day 24 - Has having a Tumblr helped or hurt your recovery? Why?
  • Day 25 - What/who in your life makes you smile ear to ear? Why?
  • Day 26 - What would you say to someone if they told you 'I give up on my recovery. It’s too hard.’?
  • Day 27 - Tell us a story about yourself in the midst of your addiction/disorder. It can be positive or negative.
  • Day 28 - What do you feel is your greatest strength?
  • Day 29 - What are some of your favorite recovery blogs or sites?
  • Day 30 - What is the best part about being in recovery?


Hope this helps lovely <3

-Shelby (:

Recovery Challenge: Notice Your Body

Something that helps me a lot is watching my body as it moves. When I lean forward, I have belly rolls; if I stretch backwards, they stretch with me. When I sit down, my thighs spread out wide. Realizing that my rolls are just my skin being flexible to fit me, that my spreading thighs are where my body creatively turns currently-relaxed parts of my leg into a comfy seat just for me, helps me also realize that my body isn’t just one shape — that my “perfect shape” would be too rigid, stiff, and useless for me to be much more than a Barbie doll. Doing this thought exercise helps me realize that many of the “imperfections” I find with how I look are actually necessary for me to have a functioning human body — and that being flexible and capable of change is infinitely more valuable than fitting an arbitrary definition of “perfect.”

This is really important. So as I’m sure a lot of you guys know, it’s kind of frowned upon for people in recovery to become vegan since usually it’s a way of adopting a socially-approved restrictive diet. I was super conscious of this but knew I was doing it for the right reasons since I had to give up a lot of healthier, lower-calorie foods to go vegan (coconut yogurt vs greek yogurt, soy cheese vs real cheese, froyo vs sorbet, etc.) Anyways, I was at Target a couple weeks ago and I saw these limited edition cinnamon vanilla english muffins. They smelled sooo good and I really wanted to try them— then I looked and saw they had dehydrated cream cheese. So I put them back. Afterwards, when I was being honest with myself, I realized I used the fact that they weren’t vegan as an excuse for not challenging myself. In other words, my ED was taking advantage of my veganism.
Last night, I bought them.

I’m still following a vegan diet, but I firmly believe mental health comes first. That’s why I needed to eat these. I understand if I lose followers over this, but I’m really proud of myself.

Hey guys if you’re struggling to eat a night snack/feel guilty/just need reassurance, I just ate a Reese’s PB Cup Oreo (FAB btw), half a pint of coconut ice cream, and a bag of kettle pop corners! And I’ve never felt better!
You CAN have yummy, delicious food. You WON’T become huge.
You WILL be so much happier.
Cheesy “We’re All In This Togetherrrr” moment :’)


Advent Recovery Challenge: Day 3

“Eat Birthday Cake”

And then I took it a whole lot further, because it was my birthday and I was damn well going to enjoy it! We went out for an Indian meal, my choice obviously, and I had this ENTIRE bowl of Lamb Bhuna (that’s only half of it on the plate in the 2nd photo), with tons of rice and half a Naan! And then I finished off my friend’s curry too! 

Then when we were done and unbelievably full, the waiter came over with this incredible chocolate torte with lit candles and everybody sung “Happy Birthday” and it was wonderful, and the cake was rich and delicious. Then he brought out a flaming sambuca for me to down!

THEN once we got back home, got changed for the night out, and started to pre drink, my housemates brought out this; a SALTED CARAMEL and brownie cake (!!) and more tuneless singing and candle blowing occurred. So naturally I had a big ass slice of that too. 

Thinking about it, I don’t even consider this a challenge because it wasn’t even difficult. I was just freely enjoying my birthday. I was utterly content. If this is what 21 is going to be like, I think I’m going to like it :)

if a child of mine developed an eating disorder, I would put them in treatment as soon as I noticed the signs

they wouldn’t be happy with me and they wouldn’t feel ready for it but you never feel ready for it, and any amount of anger is better than allowing any child of mine suffer the wrath of an eating disorder

What is a recovery jar?

Since I’m getting a lot of asks about this I decided to just explain what I’m doing again. So recovery from mental illness does not mean you are cured. It’s an acceptance of your condition and the ability to live a fulfilling life. Recovery is an internal process that enables you to get the most out of life despite your mental illness. I am a firm believer in recovery but on my bad days I lose all of the hope and drive that has keep me going. I wanted a way to remember the things I did during the “good days” and the things that lead me to recovery. Every time I do something that gets me closer to recovery I will put it in the jar. On the bad days when I’m feeling hopeless I will take them out and remember everything I did to get to where I am today. I will remember that one bad day or even a bad month isn’t going to stop me from recovering. 

If anyone is going to do this and want me to see it tag me! I’d love to see what everyone is doing! <3